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Google Hire demise strands its users

Hire by Google was created two years ago and promoted by Google until it suddenly shelved this week. It will continue operation for another year.

Until Tuesday, the day Google announced it was ending Google Hire, it was all systems go. The Google Hire social media team was promoting the hiring platform.

Last week, Google retweeted a post by Harold Hughes, founder and CEO of Bandwagon. He tweeted about how his fan analytics firm was making progress on new hires. It included a shout-out to Google Hire "for making the process so much easier to manage with their tools."

But on Tuesday, Hughes reacted to the Hire by Google decision on Twitter with a tweet that read simply, "Sad news, @HireByGoogle."

Google didn't explain this decision. In a letter to customers, Google Hire called the platform, paradoxically, "successful." It said it would honor its service-level agreements until Sept. 1, 2020. And that was that for Google Hire. It will be up to its customers to figure out a migration plan.

An 'experiment that didn't pay off'

Helen Poitevin, an analyst at Gartner, said Google Hire "never had a lot of ambition." She added that Google's main focus has been Google for Jobs, a job search aggregation system.

Google Hire launched in July 2017, as a hiring system for its G Suite users. The SMB market was its target.

"This is in line with how Google has often worked -- testing a new product on the market, seeing the pickup or potential and pulling the plug if it isn't working for them," Poitevin said. She called it "an experiment for a small market segment."

This is in line with how Google has often worked -- testing a new product on the market, seeing the pickup or potential and pulling the plug if it isn't working for them.
Helen PoitevinAnalyst, Gartner

Google was also in a very competitive market. Its potential user base "has access to a multitude of other providers to support hiring activities," she said.

"My theory is that the experiment didn't pay off, didn't show enough potential, and [Google] could reuse the same resources to test something else out," Poitevin said. "They had never invested in it heavily in the first place, so I don't think it's a huge loss to them."

Josh Bersin, an independent HR analyst, called Google Hire "more or less a skunk works project with a small team" that came out of Google's acquisition of BeBop Technologies in 2015.

Google isn't exiting the job market. Bersin said Google for Jobs "has been very successful and will probably stay around." He said he believes the team behind it decided to move to bigger opportunities.

Google will not be adding any new functionality to Google Hire and will turn off "experimental features" next month, it said.

Google's website includes customer testimonials and videos for SMB users.

Among those who liked Google Hire enough to give a testimonial was Pete Casson, formerly the chief technology officer at Twinkl. He uses G Suite and had planned to use Google Hire in his new role as CTO and co-founder of Collctiv.

"It's a real shame that Hire is being closed, as it's a great product with a great team behind it," Casson said.

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