December 27, 2004 4:00 AM PST
Will Google stay as hot as its lava lamps?
- Related Stories
Google stars in Firefox's new browserNovember 11, 2004
Clues may point to Google browserSeptember 23, 2004
Google employees waiting for ship to dockAugust 19, 2004
Google revealed in Playboy interview?August 12, 2004
Co-founders release Google 'owner's manual'April 29, 2004
Gwyneth, the Grateful Dead and GoogleJuly 24, 2003
(continued from previous page)
from a receptionist to attorneys to software engineers to sales coordinators, is swamped with job applications. Google gets more than 1,000 resumes per day. "Google is definitely the company that people are interested in," said an official with a technology recruiter in Silicon Valley. The official, whose company works with a Google competitor, asked to remain anonymous.
This year, Google opened an office in Kirkland, Wash., down the road from Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond. Microsoft software developer Adam Barr speculated in his Web log that the sole reason for opening the new office is to poach Microsoft workers.
Microsoft CIO Ron
Markezich sits down
with ZDNet's Dan Farber
Microsoft hit by poaching
Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Windows chief, conceded that Google has stolen some of the software giant's talent, according to a story in The Seattle Times earlier this month. Microsoft has lost a "handful" of employees to Google, the paper reported Allchin as saying. "We lost some people, who went to Google, who we didn't want to lose."
If Google is at the zenith of recruiting hotness, Microsoft has slipped a bit, Allchin's comments suggested. "I do believe our campus recruiting might not be as much of a grand slam as it was the last two years, but we're still doing pretty well," the newspaper quoted Allchin as saying.
One Microsoft developer said he considered applying to work at Google but feared long hours at the younger company. "I'm concerned, actually, that Google would be a sweatshop," said the developer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Google declined to comment on this concern. The company's Web site promises a "family-friendly work environment" but admits that "the pace is intense."
In a lawsuit earlier this year, Google was accused of routinely discriminating against employees over the age of 40 in its recruiting, hiring and employment practices. Google said the case was without merit.
Whatever warts it might have, Google has succeeded in luring some high-profile tech pros. They include Adam Bosworth, a former employee of BEA and Microsoft who helped create Internet Explorer, and Joe Beda, a Microsoft veteran who's worked on the software giant's next-generation graphics engine, Avalon.
The company also brought on Joshua Bloch, a Sun Microsystems developer who has designed major enhancements to the Java programming language and application programming interfaces, or APIs, well after recruiting former Novell CEO Eric Schmidt.
A victim of its own triumph?
Google's very success, though, is creating challenges. As the company expands, it risks losing the dynamic feel of an intimate team--a dilemma for any growing firm. Google isn't anywhere near the scale of Microsoft, which employs more than 57,000. But the company is proliferating--it has added more than 750 workers since the end of March.
Now that Google has had its IPO and become a household name, it might be harder to attract people looking to put in "sweat equity" in exchange for a possible stock option fortune. Although Google shares have soared to about $185, they're not likely to rise as rapidly over the next year, said Jason Avilio, an equity analyst at investment firm First Albany. Avilio's price target for the stock over the next 12 months is $195. "They can't offer the same level of equity compensation as they have historically," Avilio said.
Like other companies that go through an IPO, Google also may suffer from new employees envying the older ones, some of whom have stock options worth millions.
Another potential HR headache for the search giant: Talented Google veterans could cash out their stock options and retire early.
"We are thinking about that," said Stacy Sullivan, Google's human resources director. "We're working to make sure it doesn't become an issue."
Sullivan said the company might let such employees have flexible schedules. In addition, she pointed to a new perk coming to the Googleplex early next year: a day care center. Also vital in retaining
4 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment