Schmidt: Google couldn't keep up with new hires

Google is slowing down its pace of hiring so employees don't get lost in the cracks. But it's not slowing down its cushy benefits.

Google slowed its hiring because the company couldn't keep track of what everybody was doing, Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said Wednesday.

Schmidt says Google is slowing down its pace of hiring so employees don't get lost in the cracks. CNBC

"We have slowed our head count growth for a couple of reasons, but the biggest reason is it began to feel like we really didn't have a good sense of what people were doing," Schmidt said in an interview with CNBC. "The systems in the company, literally who's doing what, what are they doing, seemed to lag our ability to hire these great people."

Though the company slowed hiring later in 2007, that doesn't mean the search and online advertising powerhouse is cutting back much, though. Google still will hire thousands of people this year, he said.

Google had 19,156 full-time employees on March 31, up from 16,805 on December 31, the company said.

And the company still plans to lavish benefits on those it has hired, thanks to Google's so-far recession-proof business and cushy profit margins.

"Every day I turn around, there's some new benefit that we've come up with for our employees," Schmidt said. "It's part of our culture. We're happy to do that. And, of course, we have gross margins to afford it."

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