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Posted: March 16, 2017

Jobseeker's interview canceled after she asked about compensation, benefits via email

Business people shaking hands in meeting
Robert Daly/Getty Images
Business people shaking hands in meeting

After a phone interview, Taylor Byrnes was excited about her job prospects with Canadian food services company SkipTheDishes.

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But she never got the opportunity to have an in-person interview because it was canceled when she asked, via email, some apparently out-of-bounds questions:

  • If I do get the job, how much do you think I’ll be getting paid an hour?
  • Benefits will also be included, right?

While those might seem like logical questions for a job seeker, Victoria Karras, the company’s talent acquisition coordinator, was not fond of them, the Daily Mail reported

“Your questions reveal that your priorities are not in sync with those of SkipTheDishes,” Karras wrote in an email to Byrnes. “At this time we will not be following through with our meeting this Thursday.”

Karras later wrote back to Byrnes to expound on her earlier statement, saying: “As a startup company, we seek out those who go out of their way to seek out challenges and new opportunities. We believe in hard work and perseverance in pursuit of company goals as opposed to focusing on compensation. Our corporate culture may be unique in this way, but it is paramount that staff display intrinsic motivation and are proven self-starters. For these reasons, questions about compensation and benefits at such an early stage is a concern related to organizational fit.”

Byrnes was surprised by the reply and decided to take it to social media. Her tweet went viral, and she found support from an overwhelming number of people, some of whom threatened to boycott SkipTheDishes.

Eventually, SkipTheDishes co-founder Joshua Simair spoke out, saying that he was disappointed by how the situation was handled. 

“We are very disappointed in how it was handled. We do share a compensation package prior to hiring. As soon as we became aware of it on Monday, we reached out to Taylor to apologize for the email and reschedule her interview,” Simair told The Canadian Press. “We’ve also addressed the email internally and will be providing additional training.”

According to The Canadian Press, SkipTheDishes, an online food delivery company founded in Saskatoon with headquarters in Winnipeg, was sold to a company in the United Kingdom for $110 million in December. It operates in 20 Canadian and six U.S. cities.


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