Hr Policies of Google

February 1, 2019 | Author: Juhi Vasanwala | Category: Google, Employee Retention, Recruitment, Diversity (Business), Analytics
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policies of human resources for google inc...


 ABOUT GOOGLE Google Inc.  is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products. These include search, cloud computing, software and online advertising technologies. Most of its profits are derived from AdWords..

Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  Together they own about 16 percent of its shares. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An  initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. In 2006 Google moved to headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. Rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products,  acquisitions and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine.  It offers online productivity software including email (Gmail), an office suite (Google Drive), and social networking (Google+). Desktop products include applications for web browsing, organizing and editing photos, and instant messaging.  The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating systemand the browser-only Chrome OS for a specialized type of  netbook known as a Chromebook.  Google has moved increasingly into communications hardware: it partners with major electronics manufacturers in production of its high-end Nexus devices and acquired Motorola Mobility. MISSION AND VISON

“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”


The prominent members of Google’s management are as follows: The Board of Directors:

Eric Schmidt, Google Inc. Sergey Brin, Google Inc. Larry Page , Google Inc. John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins Caufield& Byers Ram Shriram, Sherpalo John Hennessy, Stanford University Paul Otellini, Intel Shirley M. Tilghman, Princeton University Ann Mather

The Operating Committee:

Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Larry Page, Co-Founder & President, Products Sergey Brin, Co-Founder & President, Technology NikeshArora, President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development Laszlo Bock, Vice President, People Operations Shona L. Brown, Senior Vice President, Business Operations, Google Inc. W. M. Coughran Jr., Senior Vice President, Engineering David C. Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Research UrsHölzle, Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow Jeff Huber, Senior Vice President, Engineering OmidKordestani, Senior Advisor, Office of the CEO and Founders Patrick Pichette, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Rosenberg, Senior Vice President, Product Management Rachel Whetstone, Vice President, Public Policy and Communications Susan Wojcicki, Vice President, Product Management


In the modern business world, organisational culture does play a dominant part in the success of any business. It is extremely important to understand how modern businesses adopt strategies to attract the best in the business. Google Inc. succeeded in attracting and retaining employees with the organisation by having an innovative organisational culture. Google is said to be one of the very few companies that had a great blend of technological innovation and strong managerial values. Google was selected as the best company to work by Fortune in 2008. The Cultural Web (Johnson, 1988) of Google is dominated by this basic paradigm of managerial flexibility, team-work and innovation. Google earned its reputation in 2003 as the most chosen search engine among the internet users due to its accuracy and speed. Google always had an edge over its competitors not only in technology but also on its ability to attract the best employees. During the late 1990s the world went through a technological boom which was known as the dotcom boom. At a time when almost all big tech companies experienced an employee turnover, Google was the only company that did not face a similar crisis. To begin, it is important to understand Google’s removal of any unnecessary managerial hierarchies and this gave Google’s eng ineers the freedom to work. However, on the other hand some are not pleased with this culture and they argue otherwise. They say that Google’s culture is too informal which could result in chaos among both employees and customers.Further, they argue that the management structure lacks in unity of command at the top. This organisational structure and control system act as unique features of Google’s culture which allow  innovations to take place without any barriers. Google’s global headquarters known as Googleplex  is located in Mountain View, California. Cofounders of Google Larry Page and Sergey Brin always wanted their workplace to be a fun place to work. The entire office complex is decorated with lava lamps and painted in bright colours which reflect their beliefs.

One of the most innovative techniques used by Google is that Googlers are allowed to take their pets inside the office. Also they are provided with free snacks and lunch and dinner is prepared by a celebrity chef Charlie Ayers. They have separate snack rooms offering the employee cereals, cashew nuts, fruit juices, and cappuccino at no cost. Google rented out an entire theatre for a day to accommodate 6000 Googlers to see first shows of films. F ilms like ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Transformers’ were shown and employees were allowed to bring along an additional guest as well.

Google has a gymnasium inside their office complex and encourages the employees to have regular workouts to keep themselves in good physical condition. They also have the luxury to take a massage inside the office itself if they want. The casual dress code at Google gives Googlers a relaxed feeling and helps them to keep their minds off from their busy work schedules. These rituals and routines symbolize the values of Google’s management and makes up part of the overall paradigm of their culture. At Google, the emphasis is always on team achievements. However, the employees are given proper recognition to take pride in their individual performances as well. In the multi cultured environment at Google, team achievements may be given weightage differently based on the country where they work. In eastern countries, such as Google in China, collectivism can work more successfully as people are more open to it. But in western countries such as USA, individualism plays a major role and therefore individual achievements are considered as important by employees. Another characteristic of Google’s culture is tha t they do not have formal business meetings. Instead, what they have is like a casual conversation either during lunch breaks at the café or at a tea table which ensures each individual’s contribution to the subject matter. Also it gives them the feeling that everyone is sitting pretty much on the same level. These types of activities reduce the power gap between the management & employees, thereby creating a sense of equality which is part of Google’s culture. Employees are sometimes given freedom to take risks in their roles to encourage them to be more creative and innovative. This resembles the self-actualisation stage in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is absolutely significant in an industry which comprises of lot of high skilled and qualified professionals. They need freedom to perform individually and recognition to their achievements. Nevertheless, the employees have a sense of team which ensures that they do not compete against each other but achieve targets through collective efforts. The consumer oriented approach at Google makes sure that the decisions they take benefits the Google users. Thinking out of the box helps Google to stand out from the competition while the values of the company also being maintained. It can be said that the culture at Google has three facets: an honourable work environment, customer oriented business approach and spiritual conduct. Through their work, Google makes sure all three fragments of its business benefit. Employees are motivated because of the friendly atmosphere in the workplace, Google users benefit due to its cutting edge technological developments and also the organisation as a whole attains its objectives.


Google’s methodology for selection of candidates is highly integrated and scientific. The technical staff at Google came up with a very non-traditional approach to hiring people. Google’s focus is not mainly on academic qualifications   and past work experience as most of the other companies. What it mostly looks for is the personality of a particular candidate along with positive behavioural characteristics which can bring value to the organisation in an open job position. The selection process contains activities that can measure leadership skills and creativity with an emphasis on innovation.

A candidate should have an understanding of the following if he/she is facing an interview at Google. · Culture within the organisation along with its objectives and shared values. · Ability to think out of the box and be passionate about the job. To be able to think like the owners by taking responsibility while on the job. · Well aware of the structure within the company. (No hierarchies’ flat st ructure with each individual is given equal respect). · Relationships and connections within and across offices. · Work and life balance. Ideal candidates should possess the following characteristics. · Being ethical. · Interests in extra-curricular activities. · Be a self-starter and be proactive. · Strong analytical skills and resourcefulness. · Solid leadership skills. · Strong communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively and openly. · Ability to think globally across cultures, regions and scenarios. · Ability to be consumer focused and a solution oriented mind set. Through setting these types of characteristics for a potential employee, Google aims at ensuring that the employee fits in with the culture of the organisation well. In addition, an employee who possesses these skills may be better at fitting in with the existing employees as it’s a very important task in a team oriented work environment. Therefore

they have set standards such as do’s and don’ts of interviewing criteria as b elow in order to select the candidates who would fit in to their description of an ideal employee. Do’ s

Don’t s

Selecting people who are smarter and more knowledgeable than the most

Selecting people who can’t learn from mistakes and be challenged

Selecting people who can really add value to the organisation and its culture

Selecting people who can add value

Selecting people who have the ability to get the job done

Selecting people who are not proactive and only pass time by sitting on the problem

Selecting proactive, self-starting and enthusiastic people

Selecting people who do the job for the sake of doing a job

Selecting people who like working with others and be a motivation to the others

Selecting people who doesn’t have a team spirit and love to work alone

 An outline of Google’s selection process:

It is said that Google has about seven rounds of interviews in its screening process. These are mostly conducted in the US office in California or in Hyderabad and Bangalore in India. The biggest weightage is on complex data structures, algorithms and other basic fundamentals related to computing. Even if the candidate manages to go through all the rounds the final result may take around 3-4 months to come. 1. Screening process starts with the recruiting team calling the interviewee on the phone. 2. Decision making is then done by a business group. It has got three phases. a. Peer interviews b. Senior peer interviews c. Cross region team interview 3. Then, a decision on an offer is made by a hiri ng committee. This is based in Google’s California office and takes the final decision on a job offer.

Five stages of Google’s selection Process

1. When a job opening is announced job resumes flow in from all directions of the globe. Roughly out of 500,000 applications the HR team reviews, the figure is brought down to 40,000 by rejecting the less competent ones. 2. The recruiting team then starts calling these 40,000 applicants over the phone, out of which 1,500 candidates are shortlisted. 3. The 1,500 shortlisted candidates are called in for an on-site interview out of which 1,300 are rejected. 4. Finally, the recruiting team is left with 200 proficient applicants who will be directed to the hiring committee. 5. The final decision is to be made by the hiring committee, who make the decision depending on the number of vacancies and the requirement of the job role.


Google has been voted the best place to work in the country for years and the biggest reason is its HR policies which are as follows:

Training and Development : Google employees are offered tremendous opportunities to learn and grow. Professional development opportunities offered to all employees include classes on individual and team presentation skills, content development, business writing, delivering feedback, management/leadership and foreign language lesson.

Improve employee communications  - Companies and public sector agencies are looking for better ways to enable employees to access internal information, including HR communications, policies and procedures, etc. Most of the documentation already exists, but there's typically no central repository for this information, and integrating the various silos is too expensive. For this reason, many companies are leveraging the Google Search Appliance as a scalable platform as their information volume grows. Distribute training materials - Most companies have specific training materials for each class they offer. But any given employee typically has attended only a fraction of the number of training course their company offers. By making all the training materials searchable, HR departments can enable all their employees to access whatever specific documents they might need at any given time.

 At the workplace: A healthy work-life balance is encouraged. Flexible work hours, part time work options, and telecommuting are offered if the specific job allows it. Each employee has access to the corporate recreation centre. Recreational amenities are scattered throughout the campus and include a workout room with weights and rowing machines, locker rooms, washers and dryers, a massage room, assorted video games, table football, a baby grand piano, a billiard table, and ping pong. In addition to the recreation room, there are snack rooms stocked with various foods and drinks, with special emphasis placed on nutrition. Free food is available to employees 24/7, with paid vending machines prorated favouring nutritional value.

Perks and Benefits: They receive 27 days of paid time off after one year of employment. 18 weeks of additional paid time off is given post maternity leave and new fathers can take 7 weeks off. Fuel Efficiency Vehicle Incentive Program provides a $5,000 rebate to employees purchasing hybrid cars Non-Monetary Unlimited Sick Leave is also provided. Google also offers on‐site medical and dental facilities, oil change and car wash, courier, fitness centre, banking centre, free breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis. The annual on‐site Health Fair of fers free testing services, including eye exams and cholesterol testing, free flu shots etc.

Good employee relations:Google strives to maintain good employee relations with high Employee involvement due to which they are more likely engage in discretionary behaviour. This positive organizational citizenship behaviour results inhigh job satisfaction and commitment, even self-motivation. Decentralised Decision Making: In case of Google’s project teams, decision making power is decentralised to the teams instead of the top management. They are expected to decide upon their targets and thereby more autonomy is provided to the staff. It is of utmost importance that autonomy and authority is provided in a project team situation as the intrusion of management in team decision making will be disastrous in terms of hindering the team focus resulting in dissatisfaction and demotivation.

With that in mind they have rejected the idea of micro management by branding it as an approach which reduces creativity. Decentralisation of decisions aimed at empowering employees is more clearly visible in the process of idea generation and screening. In Google, an employee who comes up with an idea is asked to post that idea in a suggestion box and this will be evaluated by colleagues based on its marketability and feasibility. Through this they have adopted a bottom up management approach and made employees feel more empowered as they are seen as important parts of the organisations decision process. In addition, in case of disputes relating to innovations arises, management decisions will only based on the arguments made and not on hierarchical considerations. 

Management By Objective: The principles of management by objectives is used by Google to empower employees in boosting creativity and innovation. By adopting the 70-20-10 principle where employees are allowed to use 20% of their time to follow their own initiatives, they have provided more freedom for employees to tap in to their creativity while ensuring more commitment from employees, in this case because they set their own objectives rather than following those set by management. The management plays more of a coaching role here as they attempt to adjust individual objectives to be more synergistic with organisational objectives and is also aimed at continuous mentoring and encouragement through reviewing and advice. Peer Review System: Google adopts a review system which is focused on peer reviews rather than management reviews. By eliminating the need for top down management approach in review they have made their staff more responsible for their colleagues’ performance and develop their skills of identifying the rights from the wrong and reporting them in an efficient manner. Death Benefits: The family of a 'Googler' who dies in harness will get half the employee's salary for 10 years, a plan that came into effect for US employees of the technology company last year. Indian staff will become eligible soon. In addition to a decade of support with the salary for employee's family, Google is throwing in other death benefits. Any stock options will vest immediately, letting the bereaved family sell or transfer the stock as they please. Moreover, the employee's children will each receive $1,000 every month till they reach 19, or 23 in the case of a full-time student.

GOOGLE AND HR REINVENTION How Does the Google People Analytics Approach Reinvent HR?

HR at Google is dramatically different from the hundreds of other HR functions in other companies. To start with, at Google it’s not called human resources; instead, the function is called “people operations.” The VP and leader Laszlo Bock has justifiably learned to demand data-based decisions everywhere. People management decisions at Google are guided by the powerful “people analytics team.” Two key quotes from the team highlight their goals: “All people decisions at Google are based on data and analytics”  The goal is to … “bring the same level of rigor to people-decisions that we do to engineering de cisions” 

Google is replacing the 20th century subjective decision-making approach in HR. Although it calls its approach “people analytics,” it can alternatively be called “data based decision-making,” “algorithm based decision -making,” or “fact or evidence -based decision-making.” 10 Powerful Illustrations of the “People Analytics” Approach

The people analytics team reports directly to the VP and it has a representative in each major HR function. It produces many products, including employee surveys that are not anonymous, and dashboards. It also attempts to identify insightful correlations and to provide recommended actions. The goal is to substitute data and metrics for the use of opinions. Almost everyone has by now heard about Google’s free food, 20% time , and wide range of fun activities but realize that each of these was implemented and are maintained based on data. Many of Google’s people analytics approache s are so unusual and powerful, they can only be described as “breathtaking.” Below are 10 of Google’s past and current people management practices to highlight its data-driven approach: 

Leadership characteristics and the role of managers – its “project oxygen” research analyzed reams of internal data and determined that great managers are essential for top performance and retention. It further identified the eight characteristics of great leaders. The data proved that rather than superior technical knowledge, periodic one-on-one coaching which included expressing interest in the employee and frequent personalized feedback ranked as the No. 1 key to being a successful leader. Managers are rated twice a year by their employees on their performance on the eight factors.

The PiLab — the PiLab is a unique subgroup that no other firm has. It conducts applied experiments within Google to determine the most effective approaches for managing people and maintaining a productive environment (including the type of reward that makes employees the happiest). The lab even improved employee health by reducing the calorie intake of its employees at their eating facilities by relying on scientific data and experiments (by simply reducing the size of the plates).  A retention algorithm — it developed a mathematical algorithm to proactively and successfully predict which employees are most likely to become a retention problem. This approach allows management to act before it’s too late and it further allows retention solutions to be personalized. Predictive modeling –  people management is forward looking at Google. As a result, it develops predictive models and use “what if” analysis to continually improve their forecasts of upcoming people management problems and opportunities. It also uses analytics to produce more effective workforce planning, which is essential in a rapidly growing and changing firm. Improving diversity –  unlike most firms, analytics are used to solve diversity problems. As a result, the people analytics team conducted analysis to identify the root causes of weak diversity recruiting, retention, and promotions (especially among women engineers). The results that it produced in hiring, retention, and promotion were dramatic and measurable.  An effective hiring algorithm –  one of the few firms to approach recruiting scientifically, it developed an algorithm for predicting which candidates had the highest probability of succeeding after they are hired. Its research also determined that little value was added beyond four interviews, dramatically shortening time to hire. Google is also unique in its strategic approach to hiring because its hiring decisions are made by a group in order to prevent individual hiring managers from hiring people for their own short-term needs. Under project Janus, it developed an algorithm for each large job family that analyzed rejected resumes to identify any top candidates who they might have missed. They found that they had only a 1.5% miss rate, and as a result they hired some of the revisited candidates. Calculating the value of top performers –  Google executives have calculated the performance differential between an exceptional technologist and an average one (as much as 300 times higher). Proving the value of top performers convinces executives to provide the resources necessary to hire, retain, and develop extraordinary ta lent. Google’s best -kept secret is that people operations professionals make the best “business case” of any firm in any industry, which is the primary reason why they receive such extraordinary executive support.

Workplace design drives collaboration – Google has an extraordinary focus on increasing collaboration between employees from different functions. It has found that increased innovation comes from a combination of three factors: discovery (i.e. learning), collaboration, and fun. It consciously designs its workplaces to maximize learning, fun, and collaboration (it even tracks the time spent by employees in the café lines to maximize collaboration). Managing “fun” may seem superfluous to some, but the data indicates that it is a major factor in attraction, retention, and collaboration. Increasing discovery and learning – rather than focusing on traditional classroom learning, the emphasis is on hands-on learning (the vast majority of people learn through on the job learning). Google has increased discovery and learning through project rotations, learning from failures, and even through inviting external speakers like Al Gore and Lady Gaga to speak to their employees. Clearly self-directed continuous learning and the ability to adapt are key employee competencies at Google.

It doesn’t dictate; it convinces with data — the final key to Google’s people analytics team’s success occurs not during the analysis phase, but instead when it present its final proposals to executives and managers. Rather than demanding or forcing managers to accept its approach, it instead acts as internal consultants and influences people to change based on the powerful data and the action recommendations that they present. Because its audiences are highly analytical (as most executives are), it uses data to change preset opinions and to influence.


To conclude we can say that Google is one of the best employers in the world, as has been proven by various surveys (Forbes, Economictimes, etc). Their innovative HR policies, programs and office spaces set them a class apart from other companies in the same as well as different sectors. Google Inc really makes an effort as far as its employees are concerned and that is what gives it a competitive edge over other firms.

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