Google Seeks Beta Employees

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A job posting for technical solutions specialists via a temp agency could be a sign that Google is trying to rein in its employee expenses.

The same valuable, hard-working employees who have helped fulfill a company founder’s wildest dreams of establishing a profitable business become dreadful leeches sucking away profitability and shareholder value due to salary increases and the rising costs of benefits like health insurance and perks.

Outsourcing is one way to avoid the situation, one that has moved programming jobs out of the United States to replace them with sales and marketing opportunities. Another way to help the bottom line is with contracted help from agencies.

In the wake of Google’s last earnings announcement, which missed analyst expectations and triggered a substantial drop in its stock price, there has been speculation that Google’s escalated hiring pace could be a drag on the company’s finances. Now, a job listing online for technical solution specialists to work full-time at Google has appeared. Only these new hires will be full-time temps, not Googlers.

The listing detailed the job duties, which we’ll reference here:

Technical Solutions Specialists are responsible for supporting dynamic Google products by (1) troubleshooting bugs on the fly, (2) coordinating escalated issues with key engineering personnel, (3) engaging directly with customers, partners and support teams to resolve complex issues, (4) developing knowledge-base documentation and (5) investigating cases of suspected product misuse, such as invalid click activity.

People like Dilbert creator Scott Adams, along with anyone who has ever worked a tech support position, will recognize some of the warning signs of what will be a very intensive job, with all of the responsibility and none of the prestige or benefits of being a Google hire:

•  …a fast-paced environment.
•  Ability to excel in high pressure situations and successfully handle multiple priorities.
•  Sense of humor, flexibility to adapt.

Veterans of the cubicle workforce have a phrase that describes these job requirements: red flags.

The temps will work through an agency called ABE Services, and the positions are listed as Full-Time Temporary. Perhaps Google has decided to keep their new hires in beta, as they do with a lot of their products.

Google has used ABE Services before, even devoting part of their job site to describing the arrangement, which cited a maximum work period of twelve months.

That prompts us to ask this question: if part of the job responsibilities involves investigating click fraud, why not just bring on a core group of people as regular staffers to learn the ins and outs of illicit click activity and keep that experience in-house, instead of letting those temps walk away with that knowledge to companies like Yahoo, MSN, or even Amazon?

And one more question: do temps eat for free at the Googleplex?

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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