SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

 
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benisci
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March 10th, 2011, 2:13 pm

A recruiter told me this; when I resign, I better not mention where I am going. Even though I'm asked, tell them I'd like to keep it confidential until after I move. I'm moving within the industry but from sellside to buyside. I understand his intention to minimize possible hassle, but it feels awkward to do so, and wonder if this is usual. Any thoughts?
Last edited by benisci on March 9th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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AbhiJ
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March 10th, 2011, 2:45 pm

What do you gain by telling your current employer. Infact it is considered bad manners if one pesters you to declare your new firm.
 
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bearish
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March 10th, 2011, 5:14 pm

There are plenty of reasons to try to maintain good relationships with former colleagues and managers as you are leaving a firm (it is a small industry) and telling select people where you are going will usually make a departure less awkward. Your headhunter worries that you can be more easily talked out of leaving if you let your boss know where you are going (and how much they will pay you, what title they will give you, etc.), since it is much easier to craft a counteroffer and related sales pitch in this case than if you are merely leaving "to pursue better opportunities elsewhere". In the same spirit, headhunters have also been known to recommend resigning via email or voice mail...
 
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quantmeh
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March 10th, 2011, 5:28 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: benisciit feels awkward to do so, and wonder if this is usual. Any thoughts?it's normal
 
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rmax
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March 11th, 2011, 9:55 am

The only possible reason not to tell someone is because there is some clause in your contract saying that you can't work for the competitor. Why not tell? I agree with Bearish - keep everyone sweet, you never know when you might need someone in the future (either them hiring you, or you need to hire them).
 
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finanzmaster
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March 11th, 2011, 12:29 pm

it depends. If you are sure that your current employer will adequately accept the fact that you go, then why not to tell.If your are in doubt - then do not tell. I know some cases (from Russia though), as former employer called to the new one and slandered people who changed the job.
 
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Hansi
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March 11th, 2011, 1:01 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: finanzmasterI know some cases (from Russia though), as former employer called to the new one and slandered people who changed the job.I doubt anyone in the US or UK would bother with something like that because it opens either themselves or the employer to being liable for libel and the legal costs definitely aren't worth it just because someone is upset about an employee leaving. Maybe if the respective managers knew each other personally it would be shared in a pub but not via phone where they may be recorded. The person on the receiving might also deciding to tell the employee and become a witness in the libel case.
 
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rmax
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March 14th, 2011, 8:30 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: HansiQuoteOriginally posted by: finanzmasterI know some cases (from Russia though), as former employer called to the new one and slandered people who changed the job.I doubt anyone in the US or UK would bother with something like that because it opens either themselves or the employer to being liable for libel and the legal costs definitely aren't worth it just because someone is upset about an employee leaving. Maybe if the respective managers knew each other personally it would be shared in a pub but not via phone where they may be recorded. The person on the receiving might also deciding to tell the employee and become a witness in the libel case.Banking yes. Academia I am sorry to say no.
 
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DominicConnor
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March 14th, 2011, 2:27 pm

A recruiter told me this; when I resign, I better not mention where I am goingYes, that is good advice, it's what I tell people. Occasionally your ex-employer may decide this is bad and try to cause your grief, sometimes they succeed.Odds are the you are going to a competitor and it may be that this particular competitor is one they care about. There is no upside to balance this potential downside.Bearish says:There are plenty of reasons to try to maintain good relationships with former colleagues and managers as you are leaving a firm (it is a small industry) Absolutely agree, that doesn't mean you need to share everything.Your headhunter worries that you can be more easily talked out of leaving if you let your boss know where you are going (and how much they will pay you, what title they will give you, etc.Yes, a bit, but less than you might think..They may try bad-mouthing your next employer, but any smart person applies a heavy discount to that sort of disinformation.The money thing is independent of where you are going, if they are going to try a buy back then they only care about the cash you're being offered.But following my standard policy of openness, the thing a HH might care most about is lifting your colleagues. If you are unhappy with your current situation, good chance that your friends are unhappy as well.It's also often the case that there is causality in moves, they guy next to you quits, presumably to a better job and that causes you to start thinking about whether that might be right for you as well.A HH may want to do multiple raids on the same group, and will want to be the intermediary in their moves, so wants the information flow to be directional.In the same spirit, headhunters have also been known to recommend resigning via email or voice mail... I've heard of that, which is not just impolite, it's dumb. It can turn a graceful departure into the sort of spiteful hassle that sucks up time and causes hassle.
 
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quantmeh
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March 14th, 2011, 2:40 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: DominicConnorIn the same spirit, headhunters have also been known to recommend resigning via email or voice mail... I've heard of that, which is not just impolite, it's dumb. It can turn a graceful departure into the sort of spiteful hassle that sucks up time and causes hassle.I do the compromise: i send an email with BCC to my private email, and immediately walk into manager's office. this way he hears the news from me before getting an email.the reason for doing this? once i worked for one shitty company briefly. the south asian management was so f..ked up that it was obvious, they would do something idiotic. and they didn't disappoint. after i gave them my resignation letter, they tried to fire me. i almost fall from chair laughing out loud. how can you fire someone who's resigning?! well, there are a....holes who'd try. they were used to deal with H1B folks, and didn't know that this shit doesnt fly with legal residents
 
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Costeanu
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March 14th, 2011, 3:21 pm

That's a nice war story Quantmeh. Thanks for sharing.
 
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DominicConnor
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March 16th, 2011, 12:32 pm

Quantmeh is right, firing someone who is quitting is not just an asshole response, it is stupidly self destructive.If you quit your job, then the set of legal issues between you and your ex-employer are quite different.For instance, many countries have laws about wrongful dismissal, you don't get 'wrongful resgination', so by firing you, they potentially allow you to sue them for firing you wrongfullyIf you are fortunate enough to be black, female, moslem, jewish, russian, gay (or even all of those) then being fired for no good reason potentially gives you a good case, especially since they would have to demonstrate why they fired you in a way that was in no way discriminatory. Ever wonder why my firm has a relationship with some reassuringly expensive lawyers ? How do you think they pay for their BMWs. Last time I visited the RELs their shiny new office looked down on the Goldman's offices and the quality of wine I was fed was superior to the last wine I got from GS. Someone is paying for this, and it ain't me, it's assholes.There's some crap about accrued bonus as well, that's technically tricky stuff, but if they manage to fire you in the wrong way, instead of you walking away from your bonus, you may have a claim for the bonus built up for the part of the year you've worked.Also how you exit affects your obligations towards you ex-employer, that's vastly more complex than a) I understand, b) I can put in a few lines, but the short version is that firing someone is more likely to make the employer's position weaker.Thus it should shock no one here that some firms try moderately hard to encourage some staff to resign, since it can be less painful, nor is it unintuitive that lawyers of my acquaintance have been engaged merely to carry out the act of firing a particular individual, just so it is done with the greatest possible care and skill.Also, no rational person in any bank anywhere wants to be dragged down through the bottomless pool of shit that is a contentious / discriminatory employment case.It will suck your your time, and it's rare that anyone ever walks away clean, can you imagine what it does to your reputation in the bank that you've been accused in court of racism or sexual misconduct, even if you win ?Thus if you're a manager reading this (or want to be one when you grow up) you call HR right now if you're getting rid of someone. In most cases they're pretty good at this stuff, and even when they are not, your position within the firm gains protection from being seen to follow process. The have both training and the phone number of the right sort of lawyer. Imagine how good your HR person is at dynamic hedging, that is how good you are at HR.On top of all that crap, a graceful exit with handover is better for everyone, than a hole randomly appearing in the work being done.Of course as Quantmeh shows so elegantly, just because they would have to be both dumb and an asshole doesn't mean it can't happen.
 
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quantmeh
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March 16th, 2011, 1:24 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: DominicConnorOf course as Quantmeh shows so elegantly, just because they would have to be both dumb and an asshole doesn't mean it can't happen.this particular shop was quite unique in its office environment, i must admit, but unfortunately, this happens not rare enough to ignore the probability. in this case, i just said 'you have to discuss it with my attorney', and they backed down immediately. in US rational employers want to stay in good terms with the labor department. it can easily cut their H1B supply, upon which the employers depend.
 
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MiloRambaldi
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June 12th, 2011, 1:05 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: rmaxQuoteOriginally posted by: HansiQuoteOriginally posted by: finanzmasterI know some cases (from Russia though), as former employer called to the new one and slandered people who changed the job.I doubt anyone in the US or UK would bother with something like that because it opens either themselves or the employer to being liable for libel and the legal costs definitely aren't worth it just because someone is upset about an employee leaving. Maybe if the respective managers knew each other personally it would be shared in a pub but not via phone where they may be recorded. The person on the receiving might also deciding to tell the employee and become a witness in the libel case.Banking yes. Academia I am sorry to say no.Exactly. I don't like holding out on my colleagues, but my academic experience makes me appreciate the potential downside.
 
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DominicConnor
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June 13th, 2011, 10:08 am

The tales I get from first hand combattants in academic politics are on average far more vicious than in banking, so I agree with Milo.So much so that I see being head of HR at a university as far tougher than at any bank since the same laws apply to them but they have less money to deal with issues, and worse they have some lawyers in the faculty.That means that the warring factions have access to legal advice that varies in quality from crap at one end to talking to the guy who wrote the main textbook on that bit of employment law.It is typically worse to deal with someone who has crap legal representation.A good lawyer will know on which issues to fight, where to negotiate, and when they have a clear and crushing case. The last is rarer than you might think in "human" cases and what a rational employer wants it so deal with rational people. Over excited people who've been told by their lawyers they've got a better case than they really have just soak up expensive time.Also of course people lie to their lawyers. A good lawyer has skills in getting their client to say what really happened, but because people know that certain things look bad, they "forget" or "spin" the facts because they believe it will help their case (usually it doesn't) or they feel embarrassed.
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