Google & Yahoo! hiring trends.. CI 101

Larry Dignan of ZDNet highlighted some interesting facts regarding UBS’s analysis of Yahoo! and Google’s hiring trends, based on 2007 open positions.

You can read the full story and detailed analysis at SeekingAlpha, but Dignan sums up by stating that:

Aside from hiring an army of legal types, Google is also hiring in the key areas CEO Eric Schmidt has outlined repeatedly: TV systems, video content (including YouTube), print and radio ads, Google Apps and government enterprise sales.

Yahoo seems to be mostly focused on video-related hiring. A few other notable hiring categories include security, agency sales, ad algorithms and analyzing video on demand models. Yahoo is also hiring for a new entertainment site and looking for someone to work on the company’s environmental strategy.

This kind of work is classic CI 101. A regular eye on what positions are open can yield a wealth of one of several leading indicators:

  • New hires to fill a new strategic direction.
  • New hires to fill a lack in a specific competency.
  • Large numbers of hires in known, existing businesses may indicate larger levels of attrition and all the negative connotations that go with that.

If we were to pass an eye over Yahoo! and Google’s open positions in South East Asia (in June 2008) we see different trends. These trends can help us to understand their regional “ability to execute” which I have alluded to in my previous post on “Exposure”.

For Yahoo! product management roles are the bulk of current openings, with specific focus in local language offerings and online community efforts in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Perhaps indicating growth of localisation efforts in these countries in a bid to drive advertising and usage rates.

For Google, South East Asia and Singapore is a hotbed of activity, but for all intensive purposes seems to be behind Yahoo! with respect to penetration and lead-in time. Google has tentative steps to explore the Indonesian marketplace, while South East Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, etc) has a strong focus on technical partner efforts, perhaps with Telcos to bundle access with mobile phones. 

What is interesting is that while Yahoo! has a strong presence in Singapore, Google appears to be focused on ramping up efforts here, with AdWords sales managers, creative experts, marketing and client services. All of these new hires is closely aligned to existing, global businesses that Google is replicating in Singapore. 

What can we take away from this?

Well if you were Yahoo! you would be wise to look at the current advertising account management model and be looking out for Google trying to infiltrate these large accounts. Taking pre-emptive action to shore up those accounts to keep them loyal.

At the same time, Google could take way that Yahoo is focusing on Communities of users that conglomerate around user-generated content, such as video and Yahoo! Answers. Working on how to engage with these users offline and online. In addition these communities will be country/language specific, which may or may not be a competitive advantage.

As always, one should be aware of the closed market for positions. Those jobs that never get posted online. These may yield other gems, but I tend to find that the open positions for most APAC based IT vendors can yield quite a lot of information in their own right.


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