In some areas and industries, non-compete clauses are a way of life; companies don't want their best and brightest working for competitors soon, if ever. California law isn't too keen on non-compete clauses, however, and it looks like Google wants to accelerate the rate at which Yahoo employees jump ship.
Matt Cutts, who is of course one of Google's most visible figures, mentioned (and perhaps bragged about) one defection on his blog last night. "I was talking to an excellent new Googler that joined from Yahoo this week, and that reminded me that I meant to do this post a little while ago," he wrote.
Cutts then segued into what sounds a lot like a job offer, continuing, "[I]f you're an excellent Yahoo engineer with solid experience in search, Google is hiring. If you want to apply for a Software Engineer (SWE) position in Mountain View, use this job page and the application will make it to the right recruiters. Thanks!"
It's a little bit hard to know what to make of the post; the act of advertising a single opening (or even several) on Cutts's blog seems like the HR equivalent of fishing with dynamite.
Still, the key point, as far as we can tell, is that Google's getting even more aggressive about draining Yahoo of talent.