Last week, with unique transparency, Google’s VP of People Operations Laszlo Bock announced they were laying off 100 recruiters (approximately 25% of their recruiter headcount). When I first read the statement, my first thought was, “…do they really have over 400 internal recruiters?”
Prior to the announcement Google’s recruiters accounted for approximately 2-4% of the employee population (not including outside contractors and agencies). Sure this announcement makes sense since most companies hiring is destined to be substantially lower in 2009. But does this announcement have more significance?
I have written here and here about Google’s recruiting process in the past. Interestingly, now comes news that all is not utopia at the Googleplex. According to a private Google Group asking ex-employees why they left…
“The thread shows a brutal honesty about what it’s like to work at Google, at least from the point of view of employees who were unhappy enough to resign. Top amongst the complaints is low pay relative to what they could earn elsewhere, and disappearing fringe benefits seemed to elevate the concern. Other popular gripes – too much bureaucracy, poor management, poor mentoring, and a hiring process that took months.”
Now that Google is no longer the high-flying company where stock options would quickly make you millions of dollars, it is well apparent that their recruiting model needs to evolve. Google still has one of the strong employer brands but, from my viewpoint, the recruiting model needs to evolve in scale, efficiency and effectiveness with tight alignment to their onboarding and talent management strategy.
Has Google’s exhaustive recruiting process now become a liability?