Warren Buffet’s Lead Engineer Offer

Honeywell / Eng that1guy
Mar 16 14 Comments

“Warren Buffet needs a lead Java Engineer in SF!” Was the tag line from the recruiter. A part of Berkshire Hathaway in the FinTech sector, I was intrigued and applied.

I matched up exactly what they wanted, YOE 10+, lead of multiple teams, etc. Then the offer. Then the realization of why the 3rd most wealthy man in the world is where he’s at. Because he apparently doesn’t pay his employees crap.

Base: $175k
Sign on: none
RSU: none
Bonus: none

They only offer relocation and I already live in the Bay Area. They have no equity plans at all. And they “plan” to put bonus program in place within a year. Won’t tell me what percentages to expect.

Requirements are someone who’s lead multiple teams before, 5-8 YOE, and experience transitioning a tech stack to scalable distributed systems. I laughed at them. I could tell the recruiter was very frustrated. She asked me if I would lower my base expectations if they had the bonus plan in place. It felt like she’s been in this situation for a while, asked me a lot of questions about how much they really need to be offering.

Anyways - I was really surprised though. What a waste of time. Is this common for non-FAANG?

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TOP 14 Comments
  • Wells Fargo qft
    The tag line sounds like BS from the recruiter you’re probably dealing with some subsidiary. Berkshire Hathaway that Buffet runs is a holding company based in Nebraska and is a very small operation people wise <50. Also they’re not at all technologically minded and doubt they’d be looking for a lead engineer while buffet or munger are still alive.
    Mar 16 1
    • Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Com Rylan
      Not BS. Tagline is hyperbolic. Can confirm that BHHC is hiring for numerous tech positions in SF. Also can confirm, they pay sub-market. If you’re looking for a stable paycheck during uncertain economic futures, it’s a great company. Know your number, and negotiate hard because while the raises are consistent... they are only once a year and seem to barely cover inflation.
      Sep 3
  • Atlassian euphoria13
    Totally depends on the company. I've seen plenty of decent rsu + bonus with maybe sign-on for non-FAANG for non-engineering roles.

    The lesson here is set expectations early. Don't get blindsided by a good recruiting email. I have gone into multiple interviews with smaller companies and said "I don't want to waste y'all's time; I have certain goals in mind and need to maintain some benefits (e.g. Health insurance). Can we talk about that first and see if we are a good fit for each other?"
    Mar 16 2
    • Honeywell / Eng that1guy
      OP
      But how do you go about having that “good fit” conversation without tipping your hand to exposing your salary expectations.
      Mar 16
    • Atlassian euphoria13
      You can't legally be asked about your current salary in California. When it isn't obvious that the role will improve your salary, keep it vague.

      A recruiter or hiring manager reaching out to you means you have an upper hand. They've found your resume and already decided you get a conversation. Be clear: I'm not looking to move unless it is the right opportunity. I'd love to find out the salary range and make sure the benefits align with my needs.
      Mar 16
  • AIG / Product
    Raging

    AIG Product

    PRE
    Deloitte Digital
    BIO
    Counseling CxOs for AI-first strategy !
    Ragingmore
    I ask comp beforehand.

    If it's less, then play the track -

    Krept and Konan -- 'Don't waste my time'
    😉
    Mar 16 1
    • New iks067
      If you're not from the UK you get more props for know Krept and Konan! 😁
      Aug 9
  • Two Sigma zxcasdq
    tl;dr $175k is good compared to many places, but peanuts of you are top tier

    There are lots of companies that pay a fraction of what top tier companies pay. I’ve been looking for new jobs and been shocked to learn even if I went to G my comp would probably drop. Then I talked to smaller places that would offer me less then what FANG and TS pay new grads.
    Mar 16 5
    • Honeywell / Eng that1guy
      OP
      Yes the smaller places will pay less than new grads. So the moral of your story is to stay at Two Sigma, or take a pay cut - hopefully only slightly by moving to a top tier FAANG equivalent job.

      Google really pays less than Two Sigma - for the same role?? What’s your position, SWE? Or are you a quant?
      Mar 16
    • Two Sigma zxcasdq
      I am SWE. I think initial offers are comparable but over time Two Sigma comp steadily raises while at G you hit 4 year cliff. So I think after 5 years your comp at TS will be higher. I think comp bands at TS are slightly higher per level then G as well. I’ve heard our 70th percentile matches the median at G.

      This is all aggregate, I know of cases where people made more by moving to G and vice versa. I think this happens because if you have a lot of competing offers and strong interview G can pay out of band.
      Mar 16
    • Two Sigma zxcasdq
      It’s also easier to have an impact and get promoted at TS, which is another reason why people who are here 5+ years will do better then G.
      Mar 16
    • AIG / Product
      Raging

      AIG Product

      PRE
      Deloitte Digital
      BIO
      Counseling CxOs for AI-first strategy !
      Ragingmore
      BS radar on High Alert!
      Mar 16
    • Rockwell Automation / Project
      Scrumworks

      Rockwell Automation Project

      PRE
      Sherwin-Williams
      Scrumworksmore
      Is Berkshire Hathaway homestate companies in the SF a big operation here ? Is it worth to interview ?
      Apr 8
  • Rockwell Automation / Cust. Srv. peanut b
    Did they take a wonderlic exam?
    Apr 9 0