Project idea stemming from Recruiter Rant


(Richard Cunningham) #21

Yes, I understand all that, which is why I/we don’t want the recruiters involved at all. The salary situation is silly - employers should pay everyone what they are worth to the organization.


(Andy Wootton) #22

Have you ever met anyone who knows that?

Market economics prevail.

I got confident enough towards the end of my time contracting to demand that agencies told me their rate and put it in writing on contracts. It varied between 10% and 40%. Both implied their children would starve if they charged less. I’m sure a lot of work goes into finding new openings but a renewal is worth about £50 in admin.


(Richard Cunningham) #24

I suppose it’s not so much there worth to the organization, but the typical market rate. At any rate a organization shouldn’t have two people of the same skill level at very different salary levels - simply one is better at negotiating than the other.


(Andy Wootton) #25

I agree @rythie though I could also argue the case that negotiation is clearly the key skill of the job and there is obviously a difference but that is not what the employer should want, in most jobs.

It is also clear that people need to be paid more to move than to stay, so companies pay over the odds to get someone then allow inflation to reclaim their investment over a few years. It would be more honest to pay a transfer fee, also to the employer for any training they received recently, so that companies who train aren’t subsidising those that don’t.


(Philip Wattis) #26

In an ideal world, this is true, but we are not dealing with automatons. I’ve had two similarly skilled people work for me, and put simply, one was a problem creator, and the other was a problem solver. Despite looking very similar on paper, one employee was worth far more to the company than the other. One was the ideal employee, the other was a constant source of despair and angst.

Attitude is everything. Anybody with a reasonable amount of intelligence should be able to acquire the right skillset to do most jobs within their field.

When software developers start commoditising themselves as nothing more than a ‘box of skills’, where you feed requirements in and get code out, those jobs will soon get outsourced to somewhere where the cost base is lower. There’s far more to being a good employee, a valued member of the team, than simply having the requisite set of skills to do the job.


(Andy Wootton) #27

What you are describing @philw, are a different type of skill. I’ve met a third type, the bluffer, who is great at the ‘can-do’ attitude upwards but wreaks havoc ‘behind the scenes’ or causes pain to those below if in middle-management. This is also a ‘skill’ and becoming very popular in large companies, as a browse of the job descriptions on LinkedIn quickly reveals.


(Philip Wattis) #28

I’ll agree, being able to bluff is a skill and agree with your observations. With attitude though, I’d see that as a character attribute rather than a skill. Peoples’ skillsets change throughout their career (in the case of IT - rather rapidly), whereas, in my experience, peoples’ attitudes, whether good or bad, rarely change. I’ve seen an increasing use of the terms ‘soft skills’ and ‘emotional intelligence’, but I’d still separate these out from attitude.


(Andy Wootton) #29

Yes to real, underlying attitude, but surface attitude is the easiest thing to bluff. Actors and psychopaths do it most of the time. I tried it once as an experiment. My manager was completely fooled, congratulated me for believing something ridiculous and was clearly delighted that he had persuaded me. I hated myself a bit but I might have thought “Oh, so this is how you get to the top”, as many have before.

I once heard an 'orchestra conductor / motivational speaker; warn, “Remember that a cynic is an optimist who can’t cope with any more disappointment”. Negative attitudes are sometimes a personal protection mechanism.


(Philip Wattis) #30

This is a good point. I met with the CEO of an independently owned IT recruitment firm in London earlier this year (I wasn’t looking for a job, or employees, it was for other business matters) who appeared to have about 30 staff on his books. I asked him if he experienced many instances of being ‘cut out the loop’. The generally gist was that yes it does happen, but to the extent that it’s not an enormous problem. They try to protect themselves in advance by not releasing names (as Jude points out), and also having some quite strict terms & conditions. They do some pro-active work if they have a suspicion that they have been bypassed, and ultimately refuse to work with any company or candidate in the future that has been seen to have done this.

Nothing particularly earth shattering. They could release names as they do have the protection of the t&cs, but why hand over tools to make it easier to rip you off?


(Jude Gibbons) #31

Just another anti-recruiter data point: I am this minute engaged in a discussion with an agency about a job. They want me to go for an interview but reading the information they sent about the role it sounded more like seo and digital marketing than actual development. He’s now sent me the client’s word doc description, and the header is indeed “Ecommerce Front-end Developer”, but the document footer still reads “Ecommerce Content Manager”. rolls eyes


(Peter Chatterley) #32

I agree with the being cut out of the loop piece, it rarely happens, what recruiters are more worried about is that the candidate tells another recruiter who speaks to the client offering other CV’s thereby reducing the chance of a fee.

Where candidates have gone direct previously, the hiring manager will normally tell the recruiter and they can prove (usually) they spoke to them before hand.

I still think recruiters should be made to tell you who clients are before hand and give detailed job and company descriptions.


(Peter Chatterley) #33

Interesting thought regarding salaries though, given that the media have started a huge issue about CEO salaries being x times the lowest paid employee or even x amount of the profit, maybe companies should just set one salary that everybody gets paid and then compensate with options or bonuses for those that deliver more value.

Or how about just have a set scale based on certain functions like Buffer!

I can think of nothing more demoralising that the annual ‘what do they earn’ ,‘who got a raise’ that drives employees to start looking!


(Daniel Hollands) #34

I have heard of companies that operate like this, with everyone from the cleaner to the CEO owning the company, and being on exactly the same salary. I’m sure it was part of a documentary or something, I’ll try tracking it down.


(Andy Wootton) #35

There is certainly a movement in the Agile/Lean world to discourage team members from competing, by not doing conventional performance reviews. You want team members to do whatever gives the best outcome for the team but I haven’t yet got anyone to admit what they’ve replaced it with, as there are clearly going to be people capable of more and there’s a market out there if you pay them the average rate. Similarly, if the new graduate or apprentice goes in at the average value of the team, there is going to be massive competition to go into that team rather than any other job, which distorts the workplace.


(Andy Wootton) #36

I’ve started thinking about roles (actors in UML) that would have user-stories and the realtionships between them. I have:
Worker (inc. Candidate)
Employer (inc, HiringMgr & HR)
Recruiter - this probably needs breaking down by someone who understands the various actor roles in a recruitment agency.

What have I missed?


(Jude Gibbons) #37

I think there will be different user-stories when it comes to candidates depending on experience and maybe other parameters.


(Andy Wootton) #38

You may be right @judes but as ‘experience’ is a continuum, can we cleanly divide that into different ‘actors’? User-stories are intended to be a high level reminder of an area where further conversation is needed. Different stakeholders with the same role often have different opinions that must be resolved, by either analysis or experimentation/demonstration.

Can you give an example? I could be wrong.

I’m not sure ‘candidate’ is a real role either, or a state that a ‘worker’/application enters: happy, looking, enquiring, applying, rejected, long-listed, short-listed, withdrawn, called-for-2nd, offered, accepted, appointed, started ?

Of course, though software is typically a model of ‘reality’, we decide how accurate and realistic it needs to be, or invent a better reality.


(Will Parker) #39

The way I would of defined the actors would of been:

Employers - Hiring Manager & HR Personnel
Candidates - Actively searching, Job change considered, Not searching
Recruiters - (Don’t know how this would break down)


(Andy Wootton) #40

@wprk ‘Candidate’ was my first thought too but I decided that you aren’t a candidate until you have at least applied for a job, maybe when you’ve reached some stage of acceptance.

People look at job ads who aren’t ‘looking’ but might be persuaded. Recruiters sometimes ‘head-hunt’ for particularly difficult to fill roles. We all know they get so desperate that they approach completely unsuitable people too.


(Marc Cooper) #41

How about prospect? [20 character minimum.]