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Google Catches Flak for Its Hiring Procedures

Lengthy process turns off some IT pros, developers

By Eric Lai
October 9, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Bolstered by the $4.2 billion it raised in a second stock offering in September 2005, Google Inc. has been on a hiring spree and is still looking to fill more than 1,000 positions. But for some software developers and other IT workers, Google’s arduous and secretive hiring process has started outweighing the glamour and perks it offers. And now, the search engine vendor says that it is taking steps to simplify and shorten its hiring procedures.

The existing process didn’t help to sell one systems administrator on the idea of working at Google. The systems administrator, who asked not to be identified, said he and a number of his co-workers at an e-commerce company in the San Francisco Bay area were called by Google recruiters on their home phones or personal cell phones during the summer. He went for an interview at the company, where he met with multiple software engineers.

He said they were friendly but declined to answer basic questions about the position, the technology he would work on or even the amount of hours he would likely work.

“I’ve interviewed for jobs with defense contractors doing classified work who were more open than Google,” said the systems administrator, who ended up taking a new job outside of California at a Wall Street financial services firm. He added that none of his former colleagues joined Google, either. “We were all a little spooked out,” he said.

In addition to Google’s secrecy, its demanding application process makes some job candidates reluctant to pursue opportunities at the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.

A female executive who interviewed for a managerial job at Google earlier this year said the lengthy interview process eventually led her to pull herself out of consideration. “I had to tell them, ‘Look, I can’t keep taking full days off to spend with you guys,’” said the executive, who later took a job as a marketing vice president at a multinational software vendor.

Experts Wanted

“I see a lot of people with one to three years of experience that want to join Google, but I think [it's] having problems finding expert-level people,” said Kate Del Rio, director of recruiting at MRG Global Inc., a Sacramento, Calif.-based IT and business staffing firm.



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