Google served notice to rivals such as Apple and Facebook Jan. 25 when it put a big help wanted notice up on the Web and the media gobbled it up.
After hiring more than 4,500 full-timers in 2010, Google is adding more than 6,200 new workers in 2011. Or, at least, it's hiring more than the 6,131 people Google tacked on in its previous biggest hiring year in 2007.
We know this because this will be the "biggest hiring year in company history," according to Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research. Eustace noted:
"There's something at Google for everyone--from geo, to enterprise, to video--with most of the work done in small teams, effectively working as start-ups. (The average number of software engineers on a project at Google is 3.5.) That's why the vast majority of our people stay with us, building their careers and taking on new challenges within the company."
It's interesting that Eustace played the "start-up" hand, as well as the point about the majority of people staying with Google.
Sure, percentage-wise, more people who join Google stay than leave. It's reportedly a great place to work.
But an increasingly sore spot for Google has been the defection of top-shelf employees to Facebook and smaller startups.
And they're reportedly leaving because Google has become too bogged down by corporate bureaucracy and the fact that, well, it just doesn't feel like a start-up anymore.
Even Google CEO Eric Schmidt acknowledged last week when he handed command of the company to co-founder Larry Page that decision-making had been getting bogged down between he, Page and Brin.
So you understand why some of us are smirking at the fact that Google, with 24,400 employees and a bid to go to over 30,000 workers this year, is touting the company as having a start-up-type environment. Because that's no longer the case.
AP has the best piece on the hiring and comparisons to rivals Microsoft, Facebook and others.
Anyway, now let's consider where the majority of Google's hires will be assigned. Google has tons of engineers, and it buys startups to acquire new ones all of the time.
I suspect Google will build out its on-the-street ad sales force to propel its Google Offers Groupon rival, as well as Google Places, Google Boost and Google Tags.
Of course, expect Google to hire more engineers in social. We're already seeing it, with the company picking up SayNow, which provides calling apps that hook into social networks.
Google is also hiring more gaming folks, as evidenced by its pick-up of Johnny Chung Lee from Microsoft's Kinect unit.
Some of these social engineering experts will be assigned to contextual discovery Google plans to offer. For that I point to Google's alleged, though not confirmed, purchase of sentiment analysis specialist Fflick.
Check out Google's job postings, including these juicy product management morsels:
Did I not say social and ad listings? There you have them, along with lots of Google TV positions.
By the way, Google needs some place to put these people. As the Los Angeles Times noted, the company is leasing more than 100,000 square feet of office space in three buildings in Venice.
Google could put all of its social software folks there.