TVC to FTE at Google, Part 1: Process & Compensation

google interviews Aug 11, 2022

I get many questions about Temporary Vendor Contractor (TVC) roles at Google. Candidates want to know how they can get a TVC role, how much it will pay and if it is worth it to join Google as a TVC. The other most common questions are about how to transition from a TVC role to a Full-Time Employee (FTE).

         How long does it take?

         How likely am I to get converted?

I actually went through this journey myself and I believe there are immense benefits to joining Google as a Contractor. In this article, I will share some personal insights and experiences to help you better understand the TVC role and your potential path to an FTE position.

Item #1—Why

The first item to cover is the “why.” Why would you want to join Google as a TVC? Truthfully, nothing is more important than the brand. You may have to take some risks and make some sacrifices to become a TVC. However, you are benefitting from the immense value of the Google brand. You will have to put the external agency you work through on LinkedIn (example: Randstad working at Google).

It’s not just the brand bringing value. It’s the opportunity to join a big tech company on a little bit easier path and see if it’s a fit for you. And you are likely to increase your current pay, even though you will not earn all the same benefits as an FTE.

Item #2—Where

So, where do you find these TVC jobs? This is the tricky part because they are generally not publicly posted. Google will post some contract roles, but it’s a rarity. These roles are also not recruited by internal Google Recruiters.  You will likely be contacted by an external recruiting company that Google works with to fill TVC roles.

The important thing to note here is that they will reach out to you. You aren’t really able to seek out one of these roles on your own. This means you need to get your LinkedIn profile up to date. For me personally, I was in a corporate recruiting role. I continued to be given more responsibilities (including hiring Software Engineers, which helped put me on Google’s radar). One day, I was contacted by a small recruiting agency about getting a Contractor job at Google. 

Item #3—Process

The process is typically pretty straightforward. Most contractors are doing 2-4 interviews, depending on the role. These interviews are generally shorter compared to FTE roles (typically a half hour per interview). Decisions are also made much quicker than the typical Google hiring process. I had four half-hour interviews all done via video. All happened on the same day and I was offered the job that evening. 

Item #4—Pay

The vast number of people coming into Google as TVCs are not coming from big tech companies. Therefore, many end up making more as TVCs than they were in their previous jobs. This may not be the case for everybody. However, you have to remember that Google is one of the best-paying companies in the world. This includes hourly rates for Contractors. There are different pay structures, but most will be paid a high hourly rate and there may be opportunities for overtime pay, as well.

Some external agencies may also offer other benefits like 401(k) plans or pay-in options for medical and dental insurance. However, you shouldn’t always expect it. These benefits may be a trade-off you have to make in order to get your foot in the door at Google, especially if the pay increase is significant enough.

It’s also important to understand that you can negotiate your TVC rate. In my case, I was offered more than double what I was making in my previous full-time position and I was given overtime pay. I can’t promise everyone will get this, but it definitely made my decision easier.

Item #5—Perks & Benefits

For most TVCs at Google, the benefits are going to far exceed what they have experienced before. Here are the three biggest perks in my opinion:

  1.   Free Transportation
  2.   Free Gyms
  3.   Free Food

These perks can vary from market to market, especially something like the shuttle service that doesn’t exist for every Google location. These items will represent a big leap for most Contractors. You may not get an invite to the big holiday party at the end of the year, but you will get most of the other perks that all employees get.

Benefits are a different story. As a TVC, you are not eligible for normal FTE benefits. Your agency may provide some benefits, but you won’t get them from Google. I definitely took advantage of the free Google campus perks listed above and the increase in pay more than offset the other benefits I did not receive.

Item #6—Responsibilities & Access

Like all of these items, this experience can be different from Contractor to Contractor. My responsibilities and access were exactly the same as my FTE counterparts. So were the performance expectations. I was expected to hit my hiring goals similar to other internal recruiters. I was also given a mentor who was a FTE and helped me along my journey.

Item #7—Treatment

You will see all sorts of different stories regarding the treatment of TVCs, and everyone’s stories will be unique. In my experience, I felt like I was treated the same as an FTE. I felt very connected to the organization and to the mission and values of Google. The only major difference I saw was that I was on a shorter leash. This makes sense. A contractor has a shorter time to prove their worth than an FTE. Google has invested more time and money in them, so they have more time to ramp up than most TVCs. 

In Part 2 of this article next week, we will discuss how you can transition from a TVC to an FTE. We’ll look at what that process looks like, including highlights from my own journey.

To watch my full video on this topic for additional personal insight, click below:

For more Google interview and recruiting information, follow my YouTube Channel, check out my blog or visit the Practice Interviews website.


Jeff H. Sipe

Jeff has interviewed over 1000 people in his career and previously spent five years working at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. You likely found Jeff through YouTube and you will find the same level of dedication in his one on one practice interview sessions.

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