Companies with forced stack ranking.

Jan 6, 2019 59 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?

8 yoe


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TOP 59 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, 2019 7
    • Capital One 10102@4$3
      Please dm me ! Thanks !
      Jan 6, 2019
    • Bank of America BRjH71
      All banks pretend they are tech companies.
      Jan 6, 2019
  • Microsoft / Eng babaisyou
    Sounds like Microsoft.
    Jan 6, 2019 7
    • Microsoft SlideDecke
      Some orgs force managers to choose what percentage of people go in which buckets.
      Jan 7, 2019
    • Apple WPUV58
      ExxonMobil does it, hard.
      Jan 11, 2019
  • Amazon / Eng day____1
    I heard Fb also rank people.
    Jan 6, 2019 3
    • Dropbox rtyp
      It's the same thing, people get fired. FB just names it differently
      Jan 6, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • Capital One 10102@4$3
    Don’t think real tech companies did that ; good luck in your onsites , vouching for you
    Jan 6, 2019 3
    • Amazon XIjQ36
      I'm a manager at Amazon and I've never been told how to rank my 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, 2019
    • Apple woodo
      @XljQ36 do you also have unlimited budget for stock refresh and promotions? If no, than you unconsciously doing stack ranking :)
      Jan 7, 2019
  • 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, 2019 2
    • Tableau sYtY52
      Come at it from the other side - there is limited budget for promotion each year. Ranking always happens.
      Jan 6, 2019
    • Apple iPhone Xs
      There is no promotion at Netflix :)
      Jan 7, 2019
  • Google / Eng TNou03
    Every company stack ranks. It's just that some companies call this "promo budgets".
    Jan 6, 2019 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, 2019
    • Uber promo
      Uber does not have a promo budget. It will promote anyone who is qualified.
      Jan 6, 2019
  • 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, 2019 2
    • Capital One 10102@4$3
      Did you move after tdp ended or during ?
      Jan 6, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • Capital One zolk13
    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, 2019 0
  • Amazon frmnt
    Amazon does.
    Jan 6, 2019 0
  • Facebook
    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, 2019 3
    • Amazon / Eng scoops34
      That's really cool. I'd love to see how that works.
      Jan 6, 2019
    • 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, 2019


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