Google is the best company to work for in America according to Fortune magazine. No wonder, the search company gets 3000 new job applications each day - that's more than a million every year.

But here are things from a very different perspective. Career consultant and Silicon valley veteran Patti Wilson has written a thoughtful piece on the hiring process at Google and how the company benefits from the "20 percent time" perk.

Patti's comments are based on feedback from her clients who have been interviewed by Google including those who got hired, who got rejected and even those who rejected the job offers from Google. Sramana, one of my favorites, has a full copy of this must-read article - Googlemania.

How Google recruits engineers:
You are phone screened, the brought in to interview, then interviewed again (5 to 10 people have talked to you). Then you are hired as Member of Technical Staff. You will not know what group or manager or project you will work on until you accept the offer and join the company.

When onboard, every single person's objectives for each quarter are visible to everyone in the company, as are their "report cards" grading their previous quarter's results. A new hire's base salary is at the bottom of the range for equivalent jobs at companies in the industry.
On the 20% free time at Google:
Yes, you get 20% of your time (whatever part of your 70 hour piecework week that is) to work on stuff you like. In effect the whole company becomes a giant R&D lab for Google’s new products….but does anybody get rewarded with shared patent revenue? I don't know.
On free massages, laundry, etc
When I was at Sun there was a massage therapist who came around once a week, the mechanic picked up and returned my car, the detail guy washed and waxed it in the parking lot, and the dry cleaners was next to the cafeteria. All that sure kept me in front of the monitor and productive.