They're aren't many expects in my field with my background and skill set and they said the right things to get me to interview (compensation won't be a concern).
Anyway... Went in for 4-5 interviews. Took me about 10 hours in total to interview with them.
Kept hearing that they have a difficult time filling the position. Reports directly to the CTO, etc, etc.
They came in at 1/2 my current salary. It was about 30-40% of what you would pay a decent engineer with experience.
I told them my salary level BEFORE the interview...
Gave them a hard now. They came back and said they can offer more stock and remote work.
Why in the heck would I turn down a bird in the hand for 1x in the bush?
Part of the problem is that if you're interviewing you need to know what you're buying!
You can't go to a ferrari dealership and offer to buy one or $20k.. that's just not how it works.
The final offer, however, was 60% of my current pay. Lower than the average for someone with my experience and position.
I had good rapport with the HR recruiter and flat out asked why they proceeded, even though she knew I was already getting more, at a better company, with more benefits.
The answer: they assumed I was lying about my current salary and I was just bluffing. Recommended me that I lie in my next interview.
Well, a number of people use Eastern Europe location as a filter for 'cheap labor'. And SV startups tend to have crap wages to begin with, but offer equity to compensate. I could imagine a few startups seeking to crimp further.
> Meanwhile no developer in my country even responds to offers if the salary is not given ... before the interview
Posting salaries is rare in the US. It's becoming the law in California, but this is hardly universal. There's an expectation that you'll negotiate, but they're really hoping you won't. And plenty of US engineers assume if you don't post a salary, it's because the budget for the position is low.
Citation needed on that. I really hope you’re right and I’m ignorant here, but I think you may be confusing it with the recent state law that makes it illegal for prospective employers to ask about salary history and theoretically requires them to give a salary range to an applicant when asked. I say “theoretically,” because there’s no way for anyone outside the company to verify that the salary range they give is in any way related to the budgeted range.
It's particularly hilarious when you realise that some eastern Europe places outsource to the US Midwest because it's cheaper....
Thanks for the idea. As East European I'll use this opportunity to improve my English speaking skills (on the phone).
Very well written and exposes the brutality and destruction resulting from focusing on short term profit at any cost.
>...wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billion effectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s...
All these firms settled for a measly $334 million to make this problem go away, despite damning evidence.
However, such actions are also detrimental to sustainable/thriving business. So smart people find more constructive and humane ways to be profitable. The book ends on a high note and carries the potential to help leaders correct course before self destruction.
Well, here in SV, everyone kinda knows what other companies pay. You just didn't have friends in SV to tell you before the interview how much that company pays.
In general, there are top-tier companies, FAANG + Uber + Lyft + AirBnB, that pay X. Then there are lower-tier companies and startups that pay roughly X / 2. So, you're unlikely to get FAANG total comp at a no-name startup.
You have crafted a strange model. What are the upsides to such a system, to you, the employee?
You get to learn first-hand why being a non-founder at a startup is almost always a bad deal in terms of compensation.
happened to me in Italy, about same script. salary expectations set from the start, two phone and two on site interviews with stellar feedback then they offered 2/3rd of current total comp.
like, thanks for waiting me three vacation days.
> they don't trust candidates
...which is a great tell for what kind of relationship you would be starting if you did take the offer.
The way it's supposed to work is that you and your employer (who represents the capital) generate a return from your joint venture.
But the actual return is hard to predict. And there is no fair and obvious way to divvy up the return. So it comes down to negotiation power.
There also may not be any condition where you and the capital agree to join. The capital may have better options to generate a return and you may have better options to get a salary.
How about x% of average revenue per employee. Usally around 100k to 300k. So ARPE minus expenses = average salary.
Probably around 60k to 70k for most companies.
This particular scheme means you are paying janitors as much as people who went to school for a decade or more. Some people would not find that equitable and fair. Few academics would find that offer competitive.
And depriving the executives of large salaries also means you are increasing the incentive for corruption. If somebody has the power to squander a billion Dollar, you better pay her more than 100k.
And you forgot to include capital gains, or you included it with expenses. Whoever owns the equity will want some return, otherwise they will invest elsewhere (or not at all).
It was a problematic company from the get go. I was cold called and the recruiter was very insistent. Their engineers were very unprofessional during the technical interview and complained A LOT about technical debt left by past co-workers during the interview.
Now, when I tell recruiters my minimum salary I refer recruiters to Glassdoor, just in case they doubt me.
They didn't actually give me any answer until I asked them to give me one - then they said my attitude with the top management made it clear I wasn't a good candidate for the position.
Dodged that bullet.
IMHO it should be irrelevant. The question is, what is the market rate for someone w/ your skills and experience?
The inevitable result of that is the people making bank will be sure to tell you, and ones making low salaries will not. The employer will therefore still know if you're making above or below the usual salary.
Businesses don't like risk (just like employees don't) and hiring a new person poses a lot of risk. It's expensive, and the employee may not work out at all. The more risk there is in hiring someone, the lower the salary offer will be to compensate. Salaries are a proxy for one's value when hiring. Removing that piece of information increases risk, and hence will lower the salary offers.
Thats still way better than being forced to give an exact number. Now the employer has to kinda sorta guess. Instead of getting underpaid by 30%, you might only get underpaid by 20%.
Also, if you wind up getting a salary that's more than you produce for the company, you'll be first in line to get laid off.
An employees current salary is only barely correlated with a employees skill. They have a multitude of other, much much better factors that they can use to determine if someone is a "risk" or not.
> Also, if you wind up getting a salary that's more than you produce for the company
You are describing something that is close to impossible to measure, for the vast majority of situations. A company does not go around making exact measurements on programmers, and thinking to themselves "Is this person *really 18.2% more effective than the lower paid employee?".
Thats just not how it works. Instead, a person might be 3 times more effective, or half as effective, as the other employees, and salary will be almost entirely unrelated to how much they "produce", which can't really be measure very well anyway.
And this is without even getting into more complicated things, such as sunk costs, and the replacement costs. IE, you may be 10% less effective, but the costs to replace you are equal to 6 months of your salary, so in reality, it makes zero financial sense to do so.
And finally, you are ignoring the fact that an employee can just lie about their previous salary, and there is basically nothing the employer can do about this. I have never, in my life, had someone demand my tax returns, or call up a previous employer to verify my salary, and in many places this can even be illegal. I can just lie about my current salary, and easily get away with, as I have done so multiple times in the past, as well as has many other people that I know.
You're not fooling employers, they likely know you and your friends are lying, and discount the offer accordingly. Try bringing a paystub next time, your prospective employer will appreciate it. It's worked out well for me.
There have been some high profile cases of people who've worked for decades for a company, rose to the top echelon, and were discovered to have lied on their resume. They were out the door without their severance package.
It's worked out pretty damn well for me and my friends, actually. I've gotten multiple 25% raises, each time by doing that. (Along with a healthy dose of job hopping)
> were discovered to have lied on their resume
I've never lied on my resume. Only about salaries, while talking to someone in negotiations.
That's just how the negotiation games goes. The employer makes blatant lies all the time in negotiations, also.
For the record, I've gone from a starting salary of 100k, when I just got out of college 6 years ago, to where I am today, which is 270k total comp, at a big 5 tech company.
I am pretty happy with those results. Especially so, because I've only ever considered myself to be an average engineer.
Or are you going to try and flatter me by saying that I could have been doing even better than going from 100k to 270k in 6 years? Perhaps. But I'd hardly say that I haven't done alright for myself.
I've heard such justifications for submitting fraudulent college applications, cheating in college, doping in sports, etc.
I've done significantly better than my peers with salaries, without lying about it.
Remember that fable about Steve Jobs' dad painting the back of the fence that no one would ever see? My father once told me that honor is what separates men from animals. Honor is what you do when nobody is looking. How much is your honor worth to you? I'm no saint, but wanting my father to be proud of me is worth a lot to me, even though he's passed away.
Thats great. But the other strategy, of engaging in successful negotiation tactics, has also worked out quite well for me.
So it seems like the strategy can be successful.
Actually if you work a while and are lucky enough to have done well, you may want to pick a place to work for reasons other than it has the highest salary. In that case you may not want to advertise your salary history because it can scare away employers. It shouldn’t but it does.
Then again if it's illegal to find out, how will they check if your lying or not?
There are obviously problems with a reliance on salary as a signal of quality/value produced. But I don't understand the impulse to pretend that there isn't nontrivial signal in a previous salary.
That was them just warning you: "Dude you won't hear it fom HR and I am not allowed to tell you directly but you most likely don't want this job."
In Germany, I had salary negotiation closer to what I was used to in the US (e.g.: two competing offers, etc).
In Denmark, very little room to maneuver. I had no luck negotiating salaries in big corps here (Final comp in DK mostly from salary). Every attempt I made to initiate a salary discussion/negotiation seemed to make the hiring managers uncomfortable as in “we don’t do this here”..
About the only thing I could see you getting in Denmark is a cost of living raise or maybe something to the whole department or team.
Some EU countries have a much stronger emphasis on sectoral bargaining. (Often there's a formal mechanism for everyone to work together to negotiate more pay)
It varies much more than the American one does.
I hope that helps!
For example, I used to work for a big company in Denmark that has a sattelite office in Bucharest.
It is questionable to see that even the equipment the developers get there was subpar. The fulltimers there were treated as contractors (e.g.: no career incentives), expendable (high turnover).
The office just existed because when the company was smaller and needed more than now cheaper labor, they made it so that remote managers could be there as a proxy.
Joke aside, what you said above also applied in my case to my ex German employer in Eastern Europe. We got cheap machines with half the specs of the German counterparts but the management in The Mother Land expected the same productivity as the German colleagues.
Now, having migrated West to Austria(similar culture to Germany) tings don't get better an all accounts, even if you speak German. Sure, now you get nicer machines, and even if you manage to negotiate a salary close to local levels, your career development opportunities are close to zero as management will only propose the locals for promotions and trainings as those are the guys managers spend their lunches and cigarette breaks with, even if they're mildly incompetent. You'll be left as that guy who just needs to sit as his desk, do what he's told and be grateful to his masters he's been given a job as if you're coming form a country of goat hearders.
This horrible discriminatory culture in EU countries is not something the EU can't fix unfortunately and it's one of the reasons countries like Germany or the EU as a whole will never catch up to the US on innovation or salaries in tech.
I am not in a stage of life for pursuing promotions to give more anedata on that, but I can see that a lot of senior managers here in Denmark are not immigrants. I do see however that there is a wave of immigrant founders here. Let’s see if the economic environment will perdure long enough to see a greater change.
Poland takes second place with an overall score of
5.5/10. The carbon dioxide emissions in poland are
7.63 tonnes per capita per year, which is higher than
the winner Turkey. The concentrations of PM2.5 are 22
µg/m3 which is almost half of Turkey’s concentrations.
There are 69 deaths attributable to air pollution per
100,000 capita per year. Poland consists of 30.8%
forest area and 38.10% protected terrestrial and
marine area. Each year, the citizens of Poland discard
304.9 kg of waste per capita.
From your own quote: Poland, second place (over all)
World Atlas has them at #3 https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/cities-with-the-worst-ai...
So your $5K after taxes wouldn't even register on my radar.
5000€ is $5623. You can maintain a "normal" life standard around here for about $800 (renting a studio / two room flat in the city centre + all the expenses, no car but I never needed one - the subway takes me to the furthest parts of town in 25 minutes, walking to work is not unusual). So you're saving more or less 5000$ every month.
How much do you have to earn in SV to rent a place for your own next to your office and still save 5 grand a month? :)
Anyway I get your point and in general yeah, US salaries are of course on a whole new level and I won't even argue with that.
I'm not trying to say Warsaw is better for programmers than SV because it never was and never will be - yet we still managed, within last 5 years or so, managed to do something you somehow can't do - we trained HRs, agencies, recruiters etc. And they willingly act as we please. Because there's an incredibly high demand for programmers and no one has time for games like US companies play. And I still can't wrap my mind around this - if company Y or X is so desperately seeking for employees and pays them bazillions of dollars - why they even consider burning so much time on the process of hiring? Hiring is hard, I get that, but it's much easier if you disclose the salary. And in Poland right now hiring is impossible if the salary is unknown. And it's not even required by law (though it is supposed to be).
It's a leverage thing. Companies in high cost of living locations can just wait for someone else and they will. That doesn't work in a low cost of living locations, since their isn't much urgency from the perspective of the applicant.
After 10 years of experience, you are looking into buying a house. Granted, the price of the house is exhorbitant compared to its size, but that's the market.
The salaries are also low in my opinion. At just under 4 years experience I'm making 225k yearly in TC, over 170k of that is salary.
A potential cause for this effect might be that widespread bargaining reduces a market's efficiency, since prices are less transparent for buyers and sellers.
If you want a nice 1BR apartment ($3000) + a very generous budget for monthly expenses ($3000), you need to earn $11000 after tax to save 5 grand a month - i.e $132k a year.
A total compensation of $200k as a single person gets you that much after tax: https://smartasset.com/taxes/california-tax-calculator#BKf2k...
Take a look at these sources to see what top companies are paying software engineers in SV (spoiler: it's more than 200k, and you can add ~60% of each dollar above that to your savings):
(How to use asterisks here?)
This is all gross, pre-deduction salary; not salary net of taxes, deductions, etc.
There is a Unicode small asterisk: ﹡
And some other variations: ∗ ＊
If you surround an asterisk by spaces it works fine: a * b * c * d
According to Numbeo living in SF is about 2 (groceries) to 5 (rent) times more expensive compared to Warsaw: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?cou...
A 7 weeks holiday allowance has more than a monetary allowance.
The (many) issues with US health care do not affect upper/middle class professionals.
From a "patient perspective", as long as you are employed as a software engineer in SV, health care is not a concern at all (insurance is covered by the employer). If anything, it is superior to anything I experienced in Europe.
The issue in America is essentially that the system is paid by piecework. So the entire system optimises for the number of tests/procedures/operations etc. that can be performed. And that might not be so bad in and of itself, if 21st century medicine was reliable. But it's not, and the sad truth of the US system is that many of the (very expensive) procedures it performs have worst outcomes than leaving the patient alone.
In the Netherlands, a patient should not expect from a doctor to conduct any tests at all. I had no experience with the Dutch healthcare myself, but I've heard horrendous stories about it, for example how Irish expat went to a doctor with a problem of pain while swallowing, received nothing more than an advice "well, swallow less, then" (like in a bad joke about doctors), went home to Ireland a got diagnosed with a throat cancer there.
I thought to myself...that's not how it works. I'm sure I could have negotiated higher. But I wonder if he thinks I inflated my salary and those said match.
Keeping in mind my current company has some of the best benefits I've seen outside of Silcone Valley...
Never make that mistake. Never ever disclose your salary information to someone that you potentially could work for.
I think a situation where we were required by law to disclose, or a company where such a thing was common (GitLab) would be exceptions. But otherwise, I've found it to be a huge mistake to disclose your exact salary or numbers to anyone.
In general I agree, except he did say the person was his friend. My close friends and I all know what each other makes. It helps a lot when negotiating for a new job, because I now have additional data to know that what I'm asking for is not crazy.
One of these friends I have worked for in the past and could work for again, but he readily admits he can't afford me right now.
EDIT, I read colleague as most likely a friend now. Perhaps not, but my above point still stands about friends.
With that I might or might not consider it.
I've made a simplified version for recruiters here: http://erik.itland.no/step-by-step-instructions-choose-your-...
If anyone likes it they should feel free to adapt and customize it for so it can work for even the most annoying recruiters :-)
It does not benefit you to disclose the information, even if you think your number is high. They might assume you are lying, or they might already be anchored at an even higher number - you don't know.
I've heard two stories about car dealers that each say different things.
One story was about a car dealer that told its salesmen the actual wholesale price of the cars they were selling. The salesmen would deal from that price upwards and would always sell the cars close to that price. They changed to only telling them the retail price of the car and then sales from that point on were much higher as the selling prices clustered nearer to retail.
But the other story was from a friend who used to work at a car dealer. The top sales guy would move an enormous number of cars. He would sell them for $250 over invoice. My friend said he was amazing, and it was common for other salesmen to spend hours haggling with a customer on one car, and meanwhile the top guy would move 4 or 5 cars.
But otherwise I agree. The company always has such a strong hand that it’s in your best interest to play every one of your cards as strategically, carefully as possible.
This practice favors the employer so much that it is illegal in California (and a few other states) to ask for salary history.
That's interesting....when submitting resumes for US Federal government (GS) jobs, their resume guidelines include salary, hours worked, and points of contact for each position. I wonder how positions advertised in the State of California can be reconciled with what you've shared?
They do sometimes even ask for pay stubs to prove salaries claimed
My understanding of federal employment is that the pay scales are published and public record, and job postings state which scale it's on. This level of disclosure seems to minimize the possible harm here, as there's far less room for negotiation for anyone.
I think he was just honest.
In those cases, I'd answer with "Ok but I need X% more because of the commute and the hassle of changing jobs".
I knew the CEO from a previous effort. After much discussion, I thought they had something interesting, though I was hard pressed to find real differentiators. I thought I could help, and the senior leadership of the company did as well. We talked over a number of projects.
Started negotiations, I was asked about what it would take to get me over. I gave them realistic sets of numbers and conditions.
CEO's response to me was priceless.
"But that's more than I make."
Um ... yeah. And this matters ... how?
I know, startups push the equity side hard, as they tend to be cash poor and stock rich.
He then suggested a number that was under half of my minimum acceptable (covering costs, maintaining something that looks like a quality of life). And not so much equity.
Yeah. Didn't go there. CEO was out within a few months.
or see this dilbert cartoon:
My non-negotiable requirement was 20% more than I was getting. I gave a hard number and they said "yeah we can give that" before the interview.
However the recruiter just assumed I was bluffing and went ahead with that colossal waste of time.
What a bizarre way to run a business.
"we can give X" is not a promise to give X.
They were unprofessional.
If that is the case: screw those guys. If you can’t trust a company with _writing an employment contract_, how can you trust any future interaction.
If your skills are in demand, move on. Not worth your time and being able to walk away is the single most valuable card one can play during a negotiation.
Recruiters make money as a percentage of your hiring salary, why on earth would they try to place you somewhere that you are making less? They should be shopping you to whoever will give the most money.
Key take a way from this: never let your recruiter negotiate on your behalf. Once you are at the stage, tell your recruiter to F off and get the best deal you can for yourself.
I agree about the incompetence part, though. Terrible waste of time for everyone involved.
This from a very profitable mid-large sized established tech company in the US.
> Objection: “This form needs a number.”
> What you should think: “You’re lying to me to attempt to get me to compromise my negotiating position.”
> What you should say: “Give me git access and I’ll fix it in a jiffy! both people laugh No, seriously, speaking, I’m more concerned at the moment with discovering whether we’re a mutual fit… Oh, it’s physically impossible? Put in $1 then to get the ball rolling, and we’ll circle back to this later.”
My first interview for a job after law school, first interviewer. Guy begins to look at my resume, tosses it aside, and says “I don’t read resumes. Everyone lies in their resume. Hell, I lie on my resume.” After that, the whole time I’m thinking to myself “what kind of moron lies on a legal resume? The bar calls every employer you’ve ever had since high school.”
A much simpler solution: if lots of programmers would strongly avoid to take jobs at companies that do not tell the salary upfront, the problem would disappear by itself.
As I mentioned in another comment, I personally prefer just setting a salary range I’d be willing to accept. I walk away if given an offer below that range. It gives me the initiative of anchoring the negotiation to a number I want.
It also saves me a lot of time by screening out companies that aren’t willing to actually negotiate.
"Yeah thanks, but that offer is not enough for me to leave my current job. I need at least X more. Let me know if you're interested."
(In fact, you can negotiate even AFTER you accept it!)
That's commonplace, I've heard many engineers say they overstated their current salary. When I'd apply for jobs, I'd include a copy of a paystub, because I knew the companies knew about the practice and would discount the offer accordingly.
So, California employers won't be able to avoid a complaint if they press for a current (as opposed to desired) salary number and disadvantage or reject the candidate on that basis, but they can still check for honesty.
While I definitely don't want to discriminatorily let low salaries have a bad knock-on effect at subsequent jobs, I also don't want to hire or work with liars.
So I just sidestepped all that bs by including a paystub. And the resulting offer was a nice raise.
> I also don't want to hire or work with liars
I'm with you there. Lying on a resume is an automatic "no hire" from me. By including a paystub, I don't feel forced to lie, and the employer doesn't feel forced to assume I'm lying. It's a good start to the relationship.
Verifying any pay history info that is provided, however, seems fine to me. This could certainly be via pay stub, or it could be by contacting the former employer with candidate consent after the official offer letter is issued and accepted (worded to be revocable if the verification fails).
You may not "want" the discrimination, but if you don't allow everyone to say the magic words that get them treated fairly, "I was paid the market rate", you're encouraging the discrimination.
I think it's pretty easy to make a moral defense for telling a lie about what group you're in purely to avoid discrimination.
Employers in California (and NYC and a few other places) cannot ask about salary history, but they can ask what salary the candidate wants, and the candidate can decide on their own initiative to share salary history info. If candidates share such info voluntarily and unsolicited, employers can use (and verify) it.
So any candidate who wants to can say those market rate words you quoted. Similar phrasings that answer the still- permissible "what salary are you looking for" question also work fine.
One of the most likely wordings to get a good outcome without losing respect is: "I want whatever number is market rate for someone with my skills and experience at an employer like yours. I'll make inquiries through my professional network to learn what's appropriate so that I can consider your offer in the correct context, and I'll try to be fair to the company as well as myself in the resulting negotiation."
Notice how that doesn't depend on salary history info at all.
For California specifically - not currently the other places with this type of law - employers must
also share the "pay scale" with "applicants" upon their "reasonable request" (these phrases have been clarified legislatively in sensible ways). So that's even more help in avoiding discrimination while staying honest.
Does that get you the same salary as showing off your previous good pay stub?
If it does, then we're fine.
If it doesn't, then it doesn't matter that it's voluntary, the system still strongly encourages discrimination based on previous pay.
Imagine a similar system with a protected class. "You don't have to tell us your age, but if you prove you're under 45 we'll treat you better. If you say the wrong age, you're a dirty liar and don't deserve to be hired." That would be blatantly illegal and universally shunned.
I'm not saying this kind of discrimination is anywhere near the same magnitude. I'm just saying that whether it's voluntary or not is a distinction without a difference.
> For California specifically - not currently the other places with this type of law - employers must also share the "pay scale" with "applicants" upon their "reasonable request" (these phrases have been clarified legislatively in sensible ways). So that's even more help in avoiding discrimination while staying honest.
Good, that sounds much more effective.
If you were overpaid, and want to try to keep being overpaid, see below for a scenario that you can mentally adjust from fixing underpayment to preserving overpayment (in which case verification is even more important if the employer decides to bite that bullet).
Underpayment of disadvantaged colleagues is so much more common and so much more long-term impactful than overpayment of anyone involved in this style of negotiation; I care more that the law addresses the former than that it prevents the latter. People have useful indirect ways to signal high pay anyway even if they were forbidden from saying it explicitly, far more than underpaid people.
The prior pay information is illegal for employers to solicit in these jurisdictions, even if they are willing to make it voluntary by accepting no for an answer. The only way the info will make it to a law-abiding California employer is if the candidate decides it's to their advantage to volunteer it, as they probably would if the initial offer is a low-ball. If the candidate doesn't volunteer it unsolicited, the info can't legally come up (and if it somehow does [e.g. turns up in a third party background check] the employer can't use the info during the hiring process).
As for why that needs to be allowed, consider this scenario:
Company: What salary are you looking for?
Candidate: Market rate.
Company: How about $X? We like you and it's the highest we usually offer for this position to a new hire.
Candidate: Hm. While I agree $X is within the market rate range, I currently make $X+10k which is also within that range. Can you at least match that?
Company, after consideration: Hm. Yeah given that we don't want to force you to take a pay cut, we'll make that exception.
Or, even more compelling last two lines:
Candidate: Hm, my current company is already paying me $X, and has been doing so for 3 years now despite my skills growing significantly in that time. Can you recognize that growth with a modest pay raise?
Company, after consideration: Hm, we realize you won't trust our willingness to support you if we keep your compensation stagnant for a fourth year and counting. We can't break our salary band, but we'll at least give you $10k/year extra in restricted stock units [assume a public company].
In such scenarios, verification makes sense to require and allow.
Also note that these jurisdictions generally have explicit bans on paying differentially based on protected attributes like old age or gender, and that these laws about salary history (which are just a tightening of their former greater permissiveness that still prevails elsewhere) don't override those rules.
1. Bob voluntarily supplies paystub for his last job.
2. Fred gives no hint about his previous salary.
Other things being equal, which is the less risky hire?
I.e. don't be too surprised if the law doesn't work out as intended.
Other things being equal, neither Bob nor Fred is more likely to be a liar. Should I want to verify salary history, I'd seek permission to verify directly with the former employer (a routine request for any HR department assuming employee consent). If anything, it might feel suspicious that Bob was proactively trying to give me the easier form of proof to render fraudulent; but that alone wouldn't seem concerning in the absence of other signals, I expect.
Note that before the new law, the employer could legally have insisted that both Bob and Fred give their salaries or refuse to consider them. If Fred was severely underpaid and Bob was not, the employer would almost certainly have given Fred a lower offer than Bob. Since persistent underpayment also correlates with a more precarious personal financial situation, and since any other employer could legally have insisted on the same policy, Fred would probably have ended up accepting a comparatively low-ball offer for lack of a better option, thus staying underpaid.
The law still helps.
Because the person not giving salary information likely believes such will negatively affect their offer (as you say), and the one who does likely believes it will positively affect their offer.
Sure, a lower salary may have nothing to do with job performance. But it is an indicator, and a good one.
BTW, paystubs are "stubs" because they are on the same paper as the check which is more difficult to forge.
> The law still helps.
Not providing salary info makes one a riskier candidate, and risk means a lower offer.
It's like buying a car. The less you know about the car's condition, the less you're likely to be willing to pay for it. That's why having receipts for work done on the car by a reputable shop, being the original owner, owner is a grandma rather than a teenager, etc., commands a higher price for the car.
I mean, sure the correlation is nonzero, but it's low enough as to not be usefully predictive for hiring. The correlation is much higher between relative pay and relative privilege, which is not at all about who would be a good employee.
Also, most of my pay stubs throughout my recent career have actually been electronic-only pay statements, and my pay is usually electronically direct-deposited too.
Therefore, any employer-provided pay statement which I pass along would be in the original PDF form, printed from the original, or redacted in a visible and non-fraudulent way by me to remove any irrelevant sensitive info (e.g. before the accepted offer stage I might redact any full bank account number or SSN).
If I were a fraudster, the modified PDF I would share would look just as credible as the original. Far safer to just obtain permission and ask the former employer.
The ultimate problem is that people want "unicorns for peanuts". Google, Facebook and a few other large tech companies have hired most of the top of the labor market, the "ferraris" in your analogy. Most companies want the ferrari but can't afford the price when others are willing to pay much much more.
The only way to really balance the market is for more of the talented engineers to start their own companies (reducing labor supply and possibly increasing demand). Arguably the proliferation of one-person or small bootstrapped startups is a reflection of the state of the labor market.
People buy that line of reasoning. It is sad but they do, and I have colleagues who have worked in several such positions and failed to increase their 401k savings by much (given the low base pay) and after 10 years of work and haven't seen a dime from the so-called "valuable" equity. Worse they are now considered 'old' so they are pushing headwinds when they even get to an interview (much like the original author).
When I talk with newly minted engineers today about compensation I will often recommend that they "do the math" which is to say they compute their living expenses and assume they are going to save the maximum allowable 401k and they are going to pay taxes at what ever the current rate is. To take those numbers, try to plot them out with inflation and the stock market return, take a million off the top for each kid they expect to have if their future spouse isn't working, a half million if they are working. And then see if they exit 20 - 25 years with enough to live on or not.
Once you have the basic model you are in a much better position to understand how the base salary you are being offered helps or hinders your future self.
So in technical roles there are a lot of companies that are always hiring. Recruiters work for free until they find you someone and placing job listings online is so inexpensive it barely registers as a cost.
On top of that, most states are "at will" employment, so even if a company does not have any openings, if they find someone better, and cheaper, than another employee that is currently working at the company, they can hire them and then eventually let that other employee go.
For example, I'm not in the market for a new laptop, but if a brand new, top of the line laptop came up for sale at half price, I'd probably buy it.
Its so cheap to look for new talent due to automation, so most companies will shop around in case they get lucky and land a fantastic bargain. Many are not seriously looking to fill an immediate need.
With that said, there are still plenty of companies out there with an immediate need, so please do not get discouraged by that group of companies that are "always hiring".
That is not really cheap, I am sure technology has helped reduce the amount of man administrative man hours, and helped fill a pipeline, but you still need to train new hires and actually interview them, which is no cheap.
Interviewing at all companies is always "free", because once your an employee, your time has "no cost", irregardless of what anyone's wages are, and regardless of any opportunity costs for the time.
As result, what we have are poor hiring evaluations, horrible onboarding, etc.
Meanwhile those managers are getting the salaries that better be spent on a team of great developers.
Either way, the effect on hiring is the same.
So it's not easy to actually hire. I'm not at amazon, but we do offer reasonable rates - example, new college hires get 130k+stock, benefits at our company.
Yes, we are in seattle and/or sf. Don't want to say the name.
* don't care if you have a CS degree (we have hired plenty of bootcamp grads)
* are 100% remote which is super valuable to some folks
* aren't looking for super specialized skills--we build websites and web applications on some common open source stacks.
* explicitly don't pay top dollar. As the CEO says in the typical hiring conversation, every so often we'll be talking to folks who are also talking to Microsoft and Facebook, and we'll quietly back away--we choose to compete on different axes than dollars.
But maybe we're on the lower end. We definitely pay above that band for folks with 1-2 years of experience.
So I'd consider 60k low for any urban area.
Not the poster,although I've found a lot of people will take 50% pay for fully remote jobs.
I was suprised just how valuable fully remote is to so many people.
If you are having this much trouble hiring, are you 100% sure your interview process is correct?
What is the KPI for your interview process?
But what metric are you determining that those 5 or 6 questions are correct?
For example, have you put together a pool of current workers that are successful at your type of work at different companies and seen how many can pass your interview test? Its pretty easy to find a recruiter that will reach out to their network and you pay 10 employed quality engineers $1,000 that do similar work to attempt the questions. If you find a significant amount of successful engineers cannot do it, then you may want to recalibrate.
I have helped several different companies fix their hiring process, purely by recalibrating their interview test questions to their specific needs. This sometimes actually means, more difficult or simply different types of questions. But very often people just do some Google searches for interviewing at FAANG and repeat those questions without tailoring them to their specific roles.
With that said, in the case of your company, it may very well be the case that the work you do requires particularly high IQ candidates, which is actually what most interview questions at the big tech companies test. In that case, you will always have a difficulty finding candidates as there are only a limited amount of high IQ people in the world. So changing your interview questions may not apply. But when that is the case, you can often save yourself quite a bit of time by asking potential hires to take an IQ online. This will cost your organization almost nothing and will likely screen out the vast majority of people that will not be able to pass those types of interview questions.
What I was trying to say that lot have been said about hiring metrics and standards around here and elsewhere. Yet, at the end of the day still like arbitrary in both ends and makes the job transaction cost higher than what could possible be.
Anyways, as I read your company’s interview process. Something came to my mind, why not let the candidate decide which questions to pick? I say so because I find the a lot of interviews are so hit or miss but if I was given a bit of control over the process, things could be different (or at least I would like to think this way).
The reality is outside of very early resume screening very little of the process is automated. Recruiting spends most of their day contacting people on sites like linked-in trying to find talent as not nearly enough shows up at our door.
My colleagues at FAANG companies tell me similar stories.
The cost of replacing an existing employee is also very high. In most domains can’t just plug that cheaper developer in, they need training and expertise building.
Outside of some very simple domains I don’t think your hypothesis holds up.
There is actually a Dutch site that tries to do something like that , but those recruiters are not even remotely as bad as these stories. They may be annoying parasites, but at least when they mention a number, it's fairly reliable.
Yes, just like Tinder and other assorted dating apps and sites have made it incredibly easy and efficient to search for a mate, but relatively few people end up in a relationship because of it. The act of swiping endlessly appeals to people, apparently. I vaguely remember hearing that once you are given 2 or more options, it induces strong paralysis, whereas if you have one option you tend to just jump at it and move forward with your life. I imagine the dynamics of dating and hiring are quite parallel.
You mean 3 or more? Because saying 2 or more just means you have options and therefore any options induces paralysis
The experience of the poster you are responding to doesn't seem to align with the situation you are describing. Sure posting an online job ad is pretty cheap. The rest of the hiring process, not so much.
Sure it isn't free, but remember, this person had made it all the way to the end of the process. The determination was made that they represented such a large gain, for the low salary they were paying, that it was worth the risk of that small cost to get an employee at a 30% reduction in salary.
If you are going to save 30% of $140k, that means you will save $42k. It would take a lot of interviews to make up that gap.
Mind letting me know where you work so I can avoid it? Interviewing is part of the job and needs to be accounted for. You don't just make your employees do overtime because you don't want to plan out your companies work well
If their other work falls behind because they spend too much time interviewing, well that is the company's problem. I have never worked with anyone that would stay late because they interviewed someone that day. That is ridiculous.
And as for staying late "to get the work done", what job do you work in where the work is ever "done"?
Eg when we post a senior eng job on eg glassdoor, stackoverflow, or linkedin, we are deluged with resumes. Just the ad easily costs $250. Then we get applications who ignore that we don't sponsor visas, clearly don't have the skills required (6 year SAP programmer who wants to be a senior fullstack eng? No thanks), or are junior eng trying to make a huge jump. 1.5 years experience does not make you a senior SE who can be trusted to design and land large features with minimal oversight.
The first problem is an eng manager reviews all those resumes. It easily requires 10 minutes per, including writing nice rejection letters. And that's just for inbound. Outbound can take 30+ minutes per.
If someone passes the resume filter, we do a phone screen with one of our senior eng shadowed by a junior. A 45 minute call plus prep plus decision afterwards costs me 2 hours of eng time.
If you come in, we do about a 3.5 hour interview across 6 people. We cover travel expenses and lunch if an interview runs over lunchtime.
The whole thing easy costs us $1.5k, plus tons of eng time. And that's if we source. If a recruiter sources, we're looking at 20%.
Which part of senior full stack are they missing? Front end, back end , API?
>1.5 years experience does not make you a senior SE who can be trusted to design and land large features with minimal oversight.
Yes and 25 years experience doesn't make them one either, especially if it is the same 25 years.
You could find a 2.5 jr with the skills required.
I mean if they started their own start up they could be designing and landing features with no oversight within 18 months.
>The first problem is an eng manager reviews all those resumes.
Yes it's better to have actually engineers do the initial review. They understand the job, will see through the BS and scale better. The more people you hire, the more resumes you can review.
I'm sorry, but this sounds very strange from someone claiming to know about interviewing and hiring.
You need an engineering manager to filter out SAP programmers who want to be a senior full stack engineer? You need an engineering manager to figure out someone only has 1.5 years of experience?
How many people are you interviewing? How many positions are you filling? Seems like you would realistically need about 5-10 phone screens plus 1 or 2 in person interviews to fill a position. 3 if your phone screens were really off the mark.
I'm actually curious who hired you. Because this sounds like dismal operations management. Seriously, you seem to be a great example of how much a bad hire can cost a company.
"Seems like you would realistically need about 5-10 phone screens plus 1 or 2 in person interviews to fill a position. 3 if your phone screens were really off the mark." Just curious what your thought process is to arrive at these numbers?
Also in this thread: piles of people complaining hr runs hiring. We have an eng manager run hiring for our eng. You: bring back hr to review resumes!.
We're hiring on the order of 15 eng over the next calendar year. Ask anyone who has actually done this (say, for example, the folks at yc) hiring is incredibly expensive. I saw an interview where an Asana founder said he spent perhaps 20% - I can't recall, but significant percentage -- of his time hiring. That's super senior executive time focused on getting employees in.
As more recruiters offers their services to employers the employers starts to feel like there are more potential hires than there actually are.
As a thought experiment we could assume that there used to be two recruiting firms for each employer but then costs went down and now there are ten.
This gave the illusion that there are five times as many potential hires even if everyone should take a step back and realize that the recruiters are still all trawling in the same pool in their search for talent.
I also wonder how much of it is also #1 data gathering, #2 advertisement, and #3 slightly counter to what you are saying - bad tools/people using said tools.
for point one, I can learn a lot on what microsoft is doing by pulling resumes from microsoft workers, even more if I interview them. you can quickly glean direction, head count, tech stack, etc.
for point two, tech companies especially have to remain relevant in the news. Imagine if you post positions for great ML shiny positions, that gets seen by tens of thousands of people for 0 cost. "Did you see that great posting at company X? wow they have an impressive Y team"
point 3, I have seen recruiters get thousands of resumes for a position they posted on the web, really want to hire someone, but instead send people through the hiring loops because of direct contacts. Its like they search for skills, the resumes on the website dont get searched well so they assume there are no matches. its baffling to me this happens given the tools you mentioned
Interviews went well, liked the people I met; things looked good. As a condition of the offer, the recruiter told me they needed my current salary. I provided that, and they dropped their offer ~$15,000 below the low end of their range because my income (in another state and a different industry) was lower.
I told them, "that's not how this works. You base your offer on what the work is worth here, not on what I was making in another role."
Walked, and got an offer two weeks later - $30,000 above their original range and no bullshit trying to tie it to my current income.
As far as salary goes, I absolutely cannot afford to compete and hire at market rate prices so I rely on:
-People who are motivated by other factors than money (everyone at our company took a pay cut to join). We have schedule flexibility, we are like-able, our tech is interesting, our mission and vision are inspiring I hope, we are good at selling ourselves.
-People who like the gamble of stock options
-People who are unaware of their market value
This is how every startup in seed round works pretty much.
That said, I don’t go around complaining that there is a talent shortage. I’m well aware of the situation we are in.
First of all it sounds like there was some really dishonest communication and there is no excuse for that.
With this one:
People who are unaware of their market value
Also people are complex I don’t necessarily know why the engineer accepted the job for 70% of what I think they could earn elsewhere. It could be an intangible reason.
Then how do you do competition market research?
Are you okay with it if it turns out that the offer you make is either 3x or 1/3 The market rate?
>The employee has mobility to reject my offer, or leave and seek a better job.
As long as you never whine about a 'talent shortage' when they reject the offer or leave, that's fine.
You made the offer, they decline or leave because they can get better elsewhere.
You look at that information and decide if you want to raise wages or not. Then put out whatever adverts you wish.
Simple and easy. No need for press,PR,H1B, lobbyists and the like.
If everyone was running like that, these kind of articles wouldn't exist.
Honestly, we're not SKU's. Once you get some experience, the main difference between, say, a $100k developer and a $150k developer is that the latter simply decides that's their price and interviews longer until they find it.
Sometimes it's worked out; the company gives them a big raise, a lump sum in the key of "Sorry!" and the person remains a happy and productive -- and wiser -- member of the team.
Usually they're gone within months, though. And often other people follow ("You got /how/ much at OtherCorp?").
1) every company I have interviewed with has lied to me at some point in the process. Sometimes those are small lies, sometimes they are very big ones. I get that hiring is a complex process but a company's recruiters and hiring managers should make an effort to not over-promise and under-deliver to people that want to work there.
2) I have never received an offer from a company that asked me my salary expectations. I consider that question a loud signal that I am just being regarded as a data point by the recruiter, and I basically write them off.
Been there. But lies cut both ways. Once a company is dishonest with you, it is 100% fair game for you to be dishonest with them:
- Side consulting gigs
- During work consulting gigs, especially if you have "unlimited vacation"
- Sneaking off during the day to do whatever
That said, that isn't healthy for either party. The best situation is where both sides are honest and both sides work their hardest to reach a shared goal.
Oh lol. I just applied for a job that asked for salary expectation. Well I guess its ok. I spent minimal amount of time uploading my resume and entering data into 4 webpage.
maybe you need some funding then
You could if you were willing to take rawer unproven talent.
You chose another option and that worked for you and that's great. You could have perhaps hired a student at market rate.
I've had a few short interviews that quickly turned into a sales pitch on why I should work for them. I've also had the same you experienced: they act like they really want you specifically then feed you into the human resource machine. Basically made me feel scammed so I bowed out after the first 30 minutes.
I get the sense that a lot of tech companies' hiring playbook is all about making you feel special and elite then feeding you into the machine.
I guess I could understand it if I REALLY wanted to work at company X and company X happened to have annoying interview practices. But is that the condition for most people seeking jobs? Or is there some selection bias of who is posting about their experiences?
not everyone is negotiating from a position of strength.
I'm certainly not widely known in the industry. I don't have any public projects/repos. I've been doing this for almost 20 years, so I do have a pretty extensive resume. But I didn't have extensive resume when I was starting out in the early 2000s just after the internet bubble burst and times were relatively rough in the industry. And I wouldn't have done 4-5 interviews or homework projects even then.
We don't need to accept this kind of treatment from potential employers.
I was interviewing with the CTO/CEO etc and some of them were out of town. Normally I would agree btw.
The asked how much I was looking for, I told them X, which was 25% more than I was getting now and on the high-end for a similar role. They say ok.
Interview goes great, everyone loves me, offer time. They offer me X-20%. WTF? That’s basically what I’m making now and they didn’t offer big company perks like 401k match, stock grants, etc. So in fact, the offer was less than I was currently getting. They were willing to go up to X-15%, but no higher.
Why say ok when someone says they want X, then make an offer way lower than X?
There's generally threads online where recent grads say what offers they've gotten from companies and websites like www.paysa.com that try to aggregate them but those are all biased.
Equity is a gamble not in your favor, read up on how many startups fail outright, how many sell for basically nothing, and how much you're going to get diluted in funding rounds. Founders will say otherwise but it's their job to sell you so don't trust them. So if you do want to gamble on a startup make sure to heavily discount the value of equity when negotiating.
Isn't that a given with equity? You're literally saying that you're a residual claimant in the enterprise. Yes, with stock options and such things you might be even "more" residual than others in the capital structure, but it's not a "scam".
They’re unhappy because they let other people control their sense of self-worth.
My biggest mistake as a new grad PhD was local cost of living. I wanted the prestige of working at a well known university. Turns out I didn't have the safety net or family wealth to work there.
Use an online calculator to estimate after-tax take home pay. Look at home price per square foot. A good offer nationally will pay 300 sq ft of real estate (take home pay) per year. My salary has varied from 110 to 1800 sq ft per year. I quit the 110 sq ft job after 2 years I just couldn't afford it; that is unsustainable! The 1800 sq ft job was in Phoenix; one house (new) per year! My current salary is ~250 sq ft a year which sucks nationally but is good for one of the most expensive cities in silicon valley (400+ sq ft just a few blocks away in a lesser school district); I am very Senior with 30 YOE.
I just measure positives and negatives and once exceeds the other, I'm done.
Where they get comfy, rationalize that they know their job, and the company never has to spend more than 98k on this person for the next 35 years.
Weirdly enough, it seems like Fortune 500 pays best for the brightest and they have them working on high level concepts and paying suppliers to perform the nitty gritty engineering.
I don't quite understand the rationale behind this hiring phenomenon.
Executives like to work with people that they "like", so its frequently people who went to similar schools, have a similar sense of humor, don't say stupid shit etc. Even if these people are totally ineffective and have no skills, they will keep getting hired. Then, they make use of the new labor markets, where you can just outsource everything and hire consultants/contractors to do the actual implementation.
If the project succeeds, the hired person is a star and gets showered with money, poached by other firms where they try to replicate a similar, completely short sighted way of building business value.
If the project fail, blame the contractors get new ones.
Benefits are not worth 2-3x the pay. I find myself being a contractor due to the better pay.
- Contractors don't always get the best projects. Often the coolest, most strategic projects go to employees. Of course, if no one internally is qualified, contractors then get the best projects.
- When cuts happen, contractors are at the front of the line, and when cuts need to go deeper, employees then are at risk.
- It is a pain to collect. You are often not the primary contractors, there is usually a pass-thru company that is well-connected and gets the receivables and then pass them onto you. Sometimes they delay payments 45 days. Sometimes 60 days. I've had some months paid 4 months late. On rare occasions you never get paid.
- You pay the employer payroll tax if you are in the US and on 1099 (on W2 you only pay half the payroll tax).
- Benefits you purchase are often not the best benefits. The benefits you would get at a large company are often well negotiated and much better and much cheaper than what you purchase a la carte.
Obviously for a contractor premium high enough, none of the above really matters. But contract work isnt worth it, for say, a 40% premium IMHO, especially with a family. At higher premiums (250%, 300%) it can make sense assuming you like what you will be doing.
Until we can show that there is something more effective (and possibly transparent) I fear we are doomed to continue repeating this cycle.
Had a software company offer me a position, tech support + some maintenance of existing codebase. I have a demonstrated capability to meet the requirements. Remote + onsite work at client premises. Existing employees doing the roll are way overloaded and obviously stressed.
The person I'd report to travelled to interview me. This person admitted they hadn't received a pay rise in four years.
I told them my current pay grade BEFORE the interview.
Their offer: $45,000 BELOW my current pay, then another $5000 per year I'd spend paying for my dependants to be cared for during the time suggested I'd be at clients premises.
I finished an interview in London, UK and they start umming and ahing over a measly five grand. It happened in Toronto too last year.
They offered me 15% below what I wanted alongside a very uninspiring business in advertising. I was honest and said I was interviewing elsewhere and wasn't about to accept that offer quickly, though it wasn't off the table. They waited one week and pulled the offer. I accepted a better offer pretty much the next day.
The recruiter got back in touch with me a week or two later and said quite frankly that they regretted their decision as they've struggled to find anyone comparable in my salary range. Because, as it finally dawned on them, my salary expectations weren't even that high - I intentionally put them in the mid-range for my skill-set because I care deeply about work/life balance and I'm picky about tech stack.
Unrelated, but I also had a similar experience last year when buying my first home. First place we put an offer in with was poorly advised by their agent, and they came back begging a few months later by which point it was too late. It's only two anecdotal data points but it does seem to be that people are willing to lose a lot in order to gain a pittance.
After the housing bubble burst I decided it was time to buy a new house. I made an offer on a house and we went back and forth but we hit the ceiling I was willing to pay so we went our separate ways.
After the seller had an agreement with two other families fall through they called me 9 months later asking if I was interested. I went back to my first offer from the start and told them I'd close in two weeks. Deal was done.
After one instance of that routine I learned to unashamedly [at least loosely] state my asking rate, and ask about salary up front (or early) after hearing the interview process.
It's saved me. I would have faced the same interview length for [same as you] half of my current salary, and would have had to share a machine as a matter of principle. For an intermediate->senior role. With longer hours, and fewer benefits (but there would be a ping pong table and exposed brick walls...).
Though the situation I experienced seems especially endemic to Toronto's dev mills. I've since learned to recognize them at the outset and stay away.
All it does is displaying for everyone to see their indecisiveness and wasting other people's time. They obviously couldn't make up their mind even after the first four rounds and that's just bad in any businesses.
If I ever had to go through a five-rounds interview and they ended up turning me down, I will not care if it burns bridges as I will track down their boss and he/she will receive some nice hand-written letters from me to let them know how their company performed. A working relationship always goes both way and they obviously have not valued much of your time.
She replied that she was pretty sure this was an organization she had interviewed at some time before. They found her qualified, and made her an offer substantially below what she had clearly said she required. They said, Well, we thought you'd find the work so interesting that you'd be willing to work for that. They thought wrong.
If the only thing you have to offer is equity (risk) and a lower salary than what I was getting/market salary why don't I just save me some time and risk it all by starting my own company.
That's how employers work though. Next step is to whine about a Ferrari shortage and bribe (I mean lobby) the goverment to increase immigration of Ferrari knock of builders in order to reduce the shortage.
Then when the locals get indignant about all these new Ferraris depressing sale price of Ferraris, if your the UK you blame the EU and have a vote on brexit.....
It is a startup. That is what they do. They offer low comp but with more stocks. How is this a surprise to you?
> They're aren't many expects in my field with my background and skill set
contradicts the title of the submitted post.
If there aren't many people that meet the requirement, but there are at least as many as jobs that need to hire them, then there's no shortage - that small number could even be too many, if some of those people are overqualified for the jobs they end up doing.
Most startups and new businesses fail. Part of that is a lack of funding and a lack of information/knowledge about the specifics of the markets they are working in.
They may not know that they are looking for a Ferrari or what the market for Ferraris looks like.
If I start a business that sells Ferraris for 20k, then complain how I cant buy them cheap enough wholesale, there isn't a shortage.
The idea that job applicants get offered wages which they perceive as too low does not mean that there is not a shortage of similar talent on the market, even at reasonable wages, if there even is such a thing.
The analogy with the Ferraris breaks down for developers and engineers because their qualifications are hard to quantify and their added value is hard to predict.
Employers will especially talk about talent shortages when they can't hire additional talent at the wages of their existing workforce. That may be because they got lucky and found very cheap engineers ("suckers"), but it also may be that they are running against the wall of the talent shortage, meaning they can only hire new people if they embark on a potentially ruinous wage competition with other employers...
If wages are perceived to low compared to profits, than I'd rather question the potential collusion among employers. There have been dramatic cases of such sollusion in silicon valley, as I recall. Less drastically labor market regulations and workforce protections will also play a role.
In the Bay Area, I rarely hear friends complaining of wages "perceived" as too low, usually it is more absolute in terms or it wont pay rent. This isnt usually the case for entry level or medium level jobs. But I constantly hear of this so called shortage of experienced engineers. The fact about experience engineers (10yrs, 15yrs, whatever) is that experience is also correlated with age, family, children and throwing $150k at someone with family simply doesnt work. It isnt a perception issue, you literally cannot fit a family into a studio apartment and afford braces, health premiums, co-pays, etc.
Unless they prefer to be unemployed, or work outside the industry (and Silicon Valley), their turning down a job offer because of too low compensation does not preclude a real talent shortage. Usually they are already employed at a wage that pays rent, right?
All this talk about low wages seems to assume recruiters and employers are stupid. But they aren't, for the most part. If they think they could make a higher profit by doubling the wage offer and thus hiring an additional engineer, they would do it. Stupidity or stupid greed is not a smart way to reject that basic economic imperative for an industry as a whole.
>or work outside the industry (and Silicon Valley)
There are plenty working in the industry outside of silicon valley there are more bootstrapped SaaS than before.
The young developers fed up of silicon valley looking for a family are a great snatch for these kinds of companies.
>All this talk about low wages seems to assume recruiters and employers are stupid
I think it's more about the combination of low wages and complaint about talent shortage, either is fine but both is pretty stupid.
>If they think they could make a higher profit by doubling the wage offer and thus hiring an additional engineer, they would do it.
Yup,which tells us that they are not really that concerned about the hiring of another engineer.
Again: Individual movements, individual market mismatches, don't disprove a talent shortage.
Your arguments only make sense if you assume the worth of an engineer to be virtually limitless, or else there is no shortage. That companies should ruin their business models by treating engineers like kings and handing them all the profits.
From a supply/demand perspective, there is no such thing as a shortage. At least not without further qualifications. Prices adjust so that the demand meets the supply. In theory that should always be possible. Concept of a shortage per se does not have a place in this theory. You can only speak about a shortage/oversupply at a certain price level but such a thing has no significant meaning because that price level is just an arbitrary number.
Thus to speak about a shortage you must add some other components to your model. Those other components will always be partially subjective (i.e., what you want to maximize?) and fairly complicated. (I believe.)
In any case, one could for example argue that there are not enough engineers to fill the roles "needed" in the economy at a sustainable price. (What is "needed", though?) But I am very sceptical about such a claim, considering the huge profits many US companies are making, even the software companies for that matter.
There are certainly localised shortages (hence the popularity of remote work)
>they can only hire new people
if they embark on a potentially ruinous wage
Or cut profits or lower CEO wages to fund it, or move the company to a lower cost of living area.
If your a software company your biggest expenses are probably staff and offices and well cheaper areas also have excellent connections to cloud services.
You can pay half as much in salary in 1/4 area and everyone is better off.