Google’s Unique Take on Human Resource Management

October 12, 20158:52 am1870 views

Google has always been the black sheep, telling employers on how to take care of their employees, when companies are known for squeezing the last ounce of productive labour from an employee.

Google opposes this idea by promoting a free and open environment, which made the company win more than 100 awards for best employment practices.

Under the leadership of Laszlo Bock’s nine-year tenure as Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations, the company has seen significant changes in the way employees are engaged and treated at work. This has made its impact on the workplace culture at Google.

For record, Bock is also the author of the New York Times best seller “Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead”. This departure from traditional work culture in Google also extends to interviews and recruitments to determine the brightest talent that will work for the company.

According to Bock, some of the conventional HR related questions posed to employees during recruitment are out of place. During hiring, Bock notes it should be made by a committee, instead of individual managers.

An intelligent candidate is always looking at ways to prove his point and overestimates his skills, which hampers in assessing the potential of candidates. To find brightest talent from the industry, Google has set up a committee dedicated to hiring new faces, and decisions of the committee cannot be challenged.

Also interview questions by Google are more structured to better indicate performance and skill, rather than brainstorming questions. The specific problem solving approach by a candidate is critical assessment tool to evaluate employees.

See: Innovation in Recruitment: Google’s “Rabbit-Hole” Recruiting Program Has a Story to Tell

To keep employees grounded and practical, Google adopts practices that keep managers reminded of their lives as junior employees and what they hated the most about their managers. This makes managers keep their focus consistent on little things that matter the most at work and allows them chances to correct, improve and work upon themselves.

The two notable benefits of the above are: managers get time to perfect their skills and master the same, while allowing room for feedback and correction cycle. Small details that are easy to miss always add up. This can adversely affect the company and the work culture.

Talking about salaries and wages as one of the crucial determinant for an employee to continue working at Google and to facilitate retention of talent, Bock explains that he is against a generalised payment system that doesn’t reward for better performance.

Bock adds: “The relatively small difference in salary of the highest paid and lowest paid employee of a particular group can be counter-intuitive and demotivate people working hard. It is why it is not uncommon to watch Google hiring someone for $10,000 stock grant while it hires someone else for $1 million stock grant.”

“Counter offers are bad for a company as it might incentivize the wrong employee. Instead, a well-designed compensation package is what convinces some of its best minds to stay.”

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Also read: Top 11 Modern Recruitment Marketing Practices to Attract and Hire Talent

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