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Just received this out of the blue from a recruiter - a number of things stand out to me:


  • Hard working - with a stay until the job in done mentality
  • Thrive on the pressure of tight weekly development deadlines
  • Good attention to detail to ensure bug free development
  • Ability to test all development work from user's perpective
  • Ability to think like a user as well as a developer
  • Good communication skills to understand new funcationality and bugs
  • Flexibility to contribute outside main responsbilities when needed.


  • Salary dependant on skills
  • Contributary Pension with 4% contribution from employer (after 1 year of service)
  • Private Healthcase (after 1 year of service) 20 days holiday + 3-4 days holiday between Christmas and New year - 1 day extra holiday available each quarter you don't have a day off sick (and an additional day if you are not off sick for the whole year ).

Would you want to work here? From what I can see they want a work-a-holic who will crawl out of his death bed in order to not lose holiday entitlement.


I've replied to the recruiter with the following message - hope it somehow gets to the company:

Thanks for sending me over the job description, however I don't believe you will get many favourable replies for this position. Please see here to find out why: What do you think of the following job specification?.

I would recommend returning to the client to discuss their expectations.

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closed as too localized by Mark Trapp Oct 1 '11 at 1:04

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b They should add ability to bounce, useful when you hit the wall. –  Amir Rezaei Jan 13 '11 at 11:46
@sbi: two weeks of vacation, plus statutory holidays, is pretty standard in North America (to start). It usually ramps up to four or five weeks over a 25 year time period (third week typically comes at 5 years). So actually, this sounds like a lot of vacation to me. –  Scott Whitlock Jan 13 '11 at 12:16
@sbi - it sounds like a UK firm. 4 weeks holiday (without the sick requirements!), plus the pension details are quite common. –  ChrisF Jan 13 '11 at 12:19
@ChristF - I can confirm its a position near Warrington - UK –  billy.bob Jan 13 '11 at 12:21
@ChristF: Oh boy, what a brainfart of mine. –  sbi Jan 13 '11 at 16:56
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7 Answers

Seems like their view on the life/work balance is broken.

Hard working - with a stay until the job in done mentality Thrive on the pressure of tight weekly development deadlines

Sound like a lot of things go wrong and unexpected, on a regular basis. Could indicate their work process is not polished. Undermanned, sudden bugs reported by users don't find enough hands, probably issues with requirements communication.

Good communication skills to understand new functionality and bugs

Will have to deal with customers and play the role of the customer service, which is known do disrupt work and drive developers mad.

Flexibility to contribute outside main responsibilities when needed.

Again, extra work hours and spit on the private life.

Salary dependent on skills

Will pay low, which is second-proven by their strange attitude to holidays.

Bottom line is, likely a stressful bureaucratic environment with not attractive compensation package. You may want to check things out but be warned.

P.S. Say thank you to their HR for this warning.

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yes from my personal experience i would certainly agree that things goes wrong on the regular basis –  maz3tt Jan 13 '11 at 13:02
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  • [must] stay until the job is done
  • tight weekly development deadlines

Those are things that can happen because of bad circumstances, but no place I'd like to work for accepts this kind of pressure as their normal way of working.

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Would you want to work here?

I doubt. That's pretty much "We want someone who has no life outside work and doesn't care about his/her health."

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job in done




Aside from the already mentioned more serious concerns, the fact that their HR can't be bothered to proofread a job description certainly doesn't earn them any points.

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Funcationality did bother me. –  Carra Jan 13 '11 at 16:18
Perhaps it was a portmanteau of fun and vacation, referring to their official view of having to live at work for the position. –  John Straka Jan 13 '11 at 16:23
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Any kind of incentive not to take sick leave seems medically irresponsible to me. I always ask myself: "Do I really want to work for someone who basically encourages their staff to neglect (if not outright endanger) their health?"

Between that and the allusion to a high-pressure workaholic environment, this smells.

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Yup - sure does smell. I'm tempted to apply just to have a discussion about their views in the interview –  billy.bob Jan 13 '11 at 11:44
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Their "incentive" for not being sick could actually be counter productive.

Most people do struggle into work with colds etc. but if it gets bad will usually take a day off to recover a little bit quicker. Under this arrangement people would be tempted to struggle into work when that day off would really help. Their benefit - a day off later in the year. So either the company "loses" you for a day anyway or you end up being off sick for longer and/or spreading the cold around the office.

Plus people don't work at their best when they're under the weather either so you won't be doing your best work anyway.

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Get a camp bed for your office and cancel your apartment.

I think you'll work there 'til your first burnout and then quit.

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