I have zero interest in working in X.
The reason hiring is hard is because the interviews have a low pass rate, everyone else is also hiring, and salaries + benefits among top tech firms in an area are fairly similar.
But the pass rate is up to the company. Either the wrong people are being brought in for interviews, or Google is looking for some x-factor that nobody has.
Source: Have interviewed with Google a couple of times, and coached a couple of other people for the same.
> I file feedback exclusively on technical merit and communication.
I appreciate your comment, but my point is that there's no way to actually do this, even if your goal is to. It may seem that you're being objective, but the objective facts can only influence the subjective opinion that's ultimately responsible for the decision, not the reverse as we like to think.
For example, if an interviewer likes the interviewee, they would actually think that the person did quite well in the technical question, and not if they don't. We first form an opinion about someone or something and then look for "objective" facts to justify it, not the other way round.
The only way to really be objective here is to use a point system and hard thresholds which completely removes the human in the loop, like SAT.
I recommend "Thinking Fast and Slow" and "Why Buddhism is True" which go into this idea in detail, and in general about how poor we are at being unbiased and rational. You'd be surprised at how deep our irrationality goes even if you already have some idea.
Sure, what is included can still be slightly biased, but if you're talking about non-technical things at the beginning or end, it won't really make it into the technical interview feedback, and probably will have little to no effect on the committee's decision. At the end of the day, the problems you're asked have optimal solutions and your code will either work or it won't.
I don't think your point is totally off base, I just think you stated it too strongly in your previous comment.
Even better is to use that rapport to then disguise successively large hints into the interviewing process, so the candidate can't obviously tell if they've failed horribly... again to avoid tilting them for future interviews that day. Give them room and time to explore the problem space on their own, but don't let them sit in silence making no progress for 30 minutes making it painfully obvious that something is very wrong.
A single bombed interview might not kill the whole packet, so it's best to insulate.
There is no such thing.
> but things like your sense of humor, ability to communicate in a positive and cheerful way, whether you seem mature and responsible, and other such little things the typical techie would like in another person.
Sounds like you're hiring actors rather than people able to do good technical work.
Google as a company seems to have none of these qualities in the aggregate so it looks to me as if your process is broken. Besides the obvious ethical challenges.
They know they will get enough people applying several times that they can just toss out qualified people all day. Eventually enough get in.
(I actually don't have an axe to grind here - it's certainly not related to any obvious grouping - I just wonder if interview and selection might be so deeply flawed that a the occasional random lottery injection might improve the overall result.)
I also think the criteria are different. i.e. I believe when evaluating the results it’s more strongly biased to avoid false negatives unlike the regular process which is more about avoiding false positives.
Or maybe I just have impostor syndrome, who can say...
If anything I imagine its a net positive for the team, though I'm not a Googler and don't really know the internal dynamics of the situation.
Too bad it has never worked too well for any other big company, for structural reasons ("Internal incubators")
The idea isn't just to remain dynamic, but to allow for new products and services to be developed despite posing a threat to the company's main cash cow.
So Lab126 was completely independent from most of Amazon, including being based in the Bay Area vs. Seattle. This allowed the to develop a product that went directly against the main cash cow at the time (selling physical books) and make it to market.
Microsoft had one as well, but would always fail because the existing businesses heads held too much power, and would always kill the products. Just take a look at the history of the Surface.
I know this from all the com.lab126 Java packages in the firmware :)
Or, at least, the technology might have been obvious (they did have a hand in developing digital cameras), but the idea that they should bet big on the new technology eventually replacing them evidently wasn't obvious.
There's other benefits. Such-as institutional knowledge that can be used to determine where to invest VC money / acquisitions.
Or the strategic part where you leverage R&D spend to sign quid pro quo contracts...who's earnings might boost some quarterly earning metric.
There are rare exceptions in anything - but the existance of lottery winners does not mean the expected payout of a lottery ticket is positive.
Bell Labs used its monopoly profits to fund research - which was good for research, but no so much for Bell.
If we consider AT&T as Bells successor, it only allowed Bell to stay relevant. Still, AT&T now is nowhere close to Bell it is heyday. Same for Xerow now. Research doesn't pay as much as companies seems to think.
While google position in online advertising is as close to a monopoly as legally possible, it will not change the structure of the incentives. The odds are against them.
But maybe they do not aim for the kind of success they claim they will have, and only want to stay relevant, like Microsoft is now. That is more possible, even if it will be hard to pull.
Personally, I think most R&D money that companies like Microsoft (or Google) have sunk into internal R&D could have had much better uses. But it's not my money! And eventually white elephants get butchered for the meat, so no big loss there.
Some companies are constantly researching ways to improve their products. Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple come to mind.
Some companies are constantly researching for new ways to find their resources. Every oil company comes to mind.
I think your claim is way, way off.
Ex: tablets for Microsoft in 1994. Google driving cars.
The "current business line" of Google was Search. Full stop.
Some people thought it was absurd when Google started doing email, or smartphone OSs, or browsers...
I could go on and on.
Microsoft doing gaming consoles. Amazon doing web services rather than online storefront...