Google ranks best in industry salaries — They’re also hiring

In the digital revolution, few companies carry as much clout as Google. Although its physical headquarters can be found in Mountain View, California, the Google ideation is more than anything an approach to life, a way of doing things, a signifier of innovation of technological initiative and, according to yet another survey released recently, a very nice place to work, too, despite the bad fudge brownies.

The survey, conducted by Payscale, reports that Google employees earn on average about 23 per cent more than their industry counterparts in other companies. The average Googler earns US$141 000 per year , and while it’s tempting to think of an HR ethic solely in terms of pay scales, the true value of the Google organisation is its own brand of off-beat corporate culture.

In January this year, Google awarded all its employees a US$1 000 tax-free bonus as part of an incentive scheme to discourage staff from defecting to principal rivals such as Facebook. It also provides a host of less traditional amenities like gourmet meals, massages, exercise equipment, video games, billiard tables, and snack rooms. The company is clear about the need to catalyse new modes of thinking in an ultra-competitive market segment.

Just recently, Mashable reported that Google is now embarking on its largest hiring scheme to date. In an interview with Bryan Power, a people operations manager who oversees all of Google’s hiring in North and South America, it was made apparent that there’s no one-size-fits-all policy about staff recruitment and retention. “Google knows the world changes quickly,” said Power, “and we need people who can adapt and take on different challenges. A lot has changed in the last five years, and the next five years will [change] too. We need people who can adapt and take on different challenges.”

Power says that some interviewees will even arrive in board-shorts and T-Shirts, but manage to impress the company with their sharp intellect. Others, decked in their sartorial best, just weren’t prepared. Part of Google’s corporate philosophy, in fact, is that “you can be serious without a suit.” In this way, it has tended to make some pioneering steps toward fostering truly creative throughout that stretches the more traditional mold of corporate doppelgangers in grayscale suits and black briefcases.

One of the challenges that some multinational corporations face is trying to attract an industry-leading workforce amidst competition from ostensibly more attractive companies like Google. Who doesn’t want free lattes and recreation during working hours? It’s critical to keep in mind that no single company is perfect.

In an anonymous staff survey thread at Google, one employee said, “A common problem [at Google] is that it’s easy to become spoiled by all the perks. Several offices have developed distinct cultures of entitlement, and people whine about the quality of the fudge on the free brownies. It’s embarrassing to be around people who’ve become like spoiled children.”

Other staff pointed to patent management-line problems and inefficiencies. Google seems as plagued by staff politics as almost any other organisation out there. So while you may regard Google at the holy grail of your career (and perhaps in some ways it is), they aren’t the working man’s utopia. They’re damn close though.


Gearburn 17 Jun 2011
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