Dec 1, 2005

Google recruitment - speed?

Interesting article on how Google is raiding rivals for top talent.

Some excerpts:

To accomplish its current pace of hiring about 10 new employees a day, Google has assembled a formidable hiring machine. Its recruitment department includes as many as 300 freelance recruiters who are helping it to identify who's who in software engineering, according to three people involved in the

Google's typical hiring process is regarded as one of the industry's most grueling and extensive. Candidates are often subjected to weeks of interviews, with hiring decisions often made by large committees of executives.

To compete against its larger rivals, Google beefed up its recruiting effort, retaining veterans like Shally Steckerl (Shally is now with Microsoft ;-)- Gautam), a contract recruiter who runs a consulting firm called JobMachine, and Eric Jaquith, a freelance recruiter who runs Recruiting Choices. Both began working as in-house consultants for Google in September 2004, when the company had more than 80 full-time and contract recruiters in-house, says Jaquith.

Jim Stroud, a contract recruiter involved in the effort between December 2004 and June, says he unearthed several hundred names of female engineers. He estimates that fewer than 10 of those were hired during his tenure. Google's job-interview process is "like a Senate committee hearing," says Stroud. "You
have to get approved by 14 people at least before you get hired."

Allan Brown, Google's director of recognition and human-resources systems, disputes that the company is bidding too aggressively for talent. He estimates that Google wins only about half of its hiring showdowns with Yahoo. He says
Yahoo also engages in bidding wars, and that Google would consider doubling a restricted stock offer only if there was a strong argument for doing so. Eustace adds that Google sometimes offers compensation of up to about 15 percent more
than other tech companies, but generally stays within the same range as its rivals.

I do know that Google is trying to replicate the same process in India also. It's salaries are abnormally higher by the standards of the cities where it operates. An applicant at the entry level goes through 6/7 rounds of interviews whereas a mid-level manager might go through 12/13 rounds of interviews over a time frame of 2 months ! These kinds of time-lines are unheard of in India and it would be interesting to see if they can maintain that momentum.