TVC to FTE at Google, Part 2: Making the Conversion

google interviews Aug 18, 2022

Last week, I talked about how and why it makes sense to accept a Temporary Vendor Contractor (TVC) role at Google if a Full-Time Employee (FTE) position is not available to you. There are several key benefits, including a potential income increase and the ability to get your foot in the door at one of the biggest big tech companies in the world. I suggest you read Part 1 (click here) before getting into Part 2. 

In this article, we will discuss how you can make the conversion from TVC to FTE once you are at Google. How do you get noticed by those making hiring decisions, what does the process look like and what will the employment transition and negotiations entail? 

Item #8—The How

So, how do you get converted from TVC to FTE at Google? First and foremost, one great strategy is to simply outwork everyone else. It may be working more hours, working smarter, or ideally a combination of both. 

This concept may not sound appealing. Of course, you want to be paid for all the hours you put in and all the work you are doing. Even if your overtime hours are approved by your Lead, you may still work extra without seeking additional compensation. When I was a TVC, I viewed it as investing in myself. I was giving myself a shot to learn, grow and eventually earn the full-time offer by proving my worth to the company. I did not log all the hours I worked. I felt like this was one of my best ways to earn my FTE opportunity. 

The more common strategy involves networking and relationships. This can come in a few different facets:

  1. Your Own Team—Build relationships with people on your team in like or similar roles. Figure out who got converted. Talk to them about best practices. Ask them who helped them in their journey to becoming an FTE and who else you should be speaking with to improve your own chances. 
  1. Your Lead/Manager—You will have one-to-one meetings with your Lead just like FTEs do. In these conversations, you want to make it clear you would like to be converted. Set really aggressive goals, check in on those goals and show that you are making progress. Applying your Lead’s advice can be huge. When an FTE opportunity comes up, you want them to think of you first.
  2. Outside of Your Group—This is the extra step that most TVCs are not taking. You should network with people you interact with at Google who are outside of your core team. They may hold similar roles or be doing something completely different. Foster relationships with these people. Ask for a virtual or in-person lunch. Find and identify five times on their calendar when they are available. Simply ask for a half-hour of their time. When you have the meeting, ask them about best practices and what success looks like. This gives you incredible insight, and your name might even be on their mind when they are hiring. This networking approach can significantly expand your FTE opportunities. Put yourself out there and build your brand value. When you are going through the hiring process, more people will know who you are and will have a positive impression. Because hiring decisions are made by the larger group, this simple brand building trick is critical!

Item #9—Conversion Process

If you are getting the opportunity to apply for a full-time job, you will essentially be reinterviewing for the position. You’re already crushing it if you are getting this FTE opportunity. Ride that momentum. You’ve already put in hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of strong work. You’ve shown that you are good at the job. This will give you a major advantage during the interview process. Don’t get frustrated that you have to go through it. They legally have to interview you for the job. You need to be willing to go through this process if it means a full-time position.

The good news is you have already been around. You’ve built relationships. You’ve proven your worth. You know what it takes to be successful. Use this data to prepare yourself for the interviews.

Item #10—Negotiation

You will absolutely be able to negotiate when being converted from TVC to FTE. I negotiated very aggressively because I knew my value and so did they. I always recommend that TVCs act like external candidates and seek out competing offers, which can help you when negotiating your FTE compensation. Follow all the normal steps. Be gracious and kind, anchor high and be prepared to negotiate several times.

In my experience, both my initial and final offer from Google were actually lower than I was making as a TVC on an hourly contract. I was able to negotiate and bring the equity up quite a bit. Ultimately, my year one compensation was a little lower than my TVC rate because I didn’t have the overtime hours as an FTE. It was tough to swallow. However, I knew it was well worth it in the long run to have a full-time role within Google.

Item #11—My Full Story

I encourage you to watch the full video on this topic or at least skip ahead to 13:18. I share my Google story and my journey from TVC to FTE. It may help provide a little extra insight and context on how the process worked for me and can benefit you as you look to become part of Google.

For more interview resources and Google interview prep tips, follow my YouTube channel, check out my blog and 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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