Google Inc.’s Human Resource Management and Development Practices

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 12
Words: 3300
Reading time:
13 min
Study level: Master

Introduction

As a large multinational technology company, Google is widely known in the whole world. Founded in 1998, this organization takes appropriate measures in order to analyze different types of information and to make it universally accessible for all people regardless of their gender, age, ethnic background, or personal preferences (Tran, 2017). Even though Google is not the first search engine created to satisfy the needs of people in terms of information access, it is currently the greatest company operating in the context of Internet-related services and products. It is headquartered in Mountain View, California, where thousands of people work towards the same goal (Zulfan et al., 2020). However, this company has gained popularity not only because of its high-quality services but also because of a unique corporate culture that considers the personal and professional well-being of employees in the first place. Therefore, Google is frequently perceived as an example of an organization using the best human resource management (HRM) and human resource development (HRD) practices.

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At the same time, the approach to HRM and HRD has been changing several times in Google. Initially, this company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin who did not have a deep understanding in the field of corporate culture and its impact on the success of the business (Bendak, Shikhli and Abdel-Razek, 2020). Students of Stanford University had the intention to use links with the purpose to identify the significance of individual web pages. In the past 20 years, Google has succeeded in providing services related to email, scheduling, cloud storing, messaging, language translation, navigation, blog publishing, as well as note-taking. Simultaneously, this search engine presently covers over 80% of global online search requests (Gochhayat, Giri and Suar, 2017). In other words, over 4 billion people use Google on a regular basis. Such a vast popularity of this search engine on the international market can be explained by its technical features, such as speed, relevancy, branding, although human resources play an essential role in the development of Google as well.

In order to produce the best search results, this search engine constantly improves its algorithms. For instance, it is assumed that nearly 500 changes are made to Google search algorithms annually (Joseph and Kibera, 2019). As a result, Internet users have the opportunity to access the most credible and interesting information from different parts of the world. Moreover, significant organizational shifts and changes have been noticed in this organization lately. The number of its employees increased from 300 in 2001 to 135,000 at the end of 2020 (Zhao, Teng and Wu, 2018). People employed in Google highlight that they appreciate its unique work culture and human resource policies. In addition, this technology company has been recognized as the best employer in the world over five times by highly acclaimed organizations, such as Fortune magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute.

At the present time, Google’s HR policy provides guidance regarding the best ways employees can communicate with each other and avoid incidences of workplace harassment. Apart from this, the policy takes into consideration both HRM and HRD approaches that are expected to improve both the working environment and the company’s image on the international market. Subsequently, considering that Google’s HR policy is such an effective tool for managing staff, this document is frequently taken into account by other organizations. In fact, these firms aim to identify the most profitable decisions for enhancing the quality of provided services through human resources.

From the perspective of HRM and HRD, there are three main insights that can be analyzed and utilized by a variety of small and large companies. First, it is essential to pay attention to the thirst for data. In fact, representatives of Google believe that young individuals use a unique approach to data management even though they do not have vast professional experience. In turn, the ability of youth to integrate appropriate information into practice is one of the primary methods of achieving organizational success. Therefore, the average age of people working in Goof is around 29 years in spite of the fact the average employee age of the American population is approximately 42 (Torraco and Lundgren, 2019). In other words, human resource specialists do not have concerns in terms of young individuals serving their professional functions in the company.

Furthermore, in addition to young employees with innovative views on types of work environments, Google’s HR policy takes into account people analytics. This approach is tremendously effective for navigating the best people management practices (Kesti, 2012). The selection of human resources that will be working towards the success of the company is as important as various engineering decisions, which is why decisions related to people are based on data and analytics in this company. Instead of considering standard HR policies that had a vast relevance at the end of the past century, Google follows the principles of hiring educated individuals according to the principles of improving employee retention, workplace collaboration, and diversity.

Second, Google’s HR policy is based on the idea to make the health and life of the company’s employees better, which is expected to increase their productivity. Currently, the majority of both small and large organizations do not take into consideration the personal life and well-being of their staff, as their main focus is achievement of professional development and growth. As a result, many employees are unable to produce stellar results to meet the expectations of employers. In turn, to minimize employee turnover, Google has implemented the initiative that is intended to remove all barriers to offer human resources the opportunity to “focus on the things that are significant to their personal and professional well-being” (Boon, Den Hartog and Lepak, 2019). This HRM approach is extremely effective, as Google’s employees demonstrate higher rates in the value of their productivity and profit generation.

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Representatives of Google support data analysis, which is why employees’ satisfaction level is regularly measured by human resource specialists. Based on statistical information, the average Google employee generates around $1 million in revenue annually, whereas its competitors do not produce over $400,000 per single worker (Alkhateeb and Abdalla, 2020). In order to meet the expectation of employees, Google constantly monitors the most effective types of rewards that each specific worker. Apart from this, the management of this organization cares about the health of its employees by lowering their calorie intake at work and providing recommendations regarding healthy nutrition outside work settings. Finally, Google is known on the international market due to its ‘Pay-for-Performance’ compensation package (Navío-Marco, Solórzano-García and Palencia-González, 2018). This package offers financial bonuses for employees whose professional performance is on the highest level.

Third, Google’s HR policy is tremendously essential from the perspective of HRD. This organization invests a vast amount of financial resources in professional learning and training sessions from experienced managers. Moreover, a variety of influencers and celebrities regularly join inspirational talks arranged to encourage employees to work hard. For instance, Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga do not hesitate to communicate with the staff of Google and share their experience. This management style is beneficial for ensuring people that they are the greatest value of the company. The majority of workers report that they are treated with considerable respect, which inspires them to produce the greatest results and boost their productivity.

Managers of this organization are also trained in order to increase their level of awareness of the best styles that can be successfully applied to communicate with different departments. For example, Google recently launched ‘Project Oxygen’ which is based on the idea to determine and assess the best training and coaching techniques (Aust, Matthews and Muller-Camen, 2020). This project presently introduces eight traits that Google managers should have in the context of successful communication with employees. In fact, as good coaches, managers should empower the team, as well as express interest in both the professional and personal well-being of all team members. Lately, this HRD approach has been widely used by other organizations with the purpose to improve the quality of communication.

Strategic Human Resource Management in Google

At the present time, there are numerous HRM styles that are used in different work settings. Each of these styles has its advantages and disadvantages, although the strategic and logical practice of organizational management demonstrates that the democratic style is the most effective method to communicate with employees (Tohidian and Rahimian, 2019). For instance, Google publicly supports this HR management style. The main management styles are described in the table below:

Defensive Prospective Analyst
Organization structure Functional Divisional Functional and Matrix
Basic strategy HR construction HR acquirement HR allocation
Recruitment, selection and allocation Do

Low recruitment above the entering level

Selection based in eliminate undesired employees

Acquire

Sophisticated recruitment in all levels

Selection could have a psychological test

Do and acquire

Mix of approaches in recruitment and selection

Career Planning Formal
Extent
Informal
Extent
Formal
Extent
Training and developing Ability construction

Intense programs of training and developing

Identification and acquisition of abilities

Limited programs of training and developing

Construction and acquisition of abilities

Intense programs of training and developing

Limited extern recruitment

Performance evaluation Procedure oriented for projects

Identification of people’s needs

individual and team performance evaluation

Results compared by temporal series

Procedure oriented for results

Identification of people’s needs

Division or corporation performance evaluation

Transversal comparison

Procedure oriented mainly for projects

identification of personal and formation necessities

Division or team performance evaluation

Mainly temporal comparisons and a few transversal

HRM can be described as a field of management that is based on the idea to manage people with the purpose to contribute the best results to a particular company. Even though HRM is closely associated with HRD, they differ when it comes to the primary goals, functions, and impacts. HRM is mainly focused on responding to the demands of the organization from the perspective of human resources recruitment, selection, orientation, training, and development. Additionally, performance appraisal and management of professional relationships are taken into consideration by this set of independent sub-function.

As for Google, its HRM should be analyzed considering the company’s core operations of hiring and retaining. For example, in order to determine the significance of the firm’s recruitment practices, it is essential to pay attention to the company’s sources and methods of recruitment. The organization uses both internal and external resources for selecting and hiring highly qualified specialists. On the one hand, internal sources include promotions, transfers, and trainees/interns. Presently, it is considered the main method of maintaining the adequacy of staff. On the other hand, Google’s internal sources are educational institutions and job advertisements. However, despite the fact that all individuals have the opportunity to apply for job positions in this company, there is a high level of competition for all open vacancies in Google. In 2019, the company received a total of three million job applications (Metwally, Ruiz-Palomino, Metwally and Gartzia, 2019). Thus, human resource specialists take considerable responsibility for hiring people in Google.

In turn, to find the best applicants who would be able to contribute to the welfare of the company, a variety of methods are utilized. Google prefers using the combination of both internal and external recruitment methods, as this mix increases the chances of satisfying Google’s human resource requirements to the fullest extent. Its primary internal method is advertisements on the firm’s website, whereas the main external recruitment method is maintaining communication with potential interns and future employees through academic institutions. The selection of recruitment methods usually depends on recruitment resources utilized by the human resource specialist.

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Taking into consideration that Google aims to maximize innovation, this organization selects its employees according to the principles of smartness, creativity, drive for excellence, and alignment with the company. In case the candidate has strong hard skills that are combined with the soft skills listed above, representatives of Google are likely to invite this person to join their team. When it comes to the assessment of hard skills, the applicant should pass background checks, preliminary screening, on-the-job tests, and interviews. When the person is hired, their abilities will be tested with the help of routine tasks. Also, Google has a variety of employee retention programs that are intended to retain high-quality human resources. For example, high salaries and free meals are integral parts of a typical employee retention plan supported by Google.

Apart from this, Google’s HRM takes into account a competitive compensation strategy and a holistic career development policy. First, millions of people apply for job positions in this organization, as its employees receive a highly competitive compensation compared to the compensation of employees working for competitors of Google. For instance, the average salary of a person employed in this technology company varies from $28,000 per year for a customer service representative to $190,000 per year for a program manager (Shrivastava, Nagdev and Rajesh, 2018). Additionally, the firm provides its workers with medical insurance, retirement pensions, as well as free use of exercise equipment. In addition to a stable salary, Google’s employees are motivated with the help of financial bonuses. For example, each employee of this organization has the opportunity to receive performance, collective bonuses, and “peer bonuses” (Garcia-Arroyo and Osca, 2019). In turn, the amount of bonuses depends on the professional performance of the person.

The career development program is another significant part of HRM maintained in Google. In fact, each person working in this organization faces constant job analysis, coaching, interviews, and appraisals that play a crucial role in the context of career development. As a result, human resource specialists receive the opportunity to identify career options that are suitable for a certain employee. The organization pays a vast amount of attention to the regular implementation of career development plans in order to satisfy the professional expectations of workers and improve the quality of provided services. In case a certain employee has chances of advancing, they are informed with the help of either online or offline communication channels. Most frequently, these initiatives are implemented when a new service or product is expected to be presented on the market. Considering that Google regularly launches new projects, its employees have many chances to advance their careers.

Strategic Human Resource Development in Google

At the same time, HRDs are mainly proactive, as they are based on the idea to determine the hidden potential of human resources with the purpose to improve their professional skills and technical knowledge. As a result, the organization would be prepared for potential challenges affecting its development. In other words, high-quality training is the primary tool that is used to enhance the productivity of employees, thereby preventing the negative impact of internal and external factors on the whole firm. Unlike HRM, HRD practices are ongoing, as skill development processes define the success of the company on the international market. When it comes to Google, HRD can be considered one of the most significant reasons why this organization has succeeded in achieving its objectives. Therefore, it is vital to analyze Google’s HRD processes, including training, performance, management, HR planning, as well as job analysis and design.

Google is globally known for its training programs that help employees advance their careers and benefit the company at the same time. Currently, these programs consist of four crucial elements, such as needs analysis, program design, delivery, and evaluation. Needs analysis can be provided in different forms according to the specific intention of human resources specialists. For example, it can be either organizational analysis, work analysis, or cost-benefit analysis. Organizational analysis is usually conducted with the purpose to identify staff requirements in the process of developing new products. Simultaneously, work analysis can be used in cases of organizational restructuring, whereas cost-benefit analysis is essential for identifying whether a certain training program is beneficial for employees and the entire organization itself. In terms of training program design, Google supports the relational model that is based on maintaining positive relationships within a team in order to boost their productivity. Furthermore, a results-oriented approach is beneficial for facilitating employees’ learning, which is why it is used by Google’s HR specialists as well.

In the context of delivery, Google’s employees are welcomed to join different types of programs, including discussions, simulations, and on-the-job training. Each of these programs has its advantages and disadvantages, which is why they are created based according to the specific goal. In case human resource specialists aim to facilitate the creative process, they are likely to offer simulations to employees, whereas on-the-job training is frequently used to transfer appropriate knowledge to new hires (Aust, Matthews and Muller-Camen, 2020). Finally, the last step of needs analysis includes evaluation. This step is essential, as it helps determine the effectiveness of the program in terms of boosting employees’ performance.

From the perspective of HRD, it is also crucial to take into account Google’s performance management practices. For instance, performance planning is the fundamental practice that gives the chance to improve customer service, communication, support for diversity, and problem-solving abilities of employees by predicting the potential impact of internal and external factors on the organization (Wang, Kim, Rafferty and Sanders, 2019). In turn, measurements and standards are integral parts of Google’s performance management practices as well. In fact, each considerable process occurring in the team is evaluated on the basis of variables, such as collaboration level, ethical conduct, and quality of input. Lastly, performance interviews are perceived as vital elements of performance management practices too. Personal performance interviews are usually used to determine specific features of an employee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. To ensure that the person is comfortable with this performance management practice, interviews can be conducted in the snack area of the office.

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Presently, one of the main advantages of Google’s HRD is job analysis and design. For example, organizational design is a tremendously effective tool used to meet human resource needs. When it comes to methods of job analysis, representatives of Google prefer using a mix of employee-oriented job analysis techniques and work-oriented job analysis techniques (Liu, Akkineni, Story and Davis, 2020). Nevertheless, work-oriented techniques are used by human resource specialists more frequently, as they provide more comprehensive information on employee performance. This type of assessment can be conducted in the form of task analysis, functional job analysis, and the critical incident technique. At the same time, even though job requirements for people working in the product development department considerably differ from requirements for people working in the human resource department, all Google’s employees should demonstrate characteristics of smartness and drive for excellence.

The last thing that should be analyzed in the context of HRD is Google’s human resource planning. This field of HRD demonstrates the way human resource specialists working in this company balance supply and demand. In order to predict potential human resource demand, the HR department constantly uses trend analysis that takes into consideration changes that occur in the whole business area of the world (Tursunbayeva, 2019). Moreover, scenario analysis is another important technique that offers the opportunity to predict human resource demand in a variety of specific cases.

Conclusion

Accordingly, the human resource department operating in Google takes appropriate measures to balance HR supply and demand. In cases the organization faces a significant increase in the demand for specific services, there is no need to hire new employees immediately. The work process is primarily based on the idea of team collaboration, which is why organizational needs can be easily fulfilled by a representative of different job positions (Luo et al., 2020). In case human resource specialists understand that Google needs the new employee to serve certain tasks, the process of selection and hiring begins from analysis of internal and external HR resources. In other words, HRM and HRD are strongly interdependent in Google, which is why this company has succeeded in addressing its workforce needs. Thus, this organization provides an excellent example of the way large companies should treat their employees to achieve their objectives.

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