Google’s hiring spree to be felt in Cambridge

Google’s hiring spree to be felt in Cambridge

The Cambridge office of search engine giant Google Inc. has grown to employ more than 300 people, and now it’s making room for more. The company is recruiting local engineers, advertising managers, and administrative staff — all part of a global hiring spree, the biggest in Google’s history, with plans to hire more than 6,000 workers worldwide this year.

“The Boston area is home to a wealth of talent and we’re excited to continue to grow our presence in the region,” said Brian Schmidt, director of online sales at Google Cambridge.

Already, Google’s employment website lists a host of openings in Cambridge, including software engineers, product managers, advertising account executives, technical support engineers, and even a specialist in hiring new workers. The Google office in Cambridge employs sales personnel for the company’s vast online advertising business. Also on board are engineers who work on the company’s flagship Internet search service, the Android operating system for cellphones and tablet computers, and Google’s network of high-powered computer centers scattered across the globe.

At the end of 2010, Google employed 24,400 people around the world, so the new hires amount to a 25 percent increase in personnel in a single year. According to the company’s official corporate blog, Google plans to recruit workers “across the board.” That covers a lot of territory; apart from the company’s dominant position in online search, Google is involved in a vast array of other businesses. It owns the hugely popular YouTube video site; develops the Android operating system; has launched the Google TV project to combine Internet and television viewing; is building Chrome, a new computer operating system to rival Microsoft Corp.’s Windows; and is developing new social networking products to compete with market leader Facebook. And underneath it all, Google must manage and expand the online advertising business that generated the bulk of its 2010 revenue of $29.3 billion.

Carl Howe, director of consumer research at the Yankee Group in Boston, said that Google will likely concentrate on enhancing its products and advertising services to work better on mobile devices. “They want to capture even more of the five billion consumers who own mobile phones around the world,” said Howe. “Only about a billion and a half people own PCs.”

Google won’t say exactly how many people it is hiring, either locally or worldwide, although the company’s outgoing chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said in Germany on Tuesday that the company will bring on more than 1,000 new workers in Europe this year. But on the Google blog, senior vice president of engineering and research Alan Eustace said hiring this year would exceed the previous peak year of 2007, when Google brought on more than 6,000 new workers. The company’s 2011 hiring plans are a big step up from last year, when Google recruited more than 4,500 new workers worldwide.

By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff

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