Google is hiring. And there was a Tuesday in last week. Mind you, everybody’s hiring. But jeepers, I got a friendly email yesterday to my @sun.com address from a Google recruiter, subject “Exciting Job Opportunity with Google!” saying “saw your blog, we sure are a great place to work, want to talk?”. Now, it’s really easy to dig up my private non-Sun address. Not to mention my phone number. Am I old-fashioned, or does this seem a little desperate? I assume that more or less everybody in the biz who’s got a blog or is otherwise publicly visible will be getting email @work from the big G. Anyhow, I wrote back saying “Thanks, but enjoying my job just now.” and she wrote back saying OK and “Feel free to pass along my contact information to any friends or colleagues who you think might be interested in exploring opportunities with Google.” I’ll get right on it. What’s next; sandwich-men in high-tech parking lots?



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From: John Cowan (Mar 13 2007, at 11:08)

Umm, well, y'know, you do say this at http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/misc/Tim :

"If you want to email me, you need to know that at Sun, the standard address is <first>.<last>@sun.com."

IMO, that makes your work address also your blog address -- it's the address I always use to send you ongoing-related mail, for instance. And while it's true that it's easy to find lots of other addresses for you, it's far from clear which one(s) will actually work.

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From: BWJones (Mar 13 2007, at 11:12)

It was quite possibly a third party headhunter retained by Google to recruit. I get these emails all the time from headhunters recruiting for big pharma or large biotech companies.

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From: Charles Oliver Nutter (Mar 13 2007, at 11:16)

Last summer, I got the same kind of email. "We heard you might be Google material [flattery] and wanted to talk about opportunities with you." Given that my old job was little more than government consulting, I was excited about the opportunity. I flew through the first round of phone interviews, and they were all set to fly me out there to run the gauntlet...but by then I was already bored. The job? Implementing internal webapps with Tomcat, Hibernate, and a mix of third-party and in-house web frameworks. Be still my beating heart. So I get to leave an architect-level position where I set my hours, work on what I want, and act as tech evangelist for the whole company to take an entry-level Google dev job writing accounting and payroll webapps? Thrilling. Sun came along at just the right time so I had a great alternative, but I can't say the Google opportunity was very intriguing. Note to Google: if you're going to court candidates, don't rely solely on the Google name to win them over...some of us aren't suckers for a pretty face and a free lunch.

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From: Mark (Mar 13 2007, at 11:19)

The pings I've gotten from Google over the years have been much more informed about who I was and what positions might interest me. But they are allegedly trying to hire several thousand new people this year (beyond attrition), so I suspect their recruiters are under enormous pressure.

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From: MTS (Mar 13 2007, at 11:43)

Whether it's your work or personal email, it's stinking SPAM! If Google recruiting really saw (read) your blog, which is suspect, they would have determined you to be a significant person in the world of information technology.

And to add insult to injury, "Hey Tim, do my job for me and pass along this great offer to your buddies so I can make my quota."

I find it hard to believe Google did this; a work-at-home-scheme-making-thousands-per-week company - sure, but Google?

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From: B. (Mar 13 2007, at 11:47)

Interesting post. I'm about to graduate this year and have a web start-up under my belt. I wouldn't mind exploring the idea of working at the big G. Feel free to forward over her contact info buycontext AT gmail.com ... you never know they might give you some Google points if we're a good fit ;)

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From: Bill de hOra (Mar 13 2007, at 15:46)

Look at you, all surprised. Perhaps the question to ask is what's compelling below C level @sun.com when Google are calling?

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From: James Brunskill (Mar 13 2007, at 15:51)

Hmmm, It's a pity I don't get those kinds of emails :)

Google didn't want me although they did say I should feel free to apply again...

Maybe I should have another go?

Or maybe the recruiters just look more desperate as they try to follow the google strategy of 'attempting' to hire employees above the 'mean' of their current employees?

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2006/03/hiring-lake-wobegon-strategy.html

I agree with the comments so far though, there is more to life than prestige and a free lunch. I think Google as a whole understands that (20% time + opportunities to connect with some of the worlds greatest minds over lunch etc), but some of the recruiters may not. I wouldn't be surprised if most days they feel like they have the easiest job in the world, all they have to do is mention Google and 90% of computer geeks jump up and down saying 'pick me, pick me'. It probably comes as a bit of a shock when someone says, "Sorry, I'm quite happy where I am thank you".

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I am an employee of Amazon.com, but the opinions expressed here are my own, and no other party necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my professional interests is on the author page.