Google CEO Sundar Pichai
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In an email viewed by the Times, Google told contracting agencies last week that it has been “slowing our pace of hiring and investment, and are not bringing on as many new starters as we had planned at the beginning of the year.” Google said it would not “not be moving forward to onboard” the workers it had brought on through the agencies.
A Google spokesperson would not comment on details in the Times report, like the number of contractors whose offers were rescinded, but said in a statement: “As we’ve publicly indicated, we’re slowing our pace of hiring and investment, and as a result are not bringing on as many new people – full-time and temporary – as we’d planned at the beginning of the year. We’re continuing to hire in a number of strategic areas.”
Last month, CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged to employees that hiring and investments would slow as the coronavirus pandemic created uncertainty for businesses across industries. In the memo, Pichai said Google added 20,000 employees in 2019 and had planned to do the same this year. At the time, it had brought on 4,000 new employees and a thousand more were scheduled to start soon, according to the memo.
A spokesperson told CNBC at the time that Google would be “maintaining momentum in a small number of strategic areas, and onboarding the many people who’ve been hired but haven’t started yet.”
Later in April, a global director warned of budget cuts and hiring freezes in its marketing department, according to internal materials viewed by CNBC.
Google’s reported decision to rescind offers from contractors and temp workers once again draws attention to a vast portion of the company’s workforce that does not enjoy the same benefits and protections of its full-time employees. Such workers, commonly known inside the company as TVCs (temporary, vendors and contractors) make up at least half of Google’s roughly 300,000-person workforce.
But their differential status has been highlighted periodically in Google’s history, like in April when Google told contract workers they could no longer access skills training tools reserved for full-time employees, as CNBC reported.
Still, Google has made some concessions to contract workers during the Covid-19 crisis. Google moved to extend contracts for temporary staff whose work was about to end during the crisis by 60 days, CNBC reported in March.
Read the full report from The New York Times.
— CNBC’s Jennifer Elias contributed to this report.