Sunday, April 18, 2010

My favorite thing in job hunting

My favorite thing to look for in job hunting is the harried HR rep trying to figure out how to spin the downsides of the job. This company has absolutely zero benefits:
[company] recognizes the large contribution made by our employees. [company] rewards our employees by offering competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package that provides financial security, as well as the opportunity for employees to support and improve their professional and personal lives.

Employees are offered a variety of health insurance choices depending on their needs and location. Our retirement plan, which includes a pre-tax 401(k) is designed to provide financial security in retirement.

We offer professional development through an excellent in-house training program and a tuition reimbursement program. In addition to paid holidays and vacation. We also offer many resources to help you manage your life outside of work, including an Employee Assistance Program and personal development programs.

Three paragraphs of benefits! This must be a great place to work! But let's break it down paragraph by paragraph:
[company] recognizes the large contribution made by our employees. [company] rewards our employees by offering competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package that provides financial security, as well as the opportunity for employees to support and improve their professional and personal lives.
The one thing that strikes me: no mention of annual increases or anything like that. There's weasel words in here that make it sound like they give raises but they don't say it. Clue 1 you're in trouble: in describing the benefits, they cite their competitive benefits package.
The last sentence is nonsense. "opportunity for employees to support and improve their professional and personal lives." Huh? Why would they mention our personal life at all, do they expect to be involved in it? This is probably something about training, one of the next paragraphs must talk about how much training they offer.

Employees are offered a variety of health insurance choices depending on their needs and location. Our retirement plan, which includes a pre-tax 401(k) is designed to provide financial security in retirement.

Wow, a 401(k)! Oops, nothing about employer-matching. You'd think in this day and age with a ton of companies no longer matching they'd advertise it. Oh, they must be a company that no longer matches. I like the health insurance choices. There's a variety, depending on location!
Their health insurance is the only thing they don't label as competitive. Good sign.

Their final paragraph concludes not with a bang, but a whimper:
We offer professional development through an excellent in-house training program and a tuition reimbursement program. In addition to paid holidays and vacation. We also offer many resources to help you manage your life outside of work, including an Employee Assistance Program and personal development programs.
Ah, here's the training. In-house training and tuition reimbursement. In-house training? Uh-oh. Why were they so specific? I think that's only a good sign if this is a job at a learning center or a market leader in something hard. Unfortunately, this is an IT support position in a company that doesn't have a core competency in IT. In-house training opportunities are probably scarce. (I'm a skeptic here though - I think you should be offered training opportunities in whatever you're hired to do, from outside sources. Nothing frees up myopia like hearing a different way to do things)

There's bright sides though: they offer paid holidays and vacation! Also, here's that threat of interfering with your personal life again - "We also offer many resources to help you manage your life outside of work". I don't even think I'd take that sort of guff from my wife!
The thing that I love most is the next line. What kind of assistance could we offer?
Depressed? Addicted to drugs? Approaching financial ruin? We have an Employee Assistance Program for that!


I like looking at job postings these days because I'm wrapped in the warm blanket of an awesome job a few minutes home. I am not actually seeking other employment.
Also, if you're looking for a job, my condolences. The horseshit you have to put up with these days is disgusting. Best of luck. (don't apply at above position)

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