Google Has An Unique Take On HR And Management

October 7, 2015 - Written By Debarshi Nayak

Google has always been the black sheep about how employers are supposed to treat and take care of their employees. In an age of SpaceX, and Amazon, where companies are well-known for squeezing out the last ounce of productive labor from an employee, Google opposes this idea and embraces a more open and free environment. This has already won Google over 100 international awards for its employment practices and has mostly been affected by Lazlo Bock’s nine-year tenure as Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations. For the 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”.

The departure from traditional work culture in Google also extends to recruitments and interviews, according to Bock, and it is a vital part in determining the right talents to work in the company. Recruitment processes are indeed a crucial part of a corporation, and Google’s success proves that they are indeed on the right track. According to Bock, some of the most conventional HR related questions are out of place. Hiring, he notes, should be made by a committee, instead of individual managers. A person is always looking to prove his point and overestimating his skills, which hampers the process of assessing the quality of the candidate. Google has a committee dedicated to hiring new faces, and the decision of the community cannot be challenged.

Google also has relevant data to prove that structured interview questions are a much better indicator of performance and skill, rather than brainstorming questions. The specifics of a problem solved by a candidate is a critical assessment of how skilled he is. Google wants its managers to keep remembering their life as junior employees, and what they hated about their managers, to keep them grounded and practical. They want their managers to focus on the little things in work to help improve themselves. The two notable benefits of doing this are the perfection of that skill, and feedback and correction cycle. They should also be aware of the small things happening around them. Small details that are easy to miss add up and can adversely affect the company and the work culture.

Finally, Buck talks about wages, one of the crucial deciding factors of a job. He is against a generalized pay system, without any reward for better performance. 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. He also adds how counter offers are bad for a company as this might incentivize the wrong employee. Instead, a well-designed compensation package is what convinces some of its best minds to stay.