Google has dramatically expanded the number and type of schools it recruits from

More Googlers from Mizzou and Alabama A&M.
More Googlers from Mizzou and Alabama A&M.
Image: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
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About a year ago, Google released its diversity stats in the interest of transparency, and as a way of acknowledging how much work there was to do. On May 6, the company revealed a bit more about its efforts to move the needle. Overall, the company said it spent $115 million on efforts to make its workforce more diverse last year, and this year it plans to spend  another $150 million According to Google, one of the most important things it has done to boost diversity is double the number of schools that it recruits at, including schools like Alabama A&M and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

From the official blog post from Nancy Lee, who leads diversity and youth education programs at Google (emphasis ours):

In the past, our university-focused hiring programs have relied heavily on a relatively small number of schools. But, we know those schools aren’t always the most diverse. For example, while 14% of Hispanic college enrollment is at 4-year schools, Hispanics make up just 7% at the 200 most selective schools. In the past two years, we’ve doubled the number of schools where we recruit, to promote student diversity. This year, nearly 20 percent of the hires we make from a university are from these new campuses.

The company is also embedding engineers at historically black colleges in order to “teach, mentor, and advise on curriculum,” and increase the flow of black engineers to the company.

Google’s hiring process deliberately shifted emphasis away from schools after data analysis showed it didn’t matter, but the concentration of employees from elite private, state, and technology-focused schools remains. A lot of that is likely due to referrals, alumni recruiting, and the location of the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. But part of it is likely due to the fact that, until this recent change, the company concentrated recruiting on familiar places.

Here are the top 10 schools people who list Google or YouTube as their employer on LinkedIn, with five years or less of experience, say they went to. It shows a more pronounced concentration of schools than an analysis last year of the company’s full set of LinkedIn profiles. We reached out to Google for the full set of schools it now recruits from and will update the post if we hear back.

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Creating a more diverse workforce in a company with more than 50,000 people will obviously take some time. The company’s latest diversity stats, to be released in the next few weeks, aren’t likely to look much better. But as early diversity recruits climb the corporate ladder and become managers with hiring power, hopefully diversity in its workforce will start to show.