April 13, 2017
Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter based in Chicago.
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It appears as though Google has quietly launched an applicant tracking system to a handful of companies in an invite-only beta under a new, business-friendly name: Google Hire.

Crunchbase News has identified a number of companies currently using Google Hire for managing their job application process. These companies include:

The links above connect to each company’s job listing on Google Hire.

Recruiting is big business, and it should come as no surprise that big tech corporations often develop internal tools for managing the hiring process. There are many systems for tracking job applicants, but Google’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is considered one of the better platforms around. As such, it is reasonable that Google would repurpose the tech that it has built for outside consumption, and potentially future revenue creation.

Here’s what the homepage looks like.

And here’s what a typical job listing on Google Hire looks like.

Clicking on the “Apply” button takes users to a fairly standard web form where they are prompted to enter basic personal and contact information, as well as upload a résumé and cover letter.

Not included in the image above is the reCAPTCHA widget with a checkbox saying “I’m not a robot,” the submit button, and the Google Hire logo at the very bottom of the webpage. That logo can be found below.

What’s interesting about the list of partner companies is the diversity. Medisas and CoreOS are Y Combinator-backed startups, which one might assume would give these companies front-row access to Google beta programs. But YC companies are not the only ones in the beta program. DramaFever is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, Touchlab is an NYC-based Android development studio, and SingleHop is a decade-old IT infrastructure provider based in Chicago with over 150 employees listed on Linkedin.

The jobs are diverse, too, ranging from marketing to engineering roles. In other words, Google Hire is a general-purpose recruiting platform. Upstarts in the competitive applicant tracking system space like Lever, Greenhouse, and dozens of others will have to contend with Google if Google Hire scales beyond the handful of early users on the platform today.

Evidence suggests that Google Hire is a project of Google’s enterprise cloud services team. An error message displayed by the mobile version of the site directs visitors to contact an internal @google.com email address (obfuscated below) that’s associated with the Bebop team.

Google acquired Bebop, an enterprise cloud services provider, in 2015 for $380.2 million. It’s CEO, Diane Greene, was appointed the head of Googles enterprise cloud services efforts and continues to lead that team today.

Although Crunchbase News is still awaiting comment from Google, all circumstantial evidence points to Google Hire being a pilot project of Google’s enterprise cloud team.

For now, Google Hire is hosted at hire.withgoogle.com. The “withgoogle.com” domain is used by the company for hosting experiments. Quick Draw, the AI-powered doodle-recognition tool that got a fair bit of attention yesterday, is hosted on that domain, along with a number of other Google AI Experiments. That domain is not just limited to AI projects, either. It also hosts pages for Arts & Culture Experiments, and Chrome Experiments like a mobile browser-based soccer game called Kick With Chrome, among other things.

At this point, it’s unclear what the current state and future of Google Hire is. Apart from the list of companies above, which Crunchbase News identified through exhaustive searches using Google and Twitter, we don’t know how many companies are piloting the software. At this point, we don’t know what the back-end looks like, and it’s unclear whether Google Hire is derived from or even inspired by Google’s own internal Applicant Tracking System. The business model of Google Hire is still unknown. If access to the platform is expanded, it’s unclear what access to Google Hire will cost and whether it will be available as an a-la-carte service or will only be available in a broader enterprise cloud services bundle.

Whether the platform will move off of the withgoogle.com domain onto Google’s main domain name (google.com) or given a domain name on Google’s own .google top-level domain namespace is not yet known. Nor is it known how Google Hire may fit into the broader Alphabet ecosystem.

Regardless, the soft launch of Google Hire seems aligned with the company’s renewed focus on serving business customers. Google Hire could do to the application tracking management space what Gmail did to email, or it might wind up like so many other experimental projects from the search giant, interesting in some ways but ultimately forgettable and thus forgotten. We’ll see what happens.

At this time, Crunchbase News is awaiting comment from Google and some of the companies highlighted in this story.

Special thanks goes out to Colin Heilbut for tipping us off on this story.