Google Has Yet To Hire For Mount Holly Facility

    July 11, 2007

Local governments have made big concessions (mostly in the form of tax breaks) in order to get Google to build on their land.  The search engine giant will strengthen the economy and hire lots of locals – or so the thinking goes.  But in at least one location, Google hasn’t hired anyone at all.

Mount Holly, South Carolina is the site of one of Google’s new server farms.  And when I say “is,” I mean that construction has already started.

Nonetheless, Dan McCue of the Charlotte Regional Business Journal reports, “In spite of a response from applicants that he described as ‘pleasantly overwhelming,’ Google has yet to hire a single employee for the site, the company’s point man for the development of its new Mt. Holly facility said this morning.”

Now, I’m no director of personnel, but it seems like this could be a problem.  “We’re exited about the opportunities we have for staffing the Mt. Holly facility,” explained Andrew Johnson, Google’s East Coast regional manager for hardware operations, “but given the unique combination of skills we’re looking for, finding exactly the right people has been difficult.”

If Google’s truly exhausted the local talent pool – and Johnson made no sign to the Business Journal that it had – that would be a bad sign for everyone.  After all, similar facilities are being built in North Carolina and Iowa, so comparable shortages could crop up there.  And if Google intends to bring in lots of employees from outside any of those areas, local inhabitants and the people who arranged those tax breaks could become more than a little peeved.

Then again, this may all be a big to-do over nothing.  Johnson “said beginning in October Google will start the phased hiring of a projected 200 employees at the facility,” according to McCue, and it’s only a handful of management positions that he’s currently worried about filling.  I don’t know . . . it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.