If a recruiting company is so incompetent as to require personality profiling, and worse, enforce it so rigidly, it would explain why Europe lags so far behind the US in tech startups, despite having at least as many (if not substantially more) brilliant developers per capita.
If it's an operating company, then it maybe explains why European companies use recruiting agencies so much. Still seems like a huge tax on companies -- having decent internal HR would go a long way.
Maybe part of it is that a recruiter should fully understand the role of a recruiter, but very few really understand the developer/devops/etc. roles they recruit for.
Here in the UK that's called 'rec to rec' and I promise you, they are generally shockingly bad. If you think tech recruiters are incompetent and greedy then you would be horrified at the standard of rec to rec.
Kind of like picking the lowest possible bidder for a construction contract, it doesnt usually go well.
The primary reason Europe lags behind is the substantial lack of investors & VC's.
The case highlighted by the author is typical of large corporates but if you look at any decent tech company in London for example, this case would sound ridiculous and extreme.
European investors are just bankers (with a few exceptions).
Also you might have heard of a little company kicking the shit out of Intel... ARM. Based in Cambridge UK, that is also where most tech investments in Europe are happening (not London or Berlin).
Also, Germany and Switzerland are much more quiet and private about investments. You won't hear about many of them.
These days you can invest in a UK startup, and have the government pick up 100% of the tab if it fails. Not to mention insane tax breaks (100%+) for r&d and for exploiting patents. The UK already has crowd equity.
If you get all your news from YC then you're probably stuck in the silly valley echo chamber.
Keep in mind the other notable differences between here and the US such as free health care, a larger number of paid holidays etc.
Also bonuses. Bonuses in London can be 100% of salary or more.
National health insurance is not really free in the UK... but UK contractors pay less tax than US ones generally. German freelancers get paid more, but pay more tax (and get more holidays).
Developers outside of London can earn less, but many prefer it.
I need to earn £50k to cover just childcare costs and the mortgage (looking forward to both of those going down soon). I could sell up and buy a similar property 5 miles away and those costs would both halve. I could sell up and buy a similar property 10 miles away and have no mortgage at all. Neither of those would make us happier as a family (no matter how much I'd love to have no mortgage); we want to live where we're living now, so I just get on with it.
The service prices (health, education, banking, communications, etc) are generally much lower than in the US, though, so it's hard to get an accurate comparison of cost-of-life.
The varied answers you get about London salaries is because the financial industry pays pretty well, competitive with SV or NY money. Everyone else gets paid peanuts. Or goes contracting like me.
There's something mysterious about the low wages for programmers.
I believe the most important part is this:
If EIS shares are disposed of at any time at a loss, such loss can be set against the investor's capital gains or his income in the year of disposal.
So basically, if you take a loss, you can deduct it against any other gains you have.
I get the general perception top tier Sand Hill VCs are now willing to invest in Series B or later (and some Series A) in Europe. Costs have dropped, even in Europe, so you can get pretty far on $50-100k in savings for a seed round. So the big problem in the long term is probably risk-aversion in hiring, vs. raising money.
Doubtful about the second bit - beaurocracy seems to become magnified in London.
I was referring to the likes of Facebook UK, Google, Badoo, Songkick, etc.
That was in the spring and they expected to have picked out some people by the end of summer.
I didn't apply, mostly because I am happy where I am, but also because a 3-5 month interview process is completely ridiculous.
The entire process just put me off from applying. If they can't talk to me once or twice and look at my resume/past projects then I do not know if I want to work there. I understand the need to find the right people, but there are limits to how many hoops I care to jump through to get the honour of working in their company.
Is this a common practice?
I can understand if you have another job and end up interviewing somewhere else while working, but if I was without a job I probably wouldn't be able to wait 5 months for someone to decide I've passed their tests.
My friend ended up applying and he was also one of the few that got hired, which is why I've heard a bit more about their process than I think I normally would.
I think using a recruiting company is more common around here. Where I work now, quite a few of us have started out working part time (as I am now) through a recruiting process, and occasionally those who work full time get picked up by our company to work directly.
My boss worked the same position I work in now, back when he was in university.
Yes. Looks like 3 Interviews, 3-5 months of interview process is pretty normal in Europe. I have applied for a job in Norway as well once.
> I can understand if you have another job and end up interviewing somewhere else while working, but if I was without a job I probably wouldn't be able to wait 5 months for someone to decide I've passed their tests.
Well there is another common practice that if you are unemployed without a serious reason (freelancing, relocation, family matters etc.) you are turned down immediately by a logic "If he couldn't get a job, something must be wrong with him". That's even worse if you were unemployed for a prolonged period of time.
It's even worse, even if you freelance most people will assume there is something very wrong with you to the point that they are not turned down, but not even considered for the job.
I've gone through two interview processes in Norway – none of them took longer than ten days and I can't say I have heard about anyone else that has been through months-long processes either. (I'm a software engineer.)
No, a 3-5 month interview process is not common.
These wacko interviewing processes are just another symptom of this. Don't think any comptetent business leader actually believe these scores matter at all. In the end it's just another safeguard against (gasp!) taking a risk.