It would seem that not even the biggest companies are safe from the impending affects of the economic downturn.

Search leviathan Google has announced that it is laying off 100 of its recruitment staff and will also close three engineering offices in Austin, Texas, and separate offices in Norway and Sweden, affecting about 70 engineers.

The official blog post announced that a number of recruitment cuts were required for the company, as it shifts its focus away from hiring new staff.

Google’s vice-president of people operations, Lazlo Bock, states in the blog that “(We are) still hiring but at a reduced rate. Given the state of the economy, we recognised that we needed fewer people focused on hiring.”

The company has gained a reputation for mass hiring sprees and lavish staff perks. Due to the recession, it has trimmed back on many of its employee benefits, including a reduced number of free staff meals and a low-key holiday celebrations.

The 100 jobs represent about 25% of Google’s recruitment team and less than 1% of its total staff. Keeping with its ‘Don’t be evil’ mantra, the company says that it intends to find jobs for those affected by the cuts.

Google has also announced it is closing or restricting access to a number of its web services. Google Video, who’s validity has been under fire since the company’s purchase of YouTube in 2006, will now have its upload capabilities disabled. Users will, however, still be able to watch previously uploaded content.

Other Google systems, including Jaiku (like a poor man’s Twitter), will remain online, but will no longer be developed by Google and will potentially continue to be operated by volunteers.