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The Importance of being a Googler

Google is the only dotcom to achieve the rare distinction of zero percent employee turnover.

Rapidly expanding global economies and the IT boom have created record levels of employee turnover. Many surveys indicate that the numero uno issue is finding and retaining good employees. Since employee turnover costs money, ways to retain them and minimise the cost must be a priority for HR professionals.

However, dotcoms have been the worst hit by employee turnover. Thus, it is surprising to note that Google, the choice search engine for most, has a zero employee turnover. What is more, it receives almost 100 fresh resumes each day. All this, despite hardly any advertising
The department breakdown at Google is as follows:
55 in engineering
10 in operations
15 in business development
4 in finance
4 in PR
10 in marketing
6 in facilities
5 in HR

Out of the 5 professionals who constitute the HR, three of them are involved in recruitment, another helps the HR head, Stacy Sullivan, to handle documentation while the fifth member of the HR team is a contract recruiter. Sullivan says that they have compensation consultants to coordinate their employee benefits and compensation programmes.

The California-based dotcom company is willing to share its little secrets with the rest of the business world. It says the contributing factors for this seemingly impossible task are:
o Benefits and balance
o Employee relations
o Recruitment and retention
Benefits and balance

A three-week long vacation other than sick time based on need is one of the benefits package offered to them. Ms. Sullivan arrived at this package after a lot of benchmarking. "We wanted to be over-competitive. And most people seem to like the separation of vacation and sick time", says Stacy Sullivan.
Other benefits include massages and weekly hockey games, with kits subsidised by the company. Google wants the company to be a great place, which encourages extra-curricular activities. The founders Larry and Sergey insisted on adding all these perks to make Google a fabulous work environment.

Employee relations
Google has become well known for its daily free gourmet lunches and cost is never a constraint because the management feels it pays off. Ironically, Google does not see it is as a retention benefit but as employee relations. Lunches are a good time to bridge the gap communication between the techies and non-techies.
The company does not judge employees based on time clocked at the office but on results. For instance, HR head Stacy herself has two small children at home. She leaves work at 6PM each day and puts in couple of hours of work at home later at night.

However, Googlers do not have it easy. They do log in their share of late nights, too.
Recruitment About half the 100 resumes Google receives each day are for technical posts. Most of the non-technical slots are meant for marketing and PR. Google's employee referral programme is exemplary. Employees get $2000, when one of their referrals start work. This brings in about 40-50% of new recruits.

The rest of the requirement is catered to by the 'buzz'. The company emphasises on its product than marketing, which is more of 'word of mouth'. The buzz created by such strategy brings in more recruits as seen by the resumes they receive each day.
Particular emphasis is given to recruit women with technical background. The management involved at least five different women's societies to serve the purpose. What is more unique is that they advertise in movie theatres instead of newspapers.
Another inspiring feature of Google's recruitment is employees have come out of academia. They prefer working for Google rather than for their Ph.Ds. Four summer interns who came to Google never went back to school.

Google does not have a retention policy. It does not need one.

Morale is exceptional high and people are "psyched" to work at Google. Over the years it had lost only two people. Despite constant recruiting, new employees are always welcome. Employee satisfaction, according to Google, is the secret behind its success.
Related reading : "A look at Google's Vital Signs"; Raphael T.

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