Then, one day, I was asked to come into my manager's office. She said "Congratulations, here's your full time offer!" I saw the deadline of 9/11 (2 weeks) and asked if I could have an extension. She quickly said that everyone was expecting that I would sign today and there is no way she can extend it. The recruiter also told me that she couldn't extend it and that she "didn't care about my school's rules." I went to my career counselor to see if he could make something happen (The offer was ok but all my friends got offered at least 10% more - and the recruiter said the don't negotiate).
Then I get a call from my manager, she asks me to come to the office. I walk in, she says "We're going to have to rescind the offer and ask that you stop working part time." It was pretty traumatic, couldn't even check-in my latest work - just had to pack my things and leave - I was actually fired!
Next spring applied to Y-combinator, got rejected...I now work for a search engine in Mountain View, CA where they not only gave me my best offer but gave me a 20% raise within my first year. Still, I wish I had a chance to work full-time at the mothership in Cupertino.
I totally agree with Joel about the need to educate people about this topic. Many college students know they can negotiate the terms of a job offer, but they're intimidated about actually doing so. I hope Joel's article gives a few more students the courage to stand up to bully recruiters.
They offered it in good faith, on the assumption that the offeree was a well informed and rational decision maker who would make the decision that was best for him in the long run. I always felt that students rarely have the faculty to make this decision rationally (cost of a $5k graduate loan vs. some time to travel before working). I know that I would have probably made this decision in a way that I would have later regretted, had I been offered a sliding-exploding offer. So in an attempt to make sure my employer's assumptions about the offeree's rationality were valid, I would sometime have a candid talk with the offeree to help them think through their options - I tried to be neutral wrt to the decision, and informative wrt to the facts they needed. My company didnt ask me to do this, but I suspect they would never have officially asked me not to do it.
If you're not careful, you might inadvertently sign away all title to that cool little startup that you get going on the side. As a corollary, just because "everybody signs the same contract," it doesn't mean that yours can't be different -- but make sure it's changed before you sign.
nasty stuffs.. IP, lots of companies/people learnt their lessons.
C'mon. An exploding offer is lame, but that's no reason for us to stoop to their level.
But, here's what I think is going to happen during this recruiting cycle, the big name companies will stay on hiring freezes but still go to campus, some people will get offer letters that are later rescinded. Happened during '01-'03 and will happen again. Not sure about the smaller profitable companies, I don't think they'll hire at all, as sales cycles grow longer and revenues drop.
Great way to pitch Fog Creek's internships though.
It's even worse when you're graduating because you're nervous about finding a job and these big companies throw a huge signing bonus at you. (In stock of course, which you can't touch unless you stay for 4 years - but at the time you'd never imagine leaving!) That stock is pocket change to the company but a huge sum of cash to an undergrad and it's hard to risk losing it.
I did convince one guy to push back on the exploding offer. He did, and they bumped it up 10% just to try to sweeten the deal. If it's that prevalent, it's the kind of thing the career services folks should warn you about.
Yes. For a lot of college students-- probably a majority of those aiming for private-sector corporate work, since it seems to be the default for the unimaginative-- the "job problem" is this annoying project that emerges in the senior year. Because it's an annoying project, as little time should be spent on it as possible, at least during the "golden years" of college.
Even the college students who are relatively "on the ball" have very little experience with the job search process and generally don't know what to expect.
1) You have negligible work experience at anything even close to important.
2) Your social circle is 100% composed of people who have as little experience as you, or less.
3) Your adult mentors are mostly university professors. They operate in a very quixotic labor market, mistakenly believe the rest of the world operates the same way, and often have the business sense of a tadpole. Not a particularly intelligent tadpole, either.
4) The only gainfully employed adults you know outside of academia are your parents, and you have never discussed job searching with them. That may be as well, since they have not been on the fresh meat labor market for a few decades, and they are not in your industry.
If you've got budget for "no more than 20" and a real desire to hit 20 on the dot, then it's entirely rational (and I think reasonable) to extend exploding offers to your top 30 candidates, and then as the prior offers expire or are turned down, to extend offers to the "waitlist". It's not particularly different from the college admissions process, or a season ticket renewal process, daycare/pre-school admissions waitlisting, or any other means of efficiently allocating limited resources over a period of time, and is certainly not inherently evil.
There is a risk trade-off: risk of missing your target vs. risk of making people feel like an asset. I'd rather miss my target by a little bit..
IMO, it's not just about treating your first choice potential employee as a person, but about treating your last choice potential employee as a person too.
"would you run over a lady crossing a street? Yes, No, Maybe!"
Cant believe I didnt see that warning sign!!
(I used to date a recruiter who did cold calls like this. She could handle any type of rejection, but she hated it when a candidate played her. Every time she would rant about it, my faith in the world was restored.)
We need a variant of 419eater.com for this.
I can't help but to instantly read anything I see that pops up in my inbox from him.
If you had exactly two job opportunities, and they were willing to negotiate down ("Oh, you'll take $80K? Great. $75K is the most we can do"), you'd probably want to use an exploding offer, too.
ok again "tricked" is harsh as it was still my choice, prepared or not... well live and learn!!
In theory, the agent will be experienced and can go toe-to-toe with the recruiter on your behalf.