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Comment Re:More likely they will pull out (Score 1) 131

Huh? What maid offers their (why do you assume "her"?) services to the "general public"? Maids will turn down clients because their house is too hard to clean, because they don't like the homeowner's pets (perhaps the maid is allergic to cats) or just because they think the potential client is creepy or seems like someone who would be a pain to deal with.

Comment Re:More likely they will pull out (Score 1) 131

So, if Uber is the exact same service as taxis, why did the government put all these burdensome regulations on taxis? Blame the government and the rent seeking taxi drivers -- not Uber. If all that regulation resulted in a superior product, presumably many/most people (who can afford it) will pick a taxi over Uber and Uber would just be a service for the poor who will enjoy increased mobility and flexibility that they didn't have before Uber. Seems like a win-win for all.

Comment Re:having kids is dumb (Score 1) 490

When you are 95 years old and no longer competent, if you don't have kids you are far more likely to end up with someone who doesn't really care about you at all hired (at your expense) by the state to make decisions for you. Kids are no guarantee of course, but they are probably your best bet (if you treat them well) to avoid this fate -- except, of course, blowing your brains all over the wall before you get to that state.

Comment LG has recommended a simple workaround (Score 4, Funny) 173

Elsewhere I read that LG recommended a simple workaround. Just put your wireless router in a Faraday cage and your LG monitor will work fine when it's nearby the router.

Although they recommend a certified LG brand "Wireless Router Faraday Cage" that they will be launching soon, I understand that Monster Cable will also be announcing one that works better -- something to do with the gold content and balanced geometry apparently.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

Sure, that's why members of my groups have been well paid historically. Tech is hard -- and too many people who think they possess the necessary skills, don't. you have to pay to attract and retain the good ones (and, frankly, get rid of any hiring mistakes as quickly as possible).

It is a reality that most tech training except on proprietary systems is going to be self directed -- most good techies are curious and intrigued by technology. The days of expecting to work for one or two companies for your entire career are long gone - five years is a fairly long time now. With that change (which, overall, has been good in my opinion -- much more cross pollination and skill differentiation), companies have much less motivation to invest in training. As well, honestly, much formal training is a waste of time -- if you want to learn a new area or skill, once you're a seasoned professional, it's usually more efficient to do it on your own rather than listening to, watching, or reading structured course material that covers stuff you've already figured out while glossing over that which you are curious about.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

I don't understand why people assume that salary information is the only, or even a very significant part, of a hiring or salary decision. There are many factors and salary history is just one small piece of the equation. If you don't trust a company to not abuse that information, why are you bothering to interview with them -- why would you assume they wouldn't abuse you in other ways after hiring you?

Of course I understand that some companies are "cheap" (or just small and granting options instead of high salaries). Where did you get the impression I didn't understand that?

I've never failed to extend an offer based primarily on salary history. However, on some occasions salary history has lead me to look closer at some areas and discover that I didn't want to extend an offer. Perhaps, for example, I know someone who worked with the person in the past and wouldn't have reached out to them if not for the odd low pay at a company that generally paid well and, in that process, discovered that the candidate was technically skilled on the surface (as they may have demonstrated in the interview process) but couldn't actually complete projects because they over optimized or over generalized.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

Since I'm hiring for engineering positions, I evaluate candidates based on their engineering skills and ability to work on a team, not their BS or sales skills.

Therefore I would not "dock a grade" for someone telling me their salary when requested because it's a reasonable request.

If they got angry at the request, the interview is probably effectively over and any following interviews are probably cancelled. If that simple request yields an angry response, I shudder to think of what would happen in a code review where a reviewer pointed out that their code was inefficient, hard to maintain, or behaved unexpectedly in some corner case which the design failed to mention explicitly ("Nowhere did the spec say that if a web user entered a general Unicode character into the input box that the server could not crash so my code is fine and you should shut the fuck up and if you question my code again we're going to resolve the issue in the parking lot after work.")

If they politely declined to reveal salary information and didn't play games in that refusal, the interview process won't be terminated for that reason, but it would be noted in my brain as an issue to be resolved. Though if they refuse to offer that information eventually and don't have a good explanation (like, "I owned the company and sometimes I lost money, sometimes I made money so I don't have any meaningful salary history"), probably an offer won't be made. I think teams work best when people don't play games and are as transparent as feasible and being intentionally opaque (or not trusting me to not abuse the information) about this simple matter is likely to portend problems in the future.

BTW, I've don't think I've ever had someone refuse to answer that question before an offer was extended -- although sometimes the answer, which is acceptable, includes an explanation such as "There was a serious illness in my family for three years and I requested flexibility in exchange for pay raises for three years. That situation no longer exists and, as you will note, my salary three years ago was competitive so I expect a new competitive salary" (if I can, I might try to verify the story though).

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

I actually don't care if employees share salary information - those that want to share are, as far as I'm concerned, free to do so. Generally, I think the best compensated employees will be the least likely to share because they realize less productive employees may be jealous of them. Generally the least skilled workers seem to think they are much better than they are.

I certainly would have no interest in participating in "collective bargaining" for my job. Nor do I think hardly any of my coworkers that I've respected would be interested in doing so. However, I have no problem with others participating in collective bargaining. If a group of employees got together and wanted to bargain collectively and I made policy, I would urge them to try to unionize. But if they didn't want to, or couldn't get enough of their coworkers to vote to unionize, I think I would generally be happy to evaluate each employee in the group, determine what raise I thought each deserved, then distribute that raise pool equally (as a percentage) among the group. I would share with any employee that requested what their contribution to the common raise pool was (obviously I could not give that information to other employees though). Of course, no employees have ever requested collective bargaining in my organizations or in any around me so I've never had to actually face this question.

If you conducted a anonymous survey among all the employees in your statistically significantly sized group (perhaps Department, perhaps below) and asked "Do you believe, among employees in this group who perform similar jobs, that you perform ABOVE or BELOW or RIGHT AT the median?", do you think the number of people who respond "BELOW" would be statistically the same as those who respond "ABOVE"? I strongly suspect that more will select ABOVE than BELOW.

Generally in the US work environment, I've found that low performers are much more likely to overestimate their skills and contributions while high performers are more likely to underestimate or accurately estimate theirs.

Interestingly, some studies have suggested that

the least competent performers inflate their abilities the most; that the reason for the overinflation seems to be ignorance, not arrogance; and that chronic self-beliefs, however inaccurate, underlie both people's over and underestimations of how well they're doing.

An example of this I recall outside my direct field was an acquaintance who was a lab tech who seriously believed that she did the same work as the engineers but wasn't paid as much. This was completely ignorance on her part -- she had no idea what the engineers did outside the lab because she didn't delve into what engineers were doing the other 95% of the time when they weren't in the lab.

As far as the risk I will never get a quality employee who feels like they have been pushing themselves too hard etc... I don't see why requesting salary information would affect that significantly. I would want an explanation of why they were interested in taking a pay cut to work in my organization. Reasons like "more interesting work", or "bored with doing the same old work" might be very legitimate if they were clearly overpaid in their past job (which sometimes happens because someone has become the critical expert or has a critical skill that the employer is so terrified of losing that they effectively "bribe" the person to stay but the person isn't happy and, likely, isn't even doing their best work due to poor morale).

However, in most groups I've managed I probably would not accept the "pushing myself too hard" unless the person was also dropping to a job with less critical responsibility. Outside of a couple employees I've had that were techs rather than engineers, everyone in my group has been on salary so working "less for less salary" is too difficult to manage. As well, most organizations I've been in/managed had ultimate "buck stops here" responsibility for diagnosing and fixing field problems if no one in the support organization could -- and sometimes that requires the person most expert in the area work the problem for days with limited "off time" (in the old days, it occasionally required getting on a plane with two hours notice just before a weekend and staying for a week or to help with diagnosis and problem resolution -- although I tried to take those trips myself to reduce disruption to ongoing development schedules). As well, even the best planned projects sometimes get behind schedule due to design oversights and a slip will cost the company substantial money (due to contractual obligations or not being able to recognize revenue until contingencies are met) and in these cases, folks are expected to step up and contribute what they can, not what they would like to.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

No, I don't think that you would jump at a $10K increase over your current position -- reread my note. If you would do so, I don't want you. I will explain the job to you as well as I can and my interview discussion will give you some additional guidance. However, I can't accurately predict what you will be doing in six months in the future -- that depends on your initiative and skill and what needs to get done. Sure, I want people who work hard -- as I do. But I want them to do it because they enjoy the work, not because they feel they "need" to or just because I gave them a higher salary.

"Perks", in the conventional usage, are part of compensation to some extent -- they all increase the cost of opening a new position (or retaining an existing position). I, personally, prefer fewer perks and higher salary but I also recognize that others differ on this (companies like perks as they pay wholesale for them and, if times are tight, they can cut them -- if they start cutting salaries, employees will start quitting en-mass).

I've NEVER worked for a company that capped individual annual raises at any particular value -- I'd leave such a company the moment I knew they were doing that. However, it's a reality that the raise pool and the promotion pool is set at any company of any significant size - management has to have some idea what expenses will be in the upcoming year and match it to revenue in some rational way -- if every manager could just give out whatever raises they want, planning is not possible. In normal cases if the combined pool isn't substantially more than inflation, I'd also leave. However, most "real" (inflation adjusted) raises effectively come from promotions - strong performers move quickly up the ranks early in their career. They move into more responsible positions where they are not yet proven -- coming out of the top fifty (or higher) percentile of their prior position and ending up in the lower perhaps thirty percentile of their new grade. When they perform well, they get good raises (combination of their performance and their salary percentile is within the new grade). At some point it becomes obvious a promotion is appropriate.

It's true that I don't place a lot of value on past salary -- it's just part of a much more complex investigation.

However, I think we can agree on one thing -- I probably wouldn't want you on my team and you probably wouldn't want to be on my team. I try to avoid hiring prima donnas who insult others just because they don't agree with them because they damage team morale and I have to go through the hassle of firing them if they don't take the hint (because I vett carefully, I think I've only had to let a couple people go over the decades because of such problems). I prefer to be on/leading teams where people get along and behave like adults.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

I don't underpay. I don't know where you got that idea. I also don't overpay. There are rarely significant material negotiations around financial issues and most of my offers are accepted.

And, you're talking about contracting -- I rarely hire contractors. I have little idea what an employee will be doing six months later or what the duration of that project will be so I am looking for more abstract skills. On the rare occasions where I've hired contractors, I do sometimes try to cut costs (they are being hired for a specific task that requires little training and I can validate the quality of their work and if they are not meeting requirements the contract is terminated and everyone goes their own way) in part because I'm not as interested in establishing a long term successful relationship.

And, if your primary goal is "to get as much out of me" as you can, you're probably not someone I want to hire. I want people who are interested in the job, mesh well into the team, have a passion for the work and/or product/project, etc and place value on such things. If I've offered you a generous $180K and your primary reason for taking another job is that they offered you $190K, I'm very happy that you took the other job as obviously you don't perceive my job as being sufficiently interesting and likely we will both be happier with your decision.

Unlike you, I don't approach the hiring and negotiating process from either side of the table like I do when buying a new car -- there I'm looking for the absolute lowest cost for the exact car I want and I don't care how the salesperson feels about it and I'll play any ethical card I can to get a lower price.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 1) 435

I will share the salary range for the "grade" if asked after I've made an offer. That is relevant information to the candidate -- I think they should know if they are at the top, or bottom, of the grade range if they care (if they are at the top, they can reasonably expect smaller annual wage increases than if they are at the bottom for the same performance level).

I don't share other employee's salary information with anyone outside the "need to know" (HR, my management chain, payroll etc). If I worked at a company that had "open salary" information (such as Buffer), then I would share at least some form of that information with candidates who made it to the offer level if policy allowed it.

Comment Re:Never give a number (Score 2) 435

I actually almost never work with more candidates in the tail end of the pipeline than I have openings.

Only a tiny fraction of those in the earliest stages of the pipeline make it to the end so of course I have to work with multiple candidates concurrently at the earliest stages -- just as I expect that I'm not the only person looking at a candidate's resume that just appeared in my inbox. On the rare occasions where I've had two candidates who I wanted to hire and who ended up at the end of the pipeline but only had one opening, I've been able to wrangle a new req (sometimes an existing open req assigned to another area or sometimes a brand new req) to make both offers - smart companies don't let a great candidate walk just because they didn't have an "opening". The vast majority of the offers I make are accepted (often after some negotiations) so that colors my technique a bit.

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