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New strategies to get a job offer: what's your opinion about this very aggressive approach?

With government killing business by requiring mandatory health care, mandatory sick days, and many other perks for employees (maybe salary indexation in the future), what do you think of a candidate who would say, during a job interview:

  • I have never taken a sick day over the last 10 years. If I feel I could be contagious, I will call my manager and work from home - I was never sick to the point that I could not work efficiently. I will cost you $0 in sick days.
  • I will waive my rights to get health insurance: I haven't used it (not even one time) over the last 10 years, never visited a doctor over the last 10 years, and anyway I am insured through my wife's job. I will cost you $0 in health benefits.
  • I will not use 401K plans and other stock options. I'm out of the stock market, for good. I will cost you $0 in stock plan related expenses.

Assuming a candidate would tell these facts to a recruiting manager, and that these facts are indeed true, would it help the candidate compete against competition, in particular against people who desperately need health insurance and other benefits?

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Comment by Edmund Freeman on October 1, 2011 at 9:06am

From the standpoint of a hiring manager but not business owner, I have a very limited number of positions I can fill. I want the best possible person for each position.

 

That being said, in general there are a few expense killers out there:

-- needing a green card. I know a tiny bit about this process. My understanding is that the H1B -> Green Card process takes a lot of legal expense. Very few companies are willing to go through that.

-- relocation. A lot of companies hate helping with relocation, which to me seems like chump change all things considered.

-- headhunter fees. This can be 50% of a year's salary.

 

Comment by Vincent Granville on September 30, 2011 at 2:29pm
If you use alternative medicines not covered by health care plans, you probably won't want health insurance, but you should not brag about it in a job interview - it does not make you look good.
Comment by Vincent Granville on September 10, 2011 at 2:03pm

Hi Edmund: 

What about a candidate who was born in porverty, who would provide 10x return, asking a salary 50% below market rate for the following reasons:

  • The guy has no debt, and has a very small mortgage due to smart financial decisions (buying / selling a house at the right time)
  • The guy has various passive income streams built over a number of years, due to good financial management and delivering great products, and thus can compete with other applicants by accepting a much lower salary.
  • The guy has excellent health (not by chance, but by choice), thus his desire to not be insured.

That's actually how the Chinese sell themselves to American businesses, and it looks like it works well both for the buyer and the seller. But you don't need to live in China to offer this type of discount. Such great and very inexpensive employees exist in US. It will eventually create a strong downward pressure on salaries in US. If you don't hire them, your competitors will - after all hiring people is some sort of arbitrage strategy.

 

Comment by Edmund Freeman on September 10, 2011 at 11:38am

Two points:

1) If you are applying to a major corporation, the hiring manager may not have any say in the type of package you get. It's not impossible that salary comes out of the manager's budget but health insurance comes out of the HR budget, so giving up 15k in benefits for 8k in salary may actually hurt the manager.

 

2) Let's say we have two candidates for a position at 60k base salary. Candidate A will return an expected 5x base to the company, for 300k a year. However, they want relocation (5k one-time) and 15k worth of 401k, health benefits, etc. Candidate B will return an expected 4x base, for 240k a year. Over three years, A will return 670K to the business and B will return 540k; A brings in 130k more. The higher costs aren't that big a factor in the equation.

 

If I was hiring, I would much rather hear "I understand that I'm starting a new career here. I promise I'll do everything I can to learn about this new opportunity, not just technical aspects but the business. I'll put in the extra effort to make sure that everything that I do is of the highest quality. I'll make sure I support all of my co-workers in every way I can."

Comment by Vincent Granville on September 10, 2011 at 10:04am

Edmund, I think for people who just start their career, with a salary of $60K, these bonus (including relocation and other costs such as recruiter's fee) represent a significant amount of money.

If it was that easy, when you apply for a job, you'd just turn down $15K/year of health and other benefits (if you don't need them), and in exchange ask for $8K more money in salary. Yet few if any employer would accept this kind of deal. Maybe it has to do with keeping salaries within certain ranges or maybe because the money (salary vs. benefits) comes from different funding sources and can't be blended. For the rare employers (some start-ups) who accept these deals, it's a financially a win-win for the employer and the employee, and it shows the employee that the employer is thinking out of the box.

Comment by Edmund Freeman on September 9, 2011 at 11:20pm

Is this an application to be a professional analyst or at McDonald's?

 

401k, health insurance, sick pay aren't that huge part of our salary. If I'm interviewing you, I'll care about how good an analyst you are. If you're halfway decent, your ROI to the business will be a fairly big multiplier on your cost. And if you are turning down stock options at a startup, you are a freaking idiot.

Comment by Vincent Granville on September 9, 2011 at 8:56pm
Asking no relocation package, and no visa sponsorship, will give you a huge advantage over competitors. Being an expert will even provide a bigger advantage.

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