Developer accidentally uncovers Google's top secret recruitment strategy

One guy has landed himself a job with Google by doing an internet search.

The new recruit is named Max Rosett. Three months ago he was working on his Masters in Computer Science at Georgia Tech’s online programme. While Rosett felt that his software skills were developing, he didn’t feel confident enough to apply to a full-time software role. But that changed when he turned to Google to help him with a coding problem.

Rosett writes on a post on The Hustle: “One morning, while working on a project, I Googled ‘python lambda function list comprehension.’ The familiar blue links appeared, and I started to look for the most relevant one.

“But then something unusual happened.

“The search results split and folded back to reveal a box that said ‘You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?’

“I stared at the screen. What? After a moment, I decided yes, I was most definitely up for a challenge.”

Rosett clicked through and landed on a page that called itself Foo.bar. The site offered him six different challenges over the following two weeks. Each challenge tested his coding skills.

Rosett says: “After I solved the sixth problem, Foo.bar gave me the option to submit my contact information. I typed my phone number and email address, fully expecting that to be the end of things.”

It wasn’t. A few days later, a recruiter from Google emailed Rosett asking for a copy of his CV. They set up a phone call and the hiring process took off.

Rosett says that the rest of the hiring process was quite similar to the one other applicants have, tough questions and all. The only difference was that Rosett did not have to go through a technical phone screening since he had already demonstrated his coding proficiency.

“Three months after the mysterious invitation appeared, I started at Google,” Rosett says.

“Foo.bar is a brilliant recruiting tactic. Google used it to identify me before I had even applied anywhere else, and they made me feel important while doing so. At the same time, they respected my privacy and didn’t reach out to me without explicitly requesting my information.”

While Google has not explicitly said that the company uses the test described by Rosett, this is not the first time that news about Foo.bar has been made public. A story surfaced last year on Hacker News and describes a similar process.

When Recode.net enquired about Foo.bar, a Google Spokesperson replied: “\u0050\u0075\u007a\u007a\u006c\u0065\u0073\u0020\ u0061\u0072\u0065\u0020\u0066\u0075\u006e\u002e\ u0020\u0053\u0065\u0061\ u0072\u0063\u0068\u0020\u006f\u006e\u002e”.

In hexadecimal coding, the reply means: “Puzzles are fun. Search on.”

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