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realistic career expectations after taking a new position

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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby Andrew » Sun May 27, 2018 5:38 pm

Its a millenial thing, this immaturity that causes them to look after 6 months and jump ship for the next best thing because no one has promoted them. I've had one person leave this year over this and another one leave because she couldn't get over the fact that I had to fire one of her friends. Its to the point where my CEO asks me how old a candidate is, which of course I can't ask, but we've sort of soured on this whole generation and their entitled attitude.

I will always ask why people left positions and if I see multiple jobs in a short time, I reject them for being an unstable employee. You may think its just one job, then you get laid off at the next one and have to take something quick that doesn't work out. Now you have a resume problem before you're 30.

I'm going to be splitting up the entry level technical level into 3 levels so we can promote people after a year as well as put 1 yr anniversary signing bonuses in offer letters.
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby Dave Jensen » Sun May 27, 2018 10:32 pm

Thanks Andrew -- great post, and a viable suggestion in your last line,

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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby D.X. » Mon May 28, 2018 2:19 am

Hi Andrew,

6 months? what sector? Sounds like there's two that are tango-ing here. The employee that leaves, and the next employer that hire's them with only 6 months tenure.

The only sector that i'm aware where that could happen where i have a touchpoint is on the 3rd party vendor side - and geography wise, China - a big issue there underlying the myth of lower salaried employees (not true).

Your one year anniversary rentention bonus, is interesting, but what happens 1 month after that bonus pay out? To me, compensation in the form of rention, early in career is not best option - i don't think it works rather its training and development plan in place with a discussion about what needs to be acheived before a promotion.

Is your sector a high-turn over sector? My recommendation is to rather turn the entry position into a contract position - 6 months. Take that bonus and make the monthly salary a tiny bit higher - then you have a negotiating point 4 or 5 months in - cut or keep or renew the contract another 6 months, then an only then move to permanent.

Risk mitigate by keeping a pool of applicants, at some point, you'll find someone hungry and ambition enough to want to stick for a longer period...early in career use development and training as rention. Let the people who want compensation go...cause they'll go anyways.

Best

DX
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby Andrew » Mon May 28, 2018 7:28 am

Its contract analytical services, so all you need to know is how to work in a lab. We give people their first jobs and train them so they can do whatever they want in 3 years. There is quite a bit of training so its 3 months before they are really productive. I have no problem with 2-3 years, but 6 months is a big investment in recruiting and training. I haven't wanted to hire temps as I believe the pool of talent is weaker and its really not my intention to churn and burn employees.
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby D.X. » Tue May 29, 2018 12:32 am

Andrew wrote:Its contract analytical services, so all you need to know is how to work in a lab. We give people their first jobs and train them so they can do whatever they want in 3 years. There is quite a bit of training so its 3 months before they are really productive. I have no problem with 2-3 years, but 6 months is a big investment in recruiting and training. I haven't wanted to hire temps as I believe the pool of talent is weaker and its really not my intention to churn and burn employees.


Hi Andrew,

So the notion is not to hire temps. Rather it’s a contract to permanent process.

There is a lot of this in certain functions in my sector. The person is hired as a contractor say for 6 months, then provided certain milestones are met they can transition to a permanent role. You can have differentiated titles but at least you allow a permanent role to be a carrot. In my area there is plenty of good talent who do take these contracts roles as it’s more of an employer’s market. The upside it’s a test and try period ahead of a probation period that is linked to a permanent role. Perhaps or sectors and markets are different but an idea you can look at to mitigate turn over if that’s a problem in your sector.

Another approach you can do try to identify the key reason folks are leaving and see where you can be more competitive. A lot it’s not about compensation - I was it one company when I first started the industry and salaries were about 20 percent less than market value - but the company had very little turnover due to great company culture as a first and other fringe benefits to include continued training and development - folks were in different roles say every 3 years. Just a fun place to work with a close nit group of folks - the likes I have not seen again in any other pharma company i’ve been in.

Good luck!

Dx
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby Andrew » Thu May 31, 2018 11:53 am

I have not gone the contract to perm route as I have found that people that opt into the temp pool and go for those contract positions are on average much weaker than people that just look for jobs. I have done this in the past, and I've seen what you get. Mostly, I post traditional positions and get the normal pool of candidates.

We try to make a compelling culture, but this generation just expects rapid career progress and some of them won't stick around for the first annual review. I think the root cause of all this is that they are not being advised by parents or senior mentors in any capacity like prior generations were. They are active on social media and all they get is advice from peers. They make a post on Facebook about how they put something in the suggestion box about how to restructure the company and it didn't happen in 1 month so no one is listening to them. Then the posts come in telling them to leave the bad company with the bad managers. I do not think that is too much of an exaggeration.
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby D.X. » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:36 am

Hi Andrew,

Very interesting your experiences. I think with our generation it was the idea of "pay your dues" and "earn your way" up. Which meant commitment (this is differentiated from loyalty) - accepting you had to start someplace, role your sleeves up and get it done.

Probably a consequence of feelings of "exceptionalisme" and un-earned "entitlement" - though i don't think I had ever the sense of entitlement to anything (my parents were not rich people - nor am I other wise i wouldn't have to work to live).

Our media has alot to do with it and I can go off here so I'll stop on that.

But lets see, what comes around goes around I think, eventually they'll get a crash course in the real-world when at somepoint that behavior will lead to not finding jobs (who wants folks that jump every 6 months..that's like career suicide if you do that too much).

Good luck!

DX
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby Ralf K. » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:10 am

Hi Andrew,

Let me give you a bit of a different perspective on my generation (Y Generation) and the Millenials one. Are you really sure they left because of a better career option/ better salary?

I can tell you that I have left companies purely because I could not see any interest from my boss to sit down with me and ACTIVELY develop a plan where I could fit in the future. What this mean? Make a personality test, send me to a week in another group where I think I might fit, let me go to a conference I would like to go for development, etc. Those are not such expensive things to do but that could be enough to make your people stay.

Years ago my boss was nice and he clearly saw my strength in a specific area. I told him I would like to work in group X or Y. If we would have sat together on elaborating a long-term plan that benefits my career and the company I would have stayed, for sure.

My experience has shown that all too often the line manager has his/her own career in mind. My current Line manager was afraid of his boss; asking for an extra week or to tell him I want to switch my career internally was never going to happen.

So re-think your strategy -- it might not be only about salary. Often this generation has sooo many possibilities to develop into and they need some freedom to explore - support him/her is all they need.

Cheers
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby Andrew » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:44 am

There is certainly a generational component, but probably not in the way you think. It is fair to say that people are entering the job market at much higher age, e.g. mid-late 20's before vs mid-late 30's now. By this time, you really want to be in stable mid-career, in parity with people in other industries. Waiting for internal opportunities to come to you, will only make you a dinosaur you company won't want to keep and others won't want to hire. Or is it not so?


The employees I hire are 22 from college or 26-28 from Grad school or postdocs. This has not changed in the 20 years I've been hiring. Nobody is saying stay in position 20 years and see if they make you CEO. Stay 2 years and see if you are still learning new things. Give the company 2-3 years to see if they are willing to promote you. If not, you can promote yourself out of the company, but 6-8 months is a joke. I will almost never hire someone that is looking after 6 months in their first job, but obviously there are some that will.

22 year olds used to behave a lot more professionally in the workplace and you did not see people expecting promotions in 6 months and leaving when they didn't get them.
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Re: realistic career expectations after taking a new position

Postby Caroline Ritchie » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:12 pm

I think there are a lot of reasons people don't stay with the same employer for a long period of time. My first post-PhD company, I stayed at for 2.5 years. I absolutely loved it, loved the people, saw room for growth, but honestly started feeling like I needed more of a challenge. I was taking on more responsibilities over time, but I was still mostly doing the same thing. I wasn't actively looking for a new job but, living in the Boston area, I have multiple recruiters reaching out to me each day. I finally took the bait and decided to go to an interview just to see what else was out there. Because I was kind of playing hard to get (not intentionally, but I made it clear that I was very happy where I was at), I was able to secure a $25,000/year raise (I was a bit underpaid in my previous role) and did a slightly lateral move into an opportunity that would allow me to pick up a lot of new skills. I took the job, but left that company after 9 months (it was a pretty toxic work environment with no work/life balance whatsoever) to start my own company. Now, I've had clients for over 2 years that I can't imagine leaving anytime soon.

I think for me, it's about diversity. In the pharmaceutical industry, many companies focus on a specific type of therapy or a specific therapeutic area. That gets boring to me, and I think to a lot of PhDs who like to constantly learn new things and be challenged on a daily basis. Since I now have multiple clients at the same time, I get the diversity I need and can still maintain long-term relationships with clients. If I didn't live in an area of the country with so many opportunities, I would probably still be at the first company I worked for though.

I know very few people who have stayed at the same company for more than 5 years. I don't think it has anything to do with maturity, but I think people are taking more ownership over their careers instead of trusting their employer to do so. I think this is a good thing, especially in the biotech industry where mergers/acquisitions happen daily and major layoffs are pretty commonplace. It may cost companies more money to constantly hire and train new people, but it's also forcing companies to be more competitive both in salary/benefits and in things like work-from-home flexibility, tuition reimbursement, on-site childcare, reimbursement for gym memberships, after work social activities, and other things that have a major impact on quality of life.
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