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Google Randstad Sourceright Recruiters Lose Jobs

  • Contractors at recruiter Randstad Sourceright were cut from their Google account this week.
  • Sources said they were told by Randstad that Google wouldn’t take on new starters until Q4.
  • Affected contractors said Randstad bosses had assured them their roles would be safe.

Dozens of US-based contractors working to source roles for Google at its external recruiting firm Randstad Sourceright were told this week their jobs were being eliminated amid the search giant’s recent hiring freeze, Insider has learned.

The recruiting contractors affected — nearly all of whom work remotely to recruit technical talent like engineers and data scientists for Google — found out during a wave of video broadcasts on Thursday, which appeared to be pre-recorded, five people with direct knowledge of the situation told Insider. The exact number of roles affected could not immediately be learned.

While the leaders on the call stressed that Randstad Sourceright, a huge global recruitment outsourcing firm, hadn’t lost its contract with Google, they said the Alphabet-owned company had significantly slowed down hiring, according to people who were present on the calls.

Those people said they were told that Google wouldn’t be opening up any new start dates to candidates in the third quarter, and that any new starters would instead be pushed to Q4.

“Randstad Sourceright naturally does not share the details of our client contracts,” said a Randstad Sourceright spokesperson in a statement. “Further, it is important to understand that Randstad Sourceright has the sole discretion of deciding how to deliver on its outsourcing services — independent of our clients. This includes the employment of our people in relation to delivering our services.”

A spokesperson for Google declined to comment.

Google implemented a two-week hiring freeze on July 20, but Insider reported on August 11 that it had been unofficially extended for another week. The company had previously said it was slowing down hiring for the rest of the year.

Facing slowing revenue growth and economic certainty, tech giants from Google to Facebook to Microsoft to Amazon have slowed, and in many cases paused, hiring. Given the size of their businesses, the knock-on effects on external recruiters could be widespread.

“This was the equivalent of getting spit in the face”

Randstad Sourceright contractors affected by Thursday’s announcement said they were told that they were not being laid off, but rather that they were removed from the Google project and placed on the “Randstad bench” for 30 days in which they might be considered for other roles at the recruiting firm.

However, they said they were told that they would only be paid through Thursday of next week and had not received information about how their healthcare benefits would be affected. The Randstad Sourceright spokesperson said live benefits sessions had been held for all potentially impacted employees and that they have been invited to a live Q&A session on Monday, August 22.

“They’re trying to make out it’s like furlough, but it’s not. They’re attempting to have their cake and eat it too,” said one affected Randstad contractor.

Some contractors were reassigned to other short-term projects within the Randstad business, a person familiar with the situation said.

As Randstad contractors learned of their fate during Thursday’s mandatory-to-attend video meetings, access to their Google systems was switched off, sources said. One affected contractor said they couldn’t update candidates on their progress and expressed concern they gave the impression they were ghosting interviewees when they didn’t turn up to scheduled screening calls.

“They handled it horribly — there were waves of the meeting and at the close of it we promptly lost access to everything. So it was like a building was on fire,” said a separate former Randstad Sourceright contractor. “I had friends laid off and was counting down the minutes until my meeting just in fear of what was to come.”

Four affected contractors said the cuts were made even more galling because they said they had been reassured by their managers at Randstad not to worry about their jobs when Google’s hiring slowdown was announced last month.

“I understand that business is business, but I don’t agree with how the business was conducted,” said another of the contractors affected by Randstad’s cuts. “For me, this was the equivalent of getting spit in the face.”

Said another aforementioned former Randstad contractor: “I understand the nature of the business – capitalism, that’s fine – but you don’t have to be evil,” a nod to the “Don’t Be Evil” phrase that used to be written into Google’s corporate code of conduct.

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