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Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:53 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Test Drive






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Post #773183
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:35 AM


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I've had probation periods at two of the companies that I've worked for. They have to be very carefully set up in the contracts (labour laws are quite strict here and favour the employee), and the usually amount to much reduced notice periods (on both sides). I don't know how well they'd play out in practice if the employer did decide to let someone go during or after it. I haven't seen it happen.


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Post #773243
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:39 AM
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Its a nice idea, but what if you're looking for a new job whilst currently employed? I couldn't just take 2 days off (after a morning/afternoon off the week before for an interview) at the drop of a hat. Or would one have to leave their current job before the trial period starts, or before looking for new work?

I think there's a calculated risk hiring anyone new, but it swings both ways. This is why there are normally probation periods where either side can give a weeks notice.
Post #773246
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:15 AM
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... I'm not too sure about this probation thing... what happens if for example you are hired at a new company, you quit your job at your previous company, and after 3 months probation or so the new company decides they will not keep you?
You are now stuck without a job when you previously had a stable job (which you quit to try out the new job).
In some countries the logistics behind making use of a probationary period are too cumbersome for companies to even bother implementing probation (you need to set realistic standards for the employee,you need to give continuous feedback to the employee, you need to be on hand to assist the employee should they be falling short, you need a watertight policy regarding implementation of probation).
I think a two day probation should do the trick (the prospective employee can take 2 days off from their current job, perform some tasks in the new job, and a decision can be made from how things went )
Post #773274
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:45 AM


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The comments already made are indeed the logistical issues Steve mentioned in the article. However, in principle I think it's a great idea. How many times have we thought, "if only I can show them what I can do for their company...."? Well this is a means of doing just that, and I'd personally welcome the opportunity if I were looking for a new job.


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Post #773290
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:35 AM
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For a previous company I attended a two day session which included one interview, a raft of tests to make sure I was not an axe wielding murderer. In addition we got to meet people from all levels of the company. We had to prepare a presentation as well. All of this meant that we had more than a brief glimpse of the other side. This cuts both ways if you dont like them better to find out before you leave your old job.

I have had a couple of jobs in the UK with probationary periods. None of them ended up in me leaving. In fact nobody ever took any notice of the probationary period. I guess it could be very different if some companies wanted to be funny.

Next interview I want to get a good feel for the place I will be working in. You spend so much time there and its so important its got to be right.

Ells.


Post #773310
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:50 AM
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Test drive is great, but only really works for contract employees or people out of work. Very hard to get a FTE to drop out of their current job and take up a 2 day trial before full hire.

Longer term probabtion periods are more the norm in Europe.
Post #773354
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 5:32 AM


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Seems odd, the notion of probation periods in new hires. All most all of the positions I've seen offered in the past few years have been contract to hire, typically 3 months. Another difference here (in isolated CT) is we're a "work at will" state. An employer can terminate your job with / without cause. Just as I am free to say, "screw you" and walk out. Cuts both ways.

I know this seems odd to many people, but I prefer it.


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Post #773378
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 5:42 AM
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I've been out of work for four months although I'm (finally) starting a new job on Monday with a great company. During that four months I've experienced a wide variety of interview and hiring techniques. For larger companies the trend seems to be toward "contract-to-hire". This is particularly true for higher end architectural level positions. They bring you in on a six-month contract and, if all goes well, they'll roll you over into a permanent slot.

As for interview techniques, I've also done the "presentation" thing where I had to present to a technical team information about a project I had worked on, the decisions I had made and why. I've also been tested and faced six hour marathon interviews and 2-hour panel interviews.

I'd have certainly been willing to do a two or three day test run but the logistics seem formidable. You'd need a pretty serious non-disclosure and possibly even a non-compete agreement and a contractual agreement that allows the potential employer to blow you off without fear of legal repercussions. I also wouldn't want these candidates connecting to my network nor would I want to go to the time and expense of configuring equipment for them etc. After awhile, all that your left with is sitting in a conference room exchanging ideas just like any other interview.

The good news is that I found a relatively vibrant job market. The bad news is that everyone wants a candidate to be an expert in every aspect of SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008 including the engine, SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS as well as an accomplished .NET developer but they're only willing to pay for an entry to mid-level position. Approximately 65% of the time I didn't get the job because I was "overqualified". (I read that as wanting too much money.) A few times it was because they didn't think I would "fit in". This was certainly true in one case but in the other cases I suspect it was because they thought I was too old. (30 years experience)

As for compensation, the contract rates have dropped to ridiculously low levels and full-time salaries have dropped fairly significantly as well. I took a 10% cut from my last full-time job and consider myself lucky because this is offset by the fact that the job is in my home town (10 minute commute) and I don't have to pay any state taxes. (I live right on the border of a tax free state and the state on the other side of the border has a 6% tax rate.) From a net standpoint it's almost a wash.


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Post #773380
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 5:56 AM


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Robert Frasca (8/19/2009)
The good news is that I found a relatively vibrant job market. The bad news is that everyone wants a candidate to be an expert in every aspect of SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008 including the engine, SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS as well as an accomplished .NET developer but they're only willing to pay for an entry to mid-level position.



I always keep my eyes open. I also have a couple of friends that are headhunters, and principals in respectable consulting firms. I'm quite familiar with the "Candidate must have TSQL, SSAS, SSRS, Informatica, Oracle PL/SQL, UDB, C++ experience all at the senior level" and then have a salary range half of what it should be.


The employers smell blood and are perfectly happy taking the desperate enough players. Problem is, once things improve, those desperate people will be among the first to flee.

I'm happy that I'm employed, but realistic enough to know that it could all change tomorrow/today. Hence the constant searching, looking, etc.




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