Search me: Google struggles to find enough British staff

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Google, the US search engine giant, is failing to attract enough talent to work in its fledgling London office.

Google is one of the world's best-known brands, with a market value of $112bn (£64bn), and boasts a strong reputation as an employer. Perks include staff being allowed to dedicate time to personal projects, known as the Twenty Per Cent Time Project, as well as free food and drink.

However, the group has so far failed to hire enough developers for its UK office. Although Google already has sales staff in London, employing engineers in the UK is a more recent development, and it began looking to recruit employees only four months ago.

"Our growth is exceptional in the current market conditions, so in order to stay abreast of new innovations and indeed the competition, we need to continuously seek the best talent, not only in the UK but across the world," Rian Liebenberg, information systems director of Europe, said.

Mr Liebenberg believes the main problem holding back recruitment is that potential candidates fear they will eventually have to relocate to California, where Google's head office is, which he insists is not the case. He also sites ignorance about what Google does, with some people believing it only offers a search engine service.

Google had a rough ride in America last week. Its shares dived nearly 10 per cent, wiping around $8bn off the stock, after its chief financial officer, George Reyes, was reported as saying future growth would be largely organic and that revenues were slowing.

Investors were stunned, but the chief executive and co-founder, Eric Schmidt, then sought to settle nerves when he told Wall Street he was confident the group would continue to see strong increases in revenues.