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Which Google Should Congress Believe?

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the playing-with-the-big-boys-now dept.

Google 428

theodp writes "In Congressional testimony last month, Google's VP of People Operations told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration that, due to limits on the number of H-1B visas, Google is regularly unable to pursue highly qualified candidates. But as Google stock tumbled in after hours trading Wednesday, Google's CEO blamed disappointing profits on a hiring binge and promised Wall Street analysts that the company would keep a careful eye on headcount in the future. So which Google should Congress believe?"

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428 comments

The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

bartyboy (99076) | about 7 years ago | (#19928693)

The lack of qualified candidates doesn't mean that Google can't hire people with less/no talent.

For all we know they hired 10,000 janitors and have trouble finding programmers.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

vfrex (866606) | about 7 years ago | (#19928729)

I was about to hit the trigger on the same title. The two are not mutually exclusive, and this article is flame bait.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

Jeremy_Bee (1064620) | about 7 years ago | (#19928771)

Thirded, (not a word I know). This article should be removed, it's junk.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

hbean (144582) | about 7 years ago | (#19928993)

I was about to add this comment as well.

This is just another person trying to paint Google in the same light as Microsoft.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Interesting)

Retric (704075) | about 7 years ago | (#19929083)

Yea, the article is junk but so is the H1B quota system. It seems like the simple solution is for the government to auction off H1B's.

If Google really want's someone they can offer 50k but they can probably get local talent for cheaper. My guess is H1B's would balance out to around 25K a pop and most Americans would be fine competing on that type of playing field.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

dup_account (469516) | about 7 years ago | (#19929175)

OMG! Finally someone has a bright idea on how to fix this! Please mod up as insightful.

Also, I think them getting in on this side of the H1B argument goes against their "do no evil" policy. I may not seem so microly, but macroly it hurts everyone except those 70 people they want to hire.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (2, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | about 7 years ago | (#19929343)

You cannot find local talent in Silicon Valley for $50k.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 7 years ago | (#19929419)

Then either leave Silicon Valley -- there are plenty of lower-cost places in the U.S. with talented tech workers -- or pay more.

Just because some company wants to hire programmers at $35k a year, while staying in a high-cost area, doesn't mean they have some magical right to do it.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (2, Insightful)

DudeTheMath (522264) | about 7 years ago | (#19929427)

$50k is to the government. G^nP is suggesting that for top talent, the pay differential between Berkeley and Bangalore or Beijing is $50k, and that companies might be willing to concentrate more on finding (and paying for) America's Top Talent (that Silicon Valley reality show) for the same effective cost (lower salary, but auctioned H1-B) as an import.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929713)

$50k starting? They offer a little more than that to programmers from top universities. :)

You Makes Me Want To JEEEESUS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929197)

Mmmm, Microsoft gives me Jesus. Long, hard, Jesus. So please do excuse for a moment, if I don't get Spirit quick I'm probable going to squirt a fat Christ all over belly.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | about 7 years ago | (#19929375)

I'm disappointed with /. editors. They have become desperate to find controversial topics. Desperate to the point of tossing common sense logic out the window.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | about 7 years ago | (#19929401)

And the drop-off in stock price was in after hours trading Thursday Night/Friday Morning. NOT Wednesday! Flamebait and inaccurate article should be removed. Or "buried", as my friend says.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 7 years ago | (#19928755)

For all we know they hired 10,000 janitors and have trouble finding programmers.
Or because of a lack of real talent to recruit, they had to hire 10,000 PoS programmers instead of 3000 good ones, hence high payroll and emplyee overhead expenses. Could be used as more fuel for their arguments to increase the H1B visa cap.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (3, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 years ago | (#19928907)

Or because of a lack of real talent to recruit, they had to hire 10,000 PoS programmers instead of 3000 good ones, hence high payroll and emplyee overhead expenses.
Surely the people at Google have read The Mythical Man Month and are smart enough to know that 3 programmers of lesser talent do not in any way equal 1 programmer of greater talent. Just as 9 women can't make a baby in 1 month, adding more people to a project rarely speeds it up and almost always slows it down.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | about 7 years ago | (#19929029)

Just as 9 women can't make a baby in 1 month, adding more people to a project rarely speeds it up and almost always slows it down.

Just remember, though -- while 9 women may not be able to make a baby in 1 month, they most certainly can make 9 babies in 9 months, while even the most talented woman would have a hard time producing more than 2.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#19929171)

Sure, but then you have all of the additional overhead costs associated with maintaining 9 babies instead of just one.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (2, Funny)

PCM2 (4486) | about 7 years ago | (#19929307)

Not if they're foreign babies! Clearly, the high cost of American babies is the problem here, not procreation in general.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

BytePusher (209961) | about 7 years ago | (#19929697)

Or rather 9 women depending on whether or not they are high maintenance and how long they stay out of work on maternity leave. I think in this situation more baby's are desirable, which would naturally consider the maintenance cost of said babies.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | about 7 years ago | (#19929213)

I believe, sir, you are incorrect [sixgosselins.com] .

Some women are just lucky like that...and use the right fertility drugs.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | about 7 years ago | (#19929321)

So what are you saying? I need to have sex with 9 women this month in order to optimize overall baby production?

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Funny)

PCM2 (4486) | about 7 years ago | (#19929591)

So what are you saying? I need to have sex with 9 women this month in order to optimize overall baby production?

Not exactly. The Mythical Man Month teaches us that when you're having woman problems, throwing more women at the problem is never the solution.

The formula is n(n-1)/2 ... that is, for each group of women n, the number of channels of communication in the group is equal to n times n-1 (where the 1 is you), divided by two.

Because of this, Fred Brooks recommends that you not engage any baby-producers until the overall system of women is well architected. Note that this process can take an incredibly long time. Another solution is to employ women with off-the-shelf babies, which often come with a third-party support contract.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

darkonc (47285) | about 7 years ago | (#19929145)

This is true -- but this isn't like the mythical man-month situation where they're trying to add programmers to an already backlogged project. Google's problem is that they have more projects than they do capable programmers, and -- for some of the most lucrative projects, the people who would be best for the job are unavailable because of H1-B problems.

As such, Google is finding itself hiring lots of people, some of whom are sub-optimal for the jobs they're doing.

This problem is a good part of why Microsoft recently opened up a development centre in Vancouver BC [www.cbc.ca] . Canada's lighter immigration restrictions apparently allow them to have more of the best people that they can find (overseas), but still have them 'close to home'.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 years ago | (#19929095)

Or maybe they hired 3000 great people, but just wish they didn't have to pay so darn much because investors want them to spend less money [battlecreekenquirer.com] . See? No contradiction.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (4, Insightful)

dup_account (469516) | about 7 years ago | (#19929271)

This is why our stock market driven economy is so messed up. Gee, they didn't make super numbers this quarter because they were building for the future....

I love this quote "Investors wanted less spending, more growth".... And I'd like someone to leave a pound of gold on my doorstep every day.... Hmm, ain't happening. I better punish Google stock for it.

Seems like someone brought GOOG @ $550 (1)

mdozturk (973065) | about 7 years ago | (#19929497)

I think the investors have it right.

Say you hired 10000 programmers but you let them sit around without producing anything. That is more spending and no growth. What the investors are saying is "stop doing that". Makes sense to me.

A lot of speculators out there expecting amazing things from google. If google can't deliver they take their money elsewhere, no one is punishing anyone.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

infonography (566403) | about 7 years ago | (#19929249)

Janitor jobs at Google are at the $50k mark, dang! Where where they when I was fresh out of high school?

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#19928795)

Maybe they're having trouble because the best programmers know they can get hired anywhere they want and don't have the patience to deal with Google's ridiculously long and convoluted hiring process.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929153)

Or because they've hired all of the Stanford PhDs they seem to prefer and the rest of the best programmers who don't have PhDs don't want to be treated like second class citizens.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929493)

Agreed, that and the no Evil policy. Makes hiring tough in certain parts of the country.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929649)

I live near Redmond, and while on the job hunt recently I was offered a MS job and a Google job simultaneously. I thought, "Wow Google!" and of course took the bait. They had me interview with someone who was so far removed from the job and hiring process that she had me convinced I was a prime candidate. She didn't tell me which job I was being interviewed for, and in the end I was just left frustrated with the people I had to deal with at Google.

Re:The two are not mutually exclusive (1)

jd (1658) | about 7 years ago | (#19929441)

The lack of qualified candidates doesn't mean that Google can't hire people with less/no talent.

For all we know they hired 10,000 janitors and have trouble finding programmers.

You mean, they got 10,000 employees to transfer from Microsoft? Now we know Google is doomed.

Stupid question (5, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | about 7 years ago | (#19928699)

Whichever one makes the larger campaign contribution.

Duh.

Re:Stupid question (0, Redundant)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about 7 years ago | (#19928773)

Damn! Only three comments and somebody beats me to the first thing that popped into my head.

Bastard. :)

how about believing that this is a false dichotomy (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 7 years ago | (#19928703)

Seriously, just because Google says they hired too many people doesn't mean that they don't also believe there's a shortage of qualified people because of immigration. There are a lot of other jobs at Google that don't involve development, and their statement to wall street might make sense if you view it as, "yeah, we hired too many people, including under-qualified developers."

Re:how about believing that this is a false dichot (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | about 7 years ago | (#19928887)

While that's theoretically true, it's funny to see everyone here rushing to embrace the "American programmers are incompetent! We need more immigrants, now!" position if that's what it takes to defend Google's honor.

Re:how about believing that this is a false dichot (1)

mi (197448) | about 7 years ago | (#19928983)

American programmers are incompetent!

Whom are you quoting here? Can we, please, have a link to anything like this and the evidence of it being "embraced by everyone here"?

We need more immigrants, now!

We do. American programmers are qualified alright on average, but there aren't enough of them.

Re:how about believing that this is a false dichot (5, Interesting)

djones101 (1021277) | about 7 years ago | (#19929221)

American programmers are qualified alright on average, but there aren't enough of them.
Personally, I'd disagree with that statement. The lack is qualified programmers that live in the tech-rich areas of the country. I've met certified programmers who could make code practically sing, putting others in Silicon Valley to shame. The difference was they didn't want to live in LA, or Houston, or any other tech-rich area. They enjoyed their smaller cities where you don't fight a 2-hour backup in the morning for a 15-minute drive. The qualified programmers are out there, the companies just need to learn that they need to look beyond the silicon corridor and the outsourcing countries.

Re:how about believing that this is a false dichot (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#19929217)

You don't have to believe that American programmers are incompetent. Google want to hire the top n% (for the sake of argument, let's pretend n=1). A significant proportion of this group may be in the US, but I can't believe that they all are. Of those that are, a great many are likely to already have jobs and not want to move. Once Google have hired all of the developers who are American, in the top 1%, and unemployed, or willing to change jobs, then they have to move on to people who only match two of the three. They can't do much about the last one. If you're not willing to work for Google then they could try offering more money / benefits, but that won't work for everyone. They have to compromise one of the other two requirements. Either they recruit non-Americans, or they recruit Americans in the top 2%, then the top 3%, etc.

From Google's perspective, getting non-Americans who are still in the top 1% is obviously better, since it means they don't have to lower their hiring standards. The difference between the top 1% and the top 2% might not be huge. The top 2% might be able to do everything the top 1% can do, just take a bit longer. If this is the case, then Google are going to need more of them. They might only need 9 from the top 1% for every 10 from the top 2%, for example. If this is the case, then the majority of the top talent could still be American, Google could still need more non-American developers, and they might have hired more people than they wanted to.

Re:how about believing that this is a false dichot (1)

Otter (3800) | about 7 years ago | (#19929453)

Sure, I get that. I just thought it was funny that the people who fly into a frothing racist rage at any mention of India are suddenly cheerleading for immigrant programmers when their beloved Google comes into question.

But since you're insisting on having a thoughtful discussion of this instead: I submitted a story [slashdot.org] a few weeks ago on what I thought was an interesting response to Google -- auction off H1-Bs. If the issue is *really* ultra-specialized positions that can't be properly filled with Americans, then let the people who need them the most put their money behind that need. It makes no sense to have this huge vat of interchangeable first-come-first served visas.

Re:how about believing that this is a false dichot (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 7 years ago | (#19929255)

Actually, I'm going to say that American programmers are generally not going to fit the needs of google. In the job market I'm in right now, there's a shortage of developers of any kind, not just good ones. This can lead to developers not getting as much education as they would have otherwise gotten. However, I also know a programmer from Russia who's getting a master's degree to be able to get a work visa (he's already got an educational one). When he's done, he'll fit the profile of a google developer better than I do.

This isn't to say that foreigners are better than americans, it's to say that foreigners will generally fit the profile of a google developer better. Even if you assume they're equal, Google, with its requirements of advanced mathematics on its search algorithms, will need to hire from a much larger pool to get the qualification they're looking for. It's not a prejudice against Americans, just an understanding of the trends that both groups are going through.

Ironically, if more work visas become available, less immigrants might get advanced degrees. It may be counter productive in the end.

Both? (1)

Colonel Angus (752172) | about 7 years ago | (#19928709)

I'm pretty sure they're still allowed to hire as many Americans as they want. They were in front of congress saying they couldn't hire all the foreigners they wanted due to current immigration law. Seems to me to be apples and oranges.

Re:Both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929035)

Well, it's pretty simple. I'm a hiring manager at Google, and I can tell you that the problem is that American programmers are not qualified for the high-end work Google wants, so we need foreigners (the best and the brightest). Due to shortages of foreign programmers, we were forced to hire many unqualified American programmers who cannot perform up to the level of quality expected by Google. This is hurting the bottom line. I wouldn't be surprised if we need to lay off some people in the near future.

Qualifications (5, Insightful)

Pyramid (57001) | about 7 years ago | (#19928711)

And by "qualifications", they mean, "willing to work for pennies"

Re:Qualifications (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 7 years ago | (#19928739)

Actually, by "qualifications" they mean "people who have Ph.D.s"; they're similar to what you were saying, I know, but the difference is there.

Re:Qualifications (5, Insightful)

Pyramid (57001) | about 7 years ago | (#19928901)

No. I meant what I meant. Ph.D. or Devry graduate is irrelevant. Generally, most companies complaining they can't find qualified American candidates really mean, 'We can't find qualified native candidates for the paltry compesation we're offering". No wonder considering the cost of higher education these days.

I work at a huge company with plenty of H1B holders. The ratio of talented to useless slob H1B holders is roughly the same as "home grown" employees here. It's just that the H1B folks COST LESS.

Re:Qualifications (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 years ago | (#19929653)

I have to disagree completely on this point, at least in the programming industry. In our company, we are looking for good people; those who know how to self-manage and have strong programming skills, or at least the ability to grow into strong programming skills. If we are able to hire two people a month then we are really happy. We run into people who have these kinds of problems:
  1. They are applying for a job they are clearly not qualified for. Maybe they studied system administration for two years at DeVry and then apply for a programming job.
  2. They can't program at all. "Well, it looks like on your resume you have 6 years programming industry experience in java. Could you please write on the board a program to swap two variables? ............um.....yeah, something like that...." (I did not make that example up, she literally did not know how to swap two variables).
  3. Once a month or so we run into a highly talented programmer who has been in the industry for a long time and really know what they are doing. These guys are always interesting to talk to so I love doing interviews with them because I always learn something new. Unfortunately they are looking for a short term consulting gig and we are looking for people to stay with us in the long term.
And this is all BEFORE we even talk about salaries. We are willing to pay enough, we just can't find the people. Furthermore, I don't know anyone who can't find a job. Recent college graduates might have a little trouble, but it's because they don't know how to look, not because there are not jobs. Try looking at smaller companies, they generally treat their employees better, have more potential, and are easier to get hired into than giants like google. If you are a good programmer and can't find a job, then let me know because first of all I won't believe you and second of all I want to hire you [slashdot.org] .

Re:Qualifications (2, Interesting)

kisrael (134664) | about 7 years ago | (#19929739)

my favorite bit of hiring dumbness: http://kisrael.com/viewblog.cgi?date=2005.11.09 [kisrael.com]

it is ASTONISHING at the low quality of people you can interview. Degrees are only super-loosely correlated.

BTW, w/ swap two variables... could they use a third place holder, or was it meant to be more clever than that?

Re:Qualifications (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929743)

I am here on an H1b visa. I was hired right after getting M.Sc. degree in computer science 3 years before. I work as an SDET. Right now I earn $84400 / year after one promotion. Americans that work with me earn comparable amount of money. Lukasz

Re:Qualifications (1)

br00tus (528477) | about 7 years ago | (#19928915)

Yes, most of the H1-Bs I met had PHDs - not. One H1-B I knew had never touched a computer before coming to the US. If we were just giving our H1Bs for PHDs from IIT, we wouldn't be handing out tens of thousands of them a year

Re:Qualifications (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929191)

Yeah, I knew a couple that had learned the "theory of programming" at some India tech school, but had never actually used a computer. Needless to say their work was fantastic....

Re:Qualifications (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#19929267)

Last I checked, PhDs were not affected by H1B caps (at least, not those from all countries of origin), since there were other visa programs available for those with advanced degrees.

Re:Qualifications (1)

stratjakt (596332) | about 7 years ago | (#19929565)

When I moved to the US and got married, PhD holders and professors were just behind me in line for green cards. Ahead of us, of course, are "RICH ASS CELBRITIES BLING BLING!" (ie; beckham didnt wait in no motherfuckin' immigration line. On a similar note, do they really think anyone will give a fuck about soccer now? I mean they bought gretzky, and it didn't make anyone give a fuck about hockey)

Anyways, H1-Bs are just for people who can't afford a real green card.

If google wants to expand the H1-B program, it's because they want janitors and landscapers to work below minimum wage (by playing contracted worker games), not talented programmers to invent the next big thing.

Re:Qualifications (1)

megaditto (982598) | about 7 years ago | (#19929541)

Einstein and von Neumann never touched a computer before coming to the United States, either.

There is no contradiction (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19928717)

Hire a few capable workers or hire a ton of incapable workers.

It most certainly is not wise, but perhaps that's what Google is doing here - Hiring a ton of incapable/unqualified workers.

Believe Both (-1, Flamebait)

ZachReligious (313979) | about 7 years ago | (#19928719)

They had to spend more money to hire US citizens. And they had to hire more of them, because they aren't as qualified.

Sounds perfectly logical to me.

The One Without ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19928723)

Which Google Should Congress Believe?
The one without the mustache and shifty eyes. Trust me, I've seen enough movies to know these things.

Outsourcing? (4, Funny)

Renaissance 2K (773059) | about 7 years ago | (#19928737)

I didn't realize IT companies weren't allowed to hire American workers.

Re:Outsourcing? (1)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#19928775)

Next step from the Pro-H1B Lobby is to get hiring American workers made illegal.

Re:Outsourcing? (1)

djrogers (153854) | about 7 years ago | (#19928969)

IT Companies can hire Americans - if they can find any that aren't employed already... The unemployment rate is way down, and if you've tried to do any tech hiring lately you'd know how hard it is to find qualified candidates. Espeically in places like the Bay Area!

Looks like (3, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 years ago | (#19928747)

Google spent oodles of boodle hiring the entire kit and caboodle while the managers went feudal.

If they think congress will buy both stories, they lost their noodles!

Upmoderate parent (1)

Scareduck (177470) | about 7 years ago | (#19928819)

Hee!

Maybe (3, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 7 years ago | (#19928753)

Maybe they couldn't get the smart A+ guys, and hired two A- guys to compensate?

I'm not defending Google here, I'm just pointing out that the two statements are not totally contradictory. Technically, all the google blog said is "There exist candidates that we can't hire (but would like to) because of immigration laws".

Re:Maybe (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929059)

Apparently /. have difficulty hiring A+ people, and hired too many B- people too.

Re:Maybe (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 years ago | (#19929605)

Maybe they couldn't get the smart A+ guys, and hired two A- guys to compensate?

Two mediocre employees do not equil one good employee, in fact just the opposite.

Re:Maybe (1)

dsanfte (443781) | about 7 years ago | (#19929647)

Sad these days where a 3.70 GPA is considered "mediocre".

Re:Maybe (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | about 7 years ago | (#19929797)

Two mediocre employees do not equil one good employee, in fact just the opposite.The opposite... One good employee equals two mediocre ones?

I know! (2, Funny)

Etrias (1121031) | about 7 years ago | (#19928769)

The first one. Wait! No, that second guy. I don't know! Third base!

Obvious (1, Funny)

thegameiam (671961) | about 7 years ago | (#19928787)

The one that isn't evil, duh!

Evil == All Those Things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19928793)

Google is evil, congress is evil, BUSH is evil [hakspace.net] . I dunno why anyone would believe anything any of 'em say.

Um, both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19928801)

I don't see the conflict: Google hires a bunch of people and complains they can't get everyone they want, later decides hiring a bunch of people was a bad idea. So?

The non-evil one. (0, Troll)

sproketboy (608031) | about 7 years ago | (#19928807)

But they should only believe the evil Microsoft. ;)

They should google it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19928841)

Or maybe use google fights?

unqualified workers (1)

e-scetic (1003976) | about 7 years ago | (#19928873)

If I hired mostly unqualified people I'd have a dent in my profits too. And I'd be complaining about the difficulty in finding qualified people. The original submitter mistakenly thinks this is either/or when there's nothing mutually exclusive about both claims.

Re:unqualified workers (1)

greymond (539980) | about 7 years ago | (#19928935)

I was about to reply to this blurb and saw your post - you summed up everything I was gonna rant on perfectly.

divination (1)

jinnyc (1118803) | about 7 years ago | (#19928917)

Google should be punished for not being able to predict the future.

Re:divination (1)

SkyFalling (1115231) | about 7 years ago | (#19929143)

Sounds like someone's not in the http://future.google.com/ [google.com] beta. Sour grapes.

Awww... poor Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19928967)

Lack of highly qualified employees?

That's what happens when you mass-hire Stanford frat boys straight from the classes. The highly qualified programmers have programmed applications in the real world for a number of years and not just applied what-I-just-learned in non-real-world environments.

Have to resort to overseas? Well, good for you, Google. Get screwed both ways, I hope you get as many foreign developers on your projects as possible. Might as well start the outsourcing.

Mod Parent Up (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 years ago | (#19929211)

Mind that that was a Google project mixed with Stanford exclusivity. Otherwise well explained.

Correction: s/Google/Stanford/ (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 7 years ago | (#19929353)

N/T

Google lies (3, Informative)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#19929023)

There is no shortage of IT workers, especially good ones, but companies make more profit off of young workers and foreign workers they can treat like slaves. See To H1-B or not to H-1B? [informationweek.com] . And in the minds of many experienced project managers, quality of worker's intelligence and experience are more important than having 10,000 interchangable drones as Google seems to want. See Smart and Gets Things Done [regdeveloper.co.uk] .

Both.. (3, Interesting)

pickyouupatnine (901260) | about 7 years ago | (#19929027)

Like any public company - Google's learning to deal with keeping a steady growth in-order to keep its stock healthy. While they may have hired too many people recently - those are too many VERY WELL PAID people compared to what they could get for the same money if they could bring in H1-B workers. The H1-B worker is looking to come to America and start a new life - he/she is willing to sacrifice a few years worth of inferior pay inorder to get settled with a Greencard.

So yes, Google CEO blamed their hiring binge - what he really meant was "We're paying too much in wages and salaries - more than we'd like to anyway".

Well... (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 7 years ago | (#19929047)

Hirgin binge could be happening by gutting employees of other companies... cough.... cough... yahoo. Which means that there are few companies fighting for the same employees but unable to fill all the positions they have available -- the highly qualified ones. So both statements (the one to the Congress and the one to the shareholders) can easily be true.

Haven't been here long, but... (2, Insightful)

ruben.gutierrez (913239) | about 7 years ago | (#19929091)

I'm beginning to hate Slashdot!

Fucking stupid article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929149)

The two are NOT mutually exclusive. Who publishes this shit on /.?

Cheap Labor Lobbyists (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 7 years ago | (#19929227)

Of course both are the same Google - and its not talking out of both sides of its billion-dollar mouth. If Google could hire more H1B workers in its "hiring spree", then it would cost less, and therefore profits on the same (or even somewhat less) revenue would be higher.

Google, like other American corporations, wants to hire H1B "guest workers" because they're cheaper than citizens or fulltime residents. Guest workers subsidize their American work time by spending more time back home in their foreign country, which usually costs less to live in than the US. So they can ask for lower pay than their American competition, who have to live here full time. With our higher cost labor protections, environmental protections, and overall higher quality of life - for most everyone - with its higher cost.

So Google wants to build its brand and infrastructure on the vast, longterm American investment in the Internet and creating most of its indexed content. It wants to tap the PhDs that Americans have invested in producing to make a less-valuable foreigner workforce more productive. And it wants to charge American corporate customers the money with which it pays them, while pitching expensive equity to mostly American investors. All underwritten by foreigner labor, even though there are plenty of Americans available, though at a higher price.

I'm not surprised: that's business. It's also kinda evil.

Where are the Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929289)

My group has lots of openings. We're looking for a multiple C++ engineers. We recently hired an intern. I've probably interviewed on the order of twenty people either in person or on the phone for these positions. Out of all those interviews (selected based purely on resumes matching the skillset (by engineers, not HR) only two were American. Probably half listed a college in India under education.

One of the Americans was a friend, and not an applicant answering an ad.

Nothing wrong with foreign born labor. But I find it sad that this country doesn't seem to be producing engineers the way it used to.

Why is it Congress' Business Anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929291)

I know that Slashdot is a second home for all the protectionists who fear competition and hate the idea that foreigners should get a shot at jobs they (usually fancifully) imagine would go to them, but I'll say this anyway: why on earth should Congress have any say in who a fully private company chooses to hire, let alone in what citizenship its employees need to have? To read this submission one would think it were a given that politicians should have a say in such matters, as if companies based in the United States had some sort of obligation beyond paying taxes and obeying the law to others with American citizenship, but what is the basis for this belief?

"American companies should give their jobs to Americans!" is a nice bit of populist sloganeering, but underneath it lies nothing more than xenophobia and an overblown sense of entitlement as far as I can tell: if Google can make more money by hiring foreigners - whether because they're cheaper or they're just better than most American candidates - then that is its prerogative as a profit-maximizing entity, and those who don't like it are free to start their own firms running on other principles. Google doesn't owe any of us a living, and the predictable wave of support for this instance of Congressional meddling in affairs beyond its rightful oversight is especially hypocritical in view of the usual "live free or die" rhetoric common on here when it comes to matters of intellectual property, state surveillance and the like: Slashdotters are perfect examples of the fair-weather libertarians who give libertarianism such a bad reputation - protectionists, statists and foreigner-haters who only care about "freedom" interpreted as ripping off entertainment companies, taking drugs, dodging taxes and (mostly fantasizing about) engaging in kinky sex.

tough choice... (1)

pla (258480) | about 7 years ago | (#19929337)

So which Google should Congress believe?"

The one under oath, rather than the one issuing a press release.

New era for Google? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 7 years ago | (#19929365)

Is this a new era for Google of "Do as much harm as you think you can hide", like other companies I could mention?

Note to Google top managers: If you are adversarial, you are showing that you are incompetent.

Hire elsewhere (1)

Splunge (88538) | about 7 years ago | (#19929457)

It's possible for there to be "not enough H1Bs" and "too many people hired" if the company simply hired more people outside of the US. Google has offices in Europe and Asia - perhaps they increased the staffing there because they couldn't get the people they wanted in the US.

Re:Hire elsewhere (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929595)

Precisely. Why bring them here? You have them work right where they are, and pay them even less...

satellite branching? (2, Interesting)

MoFoQ (584566) | about 7 years ago | (#19929485)

I wonder if they can't set up a satellite office/company in a country that is more friendly in terms of worker visas (Cananda or maybe Google's own island-country) and then "out-source" all their development to that other "Google" company.

If you think about it....allowing more H-1 visas would actually help to save more American jobs as those foreign hi-tech workers will live here and buy things, eat at restaurants locally (it's not like they will be flying back to their country of origin just to grab a bite to eat), buy services (phone, TV, etc.) locally as well as pay American income and sales taxes which gets pumped right back into the community.
If not, companies will have no choice but to out-source or move those specific projects overseas if they can not find enough qualified workers locally, and that means the govt loses on tax income.

Pursue High Quality Search Results (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929547)

Dear United States Congress,

I'm finding that I'm unable to pursue high quality search results.

I propose that Google's patented search technologies be licensed to foreign competitors at fixed rates (far below the current market value).

This may affect Google's ability to earn profits, but all I care about is getting high quality search results.

Thank you,

A Concerned Citizen

Author of this post is cookoo (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | about 7 years ago | (#19929581)

Time and time again you guys use utterly crappy logic! Whether or not Google can hire the people Google desires has no bearing on if they are hiring at all. If anything they are hiring two or more people to replace that one person they really need. This egg carton has more than one space for an egg!

Believe both (1, Redundant)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 7 years ago | (#19929593)

Google wanted to hire cheap H-1B people, instead they had to hire US Engineers. That is the reason for the salary costs that Wall Street was so concerned about.

H1-B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19929643)

Microsoft is bypassing the whole H1B CF by building a satellite facility right over the border in Vancouver. Canada likes money.

Look northward, angel (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 7 years ago | (#19929667)

Google need only hire as many wonks as it needs in the Great White North. Canada has very liberal immigration policies compared to the US. All you really need is a job offer, English and French language skills, no criminal record. Weighted salaries are about the same as the US but you needed worry about bottlenecks and shortages either.

Where is your thinking? (3, Insightful)

JRHelgeson (576325) | about 7 years ago | (#19929723)

How is this a serious question? As a business owner, my business is expanding. I'm seeking qualified individuals from within the USA and from overseas. Good talent is hard to find. I am also hiring 2 low-end employees for each 1 high-end educated employee desired. The two I do hire will only produce .75 of the expected output of 1 good employee. This sucks.

It saddens me to say this but work ethic is sorely lacking in America today. The college professors I interact with on a daily basis confirm that the kids entering college today have not recieved a proper education, their brains are mush. THey aren't stupid, they just have never been challenged and grown and developed their brains. They can tell you about Global Warming, yet nothing about American History. They have been seriously ripped off by an educational system that has constantly lowered standards in order to get everyone passing the standardized tests.

To a large extent, kids these days are seriously lacking critical thinking skills. You want proof? Well, lets just watch the replies to this post and see how this gets moderated.

-joel

There's no contradiction... (4, Insightful)

curunir (98273) | about 7 years ago | (#19929755)

Google is being entirely consistent. In one case, they argued that there should be more H1-Bs so that they can hire more qualified people. The other, came in response to questions from analysts that wanted to know why Google's net profits only increased $204m (to $925) while gross profits rose $1.41b to $3.87b. Quick math will show that the gross grew by a much larger percentage than the net. Analysts have gotten so used to Google thoroughly beating expectations that when their net results only met expectations, they wanted an explanation. Google gave it to them, saying that they hired lots of people. Nowhere did they say that they hired too many people or that they shouldn't have hired those people.

The two messages can be combined to give the message that Google wants to hire even more people which will hurt their numbers in the near term but lead to a healthier and more profitable company in the future. There's nothing inconsistent about that message.
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