Google’s foobar is Clever Recruiting

I just finished up the second day of Google IO Extended Utah.


During the conference my friends and I noticed that little slips of paper with cryptic messages were in our goody bags.

Playing with the information on the slips we found a code challenge system called foobar.

Looks like it is by invitation only. When you beat level 2 you are given a single use link for referring others into the system.

When I finished level three the system printed out this message:

[#1] The code is strong with this one. Share solutions with a Google recruiter? 
[Y]es [N]o [A]sk me later:


As a hiring manager I think this is genius! I’ve used code challenges during the hiring process and reading someone’s code is very illustrative.  What’s more, the time limits in the challenge system are very generous and allow the applicant to really shine.

My employer puts on a large conference every year and I’ve wondered why we don’t do more to use it for low-key recruiting like this.

If this technique is over-played then people may become wary of sending their people to conferences since it gives them even more exposure to the competition’s recruiters.

In this case what Google is doing is very classy and low-key. If you went to IO and overlooked those slips then give it another shot. If you know someone that went, see if you can get them to refer you. The challenges are fun!

I’m Always Recruiting

Some people get into management because they want to have more influence on the way things are made, or what is made. I do have more influence now than I did before. But if that’s what you’re after then you might be sad when you get there.

Management is all about people. You have to find replacements for the ones that leave. You have to take good care of the ones that stay. Sometimes you have to end a relationship that isn’t working out. People are our competitive advantage.

People change jobs these days. It’s natural.

Finding a good candidate that really fits takes a long time. If you’re going to be successful at finding a good fit when you need one then you have to always be recruiting.

Even when your team is fully staffed, you better be recruiting.

Continue reading I’m Always Recruiting