What I Look for When I Hire a DBA

Posted: September 26, 2008 in Uncategorized


Well, I don’t have a lot of time but a friend of mine sent me an e-mail that got me thinking today. See I have done a number of articles on SSWUG on how to hire a DBA and if you are a DBA how to search for a new job. There are many aspect to this process that you have to take a look at but there is one in particular today that got me a little concerned. See this friend of mine has known me for a number of years and has heard my presentations. He asked me if I would mind doing a couple interviews for him just to validate what they were seeing. I was more than happy to help out a friend.

I spoke to three candidates. One of the people in particular really stood out. Two of them were really good but the one person really had all the answers for the right questions. Very open and honest about what he knew and was technically qualified for the opening. One of the really big things that I liked about him is he had a number of years at the same company. I don’t recall of the top of my head but I want to say something like 15 years. I am one of those people of the mindset that stability is such positive thing on a resume. Now that does not mean that I look down on people who were working contract, it just means that the loyalty is a big issue with many companies, by the way I do know that it goes both ways and I do believe as a whole the industry today does not have the loyalty to employees that it did 20 years ago.

So the person accepted the job, they turned in the two week and started the process to change companies; it looks like it was going to be a great fit and I was able to help out a friend. Well I guess in the last couple of days the person called back and said that the company made a counter offer and he decided to stay. Here is the point that I wanted to get to in this blog…

Counter Offers as nice as they are can in some cases say some bad things about an employee. Think of it this way, you are the employer and you have a dozen employees. You have an employee that is valuable to the organization. This Employee for one reason or another has decided to look for another job. Chances are you do not know about this because he or she may feel like you will fire them if you find out. In a couple weeks they show up at your office door with the letter of resignation. You are caught off guard, you thought they were happy, and well you were happy with what they were doing. You started to go through our mind on why is this person leaving? What is the cause? After some digging you find out that the new company is going to offer more money or more benefits. So you do what you feel like you have to do and that is, make a counter offer. You make it good enough for the person to stay. And the employee accepts.

Well this is where the problem starts… I think that in my mind that sets precedence. I believe that now this employee will have it in their mind that if they want a raise, more benefits, more vacation time they need to go out and look for a new job rather than just talking to you about this issue. In short you rewarded them with a raise for looking for a new job. So how do you keep from having this problem is really the big question that needs to be answered?

I think this goes back to the loyalty statement that I made. I believe that there are a lot of companies out there that are not continuing to review what their staff can make elsewhere. The standard x percentage raise I don’t think works as well as it use to. I think the end result is if you expect to see the loyalty from employees you need to make sure that you are showing the same.

  1. Isondart says:

    First let me say, thank you for letting me know about your blog. I have been reading through some of the previous articles and I wanted to make a quick comment on this one.
    I agree that employers need to be aware of the market value of their employees. In some cases, I believe that they are aware but they do not think that their employee actually will go elsewhere. I mean, in the example presented, let’s say that the employer felt that the employee was indeed happy and even though they could earn 15, 20, or even 30 percent more than they are currently earning, the employer felt like the employee was not going to leave anyway. So why give them that 15, 20 or 30 percent raise? Of course the employee doesn’t feel that way. If the company had offered that individual even 5% more when they felt that their employees earning potential had increased, that would have gone a long way in the company showing their loyalty to the individual. Getting a raise without asking for it, how many companies do that? (Annual raises and Cost of Living increases do not count here of course.)
    When employees achieve things like advanced degrees and certifications, the employer should be aware that their “favorite” employee has increased their earning potential. They are now more valuable to the company they currently work for as well as other companies looking for that specific skill set. And if the employee does leave, they are looked at as disloyal by the same upper management that could have given that employee something extra. Be proactive, right?

  2. chrisshaw says:


    Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading my random sets of ramblings.

    Being Proactive on the management side is really I believe the biggest point. Not just yesterday a friend of mine asked if I would be willing to do a quick interview with a candidate that he had. This candidate admitted that there was more than one job that he had left just because of the money. From looking at how long he had worked in the technology and by his open admission his first job was working at a help desk. The first job was for less than half what he was looking for today. In the next 5 years he stated that he wanted to become an expert in BI. In short, if he starts at the company and does become an expert in BI, great. If the company needs that they need to be ready to keep up with him in the money arena.
    With that being said… I would in no way recommend that they give raises based on what he wants to do. You are dead on, be Proactive.

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