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Yahoo recruitment dilemma

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    Assignment ID: FG133135870

    Yahoo’s Recruitment Dilemma – Can Yahoo still attract tech workers?

    In many fields, Workers are practically begging the employers to hire them, but in Information technology, demand for talent often outstrips the supply. Employers struggle to attract and keep software experts, always concerned about the risk that their best people will leave for a better offer somewhere else. For a high-tech worker, what often amounts to a better offer is a chance to be a part of the exciting new thing, whatever that is.

    That presents a challenge for Yahoo. A couple of decades ago, the web search company (now advertising, news, and e-mail company) was one of the hot businesses of the internet age. Today Yahoo’s sites attract 700 million visitors a month, and the company’s 14,000 employees are well paid, but the excitement is no longer there. To the industry, Yahoo is a part of the old internet. The best and brightest want to be a part of the new internet, especially social media, cloud computing, and mobile apps.

    In that environment, Yahoo is seeking pathways for growth even as some of its best talents is slipping out the door. Greg Cohn, who worked his way up from business strategist to the senior director responsible for new initiatives, admires Yahoo’s management but left to start his own business. A Vice-president of Yahoo’s operations in Latin America also left, and so has the company’s chief trust officer, who moved to a position at Google. In another sign of employee dissatisfaction, a recruiter told a reporter, “If you call nine people at Yahoo, you will get nine calls back”. In other words, leaving sounds like an option for just about anyone. Executives are preparing for a faster exodus as job growth heats up elsewhere in Silicon Valley.

    Because of these trends, Yahoo forecasts that it will need to do intensive recruiting. But how do you get people to think about working for a company that many believe has passed its prime? Yahoo definitely has work to do. Software engineers who look up employee reviews on Glassdoor.com would notice that employees rate Yahoo just 3.6 on a scale of 1 to 5, trailing Facebook (4.4), Google (4.4), and Apple (3.9) and that only 69% of Yahoo employees would recommend their employer to a friend, trailing Google (93%), Facebook (90%) and Apple (79%). Seeing that, an engineer wouldn’t probably bother to look up Yahoo’s career page.

    Observers note that Yahoo still earns most of its money by employing reporters to write stories and salespeople to sell ads, an old media kind of operation that is hard to run at a

    profit. Yahoo outsources web search to Microsoft’s Bing, and in spite of its leadership role in advertising, it has yet to offer much in the hot young market of mobile ads. Shifting from unprofitable, low growth activities to activities with more potential could lead to significant staff cuts in some areas even as a hiring push continues in others. Still, one former employee sees hope. Geoff Ralston, who worked on Yahoo Mail, notes that EBay and Apple both survived periods when they seemed to be fading away.

    NOTE: Take cues from the scenario presented in the case study but do not overemphasize what’s already said in the case study – connect the missing pieces to form a broader picture. A well-informed/reflective writing would include looking at similar cases of Yahoo’s recruitment failure (and causes) and recruitment best practices adopted by the competitors. Also, DO NOT overemphasize one question as opposed to the other, provide a balanced commentary/analysis.

    Q1 What factors are causing the imbalance of supply and demand of software engineers at Yahoo?

    Q2 What actions might Yahoo take to strengthen its recruiting efforts? How might these efforts support Yahoo’s corporate strategy?

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