As a public company, Google would be forced to announce if any layoffs were on the cards, and reports have been popping up all over the place claiming that a cull is coming, with 10,000 jobs likely affected.
But what those sensationalist stories don’t take into account is that Google has a massive contractor workforce, which can be let go quietly without any fuss at all.
It isn’t as if Google has invented the wheel where contractors are concerned. Companies have been hiring temporary contractors for less money and no benefits for yonks now, but Google has found it also now has a handy way of slashing its workforce, satisfying its shareholders and avoiding announcing layoffs of permanent staff.
A Google spokesperson admitted that, when it came to contractors, "We have 10,000, and we have had a plan in place for a while to significantly reduce that number," but she added "This is something we've been thinking about for a while – six or seven months. It predates the most acute phase of the [current economic] crisis."
Googly contractors may find their contracts cancelled or simply not renewed. At the moment, the search engine giant is not saying which. In the meanwhile, the firm has implemented a slowdown on hiring.
So 'lay-offs' may be word Google is trying to avoid saying at all costs, but 'recession proof' may be two words the firm should definitely avoid from now on.
Google spins its way out of lay-offs
By Sylvie Barak on Nov 26, 2008 6:26AM
Redundancy is a dirty word in Silicon Valley at the moment and Google, claiming immunity from recession, has been trying to hold off saying it with the help of a legal loophole.
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