Another Housing Market Crash Looming?

LuketheDog

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that is hilarious. You have to wonder why companies don’t want to post target salary ranges. You would think the job pays what it pays. Studies have shown transparency in pay has huge benefits in employee retention and satisfaction with pay. But it has never really gained traction.
I'm guessing it's because a lot of people are still so guarded about sharing that kind of information. As far as I'm aware, it is illegal just about anywhere to limit employees sharing their salary information. Yet it's still not common practice to do so. If individuals aren't really pushing to make it common practice, and aren't willing to be transparent themselves, it won't likely ever really gain traction. Too many people, and companies, would rather wheel and deal to save a buck or deal than deal with the core problems like employee retention and morale.

Dunno, I worked as a project manager/owners rep at an engineering&design firm when I first moved here, the pay scale was fairly transparent and largely based on time spent at the company. It was very frustrating to most new employees to find out there were a bunch of slackers making way more money than us just because they'd been there longer. As a product, retention rate was pretty low for new hires.
 

ajricketts

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Dunno, I worked as a project manager/owners rep at an engineering&design firm when I first moved here, the pay scale was fairly transparent and largely based on time spent at the company. It was very frustrating to most new employees to find out there were a bunch of slackers making way more money than us just because they'd been there longer. As a product, retention rate was pretty low for new hires.
That's pretty similar to JetBlue where my dad works. So much of the pay is simply based on how long you've been with the company that it's pretty easy to figure out what other people are earning. It certainly frustrates him at times because there is so little adjustment for the value of work provided by individual employees.
 

TOGIE

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Dunno, I worked as a project manager/owners rep at an engineering&design firm when I first moved here, the pay scale was fairly transparent and largely based on time spent at the company. It was very frustrating to most new employees to find out there were a bunch of slackers making way more money than us just because they'd been there longer. As a product, retention rate was pretty low for new hires.

my first post college salaried job was at a consulting engineering firm....

i knew in my offer letter that it was only going to be a stepping stone job. five days of accrued vacation a year as a newbie? the number of days i sat alone in the office around the holidays because everyone had a bunch of vacatio except me... not to mention all of our CLIENTS were off too.

i took the job, worked hard and learned as much as i could, but i was applying for jobs within 6 months.

i honestly haven't come across many consulting engineering firms where the retention is good. for countless reasons.

i can't help but think the old school style and structure of consulting is on the road to extinction in the modern workforce. maybe that's just me.
 
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SAJ-99

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I'm guessing it's because a lot of people are still so guarded about sharing that kind of information. As far as I'm aware, it is illegal just about anywhere to limit employees sharing their salary information. Yet it's still not common practice to do so. If individuals aren't really pushing to make it common practice, and aren't willing to be transparent themselves, it won't likely ever really gain traction. Too many people, and companies, would rather wheel and deal to save a buck or deal than deal with the core problems like employee retention and morale.
Agree. Just interesting to think of why. Sharing that information is not illegal by statute. It is illegal because they make you sign the employment agreement that says you won't disclose. They do that so the information doesn't get out and they can low ball the next potential hire. In a twist of irony, eventually they get sued for not paying females or minorities as much as males for the same job.
 

LuketheDog

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my first post college salaried job was at a consulting engineering firm....

i knew in my offer letter that it was only going to be a stepping stone job. five days of accrued vacation a year as a newbie? the number of days i sat alone in the office around the holidays because everyone had a bunch of vacatio except me... not to mention all of our CLIENTS were off too.

i took the job, worked hard and learned as much as i could, but i was applying for jobs within 6 months.

i honestly haven't come across many consulting engineering firms where the retention is good. for countless reasons.

i can't help but think the old school style and structure of consulting is on the road to extinction in the modern workforce. maybe that's just me.

Yeah, i think it's a common situation in that industry. My first year I burned all 8 of my PTO days to get married and go on my honeymoon, I lasted 2 years there. I don't think that's because it's on the way out though, I believe it's just caused by the way your stereotypical engineer/company owner thinks, straight line correlation for time employed vs. salary, vacation, bonuses, etc.

The younger workforce seems to be for more transient than previous generations too. They are more impulsive, if they get slightly uncomfortable they just move on and find something else, it correlates to the article posted above about homebuyer remorse in the current market. I went back to real estate after my engineering job and worked largely with younger and first-time buyers, they mostly had new jobs and wanted Pinterest houses but didn't want to earn sweat equity. In my opinion a workforce more willing to change jobs and less willing to own or improve a home will contribute to more nutty market fluctuations in the future.
 

SAJ-99

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Dunno, I worked as a project manager/owners rep at an engineering&design firm when I first moved here, the pay scale was fairly transparent and largely based on time spent at the company. It was very frustrating to most new employees to find out there were a bunch of slackers making way more money than us just because they'd been there longer. As a product, retention rate was pretty low for new hires.
Many companies have pay escalation formulas based on years of service, especially union but also in corporate space. In some ways it makes sense. You hire someone new at a certain wage and make them prove they are not a slacker, rather than pay them like they practically invented the job. The key is to be able to objectively determine the productivity of each worker. That way the boss can tell Rick his raise is 2% and Mary's is 5% because he is not as productive and she excels. He may leave, but should they care if he was less productive? Maybe he can convince the next employer that he is a superstar, but that will only last so long. The main problem is instead of Rick trying to up his game, he gets his arse hurt and treats Mary poorly. Then the employer can get rid of him anyway, which should be the company goal.

Also, I have never, in any job, met a slacker that didn't think they were a superstar.
 

nick87

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Many companies have pay escalation formulas based on years of service, especially union but also in corporate space. In some ways it makes sense. You hire someone new at a certain wage and make them prove they are not a slacker, rather than pay them like they practically invented the job. The key is to be able to objectively determine the productivity of each worker. That way the boss can tell Rick his raise is 2% and Mary's is 5% because he is not as productive and she excels. He may leave, but should they care if he was less productive? Maybe he can convince the next employer that he is a superstar, but that will only last so long. The main problem is instead of Rick trying to up his game, he gets his arse hurt and treats Mary poorly. Then the employer can get rid of him anyway, which should be the company goal.

Also, I have never, in any job, met a slacker that didn't think they were a superstar.
Was on a job with a guy once who was a superintendent for a different company he was telling one of his guys. "You can be dumb or lazy but you cant be both"
 

TOGIE

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Yeah, i think it's a common situation in that industry. My first year I burned all 8 of my PTO days to get married and go on my honeymoon, I lasted 2 years there. I don't think that's because it's on the way out though, I believe it's just caused by the way your stereotypical engineer/company owner thinks, straight line correlation for time employed vs. salary, vacation, bonuses, etc.

The younger workforce seems to be for more transient than previous generations too. They are more impulsive, if they get slightly uncomfortable they just move on and find something else, it correlates to the article posted above about homebuyer remorse in the current market. I went back to real estate after my engineering job and worked largely with younger and first-time buyers, they mostly had new jobs and wanted Pinterest houses but didn't want to earn sweat equity. In my opinion a workforce more willing to change jobs and less willing to own or improve a home will contribute to more nutty market fluctuations in the future.

the sweat equity thing is a back and forth for me. from financial perspective it's great, and i wouldn't mind having like an unfinished basement or something to do some sweat equity work on with my dad or something.

i am a millennial. but, we are having a house built right now, our first house, which is crazy for us, we're lucky, never would've thought we could pull that off. that's not the point though, the point is i couldn't be more excited to not have to deal with a house that needs a ton of work. that was one my big aspirations and hopes in buying a house, to not have to just spend our entire first year (or five) there fixing things up.

i think it's two things for me: 1) i'm not the most handy person in the world and 2) i generally value my time more than i value my money
 

LuketheDog

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the sweat equity thing is a back and forth for me. from financial perspective it's great, and i wouldn't mind having like an unfinished basement or something to do some sweat equity work on with my dad or something.

i am a millennial. but, we are having a house built right now, our first house, which is crazy for us, we're lucky, never would've thought we could pull that off. that's not the point though, the point is i couldn't be more excited to not have to deal with a house that needs a ton of work. that was one my big aspirations and hopes in buying a house, to not have to just spend our entire first year (or five) there fixing things up.

i think it's two things for me: 1) i'm not the most handy person in the world and 2) i generally value my time more than i value my money

Who's building your house? Is it a custom builder or a developer? I'm just curious, you can PM me if you want...
 

neffa3

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my first post college salaried job was at a consulting engineering firm....

i knew in my offer letter that it was only going to be a stepping stone job. five days of accrued vacation a year as a newbie? the number of days i sat alone in the office around the holidays because everyone had a bunch of vacatio except me... not to mention all of our CLIENTS were off too.

i took the job, worked hard and learned as much as i could, but i was applying for jobs within 6 months.

i honestly haven't come across many consulting engineering firms where the retention is good. for countless reasons.

i can't help but think the old school style and structure of consulting is on the road to extinction in the modern workforce. maybe that's just me.
I think you experience isn't reflective the the broader industry. I work for a private consulting engineering firm. This is my 15th year. At our office (1 of 6 in the company) with anywhere between 17-25 employees in a given year (120 company wide), I've only known one person to leave on their own accord for another job. While I agree that the benefits sucked as a new employee, it's also the only way into the company, we don't hire 40 yr old employees. You start, and if you last, your compensation will come. Especially compared to the public sector comps. I think our company does a couple things well, 1) pays hourly (allows noobs to work lots of OT before they have kids and can make bank) 2) fire crappy employees. The latter seems to be my biggest issue with the public sector, judging my the incompetence of most of our clients (muni's).
 

Nameless Range

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the sweat equity thing is a back and forth for me. from financial perspective it's great, and i wouldn't mind having like an unfinished basement or something to do some sweat equity work on with my dad or something.

i am a millennial. but, we are having a house built right now, our first house, which is crazy for us, we're lucky, never would've thought we could pull that off. that's not the point though, the point is i couldn't be more excited to not have to deal with a house that needs a ton of work. that was one my big aspirations and hopes in buying a house, to not have to just spend our entire first year (or five) there fixing things up.

i think it's two things for me: 1) i'm not the most handy person in the world and 2) i generally value my time more than i value my money

Though I trade hours of my life for money, I largely agree with the bolded sentiment. I am an old millenial. Had a house built 8 years ago and saved a bunch of money via sweat equity ( did the floors, tile, painting, fireplace, unfinished basement). This was out of necessity, because I didn't have the money to begin with, but if I ever build a house again, as long as I have the money, I'm not doing any of that stuff. Over the last decade I've slowly built two bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement, but outside of winter's 3 months, nothing seems like a bigger waste of time and puts me in a worse mood than home improvement. Ya don't even get a participation trophy when it's over.
 

TOGIE

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I think you experience isn't reflective the the broader industry. I work for a private consulting engineering firm. This is my 15th year. At our office (1 of 6 in the company) with anywhere between 17-25 employees in a given year (120 company wide), I've only known one person to leave on their own accord for another job. While I agree that the benefits sucked as a new employee, it's also the only way into the company, we don't hire 40 yr old employees. You start, and if you last, your compensation will come. Especially compared to the public sector comps. I think our company does a couple things well, 1) pays hourly (allows noobs to work lots of OT before they have kids and can make bank) 2) fire crappy employees. The latter seems to be my biggest issue with the public sector, judging my the incompetence of most of our clients (muni's).

i agree, it was probably not generally not reflective of the entire industry

and it was certainly more than the salary or the vacation that compelled me to leave (actually the salary was not really a problem for me at the time). there many things that bothered me about the company. but one of the bigger things was at that company i was just turning into an AutoCAD and GIS robot and i wanted to work in water rights, which my company mostly subbed out when that stuff came up.

that said, when i did leave, i took a water rights administration position with the state of colorado that was also entry level and the salary was like 10 grand more than my private consulting gig when i left after being there 1.5 years - that suprised my manager when he asked and i told him my new salary upon leaving, made me smile a little
 

TN2shot07

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I think TOGIE’s post above sums it up pretty well. I also fall in the millennial category and while it did hurt a little bit I was happy to step up my housing budget to avoid living with construction projects for a couple years. Plus I’m allocating that money toward an appreciating asset while I still have the mortgage and it stops me from buying one of these stupidly priced trucks I keep wanting 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

noharleyyet

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About the only thing I'm home repair qualified for is stoop labor...and I don't mind it. The pro stuff is contracted to pros. We bought our dream house at a good price 11 years ago, with current craziness it's a decent investment.
 

LopeHunter

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I think you experience isn't reflective the the broader industry. I work for a private consulting engineering firm. This is my 15th year. At our office (1 of 6 in the company) with anywhere between 17-25 employees in a given year (120 company wide), I've only known one person to leave on their own accord for another job. While I agree that the benefits sucked as a new employee, it's also the only way into the company, we don't hire 40 yr old employees. You start, and if you last, your compensation will come. Especially compared to the public sector comps. I think our company does a couple things well, 1) pays hourly (allows noobs to work lots of OT before they have kids and can make bank) 2) fire crappy employees. The latter seems to be my biggest issue with the public sector, judging my the incompetence of most of our clients (muni's).

I have seen lots of long-standing companies use the "earn your way to fair compensation" approach to haze new employees that are drawn by the siren call of that blue blood company. Then, they lose good workers and effectively become the minor leagues for other, more aggressively run competitors which cherry pick some of the best away.

Sometimes, your company is in a slow circle around the drain for a while before realize it. Bizarre pay scales at entry-level and junior positions can come home to roost over time. Microsoft got ravaged by companies such as Google 20 years ago. Those Microsoft stock options went underwater and was a kick in the nards for senior management as some top talent got cherry-picked. We hire for the long-run and do not benefit from churn. Churn costs us in so many ways that are not on a line item called "turnover" on the income statement. McDonalds can have 200% turnover at the fry station. Even Amazon is realizing churn is putting their approach to the test at distribution facilities.

I find younger employees are much more likely to discover a crappy deal and bail as soon as can make a few $1000 more or have more time off. You can hold onto the old ways or grab onto the new. Trade-offs either way.
 

neffa3

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I have seen lots of long-standing companies use the "earn your way to fair compensation" approach to haze new employees that are drawn by the siren call of that blue blood company. Then, they lose good workers and effectively become the minor leagues for other, more aggressively run competitors which cherry pick some of the best away.

Sometimes, your company is in a slow circle around the drain for a while before realize it. Bizarre pay scales at entry-level and junior positions can come home to roost over time. Microsoft got ravaged by companies such as Google 20 years ago. Those Microsoft stock options went underwater and was a kick in the nards for senior management as some top talent got cherry-picked. We hire for the long-run and do not benefit from churn. Churn costs us in so many ways that are not on a line item called "turnover" on the income statement. McDonalds can have 200% turnover at the fry station. Even Amazon is realizing churn is putting their approach to the test at distribution facilities.

I find younger employees are much more likely to discover a crappy deal and bail as soon as can make a few $1000 more or have more time off. You can hold onto the old ways or grab onto the new. Trade-offs either way.
Which is better, turn over at the top or bottom? Is it worse to lose a CAD monkey or someone who actually understands how to design a $20mil WWTP? Do you really want an employ that charts their course in life based on a couple of grand more or one that can see the value in a long-term career choice?

The profit bucket is only so large. You can allocate to the top, to the bottom, to healthcare or to bonuses, but the only way the bucket get's bigger is by having great employees who are happily doing great work.
 

TOGIE

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i will add, the thing that grinded my gears almost more than anything at my consulting job was this classic conundrum:

manager - "no you can't work on that there's not enough budget and you need more training to do it"

TOGIE twiddles his thumbs at the desk for half the day cause he was told not to bill hours on any of the available projects

*1 month later of TOGIE not being trained on things*

manager - "okay, you're not meeting your billability objectives, you need to fix that. but you still can't work on those things because you're not trained enough, so yeah...."

*TOGIE throws his desk chair through the window and jumps out in a rage to never be seen again*

that first job burned me on consulting for the rest of my life
 

LuketheDog

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"okay, you're not meeting your billability objectives"

Good grief, I think I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that. I got hollered at multiple times because my billable hours were not as optimized as the engineers and drafters. I had to explain multiple times that my billable hours were not as high because I was told to spend approximately 10-20% of my time writing proposals to clients for new work. Because somebody had to write those proposals or all those wonderful engineers and drafters were quickly going to run out of work to do, duh...that job was so aggravating...
 
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