Meet the Googlers who are enabling us to hire great people

Doug Ferry and Sonia Rattan chat on the deck at Google's Kirkland campus.

Doug Ferry and Carl Hamilton go way back. As school friends, they went from elementary school through honors calculus at the University of Washington together and had a great time. When Carl learned Doug was tired of the job he’d been in for 18 years, Carl was excited about the possibility that they could work in the same place. “I knew he'd be a great fit for Google,” he said.

Doug, a software engineer, had once loved his old job. A self-described “Mac guy,” he’d been part of a community of Mac developers whose camaraderie made the office fun. When they started to split up, Doug found himself looking for something new, but wary of making a change.

Carl assuaged Doug’s fears and made a compelling argument—that Google’s culture sounded like the one he’d lost. They had lunch on Google’s campus and a referral was made.

That’s when the behind-the-scenes work kicked in. Doug is quadriplegic as a result of a bodysurfing accident when he was 20. He steers a motorized chair with his head and codes with a mouth stick. In his last job interview—18 years earlier—he had dictated to people who wrote on a whiteboard for him. This time, a team of Googlers was able to get him a desk set-up to simulate his preferred work environment.

Sonia Rattan, the recruiter who worked with Doug, acknowledged that Doug’s candidacy was a departure from her usual day-to-day. Early on, she and others in staffing worked to educate themselves and prepare for Doug’s interviews. “There was a team built behind the scenes. We didn’t know what we needed. We watched YouTube videos on how quadriplegic people code, what size of desk we’d need. We worked with Real Estate and Workplace Services in Kirkland about access to buildings,” she said. “We didn’t want to be ignorant.“

Doug says, “Sonia did a great job running interference, answering ‘how are we physically going to do this.’”

For Sonia, ensuring appropriate accommodations was a huge focus. “I had to think about things like, how is he going to drink water? I woke up in the middle of the night and was like, ‘Doug needs a straw!’ She says. Sonia also thought through the process for Doug’s wife, Caroll, who came to campus to accompany and assist him through the onsite interviews. "Working with Doug, who is now a friend, was one of the most rewarding and emotional hires in my recruiting career," Sonia says.

Removing barriers to success

Google's Candidate Accommodations team works with recruiters like Sonia to help candidates who request accommodations throughout their interview processes.

Morgan Hamblin, the Candidate Accommodations team lead, says sometimes candidates will disclose their need for an accommodation from the start, while others aren’t sure if they need an accommodation until after they have more detail on the interview structure. Similarly, some candidates know exactly what accommodation they will need, while others think they may benefit from one but aren’t sure what to ask for. That’s where the team comes in—they work directly with candidates to address their needs.

We’re able to go above and beyond, and to provide things candidates wouldn’t expect. We think, if it helps you, you should have it.

Bailey Bennett, a staffing services associate in Google’s Austin office, helped start the Candidate Accommodations program. Bailey says she’s proud of the work her team does to remove barriers for candidates. Legally, she says, “we’re required to provide a ‘reasonable accommodation,’ and that’s it. But by having this team, we’re able to go above and beyond, and to provide things candidates wouldn’t expect. Other companies might say, ‘you don’t need that.’ But we think, if it helps you, you should have it.”

Doing the right thing for candidates can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. “We celebrate the wins of knowing that we’re making Google more diverse and inclusive—it’s super powerful for us,” Morgan says.

Looking ahead to a Googley future

While Doug says, “it was weird being the new guy after so many years of being the old veteran,” he’s happy in his role on Vespa, the Cloud console mobile app for iOS. He says, “the people are cool. The company’s cool. And hey, my commute’s shorter. You don’t really have a sense of how great that is until it’s taken away.” The shortened commute also leaves Caroll with more time during the day while she’s going back and forth from Google’s campus. Most days, she joins Doug for lunch in front of the fireplace at Foobar, a coffee spot near Doug’s desk.

And, Doug is excited about his future at Google—including exploring other roles and, maybe one day, a stint in the Sydney office. “One of the cool things I liked about coming here is the prospect of easy movement between groups. My big ambition is to get into Maps. I’ve been a total map geek since I was 5 years old. The idea of working in that area is very compelling to me,” he says.

Doug Ferry

Software Engineer

Meet the Googlers who are enabling us to hire great people

Doug Ferry and Sonia Rattan chat on the deck at Google's Kirkland campus.

Doug Ferry and Carl Hamilton go way back. As school friends, they went from elementary school through honors calculus at the University of Washington together and had a great time. When Carl learned Doug was tired of the job he’d been in for 18 years, Carl was excited about the possibility that they could work in the same place. “I knew he'd be a great fit for Google,” he said.

Doug, a software engineer, had once loved his old job. A self-described “Mac guy,” he’d been part of a community of Mac developers whose camaraderie made the office fun. When they started to split up, Doug found himself looking for something new, but wary of making a change.

Carl assuaged Doug’s fears and made a compelling argument—that Google’s culture sounded like the one he’d lost. They had lunch on Google’s campus and a referral was made.

That’s when the behind-the-scenes work kicked in. Doug is quadriplegic as a result of a bodysurfing accident when he was 20. He steers a motorized chair with his head and codes with a mouth stick. In his last job interview—18 years earlier—he had dictated to people who wrote on a whiteboard for him. This time, a team of Googlers was able to get him a desk set-up to simulate his preferred work environment.

Sonia Rattan, the recruiter who worked with Doug, acknowledged that Doug’s candidacy was a departure from her usual day-to-day. Early on, she and others in staffing worked to educate themselves and prepare for Doug’s interviews. “There was a team built behind the scenes. We didn’t know what we needed. We watched YouTube videos on how quadriplegic people code, what size of desk we’d need. We worked with Real Estate and Workplace Services in Kirkland about access to buildings,” she said. “We didn’t want to be ignorant.“

Doug says, “Sonia did a great job running interference, answering ‘how are we physically going to do this.’”

For Sonia, ensuring appropriate accommodations was a huge focus. “I had to think about things like, how is he going to drink water? I woke up in the middle of the night and was like, ‘Doug needs a straw!’ She says. Sonia also thought through the process for Doug’s wife, Caroll, who came to campus to accompany and assist him through the onsite interviews. "Working with Doug, who is now a friend, was one of the most rewarding and emotional hires in my recruiting career," Sonia says.

Removing barriers to success

Google's Candidate Accommodations team works with recruiters like Sonia to help candidates who request accommodations throughout their interview processes.

Morgan Hamblin, the Candidate Accommodations team lead, says sometimes candidates will disclose their need for an accommodation from the start, while others aren’t sure if they need an accommodation until after they have more detail on the interview structure. Similarly, some candidates know exactly what accommodation they will need, while others think they may benefit from one but aren’t sure what to ask for. That’s where the team comes in—they work directly with candidates to address their needs.

We’re able to go above and beyond, and to provide things candidates wouldn’t expect. We think, if it helps you, you should have it.

Bailey Bennett, a staffing services associate in Google’s Austin office, helped start the Candidate Accommodations program. Bailey says she’s proud of the work her team does to remove barriers for candidates. Legally, she says, “we’re required to provide a ‘reasonable accommodation,’ and that’s it. But by having this team, we’re able to go above and beyond, and to provide things candidates wouldn’t expect. Other companies might say, ‘you don’t need that.’ But we think, if it helps you, you should have it.”

Doing the right thing for candidates can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. “We celebrate the wins of knowing that we’re making Google more diverse and inclusive—it’s super powerful for us,” Morgan says.

Looking ahead to a Googley future

While Doug says, “it was weird being the new guy after so many years of being the old veteran,” he’s happy in his role on Vespa, the Cloud console mobile app for iOS. He says, “the people are cool. The company’s cool. And hey, my commute’s shorter. You don’t really have a sense of how great that is until it’s taken away.” The shortened commute also leaves Caroll with more time during the day while she’s going back and forth from Google’s campus. Most days, she joins Doug for lunch in front of the fireplace at Foobar, a coffee spot near Doug’s desk.

And, Doug is excited about his future at Google—including exploring other roles and, maybe one day, a stint in the Sydney office. “One of the cool things I liked about coming here is the prospect of easy movement between groups. My big ambition is to get into Maps. I’ve been a total map geek since I was 5 years old. The idea of working in that area is very compelling to me,” he says.