Well, this is kind of neat. Nowadays Google sends you an automated message telling you they’re not interested:
Subject: Thank you
We received your resume and would like to thank you for your interest in
Google. After carefully reviewing your experience and qualifications, we
have determined that we do not have a position available which is a strong
match at this time.
Thanks again for considering Google. We wish you well in your endeavors
and hope you might consider us again in the future.
Just for fun, I had submitted a resume, to see what random stuff Google might come up with. The reason being that any time I had applied in the past, what always happened is I would hear nothing for a month or two, then I would be contacted by a recruiter for a completely different position, and the recruiter would have no idea about the position I had originally applied for.
Last time, though, the position the recruiter proposed was more interesting than the one I had found on my own. My best understanding–and my understanding may be out-of-date–of the Google hiring process is that the managers meet with the recruiters on a weekly basis, so it will typically take two to three weeks for a recruiter to get a candidate into the pipeline:
Week 1: Recruiter discovers cool candidate, contacts candidate to confirm interest.
Week 2: Recruiter meets with manager, manager has question about candidate. Recruiter contacts candidate.
Week 3: Ski Trip! No meetings!
Week 4: Manager likes answer, let us set up a phone screen. Initial phone screen.
Week 5: Recruiter meets with manager, candidate still looks good, can we set up an on-site interview?
Week 6: Candidate interviews with team, enjoys lunch in the cafeteria, receives tee-shirt.
Week 7: Manager is on vacation this week–nothing happens.
Week 8: Manager and team sign off, maybe there’s a background check, and offer starts its way through legal and finance . . .
Week 9: Larry and Sergey personally review the offer prior to sending it off to the candidate!
Week 10: The position is filled, so we take it off the web site.
My hunch is that most of the time that a position is posted on the web site, there are already a few candidates in the pipeline, and the recruiter is not very eager to pitch more candidates at the hiring manager, because most Google staff already spend about a day a week interviewing candidates. The web interface makes it easy to check a bunch of positions into a “shopping cart” so that you can apply for many many positions at the same time, thus increasing the chances that you will be applying for a position that happens to be in the right part of the process.
Google is a big big place with lots of twisty turny hallways, and it is better for the recruiter to discover a resume that looks just great for the position than for me to skim a jillion different reqs that they may or may not be actually trying to fill. I get contacted by Google recruiters every two or three months–not because I submitted a resume but because the recruiter put some key words into the Google Search Engine and it found my resume on the Internet. One day I may learn of a position at Google that really excites me, and I will contact a friend and apply via internal referral, which I am promised goes a lot faster . . .
This time around was similar to the other times I have applied, except now instead of sending an e-mail, you have to choose at least one position, paste your resume into a form, and fill out a lengthy survey. If you are me, you will be rejected within two weeks, but not without a random inquiry from a Google recruiter in the interim. (I’m not sure if the inquiry was because of my application or not.)
For those who are wondering: yes, I am looking around, but I am more focused right now on some of the cool opportunities at smaller companies within San Francisco. If you hear of anyone looking for a cool Unix SysAdmin, you can tell them to “Google dannyman resume” or “Google danny howard resume” . . . they can also find me on LinkedIn . . . and if you are an acquaintance of mine looking for work in the Bay Area, shoot me a copy of your own resume, and I will keep an eye out.