It's about 10 times more difficult to get into Google than Harvard University.
The banner atop the Google Careers portal caught my eye back when I was one of three million hungry applicants: "Do Cool Things That Matter."
It speaks at once of the tech industry's casual hipness and its passionate purpose. It spoke to me.
But while it probably describes some jobs at Google, it hardly captures my experience these past two years in the company's human resources department. And so I'm handing in my resignation this week.
There is nothing cool about my job as a "talent channels specialist", a type of recruiter charged with soliciting new applications from qualified people who haven't thought to apply or who might need persuading.
I scour LinkedIn, a factory farm of fluff, for engineers with a specific skill set and then send hundreds of canned messages to unsuspecting professionals each week.
Google HR uses the TextExpander program, which populates email templates with salutations, job description links and questions. All we have to do is press two keys (mine are semicolon followed by the letter "C").
There's also space for fill-in-the-blanks: one for the candidate's name ("Hey Mark") and another at the end for the day of the week ("Enjoy your Thursday!"), so the message is personal.
Google's low-level HR employees are barraged by higher-ups about Passion! and how we are Changing People's Lives!
We then hold 10-minute phone calls with interested candidates, conversations comparable in depth and variation to a drive-through order at Burger King.
Our mouth muscles get so accustomed to the spiel that we can think full separate thoughts - about our next career move, say - while talking.
We might feign curiosity in a candidate's ideal role, pitch them on working at Google and finally ask a few technical questions from a spreadsheet that gives us the correct answers, thankfully, because computer science is Greek to us.
HR "specialists" don't participate in second-round interviews. We merely collect times of availability from candidates and then wait for the results.
If a second interview goes well, we hand off the candidate to another recruiter. If it doesn't go well? TextExpander: semicolon followed by "NO" populates a sympathetic four-paragraph rejection email. We then return to step one: LinkedIn.
That's it. The whole job. Seriously. Repeated 40 or so times in each workday.
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