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Laid-off Googlers say they're frustrated about being treated as external candidates for internal roles even though they're still being paid

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif, May 2019.
Google told laid-off workers that they could apply for other jobs at the company.Jeff Chiu/AP Photo
  • Google told laid-off workers that they could apply for other roles at the company.

  • Most staff are being paid until March 31 but their access to internal systems has been cut off.

  • Affected workers said it's frustrating that they're being treated as external candidates.

Laid-off Google workers say they're frustrated about being treated as external candidates for jobs even though they're still on the payroll.

Google announced on January 20 that it was laying off 12,000 workers, or 6.4% of its workforce. Most US workers were told that they would immediately be blocked from work systems but would still be paid until March 31, seemingly to comply with the WARN Act that requires employers to give advance notice of mass layoffs.

Staff would be given severance packages from March 31 if they can't find another role internally, Google said.

"If you are unable to secure another position by March 31, 2023 your last day at Google will be March 31, 2023 ... which provides you with at least 60 days' pay and related benefits from the date of this notification," Google told many of its US staff when it notified them of their termination.

But laid-off workers told Insider that they are having to apply for roles as external candidates.

"It seems like we would have to apply as if we were not in the company while still technically employed by the company," a software engineer who'd been at Google for less than six months told Insider.

One affected employee who'd worked in Google's gTech division for about two years told Insider that the laid-off workers didn't have access to internal systems, including one known as Grow, which includes learning tools and internal hiring. Laid-off staff are not eligible for roles only posted for internal candidates, "so we have a much more limited pool of potential roles," she said.

A laid-off technical program manager told Insider in a message that if she'd had more notice about the layoffs, she could have applied for other roles within Google while she still had access to its internal hiring systems. She said she'd moved across the country when she started her job at Google less than a year ago.

Google's external candidates site has hundreds of job listings for roles including software engineers, technical program managers, and analysts. Google says many of the roles recruit on a rolling basis.

"We're basically being treated like outsiders who never worked at Google," Paul Baker, a laid-off video production manager, told Insider via email.

"I think it's a pretty clear signal that they aren't interested in helping us find new roles at Google and that we're on our own," Nicholas Whitaker, who worked in Google's people development team, told Insider.

"It is frustrating," the former gTech worker said. "We're still technically employed by Google for all intents and purposes, but we don't have any access to any of the internal systems aside from the offboarding site."

Applying as an external candidate is "not a fun process," she said. Google is known for its rigorous interview process and admits that most staff applied for other roles at the company before getting an interview. The technical program manager said that it took her about six months from applying to getting an offer.

Candidates are also restricted to three job applications per rolling 30-day window. "This limit gives our hard-working staffing team more time to focus on your application and helps you focus on the jobs that are the best match for your talents," Google says.

"Our chances are slim to none to get re-hired," Baker added.

Google did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Were you recently laid off by Google? Or do you still work there? Contact this reporter at gdean@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider