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Get Paid More: The Anatomy of a Technical Hiring Process

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This slide deck is about how technical recruitment processes work so that you can get paid more by working with, rather than against them.

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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Get Paid More: The Anatomy of a Technical Hiring Process

  1. 1. Get Paid More: The Anatomy of a Technical Hiring Process
  2. 2. http://perl.careers/ Dedicated Perl recruitment by a CPAN contributor pete@perl.careers
  3. 3. Nobody cares as much as you do about how much you get paid What’s an extra $10,000 a year worth?
  4. 4. What’s an extra $10,000 a year worth? • To an employee • Extra $6,000 after taxes etc • Extra $500 a month • That’s a lot of Orange Mocha Frappucinos • 5-20% of your average technical salary • Compounding effects • Bonuses are often expressed as a percentage of current salary • Your next job asks what your current salary is You at your salary review
  5. 5. What’s an extra $10,000 a year worth? • To an External Recruitment Agent • Agency bills an extra $1,500, assuming 15% commission • Recruiter sees 25% commission on that ~ $375 • $225 after tax etc • ~70 Orange Mocha Frappuccinos • BUT $0 if the client hires someone else because you were too expensive Me, getting paid
  6. 6. What’s an extra $10,000 a year worth? • Hiring Manager (Your Future Boss) • Rarely controls her own budget • Feeling pressure to make a hire because the Widget Automation project is already 6 months behind • Has been given a banding she can make offers within, and probably doesn’t have to justify hires that fall inside that range • Can probably go above that range if she tells her boss she really liked you Hiring Manager, ad astra
  7. 7. What’s an extra $10,000 a year worth? • Internal HR • Targeted on time-to-hire and cost-to-hire, but usually not on getting the cheapest people possible • Spent yesterday on LinkedIn reading rubbish like: • “If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur” • “B Players hire C Players” • “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” • Has been told by someone in a $3,000 suit that they need to hire “rockstar ninjas who know CSS” to build out the backend widget accounting system • Definitely does not favour candidates from the headhunter who takes them out for the nicest lunches No more free lunches
  8. 8. Understanding the process Knowledge is Power
  9. 9. Knowledge is power • Recruiting good people is really hard • Much too hard for recruiters and technical managers who are the people who do all the recruitment • So there are processes that are blindly followed to make life easier • Deviation from these processes causes problems
  10. 10. Knowledge is power • Did you know…? • The hiring manager can probably sign off on a $90,000 salary by herself • The hiring manager needs to get three pieces of paper signed in triplicate, in blood, and sacrifice a puppy to make a $90,500 offer • … and she has a candidate who she likes only a little bit less than you asking for $89,000 • … and that Widget Meeting this afternoon ran on and on • … and she’d like to not get home late for just one evening this week • … and the HR guy is a creep and doesn’t take her seriously and makes her feel like an idiot for asking for more expensive developers • (the other developer got the offer)
  11. 11. Knowledge is power • Did you know…? • The Authorization to Recruit has been signed-off by the board and investors! • It took Internal HR literally camping out in the CEO’s office for most of Tuesday afternoon, and running across the parking lot to grab the CFO while she was getting in to her car • They’ve just gone off to a 2 week “Offsite Management Realignment Camp” in Nepal • It will now need to be redone because you didn’t say earlier in the process that you wanted $90,500 and indicated $90,000 would be just fine
  12. 12. Knowledge is power • Did you know…? • The recruiter has to hit this month’s target to pay for his holiday next month • It’s the 31st, 4:45pm, and accounts close in 15 minutes • He had thought this was in the bag, and now you are seriously messing with his sun-bathing potential because you weren’t sufficiently upfront about how much money you wanted at the start
  13. 13. “I’m afraid they decided to go with another candidate” “$90,000 is the most we can pay” “I don’t know, the candidate just seems really greedy”
  14. 14. Knowledge is power This slide deck is about how recruitment processes work so that you can get paid more by working with, rather than against them.
  15. 15. Step 1: A business need is identified Why are they hiring?
  16. 16. Why are they hiring? • Hiring processes start when: somebody decides they need more people • If you can find out why, you have some useful information • Everyone should be pretty happy to tell you why • You can ask “Is it to replace an existing position, or for a new team, or?”
  17. 17. Why are they hiring? • Simple replacement of an existing person • They’re probably not looking to massively change the related seniority of the role • They’re probably not looking to pay a dramatic amount different for the new person • They’re probably looking to re-use the same job title • There’s probably the least amount of flexibility here, BUT: • Sometimes “the tech lady/guy” who’s been there forever needs changing • The one who wrote the horrible legacy code and runs SQL “fixes” against the live DB • This would be a good time to talk about the professionalism and experience of “more appropriate methods for a more mature business” in the interview
  18. 18. Why are they hiring? • New project or team • Somebody somewhere got a funding sign-off to do something! • Most associated flexibility in hiring • Probably an allocated pot of money, so potential to make a couple of expensive hires • Who doesn’t want at least one superstar on their team? • Maybe there’s a leadership position available in that team you could apply for that will give you a title with a higher associated salary banding?
  19. 19. Why are they hiring? • Incremental growth or expansion • Somewhere between replacement and new team in terms of flexibility • How many people are they hiring? • In the worst case scenario, you’ll look interested in their business by asking questions about it…
  20. 20. Step 2: Budget Controller says OK in principle The Budget Controller is so money
  21. 21. The Budget Controller is so money • Somebody important agrees that the business need warrants hiring a warm body to sit on a chair • This somebody sits somewhere in the hierarchy above where you ultimately will • This person controls their budget. Your salary is part of that budget. Their performance is often measured on the health of this budget • Unless it’s a small company, you probably won’t meet them at interview The Budget Controller
  22. 22. The Budget Controller is so money • You need to remember this person exists • Ultimately anything that involves your compensation may well need final sign- off by them, and this situation will continue in the future, too • If you get the job, it’s always worth making sure they know who you are • … and that they liked you
  23. 23. Step 3: Job Specification Paperwork Phase 1
  24. 24. The Job Spec • In order to release funds – and meet legal obligations – somebody will write a job spec • It may not in fact look anything like the job ad • These documents are dull to both read and write • I have seen developer jobs where the job spec included • A 15-point “Core Behaviours” list • A section on the “Mental and Emotional Effort” required • A section on “Infection Control” • Really. • Somebody in the Legal and Compliance dept said it was important • If you ever get fired, the contents of this job spec will become very important
  25. 25. The Job Spec • Can’t hurt to ask for a copy • Who knows what you’ll find? • Probably will help illustrate some more about the role and the company • Put your External Recruiter to the test! • May well have some interesting information about unpleasant facets of the job they forgot to mention – overtime, expected to do desktop support, “Infection Control” • Proof that the job actually exists, actually for real • Because recruiters advertise fake jobs • Evidence that the recruiter has actually been authorised to hire for this role, rather than is simply drumming up candidates to try his/her luck with the client • Because recruiters do actually pull this kind of stunt
  26. 26. Step 4: Authorization to Recruit Paperwork Phase 2
  27. 27. Authorization to Recruit • The job now exists in the HR system and has been budgeted for. YAY!
  28. 28. Step 5: Internal Candidate Search Looking Inwards
  29. 29. Internal Candidate Search • Companies love hiring for a position internally • You don’t have to pay a recruiter fee! • You (may) know the answers to all sorts of questions that are with very good reason completely illegal to ask a candidate • “How old are you?” • “How much sick leave did you take last year?” • etc… • You know the answers to all sorts of questions you can’t find out in an interview • “How hard do you work?” • “Do you cause conflict in your team?” • etc…
  30. 30. Internal Candidate Search • If you work at a big company, apply for interesting internal roles that are above your paygrade, and outside of your comfort zone • You’ll get to meet all sorts of interesting and important people, and they’ll get to know you • Assuming you do reasonably well at the interviews, you’ll be on the radar of all sorts of people who make decisions that can be good for your career • It’s excellent practice, and the feedback is likely to be useful
  31. 31. Step 6: External Candidate Search Looking Outward
  32. 32. Internal Recruiters • Work for the company you’re applying to work at • Has that company’s best interests at heart • Primarily salaried • Will get a pat on the back or a small bonus for successful placements • Was once an External Recruitment, and didn’t like it • Will attempt some of their own recruitment efforts, but will often focus on managing External Recruiters External Recruiters • Paid a commission by the company you’re applying to work at • Has earning a commission at all costs at heart • Usually mostly remunerated by bonuses based on performance • Submits clients to the Internal Recruiter or – especially in smaller companies – the hiring manager • As odious as every other kind of commission-based salesperson
  33. 33. How to Survive Dealing with an External Recruiter Quick Facts: • Placement fee is generally 10-25% of your first year • That’s net to the agency, so the individual recruiter sees a fraction of that • But they’ll be targeted on it • Most roles have more than one agency / recruiter working on them • The first one to get your CV to the client "owns" you as far as placement fee is concerned • This leads to occasional arguments about who submitted first • In theory - at least in the EU – a recruiter needs to get your explicit permission before submitting you to a client
  34. 34. How to Survive Dealing with an External Recruiter • Speed is of the essence to the recruiter – if someone’s already submitted you for that role, you’re worthless to them • At the same time, if they send enough irrelevant CVs to their clients, the client will fire them • External Recruiter will make a decision quickly on your CV, rather than lovingly read it and think about it and fix spelling errors
  35. 35. How to Survive Dealing with an External Recruiter • Your CV needs to look relevant quickly! • See: https://perl.careers/developers/how-to-write-a-cvresume-that-will-get-you-an-interview/ • Are recruiters lazy, busy, or bored? Yes • Sent a PDF? • Agency X requires their recruiters to add Agency X’s branding to each client CV • …and remove candidate contact information • That’s hard work with a PDF • …and they’re trying to decide which three of the four candidates to send • …and your blog has jokes about overthrowing the government on it • ...and you’ve taken a philosophical stance against LinkedIn so they can’t easily verify any of your information • Help them with the path of least resistance
  36. 36. Step 7: Selection for Interview
  37. 37. Candidate Funnel 27 Candidates read a job ad online, and apply to the External Recruiters who posted the role External Recruiters forward 5 candidates each to the Internal Recruiter Internal Recruiter turns down one candidate for unusual work history forwards 4 to the hiring manager Hiring manager selects 3 candidates for interview after consulting with her team That interview process in full
  38. 38. 7.1 External Recruiter Finds and Selects Some Candidates • If a recruiter can do it, really how hard can it be? • Finding high quality candidates is hard and takes a lot of time, energy, and advertising $$ • Choosing which candidates to forward is generally pretty easy • I am selecting candidates based on who I think the client will agree to interview • … candidates who I think the client will then hire • ... candidates who I think have reasonable expectations about salary • ... candidates who I can justify having sent to the client if they push back on them https://perl.careers/developers/how-to-write-a-cvresume-that-will-get-you-an-interview/
  39. 39. 7.2 Internal Recruiter Rejects Some Candidates • They’ve already had them from another recruiter • … or the candidate applied directly • ... External Recruiter should have figured this out and not sent the candidate, but recruiters are lazy and candidates are forgetful • Doesn’t like the look of the work history • Lots of short roles • Some kind of visa hassle • Doesn’t like people who grew up in Scranton • … they don’t really have to justify their decision to the External Recruiter, and often won’t
  40. 40. 7.3 Hiring Manager and Her Team Choose Some Candidates • Hope that you don’t have disgruntled former colleagues working there https://perl.careers/developers/how-to-write-a-cvresume-that-will-get-you-an-interview/
  41. 41. Step 8: Interview
  42. 42. How to survive and maybe even pass an interview: https://perl.careers/developers/how-to-ace-a-technical-interview/
  43. 43. Section 9: Informal Salary Negotiation
  44. 44. External Recruiter should have set expectations • The External Recruiter really should have checked already that you’re on the same page as the company itself • They may have put you in at more than you asked for, because they think you’re worth it, and they’ll get paid more • They may have put you in at less than you asked for, because they think you’ll go for it anyway
  45. 45. At Interview • Common questions from the Internal Recruiter • What’s your current salary? • What are your salary expectations? • … or it might not come up at all • Make sure you have a good answer prepared!
  46. 46. At Interview • Q: “What are your salary expectations?” • A: “I’ve seen the market rate is $150,000 to $165,000, and so I am targeting $160,000” • There’s 0% chance you’ll get offered any more than you’ve said you’re targeting • If you’ve asked for slightly more than they’re offering, they’ll generally counter-offer – after the interview – via the recruiter • If you’re worried you’ve asked for too much: • “Is that salary inside the range you’re offering?”
  47. 47. At Interview • Q: “What’s your current salary?” • A1: Just tell them. Don’t lie. It’s one of the few verifiable facts on your CV • see: “Why your job title is so very important” https://perl.careers/developers/how-to-get-paid-more/ • A2: Getting paid too little at the moment? Try: • ”I'm getting paid $30,000. I'm pretty sure they will counter-offer with $40,000 if I get a new role - however, I'm not really interested in playing that game, and if we can find something acceptable here, I'll accept it”
  48. 48. Post Interview • External Recruiter gets asked • “Do you think Jane Doe will accept $x if we make an offer?” a lot • They’ll probably then discuss that with you
  49. 49. VERY IMPORTANT SLIDE • The company will prepare an offer based on the informal salary expectation and any expectations that were passed on at application time • Once an offer has been made, changing it can be difficult and time- consuming • Try and make sure expectations have been correctly set before the formal offer has been made
  50. 50. Stuck on a Small Salary Difference? • “Would you be willing to formally set a salary review after 6 months into the offer letter?” • You’ll have had a chance to prove your worth by then • Not much risk for them, because they can always say NO at that 6 month point • Maybe 20% of my candidates get this • … and it can’t hurt to ask
  51. 51. Section 10: Internal Sign-off
  52. 52. Someone on the Inside Says Yes • Somebody important agrees to hiring you on the Hiring Manager and Internal Recruiter’s recommendation • Flexibility on salary will decrease quite a bit in most companies after this happens • There may well be paperwork The Budget Controller
  53. 53. Section 11: The Offer
  54. 54. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! • You got an offer!
  55. 55. The Contract • Ask for a copy of the contract • Check for: • Overly restrictive IP clauses that might impact your open-source work • … or any side projects you have • Anything that just seems pretty weird • There’s usually at least a little bit of flexibility there before you’ve signed it • Don’t be anal about – only complain about stuff you do actually really care about – they’re not looking to hire a lawyer
  56. 56. Almost Done!
  57. 57. Quick Summary • Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for the money you want • Find out why they’re hiring • Make sure your CV is easy to form a quick impression on – put the important things first • Ask for a job spec • Apply for internal openings at your current company for the experience • External Recruiters are terrible but simple people
  58. 58. AN OFFER YOU MUST NOT REFUSE If you are job-seeking, and you know Perl, I will rewrite your CV for you, so that I can send it to employers, so that I can make cash money. pete@perl.careers http://perl.careers/
  59. 59. ANOTHER OFFER YOU MUST NOT REFUSE Perl programmer in the UK? Want up to £60 of Amazon vouchers a year in exchange for reading up to 12 emails from me? http://eepurl.com/bNSF9P
  60. 60. RUN OUT OF STUFF TO READ ALREADY?! There are probably more of these little books you don’t have yet. Email me at pete@perl.careers and tell me which you have, and I’ll send you the others…
  61. 61. Perl Raptor image originally Copyright (C) 2012, Sebastian Riedel. Licensed under the CC-SA License, Version 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0.

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