October 31, 2005 1:15 PM PST
Google hiring like it's 1999
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opportunity to find the best and the brightest. The company ran a student code-writing contest this summer. It also often hires people who hack Google code or do interesting things with it, including Paul Rademacher, who wrote Housingmaps.com, which combined Google Maps and Craigslist real estate listings in the first Google map mash-up.
Google "is completely changing the paradigm in the way you and I think about things like a normal telephone call or opening up the yellow pages. They are changing the way we live life. Who doesn't want to be a part of something like that?" Ramakrishnan said.
A recruiting video on the Google Jobs Web site shows smiling employees discussing the company's meals and snacks, and the resultant "Google 15," referring to the weight new employees gain from eating all the free food.
Among the other perks offered at Google's headquarters, affectionately dubbed "Googleplex," are an on-site doctor and dentist, massage and yoga, child care, maternity and paternity leave, adoption assistance, on-site dry cleaning and coin-free laundry room, and one day set aside for engineers to work on pet projects.
"Yahoo was the media darling in the '90s. Google is that company today," said Gautam Godhwani, chief executive at job search site SimplyHired.com
"Google continues to represent a company that is much closer to being in its early stages, with rapid growth, never having had a significant failure and ramping quickly with a compelling vision," Godhwani said.
That's not to say that Yahoo isn't doing its share of hiring. Yahoo hired 880 employees in the third quarter, bringing its work force to 9,660 employees. That's up from 7,022 a year earlier. In fact, this has been the busiest hiring year in the history of the Internet pioneer. But as a percentage of the total work force, Yahoo's additions are a little more than half those at Google.
Also hiring fast are global outsourcing companies like Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, which says it plans to hire 13,500 workers this fiscal year.
Of course, there are plenty of risks when a company is growing as fast as Google. Most important, will it be forced to water down recruiting standards? "The management challenges of this are a potential deal breaker for Google," Arnold said. "As they get bigger and bigger and more and more distributed that's going to be tough."
A Google spokeswoman downplayed such concerns. "Our recruiting organization is world-class, and we've been pleased with our ability to scale quickly without sacrificing the quality of our recruits," Google spokeswoman Lynn Fox wrote in an e-mail.
But as long as Google can continue its revenue climb while still being viewed as a technical innovator, bringing in top-notch talent shouldn't be too difficult in the near-term.
Google "is so incredibly democratic. It's like an electromagnet for talent," Arnold said. "I think it's the new Bell Labs...If I were 35, I'd be begging them to hire me."CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report.
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