Facebook hires software engineers from India to fill US posts
Posted on March 28, 2012
MUMBAI: Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is doing something that no domestic or multinational company has done before – hire software engineers from India for positions based in the United States.
Typically, global firms such as IBM and GE hire in India for positions here and send some of these recruits abroad for specific projects. However, Facebook’s open invitation in a newspaper advertisement last week seeking applicants “to work in the US” is being regarded as a first.
“It is unusual and I haven’t seen anything like this,” said Sharad Sharma, the chair of industry body Nasscom’s software product forum. The advertisement in The Times of India pointed applicants to an online coding challenge for 86 open positions in software engineering in Chicago, Dublin (Ireland), New York and Seattle.
Those who solved the puzzles were promised a phone interview. The online test is being done in partnership with InterviewStreet, a startup founded by Vivek Ravhishankar, a graduate of the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirapalli. Facebook is a client of InterviewStreet.
Facebook declined to comment for this story. The California -based company has filed for an initial public offering which is expected to value it at around $100 billion. India, where it has some 46 million users, is one of its fastest-growing markets and an important source of talent.
Facebook has a development centre in Hyderabad and last year it hired an NIT-Warangal graduate for its office in Palo Alto in a campus interview. Ajit Isaac, chief executive at Ikya Human Capital, a Bangalore-based HR solutions company, was of the view that Facebook might have conducted a survey to find out what kind of people work well at their company.
“The desired results at their Hyderabad office might have made them to hire some talent for the US.” Ganesh Shermon, country head for the human capital practice at the Indian arm of audit and advisory KPMG, described Facebook’s move as an “interesting development” if the company is willing to get those hired from India a work permit.
According to Prabhakaran Murugaiah, founder and CEO at Corp-Corp, a Virginia-based technology staffing company, companies hiring from India for jobs based in the US is rare, but this will probably increase because of talent shortage in the world’s largest economy. “Unemployment in the technology space is only 3.7%, which is virtually zero talent available for the current skills in demand,” he said.
“The current wave and exponential growth in cloud, mobile, big data and IT security will create several thousands of jobs in next 6 to 18 months.” IT services and business process outsourcing firms employ some 2.5 million people in India and are stepping up hiring in the US in the face of strong sentiment against offshoring of jobs.
Facebook’s hiring plan and its ability to get the India hires work permits will happen in the backdrop of complaints by domestic software firms about higher visa scrutiny.
28 Mar 2012