Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hiring Round 3

I can't freakin' believe it! You may recall my sagas about finding a new Database Administrator (here and here). Well, it's happened again.

We interviewed about 20 canidates for the open DBA position and narrowed the choice down to two very qualified candidates. Each had their own strengths and weaknesses. It was a difficult choice, but we finally chose one over the other and offered NewDBA2 the position. NewDBA2 thought about it for about an hour before he called us back to accept the position. A start date was scheduled for two weeks from the next Monday. As recently as yesterday, NewDBA2 contacted the recruiter and reiterated his excitement for the new position. In fact, they decided to go to lunch today to celebrate.

Then I got the call. NewDBA2 is sorry to say that he has been offered another position and can't start on Monday. Yes, Monday, three days away.

That's twice in a row. I had two people commit to a job and at the last minute they backed out. Personally, if I don't like something about the job, I just don't take it. Sigh, back to the recruiters.

13 comments:

adewri said...

How about calling up the other guy and asking if he would be intrested?

Peter K said...

Have you thought about talking to the candidate and even the recruiter to see what's up?

Maybe, the offering is not that great compared to the marketplace?

Don't know about you but Vancouver's IT community is pretty small (even smaller for Oracle folks) so even if the candidate accepted your offer and then back off to accept another, word will get around and the next time this candidate goes looking, s/he will find it a little more difficult.

Tim... said...

Bad news!

Apart from the morality of it, every permanent and contract job I've taken has required me to sign a contract of employment agreeing to a start date. As I result I never commit to a job unless I know I'm going to do it or I could find myself in court.

I suppose the positive note to come out of this is that demand for skilled Oracle staff still outweighs the people available, hence your problem.

Good luck with NewDBA3 :)

Cheers

Tim...

peter said...

hi there,

it's strange it happends to us 2 times in a row as well, we have been looking for PHP/sql coder, we had some interviews choosed competent guy... and then he called us 2weeks before start that he is sorry... twice in a half year!

Jeff Hunter said...

adewri said...
How about calling up the other guy and asking if he would be intrested?

Thought about that, but some things transpired afterwards that don't make it a good match.

Peter K said...
Have you thought about talking to the candidate and even the recruiter to see what's up?

Yeah, we did. Both candidates said they were impressed with the company and were very pleased with the compensation. Both had very valid reasons for taking the other job. One thing about my company is it's not a 9-5 job. You are responsible to the project. If that means you work some weekends, you do it. If that means staying until 10 at night, you do it. You are handsomely rewarded, but you do it. I think that scares some people off.

tim... said...
Apart from the morality of it, every permanent and contract job I've taken has required me to sign a contract of employment agreeing to a start date. As I result I never commit to a job unless I know I'm going to do it or I could find myself in court.

We've never done that. We tend to take people on their word that this is what they want when the accept the job. Maybe it will come down to this, though...

Michael Dinh said...

As far as I know, all employments (for me at least) have been at will. Meaning that the employer can boot me at any time and I can leave at any time.

My belief is, "Be loyal to people and not to company."

Peter K said...

jeff hunter said...One thing about my company is it's not a 9-5 job.

Sounds like candidates are looking for a 9-5 job instead but accepted the offer because nothing else with better hours was available until later. Then in the interviews, I would emphasize that fact so that the candidates know that if they are expecting a 9-5 job, then this is not for them. It's pretty bad (for them) to understand, accept and then back off (citing that as a reason if that is the case).

tim... said...
Apart from the morality of it, every permanent and contract job I've taken has required me to sign a contract of employment agreeing to a start date. As I result I never commit to a job unless I know

I think it depends on the company and situation. Unless it has an severe impact on the organization enough to warrant going to court, there is no point as in Canada, everyone has a right to choose where they wish to work.

Jeff Hunter said...

Peter K said...
Sounds like candidates are looking for a 9-5 job instead but accepted the offer because nothing else with better hours was available until later. Then in the interviews, I would emphasize that fact so that the candidates know that if they are expecting a 9-5 job, then this is not for them.

Oh, I do. I make sure they know that right up front. I let them know they will be on-duty for a week every three weeks. I let them know there will be Saturday work sometimes. I let them know right up front what they are in for. Maybe I should be less up front...

Robert Vollman said...

It's not as uncommon as you think. When people look for work, they generally have several leads. They accept the best offer, but if something even better comes along, they go for it. I've had programmers leave even after they started.

Tarry said...

True and when they do get a kinda definitive(like what they got at your place), they go and playhard ball at the other "committed" site. I guess he offered a couple of grand more.

Anonymous said...

"Meaning that the employer can boot me at any time and I can leave at any time."

At least that's fair each side.
I've got a friend who was offered a job recently. He resigned the one he was in, was working out his notice and then the job offer was withdrawn [project cancelled]. He was lucky enough to get another offer pretty quick.

"every .. job I've taken has required me to sign a contract of employment agreeing to a start date."
I expect that as well. Once I've got a written commitment of the job offer I'll stop job-hunting.

OracleDoc said...

Jeff,
My point of view of a DBA...
The job of a DBA is 24/7 and better have his electronic dog leash (cell phone) surgically attached to his/her body.
The DBA is directly responsible for the companies database. I've said it a hundred of times and I'll say it again. We as DBA's have the power to bankrupt a company. Being a DBA is one huge responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly.

The health and performance of the database should be a direct reflection of you (as the DBA), if it's messed up you're messed up.

There's nothing more frightening than having a database down costing the company hundred of thousands of dollars for every hour it's down, and there’s nothing more satisfying than the instant gratification and knowing you've made someone’s day by making things run smoother and faster, or the look on your bosses face when you take a process that use to run for 12 hours down to 5 minutes (that one kills me).

As a consultant, you should be all about making the customer ecstatic. As an employee, you should be all about making the users job easier.

With the above attitude, you can do no wrong and whatever company you work for, will do everything they can to keep you there and happy.

Peter K said...

anonymous said...I've got a friend who was offered a job recently. He resigned the one he was in, was working out his notice and then the job offer was withdrawn [project cancelled]. He was lucky enough to get another offer pretty quick.

Hey, I had to do that once (hope it wasn't your friend ;D). Was at a dot bomb and we were hiring developers left, right and center and was interviewing and making offers all over as we needed to get our products ready for the big due dilligence.

Unfortunately after making several offers, the company found that they could not make payroll so I was forced to phone folks who had offers outstanding to let them know that we are withdrawing the offers. Unfortunately one of them had given his notice and you should have seen me going "Oh no" but luckily his company wanted him to stay and counter-offer by giving him more money and responsibility. Phew, one of the worse things that I had to do.