Google (and in fact, most companies) only want to hire candidates who appear flawless. To me, "appears flawless" is a red flag itself, but I think hiring committees see any potential negative as possibly the tip of a terrible iceberg. So even though we all want to be honest and provide nuanced feedback about what it was like to work with a person for years, when giving a reference you just need to censor all of that and pretend like they are the best person you ever worked with and the only downside is that you're not working together anymore (but you'd hire them back in a heartbeat).
It's like talking with a reporter or the police. Stop trying to be helpful to anyone but the people you already know. Strangers are not to be trusted with your inside information, about anything.
I wish the same high standard applied to companies interacting with candidates. I've had a Google engineer literally scream at me in an interview. I've also had their recruiters reach out to me for a role, schedule an interview that seemed to go well, then completely ghost me.
I do not judge a company that doesn't hire me, even if they don't give feedback - that is understandable given the legal climate in the states. But it is unacceptable to simply disappear, and actions have consequences.
(In my case, I do not take Google recruiter comms, along with any other company that engages in abusive behavior during the interview process)
For example, if I look for a new job, there is no way I will apply to Google (I say if because I see no reason to look for a new job).
To everyone else: talk to your references about what you want them to say! Don't just ask for a reference and leave it at that. Treat explicit reference checks like the formality that they are; you have no special obligation to present a super true, clear picture of your experience with your reference. Just make sure the reference gets you to "yes".
Serious reference checks usually aren't explicit (like, "give us a list of 3 people for references"), precisely because everyone with career skills knows to coach their references. In fact, because so many references are coached, negative feedback looks especially bad in them.
My favorite part of this story is that a major lesson this hiring manager learned from the process was to groom reference feedback for the offer committee, just further exposing what a farce explicit reference checks are in reality.
Hiring managers: the other big lesson here is, don't do things the way Google does them. It works for Google because there's so much cachet and stability associated with Google that they can afford to randomly turn down qualified applicants. You're unlikely to be in the same situation.
I believe she was Jewish and she said this in a fairly congenial way, but nonetheless I was somewhat shocked. I then thought "well gee, guess I'm going to get an offer". Nope -- more recruiter BS about headcount, whether they had the budget, etc. and the finally a "not a good fit at this time" call with no other feedback.
Their interview process is terrible for candidates and seems nearly designed to make the 90% of people they jerk around before saying no to believe all the stereotypes that Googlers are all self-entitled, aloof, 1%-ers. (I have a number of close friends @ Google, but geez the organization seems to practically revel in opportunities to make itself look bad and the hiring process makes it look sooo bad).
It's my understanding you take findings of fact to juries - which costs companies money to send lawyers to.
The woman would be put under oath (deposed), and probably admit it (I'd hope). But regardless it might still go to trial, and thus they might deem it logical to give a fraction of that as a settlement.
The candidate learned a very valuable lesson: Never believe any assurances that the recruiter gives you about how likely you are to get the job.
The candidate likely lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to their believing the recruiter (going from being hired by large Silicon Valley companies, to finding a startup at the last minute).
Because when my preferred candidate signs, I tell other candidates no.
If you have any respect for people, you don't do this stuff.
Reading between the lines, he committed to this candidate that the candidate was getting an offer; the candidate declined other offers on that basis, and did not actually get that offer.
The candidate should have retained a lawyer.
For anyone reading this and starting their careers, just know everything a recruiter says is bullshit until the docusign lands in your inbox.
Of course, there may not be a lot of demand for recruiters who would not be willing to tell a candidate that they're sure they'll get the offer beforehand...
I do wonder, though, if they will eventually accumulate a reputation for this sort of thing that might harm them. For myself, I no longer respond to their emails either.
You'd be surprised how often the answer to 'Should we hire' has more to do with 'He felt like he would be a dick' rather than 'He doesn't know X and Y technology'.
This sometimes results in candidates who can’t code well or engineers who badly overengineer.
That said, some of the best candidates have been from Google. Perhaps getting those best people was worth a certain percentage of what I consider borderline false positives.
Also, their ahole filter is imperfect. Just as with algorithms, you have people gaming the not an ahole filter.
I got called, sang his praises only to be asked, "Are you looking for any opportunities ..."
Recruiting off the reference list is a shitty thing to do.
or possibly not even be considering my friend
Particularly referencing down for when you hire managers.
This is to avoid issues like in the article, which can apparently leave the referee open to legal action if the candidate can say the bad reference cost them a job offer or something similar.
Is that different in the US? Do references usually mention the negatives about an applicant as well?