Companies with forced stack ranking.

Capital One zolk13
Jan 6 58 Comments

At capital one, the leadership decides beforehand the distribution for performance buckets. For example last year, they decided at least 12% would get Inconsistent rating and placed on PIP.
The calibration process consists of the managers all getting together and bickering about which employee needs to be placed where.
It's a total political process with little fairness.

I have leetcoded hard and ready to apply to FAANG, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Dropbox and such high paying companies.

Do any of them have a similar year end calibration process involving forced stack ranking?

Dallas
120K
8 yoe

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 58 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng n0v
    Capital one execs kidding themselves that they can attract 12% talent better than they are letting go. It's like a delusion to justify their existence.
    Jan 6 7
    • Amazon / Eng scoops34
      @2023, I think he was being sarcastic -- the CEO likes to parrot that they're a tech company in an almost "ad nauseum" argument
      Jan 6
    • Capital One 10102@4$3
      I was being completely sarcastic ; I agree with you and aspire to move away one day hopefully soon
      Jan 6
    • Amazon / Eng scoops34
      I'm game for referrals, dude
      I was actually going to hit up a bunch of TDPs I liked later today because my Amazon org is having a "recruitment drive"
      Jan 6
    • Capital One 10102@4$3
      Please dm me ! Thanks !
      Jan 6
    • Bank of America BRjH71
      All banks pretend they are tech companies.
      Jan 6
  • Microsoft / Eng babaisyou
    Sounds like Microsoft.
    Jan 6 7
    • Microsoft YwWb48
      No
      Jan 6
    • Tableau Zero Cool
      Yes
      Jan 6
    • Microsoft YwWb48
      No, there is no set % that you have to stick to, it's budget based, at least up to the m3 level. No one tells me how many low or high rewards I have to give.
      Jan 6
    • Microsoft SlideDecke
      Some orgs force managers to choose what percentage of people go in which buckets.
      Jan 7
    • Apple WPUV58
      ExxonMobil does it, hard.
      Jan 11
  • Amazon / Eng day____1
    I heard Fb also rank people.
    Jan 6 3
    • Facebook
      Uxles

      Facebook

      BIO
      _
      Uxlesmore
      No stack ranking, but there are bucketed expectations. (expectations, not mandates.)
      Jan 6
    • Dropbox rtyp
      It's the same thing, people get fired. FB just names it differently
      Jan 6
    • Facebook tGTv63
      It's definitely not the same thing. Stacked ranking means a certain number of people are by definition forced into low performer bucket.
      If you met you expectations you don't get labeled as such at FB. So no it's not the same.
      Jan 6
  • Amazon / Eng scoops34
    Amazon does the same shit, but it seems less political and I'm more willing to put up with being rated "unfairly" at a FAANG company than C1 (former TDP here).

    I'd rather be called a shitty engineer at a FAANG company and possibly deserve it than called a shitty engineer at Crapital One and absolutely not deserve it.
    Jan 6 2
    • Capital One 10102@4$3
      Did you move after tdp ended or during ?
      Jan 6
    • Amazon / Eng scoops34
      I started applying after a little over a year. Left before I reached a year and a half.

      My old handle on Blind is Desu.
      Jan 6
  • Facebook cynical.ly
    Most companies have some kind of bucketing, I believe. FB does have calibration and bucketing (you can be put into one of 7 buckets from "not meeting expectations" to "redefines expectations"), but the process is largely fair, and there is no forced stack ranking afaik. But so far FB has not had a mass layoff. It's still a growing company. If that changes, I don't know how things will change.
    Jan 6 3
    • Facebook Moth
      While we do have buckets, we don’t have a forced curve. I’ve never seen a calibration where someone was moved down to meet a curve.
      Jan 6
    • Amazon / Eng scoops34
      That's really cool. I'd love to see how that works.
      Jan 6
    • Facebook / Eng pookyh
      You can see how it works. One of the ways we keep it fair is to integrate ICs into calibrations below their level.
      Jan 6
  • Netflix tnCP40
    Such a dumb approach. Say you have the dream team of employees. You’d cut X number from the team due to HR policies.
    Jan 6 2
    • Tableau sYtY52
      Come at it from the other side - there is limited budget for promotion each year. Ranking always happens.
      Jan 6
    • Apple iPhone Xs
      There is no promotion at Netflix :)
      Jan 7
  • Google / Eng TNou03
    Every company stack ranks. It's just that some companies call this "promo budgets".
    Jan 6 2
    • Capital One anKfiK8
      Idk in c1 you can be a super strong performer and get PIP’d just because “someone on the team had to get thrown under the bus”
      Jan 6
    • Uber promo
      Uber does not have a promo budget. It will promote anyone who is qualified.
      Jan 6
  • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
    This process actually works remarkably well when done over a large enough group, and when people are ranked fairly.

    It doesn’t work where in each team of say 8 people, 1 has to get placed on PIP.
    Jan 6 1
    • Capital One / Eng cbfg
      The total peer group is usually 50-100 devs
      Jan 24
  • Capital One zolk13
    OP
    Looking at the comments, it sounds like being in the bottom 10% is employee's fault.

    While it is true quite a bit, it's not always the case.

    Some managers/directors are incapable of properly measuring employee worth. Because if this, plenty of undeserved candidates get promos/high ratings.

    This bumps probability of going on PIP to 25% for a given cycle for someone who doesn't play the politics game.

    There are 4 cycles in 2 years, and each cycle, estimated probability of 25% inconsistent, what are the odds you'll get at least one inconsistent rating in 2 years?
    Pretty high.

    By the way, I've never received inconsistent so far, but these are my thoughts.
    Jan 6 0
  • Medtronic / Eng SnakeDr
    Most companies have similar practices when it comes to promotions and PIPs...the are flat percentages decided at the executive level and managers are put It rooms to vote on particular employees positions, so you need a manager that will go to bat for you, but you also need to be popular among the other managers that they won’t target you.
    Jan 6 0
  • Capital One 10102@4$3
    Don’t think real tech companies did that ; good luck in your onsites , vouching for you
    Jan 6 3
    • 3M / Other uhgm57
      Amazon is notorious for stack ranking.
      Jan 6
    • Amazon XIjQ36
      I'm a manager at Amazon and I've never been told how to rank my people.one year a third of my team was TT and HR never told me I had to change it. This will be the first year I ever rank someone LE.
      Jan 6
    • Apple woodo
      @XljQ36 do you also have unlimited budget for stock refresh and promotions? If no, than you unconsciously doing stack ranking :)
      Jan 7
  • Uber promo
    Uber does not have stack ranking.
    Jan 6 0
  • Capital One 10102@4$3
    Our lord our savior 😂😂
    Jan 6 1
    • Amazon / Eng scoops34
      ♥️
      The mods banned my account. I think they proactively prune accounts if you posted about quitting.
      Jan 6
  • Apple iug74v
    Apple ranks at the director level, although it is mostly used to determine comp and promotion - very rarely pip. It is completely political, subjective and opaque. It’s a useful tool for managers/directors to play favoritism and cronyism.
    Jan 6 0
  • Facebook oxo3f
    Facebook does bucketing pretty openly.

    In the name of calibration and unable to justify leadership they do slaughter the goats.

    Worse than Microsoft who at least acknowledges the fact.
    Jan 6 0
  • Uber 8bithit
    Uber does but remember this is a good thing. This process aims to get rid of low performers. Politics aside if someone is ranked lowest 10% out of thousands of engineers that did not there is a reason for it. No one comes in eager gets all their work done helps others and is put on pip. Working with a 10 percenter demotivates entire team. Most companies also don't fire bottom 10% and I'd bet Capitol one does not either. A pip is a plan to improve it doesn't mean anyone's getting fired. If you can show you're not a bottom 10 percenter you'll have no problem. Why would management go through process of firing someone who is doing well to replace them with Joe off the street. Think logically before complaining please.
    Jan 6 1
    • Amazon frmnt
      Nice one mixing percentage and absolute values. 10% out of 1000 engineers? What's the difference of being 10% out of a million? Hint: there's none, it's still 10%.
      Jan 6
  • New DvVM00
    google used to force employees to stack rank each other. now the managers just do it.
    Jan 6 1
    • Medtronic / Eng SnakeDr
      Same at a few companies I have worked at, now the managers just get together and decide or argue it out.
      Jan 6
  • Amazon frmnt
    Amazon does.
    Jan 6 0
  • Microsoft Nhub$7@4/
    OP, are you in a contract position?
    Jan 6 3
    • Capital One zolk13
      OP
      Of course not! Contractors are subject to a whole other ball game.
      Jan 6
    • Microsoft Nhub$7@4/
      Are you software engineer?
      Jan 6
    • Capital One zolk13
      OP
      Yes I'm software engineer.
      During calibration we're compared with scrum master, tester, product owners.
      Jan 6
  • Amazon dmx32
    Amazon has it as well.
    Feb 10 0