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(Quartz)   After years of Yahoo running a "talent deficit" because they were unable to hire top recruits who seemed to prefer working for NON-doomed companies, Yahoo thinks they've found a solution: buy those companies up so the staff HAS to work for Yahoo   (qz.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo  
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727 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Mar 2014 at 12:56 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



32 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-05 01:02:55 PM  
Was that frames and obnoxious javascript  and bizzare piling of other articles into the same damned page as the one we're actually interested in?
 
2014-03-05 01:03:11 PM  
Whew, I was worried.
 
2014-03-05 01:05:52 PM  
You know, it's crazy enough that it just might work
 
2014-03-05 01:09:11 PM  

FourDirections: You know, it's crazy enough that it just might work


Till they get offers from headhunters and other companies and subsequently quit.
 
2014-03-05 01:11:05 PM  

ikanreed: Was that frames and obnoxious javascript  and bizzare piling of other articles into the same damned page as the one we're actually interested in?


Hosted by Yahoo (tm)
 
hej
2014-03-05 01:20:52 PM  
Said employees can just leave the companies Yahoo buys.
 
2014-03-05 01:28:05 PM  
Yahoo has always had top notch offerings in certain arenas(Finance and Sports/Fantasy have always been strong), and with it they've had talent in those divisions.  Stop trying to be a mix of Google and MSN and instead focus on what you're good at.
 
2014-03-05 01:36:02 PM  
Well, Yahoo banned Google+ and Facebook sign ins. So that will help kill their traffic. Good job.
 
2014-03-05 01:36:36 PM  

bhcompy: Yahoo has always had top notch offerings in certain arenas(Finance and Sports/Fantasy have always been strong), and with it they've had talent in those divisions.  Stop trying to be a mix of Google and MSN and instead focus on what you're good at.


Apparently, they're good at buying other companies.
 
2014-03-05 01:37:54 PM  
but don't offer them things they might want like WFH....
 
2014-03-05 01:39:55 PM  

FourDirections: You know, it's crazy enough that it just might work


It'll work.  For certain degrees of work

1) It'll cost millions per developer.
2) They'll have to have farking platinum handcuffs.  Amazon's giving out 6 figure signing bonuses and 70% of their workforce leaves in 3 years.
3) But they'll have some pretty good developers, and maybe some interesting products.
 
2014-03-05 01:53:00 PM  
I dismissed the article after reading the chart and seeing Wal-Mart has the #8 average base salary.
 
2014-03-05 01:59:05 PM  
Look, Yahoo, I'll work for you. Sure I'm totally unqualified and kind of lazy, but you can't afford to be picky. Hell, just put me in charge of Flickr or something.
 
2014-03-05 01:59:10 PM  

bestsportnascar: I dismissed the article after reading the chart and seeing Wal-Mart has the #8 average base salary.


For software engineers.  Lotta big data work there.
 
2014-03-05 02:14:14 PM  

nharrisphoto: Look, Yahoo, I'll work for you. Sure I'm totally unqualified and kind of lazy, but you can't afford to be picky. Hell, just put me in charge of Flickr or something.


I read that part of this "talent problem" is that they are too picky. they will leave positions unfilled rather than hire someone who didn't come out of one of the "right" schools.
 
2014-03-05 02:39:43 PM  
It works for Google.  Of course, people WANT to keep working for Google after their company is acquired.
 
2014-03-05 02:50:58 PM  
I was in a start-up that got purchased by a big company.  Everybody HATED the new owners and the carpetbaggers they sent down from Dayton to "manage" us.  It was a soul-crushing big business that cared more about risk avoidance than innovation and favored process over progress.  Not an environment suitable for the incredible technological leaps and bounds we had been making prior to the buy-out.

But there was a big-ass retention bonus.  So for the next couple of years you had roughly 200 people basically phoning it in.  By the time they realized they were bleeding talent and manufacturing apathy, it was too late, and now nobody remembers the company.

The point I'm trying to make here (and that Yahoo is completely missing) is that you can't BUY innovation and enthusiasm.  You can only inspire them.
 
2014-03-05 03:01:44 PM  
Yahoo should totally buy AOL.

A match made in hades.
 
2014-03-05 03:34:54 PM  

tlchwi02: but don't offer them things they might want like WFH....


The Friday afternoon meetings mentioned in the article seem far more egregious.
 
2014-03-05 03:37:16 PM  

nharrisphoto: Hell, just put me in charge of Flickr or something.


You're hired.  Now kill that lightboxed to hell Web2.0 'update' pretty please.  Even a few tabs of it brings a god damn Core i5 to it's knees.
 
2014-03-05 04:20:06 PM  

lordargent: bhcompy: Yahoo has always had top notch offerings in certain arenas(Finance and Sports/Fantasy have always been strong), and with it they've had talent in those divisions.  Stop trying to be a mix of Google and MSN and instead focus on what you're good at.

Apparently, they're good at buying other companies.


You need to review the $2 billion they paid for Broadcast.com deal that make Mark Cuban a billionaire.
 
2014-03-05 04:38:05 PM  

tillerman35: The point I'm trying to make here (and that Yahoo is completely missing) is that you can't BUY innovation and enthusiasm. You can only inspire them.


Well, you can buy a startup that's innovative and enthusiastic, and get the benefits from the work they do in exchange for the security of not worrying whether they'll make payroll this week.

Those qualities of innovation and enthusiasm aren't going to automatically spread from the acquired startup to the calcified and failing departments throughout the rest of your company though, and especially not if you impose your old and broken policies and practices on them.
 
2014-03-05 04:54:02 PM  

cgraves67: FourDirections: You know, it's crazy enough that it just might work

Till they get offers from headhunters and other companies and subsequently quit.


Mid project, with crap documentation.
 
2014-03-05 04:57:58 PM  
Yahoo can't fill positions because they have unreasonable hiring criteria.  Basically, you need to have an advanced degree from a "top" university.

They call me every few months.  I always give them the same answer, "you don't have that much money."
 
2014-03-05 05:47:28 PM  
It makes no sense to me.

If you can't convince these people to work for you (and I'm pretty sure you could lure them to a meeting to discuss it with a promise of hookers and blow for turning up), what makes you think they're going to stay when you've forced them to work for you?
 
2014-03-05 06:00:01 PM  

farkeruk: It makes no sense to me.

If you can't convince these people to work for you (and I'm pretty sure you could lure them to a meeting to discuss it with a promise of hookers and blow for turning up), what makes you think they're going to stay when you've forced them to work for you?


Golden handcuffs.

Sell the company for a couple million, and hand each of the employees 50-200K.  Make that couple hundred thou vest over 3-4 years, and then each year, hand them a bonus in stock that also vests over a 3-4 years.

In short, at any given time, a reasonably well-compensated employee is tied to the company by between 1 and 5 hundred thousand dollars of unvested stock (if the stock price stays steady of course).  Even after CA capital gains taxes, that's still a quarter of a townhouse.

While leaving CAN be worth it (Among other things, there's the next guy's signing bonus), it's a significant drop in expected lifetime income.

/Of course, they'll only work hard enough not to get fired, but.
 
2014-03-05 06:37:13 PM  
But their CEO is pretty! And a single mom! Isn't that enough?
 
2014-03-05 06:47:45 PM  

OgreMagi: Yahoo can't fill positions because they have unreasonable hiring criteria. Basically, you need to have an advanced degree from a "top" university.


Sounds like one of those "It worked for Google when it was a fast-growing company, so it must be appropriate for Yahoo as it enters its third decade" policies that Mayer brought over without thinking it through.

If you think everyone on the engineering team for Yahoo Fantasy Sportsball needs to have a MS in Computer Science, you're not going to find the talent you need.
 
2014-03-05 08:06:40 PM  

poot_rootbeer: If you think everyone on the engineering team for Yahoo Fantasy Sportsball needs to have a MS in Computer Science, you're not going to find the talent you need.


and this...

In my experience, you always need 1 hardcore technical developer in a team - someone who can do crazy shiat or get to the bottom of really tricky bugs. But outside of that, you really need a bunch of level-headed team workers with good skills that work together and a good manager.
 
2014-03-05 09:16:57 PM  

poot_rootbeer: OgreMagi: Yahoo can't fill positions because they have unreasonable hiring criteria. Basically, you need to have an advanced degree from a "top" university.

Sounds like one of those "It worked for Google when it was a fast-growing company, so it must be appropriate for Yahoo as it enters its third decade" policies that Mayer brought over without thinking it through.

If you think everyone on the engineering team for Yahoo Fantasy Sportsball needs to have a MS in Computer Science, you're not going to find the talent you need.


It didn't even really work at Google.  A friend of mine was a sales manager there and was perpetually pissed off for about 3 years under that policy because he wasn't allowed to hire anyone who would be a decent front line sales person.  A 4.0 from Stanford or MIT is nice and all, but that person probably sucks at selling ads.

They've relaxed those requirements for a while though and coincidentally their revenue took off like a rocket.
 
2014-03-05 09:30:40 PM  

quizzical: It works for Google.  Of course, people WANT to keep working for Google after their company is acquired.


I've never understood why someone would want to work for a company that does everything it can think, to make you work longer hours: free cafeteria/food, free bus rides home with wifi, nap pods, couches... feels like home, right?  Why not just live there and work 22 hours a day?
 
2014-03-05 11:31:24 PM  

poot_rootbeer: OgreMagi: Yahoo can't fill positions because they have unreasonable hiring criteria. Basically, you need to have an advanced degree from a "top" university.

Sounds like one of those "It worked for Google when it was a fast-growing company, so it must be appropriate for Yahoo as it enters its third decade" policies that Mayer brought over without thinking it through.

If you think everyone on the engineering team for Yahoo Fantasy Sportsball needs to have a MS in Computer Science, you're not going to find the talent you need.


The woman who put their hiring policies in place was the one who did it for Google, so no surprise there.  Note, I used to work for Google.
 
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