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Google Hiring Spree Slowing Down; Yahoo Openings Up, But Recruiting Trouble Expected

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What can we learn about Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) from their listings of open job postings? UBS analyst Benjamin Schachter has tallied the openings at both companies, in an attempt to quantify their growth plans and strategy. At Google, postings are up 48 percent from last year, and the 1487 represent just 8 percent of total headcount, down from 23 percent a year ago. Given all the focus on this question, investors should be relieved that the numbers seem to be coming down. And here are the four areas that it’s focusing on, which should surprise no one: display, mobile, video, and enterprise. Also, 56 percent of new openings are international, which makes sense, since international revenue just eclipsed domestic revenue for the first time. Bottom line, says Schachter: the new openings represent “more R&D, less G&A.”

Yahoo: Despite the fact that the company has been reducing headcount, Yahoo openings are actually up 14 percent, year over year. But don’t expect hiring to actually be up by a similar amount. Due to all of the obvious uncertainty, hiring is expected to be, well, tough. The key theme from Yahoo’s openings: advertising and socializing. The company’s new AMP platform needs employees, as do the company’s social networking initiatives. Says Schachter: “We believe the company is building a platform that will incorporate its traditional ad salesforce, Right Media, BlueLithium, and its partner sites to better target and measure display ad sales. We like to think that an easy way to understand this platform is that Yahoo is trying to do for display ads what Google has done for text-based advertising.”