Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses The Almighty Buck

$30,000 For a Developer Referral? 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'll-send-you-a-dozen dept.
itwbennett writes "Are good developers really that hard to find? Cambridge, MA-based inbound marketing company HubSpot seems to think so. The company has upped its developer referral bonus from $10,000 to $30,000 — and you don't have to be an employee to get in on the deal. Beats a free puppy. What has your experience been with referral bonuses?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

$30,000 For a Developer Referral?

Comments Filter:
  • Recruiter Commision (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frankie70 (803801) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @05:40AM (#43848423)

    If the company goes through a recruiter, they pay around 20-25% of the employee's annual salary to the recruiter (if the employee sticks around for 'x' months). So this may be reasonable for the company for a job which pays 100K to 150K annually.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @05:54AM (#43848457)

      2-3 months salary is normal around here for recruiter pay (Holland). But recruiters are rather vilified and not trusted. Most companies, large and small, I know don't work with independent recruiters. Don't trust them further than you can throw them.

    • Yep certainly had the Agencies cut taken off my agreed salary for three months before (I did complain). No mention of what Language/ALM they work with. Given that I know hundreds of Devs (Some of whom already live in commuting distance) it would be nice to know what skills they are looking for.
      • by FreeUser (11483) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @09:05AM (#43849215)

        Yep certainly had the Agencies cut taken off my agreed salary for three months before (I did complain). No mention of what Language/ALM they work with. Given that I know hundreds of Devs (Some of whom already live in commuting distance) it would be nice to know what skills they are looking for.

        huh!?!

        I've worked with recruiters for years, in Chicago, New York, and London to name just three places. I've never, ever, had my pay docked because of the recruiter's fee. Never. And every job I've had beyond the first out of college has been through a recruiter (and they've all been excellent jobs, on both sides of the pond).

        The employer should always pay the recruiter's fee. You as an employee/candidate should never see the fee, probably won't know what the fee was, and shouldn't necessarily even be aware of the fee (other than in the most hypothetical sense).

        Having your salary docked for three months...that's just crazy. The only instance I know of where that's the norm is with talent agents in the media...a journalist I know at a New York radio station pays n% of his salary to his talent agent, but that's an entirely different can of worms. In technical recruiting, that should never happen. If your employer docked you, I'd say your employer is more than a little suspect and I'd get your CV/resume out. If your recruiter is collecting from you, then you've been suckered into the wrong kind of recruiter.

        • Obviously I've worked for some far shabbier employers than you :D
        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          The only instance I know of where that's the norm is with talent agents in the media...a journalist I know at a New York radio station pays n% of his salary to his talent agent,

          Which is sensible, assuming it is this journalist who asked the agent to get him work. So the talent agent provides their service to the journalist - and the journalist pays. This in contrast to when a company asks a recruiter to recruit someone for them, in that case the recruiter provides the service to the company, and the company pays.

          In case of your friend the recruiters fee is definitely included in the salary he asks, if he wants to make say $1,000 and the fee is 20%, he'd ask $1,250. So that after t

    • The recruiter getting 20-25% of the employee's annual salary matches my experience, from both sides. Referral bonuses of $30,000 is unheard: I've seen plenty of referral bonuses offered of $500 to $1000 in the last year for work involving six figure salaries, including contracting work of more than six months duration.

      Both Cambridge, MA and Dublin, Ireland are very expensive places to live with some of the highest developer salaries I've seen offered. My colleagues and I have gotten recruiting calls for b

      • by Minupla (62455)

        We just doubled our internal recruiting bonus at work. Nothing like 30K but still, doubled.

        We find that people who are internally recruited have better retention rates and are less likely to be 'misrepresenting themselves' then candidates from recruiters, generally speaking.

        Min

        • by tompaulco (629533)
          For a $30,000 referral bonus, though I would probably just stop doing my job and start recruiting people. On top of my salary, getting two people hired should be enough to cover the lack of raises for the past 7 years plus a little extra spending money to maybe take a vacation.
      • by 2fuf (993808)

        You've never heard of a dev earning $120,000 then either?

    • by happy_place (632005) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @07:53AM (#43848837) Homepage

      I don't think companies should be free to beat puppies in order to convince employees to join their company. I mean, that's like extortion, "If you don't scrum with us, we'll beat these puppies senseless!"

      • by Gr8Apes (679165)

        I don't think companies should be free to beat puppies in order to convince employees to join their company. I mean, that's like extortion, "If you don't scrum with us, we'll beat these puppies senseless!"

        So the question becomes "Are you willing to sacrifice yourself in place of the puppies?"

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @05:47AM (#43848441)

    Can I get $30k *and* the job?

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Can I get $30k *and* the job?

      What you need to do is find someone else to refer you.

      Have your lawyer write up a contract that they will pay you 95% of the referral fee; and/or any amounts paid to them by the company or as a result of you being hired, and that also prohibits them from disclosing the details of the deal, or that there was a deal, or that there was any reason for referring you other than they had evaluated your work in the past.

      In exchange, you will allow them to refer you, and you w

    • Re:If I refer myself (Score:4, Informative)

      by tgd (2822) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @08:07AM (#43848895)

      Can I get $30k *and* the job?

      While you may have been joking, that was not at all uncommon during the dot com boom. You'd basically negotiate the recruiter's fees into the signing bonus and grab $60-$80k in signing bonuses. If you were a particularly shrewd negotiator, you'd get 1/3 up front, the second 1/3 after 90 days or something and the rest at 6 months.

      Those were the days ...

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well, If they usually pay recruiters, I don't see anything wrong with this. When my friend bought his last house, he didn't use a real estate agent. So very early in the negotiations, he basically dropped the price of the house by 2.5%, because the commission on a house is usually 5% split between the agent of the seller and the buyer, and it's paid by the seller. If they don't have to pay that half of the commission to the other real estate agent, it should be subtracted from the price of the house. Sa
        • by tgd (2822)

          Well, If they usually pay recruiters, I don't see anything wrong with this. When my friend bought his last house, he didn't use a real estate agent. So very early in the negotiations, he basically dropped the price of the house by 2.5%, because the commission on a house is usually 5% split between the agent of the seller and the buyer, and it's paid by the seller. If they don't have to pay that half of the commission to the other real estate agent, it should be subtracted from the price of the house. Same thing goes here. If the company usually pays $10,000 to a recruiter, and you manage to find the company yourself, the company should give you a $10,000 signing bonus.

          Interesting your friend was able to do that -- generally its a 5% commission, which the seller's agent splits with the buyer's agent. Usually if there is no buyers agent, the seller's agent keeps all of it. (Which is why, as your friend did, its best to push on it... its possible the seller in that case did drop the price 2.5% and still got stuck paying their agent the 5%!)

          • by tompaulco (629533)
            its possible the seller in that case did drop the price 2.5% and still got stuck paying their agent the 5%!)
            That is probably correct. Although in my common experience in several U.S. states, it is usually 6%.
    • by Shados (741919)

      They're called signing bonuses. Happens all the time in the big IT markets (in Cali, Mass, NY...)

      If you're actually good, take a job in one of the big cities that house the top employers (even if you don't take a job with them...companies in the area have to compete somehow), and don't get a sign on bonus, you're negotiating wrong (or you're not as good as you think you are).

  • Never seen them awarded. Baked air, most of the time. YMMV, though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by macson_g (1551397)
      I cashed in 5000 GBP for referral once. At the rate the US dollars are being printed currently, it should be equal to the amount mentioned in the article soon :)
  • Maybe they've loaded the contractual clauses with fine print to help them avoid paying out $30k. Maybe the only bonus is $30k, which might be cheaper than any other headhunter's usual contract. Someone at HubSpot should think about contracting out to Bengaluru or Mumbai.

  • Of course (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The conclusion repeatedly reached by academic researchers in software engineering is that there is an 'order of magnitude' difference among good and mediocre developers, and good developers are perenially in short supply.

    So the answer is yes, it's absolutely worth the money.

    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sperbels (1008585) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @10:32AM (#43849943)
      I don't think the adjective you're using is quite right. The word to use here is exceptional. The whole industry is plagued by this idea that only the superstars are any good, while the people who do the bulk of the grunt work are mediocre. Well, among those mediocre people are good, mediocre, and bad developers....and nobody seems to acknowledge that.
      • > The whole industry is plagued by this idea that ... the people who do the bulk of the grunt work are mediocre

        Which is true by definition:

        me·di·o·cre [mee-dee-oh-ker]
        adjective
        1. of only ordinary or moderate quality; n

        Indeed, the bulk of the grunts are "of only ordinary or moderate quality". "The bulk of" and "ordinary" mean pretty much the same thing, don't they?

        The mediocre generally know enough to do the task, badly. They screw things up pretty badly by making it "work" j
  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @06:57AM (#43848665) Journal
    Yes, good developers are hard to find. Ditto good sysadmins, business analysts, project managers, architects, etc. In larger corporations there's a strong movement to work around that scarcity by compartimentalizing the jobs, turning the whole into an assembly line, also because good people are not only hard to find but harder to manage as well. Not that the people themselves are difficult, but in most cases a group of excellent people will not have a uniform set of skills, so making the most of them requires individual talent management and more complex work planning.

    What they end up with is sometimes called "predictable mediocrity". Just like having a mechanical assembly line, you'll have more control, easier planning and a predictable quality, at the expense of flexibility, innovation, sometimes cost, and excellence (your quality will be more predictable but I've rarely seen the average go up or even remain the same). What is also does is breed excellence out of the workplace: experts will be too expensive, they will not enjoy the nature of the work, and you will find it hard to offer a viable career path to talented workers. So I expect real talent to become even scarcer and more expensive.
    • by umghhh (965931)
      I salute you Sir.

      Not that I am that excellent but I am good enough and I see few of those better than me suffering from insults from below (refuse to improve the product and then scolding because somebody else did etc) all the time as well as from (hopefully only moderate) idiocy of management stuff too.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I disagree that good employees are scarce. The fundamentals of the marketplace just don't bear it out:
      1. There are more unemployed admins, developers, project managers, architects, etc than there were about 6 years ago.
      2. There are more H1B visas than ever before, so if there weren't talented Americans there are certainly enough talented foreigners out there.

      Now, is it true that the majority of those who are unemployed are probably not that good? Yes. But a few of them likely are really good, and offering a

      • from my POV (bay area) the unemployed engineers _are_ quite good. they tend to be older and more expensive (and US born); all of which the companies do NOT want anymore.

        there's tons of talent out there waiting to be hired.

        problem is, companies are now 'broken' and spoiled by the greed of h1b servants. getting hired as an older US citizen is near impossible these days. ask me - I know this first-hand.

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          The older part is really the depressing thing: some of the best people I've ever been involved in hiring were in their 50's or 60's.

  • by decora (1710862) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @07:17AM (#43848713) Journal

    for referring my buddy dave.

    turns out dave was doing a shake-n-bake meth lab in the back of his pickup. one night it exploded right there in the parking lot. a huge fireball lit the sky. my next door neighbor, doreen, thought iit was jesus come back for the rapture.

    anyways. they wanted the $50 back. i said, i already spent it. i took the ex-inlaw's to the Golden Corral buffet, and at ten dollars a head, well, that money is clean gone.

    they said, damnit, that sumbitch dave blew a hole in the parking lot.

    i said no problem. i know a guy, ronnie earl, who works on the pothole truck for the city. ronnie knew how to get the hole fixed. he filed a pothole report but he used the name of his rich uncle as the report filer. his uncle, you see, owns 5 chevrolet dealerships and is the richest sumbitch this side of caw valley. (we used to call it squaw valley, until my brother bobby went and married that indian girl... it wouldnt be nice to call it that no more)

    anyways. when it comes to referrals, you better get yourself some kinda papers saying they cant get it back if you accidentally misjudge someone's character. like ol' shake-and-bake dave.

  • Stay away (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @07:42AM (#43848789)

    In my experience, they offer a large referral bonus when they have a bad reputation. The bonus is designed to bribe at least 1 person to say good things about them.

    • Maybe it could be a good approach for someone like me who has no reputation. It would be a fair price to pay for being able to stay off social media.

      • Usually places like that just engender distrust between employees, anger, resentment... a toxic place to work is just that. People there end up having bad things to say about you, and new employers know they have problems with people that they've hired from there in the past. Stay away imo. The good employers, the ones you want to work for, usually don't even have to put up want adds... they have so many pending applications all the time they never need to announce they are hiring. My companies somewhere in

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      In my experience, they offer a large referral bonus when they have a bad reputation. The bonus is designed to bribe at least 1 person to say good things about them.

      well

      another thing is, if you're buying services from them, they're at least 30 000$ per year overpriced.

  • by gatkinso (15975) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @07:45AM (#43848795)

    I worked for a place that had a great referral bonus (cough cough... BAE Systems... cough). Operation Eagle Eye they called it.

    Well I found a developer that fit all the criteria. Filled out the paper work, got him interviewed and hired.... then all of a sudden email went quiet on the issue. Repeated emails to HR went unanswered. So finally I went down there in person to ask about the referral bonus. We'll get back to you. I got back to them (in person). Excuses: oh this facility doesn't participate in that program (so I went into the hall and pulled the poster off the wall and showed it to the HR rep). Oh your hire doesn't fulfill the requirements (so I got the requirements off the intranet site and checked them off). Oh that's right we didn't end up hiring him (he sits in the office next to mine). Finally I subtlety hinted that I would quit.

    They then sent me half the advertised bonus... four months after I was supposed to get it... and withheld over half of it in taxes AND deducted my 401K percentage contribution from it (oh sorry that was an error by finance we can cut you a new check on 60 days).

    So. Beware if this crap.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867)

      You think that sucks, you should see what happened to the people your products were used on.

      • by Xest (935314)

        Have any of BAE systems products ever actually been used? I tended to think they were in the business of producing ships, planes and vehicles that don't actually have any relevance in the modern world and were mostly just for show and profit like the F35 that barely even flies, the dogfighting Eurofighter for all that air combat we don't have nowadays and the Type 45 destroyers that don't actually have any weapons yet.

        • Their missiles and drones do get used...but yeah those fighters and ships are all for the theoretical WW2-style WW3. A Eurofighter was used to escort down a plane recently.

        • by gatkinso (15975)

          Don't confuse BAE Systems Plc (UK) with BAE Systems Inc (US).

          While Inc is owned by Plc, they are in effect totally different companies.

      • by gatkinso (15975)

        Some got their picture taken from above, and some avoided IED's. Horrible, I know.

    • by Chelloveck (14643)

      Meanwhile, those of us working for reputable companies have had no trouble getting the referral bonuses for people we've recommended.

      Oh, wait... "inbound marketing company" Yeah, you may have a point.

    • by swillden (191260)

      They then sent me half the advertised bonus... four months after I was supposed to get it... and withheld over half of it in taxes AND deducted my 401K percentage contribution from it (oh sorry that was an error by finance we can cut you a new check on 60 days).

      Well, the rest of it is crap, as is giving you half the bonus, but the taxes are just reality and it's hard to see why the company would intentionally misdirect the cash to your 401K. It's not like they get any benefit from doing that.

      My experience at IBM was that I got paid promptly and in full -- though taxes took a big bite, much of which I got back on my tax return. I expect the same would be true of my current employer (Google), but I haven't yet managed to get a referral hired.

      • by gatkinso (15975)

        >>Well, the rest of it is crap, as is giving you half the bonus, but the taxes are just reality and it's hard to see why the company would intentionally misdirect the cash to your 401K. It's not like they get any benefit from doing that.

        1) they admitted they over withheld taxes, even taking into account additional withholding for bonus pay
        2) 401K is a stated coporate policy to not withhold that from bonus pay

        The upshot is that they wanted as little $ in my pocket as possible. While it sounds petty an

      • I expect the same would be true of my current employer (Google), but I haven't yet managed to get a referral hired.

        I'm sure there are plenty of people here that would love to help you out with that.

    • by Xest (935314)

      It's because it's one of those things that companies advertise but never actually plan on having to do in practice, so they have no process or procedure in place as to how to file in the accounts that you just gave someone $5k for a referral and admin staff being admin staff figure rather than deal what is to them a relatively complex problem compared to the simple word processing they normally do prefer to make up excuses as to why you can't have it.

      I've actually seem companies like this with other policie

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      I've never personally gotten a referral bonus, but I've been the reason someone else was supposed to get a bonus several times.

      In my experience, the bonuses have not been that large - $500 has been the 'standard' new-hire bonus. Twice it was with smaller companies, once with an international corp. The international corp paid out but the smaller companies, lacking HR processes, shorted or delayed the payouts.

      I've been shorted my "stay 6 months and get a bonus/raise" as well, even when it's been in writing. B

  • Funny thing is that most of the "all-star" developers I've worked with actually suck.
  • by bytesex (112972)

    You find three people in a year, and then you have to do nothing else?

  • Yet again, I get endless emails from lazy recruiters via LinkedIn begging me to refer my friends for their worthless jobs. Hey, how about you do your own job.
  • they may get some recruiter BS and or fake people / resume padding.

    Some recruiters do edit people resumes / pad them out.

  • Not so good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Larry_Dillon (20347) <dillon.larry@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @10:14AM (#43849773) Homepage

    I left a great job for a lousy one because of a former co-worker at the new place who was singing the new companies praises -- just to get the referral bonus.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.

Working...