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To succeed in today's business world, effective staff management is essential for any business. Effective staff management involves effective recruitment strategy for selection of skilled and appropriate staff, great leadership, office culture that promotes motivation and creativity. This section explains how IS staff management is implemented in Google.
Recruitment strategy is described as "the set of activities and processes used to legally obtain sufficient number of qualified people at the right place and time so that the people and the organization can select each other in their own best short and long term interests". Hiring and retaining talented and effective staff team is critical to any organization's success. Recruitment strategy of the organization should be highly efficient as poor recruiting would cause long-term negative impacts. Furthermore this would increase the cost of training and development costs to reduce poor performance and turnover rate, which would limit organizational performance and goal achievement.
Recruitment strategy implemented in Google is one crucial factor that made possible Google to become a top innovative company. Recruitment methodology practiced in hiring employees enabled them to build their greatest asset; the Human capital. Employee selection process used in Google is a unique and tough process. According Google vice president of engineering, Alan Eustace, their strategy of hiring engineers is that finding engineers that "worth 300 times more than average". He further added that they would rather lose an entire group of engineering graduates before an exceptional technologist. This is visible in Google's services as innovative services like Google News and Gmail were actually initiated by one person. Google continues to hunt for such bright talents through unique recruitment tools and techniques.
One of the exceptional recruiting tools Google apply is using their Google search engine to find candidates without involvement of active resumes. In this approach, they place their job ads when a user enters certain keywords in the search field. This method allows identifying enthusiastic candidates since these types of searches are normally done by individuals who are striving to become the best in the field. Such search terms may include "becoming great engineers" or "awards for excellence in software engineering". Google also has placed announcements for certain vacant positions in response to searches that include the name of top Google scientists and engineers.
Contests as recruiting tool is second exciting strategy Google utilizes in acquiring intelligent and talented employees. The Google Code Jam is a popular online software writing contest around world, which attracts over 7,500 participants each year. The top 25 participants of this contest are selected to compete for a prize worth of $50,000 plus an offer to work for Google. This is a brilliant approach to find potential software engineers who have real art of programming. Furthermore this technique helps to strengthen the power of employment brand among public for being innovative and creative. And also this technique enables to attract employees from different continents, who have real capability to perform at top level.
Another interesting recruitment tool employed by Google is using brain teasers as a recruitment technique. They have used roadside billboards and math tests published in magazines to attract intelligent mathematicians who are good at problem solving. One such example is brain teaser billboards placed in Silicon Valley. Mathematics oriented people were attracted by the Math puzzle placed on these billboards. These billboards do not show any sign of Google, however, when interested candidates take the challenge, they are directed to Google's R&D site which read ""One thing we learned while building Google is that it's easier to find what you're looking for if it comes looking for you. What we're looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.". Through this technique it allows them to reach qualified mathematicians who have the passion to take challenges.
Apart from exceptional recruitment techniques, interviewing and selection process in Google is also extraordinary. Recruitment process could last several weeks and may have up to 12 candidate meetings. Interview panel includes engineers with extensive experience and knowledge about Google's working environment and projects. Candidates would be asked highly technical interview questions that would really test candidate's thinking ability and problem solving skills. Selected candidates are placed in small groups for few days to make them familiar with Google's culture and working environment.
Although Google recruiting obviously does great things, those things seem to occur "at random" and in spite of the fact that there is no formal, well-communicated recruitment strategy. Whether you talk to recruiters or hiring managers at Google, no one seems to be able to clearly articulate the strategy and how it differentiates Google from its talent competitors. Having a written recruiting plan and a superior strategy that focuses on building and maintaining a competitive advantage is essential. In addition to this, Google's emphasis on "youth culture" might hurt its ability to attract more senior and experienced personnel. Emphasizing on youth also might create an environment where age discrimination is promoted.
Google provides education reimbursement plan for its employees that promote the professional growth and development of its employees. Employees can be reimbursed up to $800 in yearly basis for work-relevant courses that are provided through external training providers or academic institutions. Engineers of Google can also enroll for a one year master's program in a technical field at Stanford University and cost of this program is fully sponsored by Google. In addition to this program, Google also offers a Global Education Leave Program for employees who wish to study abroad on a full-time basis. This leave could be maximum length of 5 years and the reimbursement may be up to a maximum of $150,000.
Leadership is an important aspect of any organization in achieving its goals. A manager who has leadership quality in managing his staff will greatly contribute to the success of the business. Good managers should have leadership skills that make them effectively manage their staff. Emotional intelligence is one of the essential leadership skill managers should have in order to handle staffs effectively. Collaboration between employees and management requires that leaders and managers genuinely seek and respond to employees' suggestions and ideas, and involve people in the decisions that affect how they get their work done. Managers demonstrate caring by providing a safe and healthy working environment, and by showing an interest in people's personal lives. This would help to better understand abilities of staffs and better communicate and influence people. Successful organizations are keen to retain quality leaders to ensure staffs are managed effectively and motivate them to achieve organization's goals.
The culture and working environment created by founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin vitally influences the leadership within the company. In 2001, Eric Schmidt was appointed as CEO of Google and his role was to provide business supervision and building corporate infrastructure necessary for sustaining Google's rapid growth as a company. Page, Brin and Schmidt worked very closely as a group in tackling issues and this close bond significantly benefited Google in becoming a top innovative company of the world. Leaders of Google treat employees with respect, supporting their endeavors and employees who are called Googlers are everything.
Google have unique committee called Leadership Development and Compensation Committee whose role is to keep the compensation of managers in check and broadly work to entice and retain good employees. Google also employs managers in unique positions and these positions may not be found in other companies. In 2006, Google hired Stacy Savides as Chief Culture Officer whose main role is to maintain characteristics of Google's unique culture. And also they have a Chief Internet Evangelist and a Distinguished Entrepreneur on staff to help exploring and implementing new technologies. Managers in these unique posts ensure workforce of Google stays innovative and productive.
To maintain an entrepreneurial culture, Google maintains a flat structure which consists of multiple small groups supervised by a project manager. These groups work independently where ideas flow within groups without any official channels. Individuals working in groups are always free to switch in between teams anytime without having to grant permission or going through human resource channels. And also individuals are allowed to spend twenty percent of the time at work on their own projects, independents of ongoing works or their workgroup. This structure avoids bureaucracy and promotes innovation among individuals and maximizes creativity.
How they motivate (Culture)
According to finds of Hawthorne studies conducted in the early 19th century, managers should motivate employees to work more effectively, with quality work at the maximum rate of return. This study proved that the incentives provided for the employees are not only the factor that motivates employees in working environment. Researchers also found that employees are motivated in working environments where they are felt important and due to this such employee groups perform better and are willing to contribute their maximum. The conclusion derived from this study was, organizations should find different ways of motivating their employees in working environment and financial rewarding is not the only method of motivating staffs.
Google is recognized globally as a company where employees are treated as their greatest asset. Google was ranked at the top of the list of the best companies to work for in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by Fortune magazine. Perhaps this is due to company's extraordinary policy for treating their employees to gain maximum contribution in achieving their targets. According to Google's former CEO, Eric Schmidt, "the goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees' way. Programmers want to program; they don't want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both."
Google believes in findings of Hawthorne studies, which says employees are not only motivates by pay incentives alone. They believe that good company culture and rewarding is vital to company success. Google strives to keep their employees always happy by providing exciting working environment and rewards. This includes an exceptional package of fringe benefits. Google also offers their employees gourmet meals, on-site doctors, shuttle services, financial planning classes, oil changes, car wash, dry cleaning, massage therapy, gym, hair stylist, fitness classes, bike repair, holiday parties, health fair, credit union, sauna, roller hockey, volleyball, discounts, swimming pools, billiards, ping pong, snacks, drinks, etc.
One of Google's motivational techniques is the 70/20/10 rule. Employees working at Google spend 70 percent of their time on the core business, 20 percent on related projects, and 10 percent on unrelated new businesses. Software engineers and designers make use of this free time to explore new ideas to come up with innovative technologies. This technique works very well as according to Vice president of Search Products & User Experience, Marissa Mayer, the half of the new products launched by Google came from the innovation time off. And also this technique motivates their engineers as Google implements innovative ideas from individuals in different products and services and it gives pride to the employee who came up with the idea.
In the early years of Google, it was criticized for paying its employees lower than the industry average even when it was based at Silicon Area where standard of living is fairly high. However company grew substantially and rectified the situation by awarding its employees with equity and reasonable salary with incentives. According to Truta (2008) Google engineers make an average of $112,573 while Apple engineers make an average of $97,840. Apart from salary, Google is also applauded for unique bonuses they provide for employees. Such benefits include maternity benefits up to 18 weeks off at approximately 100% pay. In addition, new mothers and fathers are provided with expenses up to $500 for takeout meals during the first three months that they are at home with their new baby.
Most significant and high profile recognition program in Google is "The Founder's Award", which is designed to give extraordinary rewards for extraordinary team accomplishments. This award is rewarded to teams who accomplish something that creates tremendous value for Google. In 2005, employees worked on 11 different projects of Google were awarded with approximately $45 million in restricted stocks. Such recognition awards motivate employees to contribute their maximum in developing innovative products to drive company towards success.
Practice of fairness within organizational strategies in recruitment and rewarding is important as discrimination would have negative impact on performance of employees. A balanced treatment of all employees in the distribution of intangible and tangible rewards should be maintained and managers should avoid favoritism in hiring and promotion practices. Google conducts various recruiting events with several organizations to build a workforce that reflects its globally diverse audience. Statistics shows that 32% of Google's workforce is female, which is higher than many other technology companies. Despite Google maintains a culture of delivering rewards to all its employees to retain world's best talent and attract potential candidates, several claims have been made against Google regarding discrimination issues among its employees.
One such case is discrimination case filed by a Google former employee, Brian Reid who worked at Google between June 2002 and February 2004. Reid claims that while he was employed at Google, he was subject to age-related offensive comments from employees. He alleged that a younger employee, Hölzle told Reid that his his opinions and ideas were "obsolete" and "too old to matter," that he was "slow," "fuzzy," "sluggish," and "lethargic," and that he did not "display a sense of urgency" and "lack[ed] energy." Hölzle allegedly made age-related comments to Reid "every few weeks." Other coworkers called Reid an "old man," an "old guy," and an "old fuddy-duddy," told him his knowledge was ancient, and joked that Reid's CD (compact disc) jewel case office placard should be an "LP" instead of a "CD."
Although Google has denied any wrongdoing and maintains that Reid was not laid off based on his age, it would surely affect Google's reputation and its good name. Since this is not only the alleged discrimination case against Google, it needs to eliminate causes of such discriminations within their workgroup. Improved supervision of such activities needs to be implemented and regulatory body could be appointed to investigate such wrongful doings and to take necessary actions to avoid such issues in future.