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I am considering a role with large, well-known Company A and I've never worked there before. Company A has a business unit internally, called Team B, and there have been public announcements that Team B will be converted into a separate company, Company B, in medium-term future (a date is set that is more than a few months in the future).

During interviews with the hiring manager and members of Team B (inside Company A), no one has been able to give details about how the parameters of employment (insurance, vacation, management structure, team practices, work from home policy, etc.) would change when someone is transitioned from Company A into eventual Company B. At the same time, the hiring manager said it is a high priority for Team B (inside Company A) to grow the team ASAP, and they cannot wait to hire after the IPO into Company B.

One of my primary goals in an employment search is to make sure that all the parameters, from management processes and year-end evaluations to compensation, insurance, and fringe benefits, are all spelled out clearly and unambiguously in employment agreements or supporting documentation. Without this, I feel the company can change the parameters of the job without acknowledging that they are violating our agreed mutual expectations.

My specific questions:

  • Concretely, how do I speak about my requirement for this type of employment agreement or support documentation with Company A that guarantees that employment agreements with Company B will have to offer the same parameters?

  • What kind of employment agreement or supporting documentations should I ask for to accomplish this goal? Are there specific terms for this type of agreement that I can research?

Some details that might help: I'm coming from a software development point of view, so some of the things I often expect to be agreed upon in an employment agreement are things like:

  • The team does not use "Agile" management practices (or uses them minimally).
  • The company overall does not use any form of Stack Ranking policies.
  • The job comes with a private office, or discretionary ability to work from home, or something similar to guarantee quiet working conditions.
  • The employer sponsors my attendance at major conferences related to my career.
  • Possible equity compensation (how would this translate from an equity incentive at Company A vs. eventual Company B?).

From speaking with the hiring manager and some team members, no one has been able to answer my questions so far. One team member even remarked he might have to check on his own insurance benefits and that my question was "a good one" that he "had not thought about" even though he's already in Company A and has known about the planned IPO for some time.

  • 2
    You expect use of Agile in an employment agreement? You have some interesting requirements. Good luck. – paparazzo Apr 7 '18 at 18:01
  • What's your question? If you have certain demands, just state them. If you think there may be a spinoff soon, simply ask for more money. (Sort of a "danger money" aspect.) – Fattie Apr 7 '18 at 18:37
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    Again you have some interesting requirements. Good luck. I am more of a check clears the bank and not required to do anything illegal or unethical kind of guy. – paparazzo Apr 7 '18 at 20:07
  • @paparazzo Nothing wrong with that at all-- many good colleagues I've worked with felt that way too. For me personally though, I cannot compartmentalize away the infantilizing and surveillance effects of Agile. Since I work in a specialized research field, it actively prevents me from getting my job done, and it matters to me to go into a job knowing I am on the same page with managers who understand that, rather than people who drink the Agile Kool-Aid. But everyone is different-- that's exactly why spelling it out in writing matters so much. – ely Apr 7 '18 at 20:09
  • @ely I get it matters to you. Good luck. – paparazzo Apr 7 '18 at 20:21
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Is it possible to arrange some type of employment agreement or support documentation with Company A that guarantees that employment agreements with Company B will have to offer the same parameters?

I am afraid not because those parameters have not been set for the current employees of Team B yet. How could they arrange for such an agreement with a possible future employee? If they do arrange such an agreement, it would be unfair to the current employees of Team B.

In my experience, when a division is split from the parent company, those parameters may be or may not be the same as the parent's. I have seen both cases.

In one case, the new company had better benefits than parent's. But, work wise was different, e.g. the parent was ISO certified, the child choose not to get along with ISO.

In another case I know of, the child's benefit was not good as the parent's. The work wise was almost the same. But, the child eventually vanished because many employees went back to the parent.

My advice is, wait until the dust settles. That is, go to work for company B after they are separate from company A. Everything would be clear after the split.

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Typically when a spin-off scam is happening, there is "more money than sense" around.

Currently they're desperately trying to buff up the spin-off section to make the sell off financial scam go well.

This is usually an opportunity to make good money. Current employees know that they can ask for more $ since they have them "over a barrel". New hires like in your example, know they can ask for a lot of $ since they are desperate.

Regarding the idea of guarantees about conditions (office views, medical, hours, etc) in the spinoff, the simple answer to that part of your question is there are absolutely no guarantees, at all.

(As a programmer you've probably worked for a few "startups". As you know there's utterly no guarantee with those - the product may completely flop, it may be a huge hit, you may or may not get investors, be bought out, etc. "Spin-off" situations are the same.)

{Facebook bought Parse, so they could shut it down (totally commonplace). Facebook bought Oculus, and then (perhaps completely misguided, but fantastic news for employees) so they could flood it with money. Wildly different outcomes are possible with "spin-offs" and "buyouts".}

  • the optimistic downvotes are cute, but unfortunately this simply states the situation. – Fattie Apr 7 '18 at 23:12

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