Weekly Wrap: 75,000 Applicants at Google, Sick Pay Abuse, Speaking “Literally”

From the HR blog at TLNT.
From the HR blog at TLNT.

Sometimes, I find that the questions are far more interesting than the answers.

Here’s one, for example: How does Google (or any other company for that matter) handle 75,000 job applications in a single week?

You have my apologies if you just choked on your coffee while reading that. Yes, Google received 75,000 job applications in a week, which is a record for even a company as desirable as Google.

According to Bloomberg News:

The flood of résumés topped a previous high set in May 2007 by 15 percent, said Aaron Zamost, a spokesman for the Mountain View company. Google, which had 24,400 workers at the end of 2010, announced last week that it would add more than 6,000 employees this year.

The company is stepping up hiring as it pushes deeper into mobile services, display advertising and Internet applications. Google also faces steeper competition from Silicon Valley rivals Facebook and Apple for users and engineering talent. The company aims to hire more workers in 2011 than any year in its history.”

Google is a great company, but I still wonder: how does your HR and hiring staff handle 75,000 resumes in a week, anyway? Sure, Google is probably used to having a large volume of resumes to deal with since so many people are beating at their door wanting to work there, but 75,000 is a big number even if you are a company used to dealing with big numbers of resumes. For example, the population of Mountain View, California, where Google is located, is only 70,000.

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And one more thing: This flood of resumes comes as Google seems to be struggling, however slightly, when compared to the new hot tech companies in Silicon Valley. As the Bloomberg story makes clear:

While Google remains one of the most desirable places to work in Silicon Valley, it lost some luster in the past three years. It was ranked as the best workplace by Fortune magazine in 2007 and 2008. Google now ranks fourth.

Facebook and Apple have emerged as a bigger threat to Google’s prime source of revenue — ad dollars. Facebook’s 500 million-plus users have provided an alluring target for advertisers. The closely held Palo Alto company surpassed Google in U.S. Internet visitors in 2010, according to Experian Hitwise.”

Yes, Facebook and Apple might be hot, but I wouldn’t count out Google just yet, because lots of people still think it is a pretty smart place to work – as 75,000 job applicants in a week makes clear.

Of course, there’s a lot more in the news this week this week than how many people are applying to Google, any here are some other HR and workplace-related items you may have missed while trying to improve your own job performance. This is TLNT’s weekly round-up of news, trends, and insights from the world of HR and talent management. Yes, I do it so you don’t have to.

  • What does this week’s court ruling on the health care overhaul really mean, anyway? Confused about what this week’s ruling by a Florida judge that the big health care law passed last year is unconstitutional? Join the club, because judges have ruled on both sides of this issue. Kaiser Health News talked to legal analyst Stuart Taylor about what these rulings mean, and he tries to sort out not only what is happening now but also where all of this legal maneuvering is going.
  • Creative ways to get to work – if you live in Chicago. The big storm has made it a challenge for many Americans trying to get to work this week, but as the Chicago Sun-Times points out, some people just can’t be kept away. “While most businesses and major corporate offices were closed Wednesday, determined Chicagoans who needed to feed hungry customers, trade in the markets, care for the sick or tend to animals found a way to make it to work,” the newspaper reports. “One climbed out the window of his home because he couldn’t get out the front door. Another drove down a closed highway. Others didn’t need a dramatic effort.”
  • Misusing sick leave in Sin City. Some firefighters in Las Vegas have gotten creative in their use of sick leave, the Las Vegas Review-Journal says, and e-mails obtained by the newspaper “show that some firefighters worked with supervisors to arrange sick calls, sometimes months in advance, for vacation rather than for medical problems. The wording at times is nonchalant, as if those involved believe what they’re doing is OK.” As one of the newspaper’s columnists, Jane Ann Morrison, put it: “The public thinks this is a disgrace. The public is right.
  • U.S. auto workers opt for contingent workers. America’s recovering automakers are hiring workers again, but this time around, they are relying on “more affordable, flexible labor while they feel out the strength of the economic recovery.” The Detroit Free-Press reports that the number of contract workers in Michigan jumped 6.5 percent during November, the last month for which data was available. “Once looked down upon as not being real jobs, contractor gigs are coveted during this time of high unemployment. Although the pay is usually a little less than what a permanent hire earns, it is a steady paycheck with regular benefits, sometimes for years.”
  • Google’s Chief Literally Officer. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt REALLY likes using a certain word, as you can see from this video. In fact, a lot of other people like to use it, too.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.


3 Comments on “Weekly Wrap: 75,000 Applicants at Google, Sick Pay Abuse, Speaking “Literally”

  1. It shows that when a high profile company such Google posts career opportunities available then “literally” everyone will apply to be apart of a fortune 500 company. I think Google is trying to get back to the number one spot by expanding their company, but I do not think this is the right way in going about it.

  2. I was literally just sending my resume to Google, but think my chances of winning the lotto might be greater than them reviewing my resume. Maybe I should send it to America’s recovering automakers… Anywho, nice variety round-up, informative and comical, especially about those in Sin City. Don’t firefighters only work a couple weeks a month and then have long gaps of days off in between? Aren’t they always on vacation by default? It’s not like they have 45 fires per day or anything. Vegas is hot, but not that hot.

  3. If you average it out, there are 6000 jobs and 75000 applicants meaning there’s an average of 12 people applying per job. It sounds like a lot Of applicants, but in reality it’s not that many. Also, I’m sure google expected a number close to that.

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