Google Jobs: How does Google really recruit talent?

Google: "With respect to our job postings, the job postings do not directly and 100% correlate with the people we are actually hiring. "

Google has a dedicated “Google Jobs” micro-site announcing “Our most valuable resource is our people.”

According to Google Jobs:

At Google, our strategy is simple: we hire great people and encourage them to make their dreams a reality. We believe in hard work, a fun atmosphere, and the sort of creativity that only comes about when talented people from diverse backgrounds approach problems from varying perspectives. Googlers have been Olympic athletes and Jeopardy champions; professional chefs and independent film makers. And whether you work at our headquarters in Mountain View, California, or in any of our locations around the world, we think you'll find Google a place where you can aspire to outsized accomplishments.

The micro-site features a searchable “Find an opening in the U.S." tool and “Life at Google”content.


Recent Google public statements about how it recruits talent, however, suggest “Google Jobs” may not be its preferred method for adding new members to the Google team.

At last May’s investor conference call, Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke obliquely about Google’s public job postings:

With respect to our job postings, the job postings do not directly and 100% correlate with the people we are actually hiring. We hire the person, not the job at Google. While we certainly do have reps and we certainly look for these kinds of positions, we really have an approach of hiring the best and the brightest in every field globally. We will modify our practices as we come across those people.

So it turns out that job postings are not a predictor, if you will, of what we're going to do in the future. Think of them as a marketing program to attract people to apply, but then they go through a more private and internal process. Our hiring continues apace.

Last week, Schmidt is said to have discussed with reporters, while on the “sidelines of the Herb Allen Conference in Sun Valley,” a Google preference for “hiring talent through acquisition rather than recruiting.”

According to Reuters reports Schmidt interacted with reporters as follows:

Reporter: How many acquisitions do you do?

Schmidt: “It’s one or two a week it seems. Most acquisitions: They are very small. 1-2-3 people and you never, never hear about them.”

— “Why would you want to be acquired?” Schmidt asked reporters rhetorically.

“The venture guys have so much money, you don’t need to get acquired by us for capital. “The reasons…that they (start-ups) would choose be to be acquired are not what you might think. There is so much capital. And many of these businesses require no capital.

“The reason to be acquired is that Google gives them (Web entrepreneurs) a platform that they might otherwise not be able to get. As markets consolidate these little companies often cannot get enough ‘mindshare,’ even though their technology is really good. Any one of these people are a reasonable (acquisition) candidate.”

The reported exchange seems to illustrate the motivation behind Google’s 2005 “acquisition” of Dodgeball, a two-person start-up based on a grad school project.

I asked yesterday, “Google's Dodgeball, where is it now?”:

Alex Rainert and Dennis Crowley transferred the rights to their start-up service to Google, but it is unlikely the two former grad students are living “like Kings.” As part of Dodgeball’s absorption by Google, the Dodgeball “team” became part of Google’s engineering team.

In announcing Dodgeball’s move to Google, Crowley said:

The people at Google think like us. They looked at us in a “You’re two guys doing some pretty cool stuff, why not let us help you out and let’s see what you can do with it” type of way. We liked that. Plus, Alex and I are both Google superfans and the people we’ve met so far are smart, cool and excited about what they’re working on.