The purpose of the project is to give information about Google Company, its organizational culture, its recruitment & selection process, to discuss the concept of empowerment and its relevance to Google, to discuss the management problems that Google faces in the coming years because of growth rate. The information about co-founders of Google is given. Their backgrounds and their experiences about how to create Google are introduced. Since a company’s organizational culture is very important for its success, Google’s organizational culture is deeply examined.
Its very different and untraditional organizational culture can attract most talented engineers in IT industry. It is discussed that Google is one of the companies who combines technological innovation with its strong organizational culture. The workplace of Google is explained by some examples. The recruitment & selection process of Google is also provided in details. How Google recruits most talented engineers, whose academic careers and technical qualifications are very strong, is mentioned.
When selecting employees among very huge amount of candidates, what kind of questions Google recruitment team asks in interviews are all examined. The empowerment concept is explained and how Google’s empowerment model is illustrated. The roles of manager have been changed because of new waving management thinking. Instead of giving commands and keeping employees under control; sharing information, trusting managers, being concentrated on the company’s goals are being preferred in the concept of empowerment. Some management problems are criticized and the points being not agreed are explained in details. 1. INTRODUCTION TO GOOGLE
The founders of Google, Larry Page and Serge Brin studied computer science at Stanford University and they were graduated from the university in 1995 (Google, 2007). Larry and Serge had a summer project about a search engine and they started working for the summer project in January 1996. They desired to develop a technology which could find information from the data available on the internet. The name of their first search engine was “BackRub”. A year later, BackRub had become popular because of its high capability of solving search problems on the internet. After being popular, Larry and Serge tried to develop their technology.
They bought one terabyte of memory disks in order to store more data in their database (Google, 2007). After that, they tried to find partners or investors who were interested in their search engine. David Filo, creator of Yahoo, was interested in their search engine, but he encouraged them to establish their own company instead of signing contract with them (Google, 2007). The other investors Larry and Serge contacted with refused to invest money to their search engine technology. Larry and Serge were not very enthusiastic about creating their own company; however, they had to pay back their debts they used to buy the memory disks.
A faculty member of Stanford University introduced Larry and Sergey to Andy Bechtolsheim who is one of the founders of Sun Microsystems. Andy was very impressed from them and decided to give $100,000 to them. Larry and Serge decided to create a corporation named Google Inc. after taking the money, instead of paying back their debts. Larry and Serge decided to use a garage of one of their friends’ house as an office and they opened the office in September 1998. Craig Silverstein, a student from Stanford University, was the first employee they recruited (Google, 2007).
After creating www. google. com, Google Inc had been one of the most popular internet based companies. It became the most popular search engine all over the world in 2003 because of its technology, speed and precision. Google is not only search engine, but also has different types of products based on search including Google Earth and Google Alerts (Weber, 2008). Google has chosen the way of selling internet based (data stored) services instead of selling desktop products as Microsoft does. It earns money by being clicked through advertising.
The success did not come only by its technology but also by its recruitment & selection process and organizational culture. Google can easily attract the most talented engineers and can keep them in the company. Google was the only company that had not lost any employee while other big technology companies had lost almost %20 of their employees after being created (Google, 2007). Google succeeded this zero turnover because there is no hierarchy between managers and employees feel very comfortable while working. Larry and Sergey tried to create a funny work place and made Googleplex have an informal work culture.
Google provides a lot of special facilities for its employees. The Google employees work and live on very uncommon way when comparing other traditional companies. To give some examples, the headquarters was decorated with colorful goods and was painted in colors of Google Logo. In addition to that, employees are allowed to bring pets and the company has snack rooms offering a lot of meals and breweries (Weber, 2008). 2. ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE OF GOOGLE Google is one of the best search engines and also one of the top 100 companies to work because of its different and better organizational culture (Fortune, 2007).
Google is the most reliable search engine on the internet because of its engineers who are the best in technology fields. Google has a very funny workplace in order to make employees feel comfortable while working. Google employees can find many funny activities such as roller hockey, pool and so on. They do not need to dress formal; they can dress what they want instead (Google, 2007). They are encouraged to use gym inside the company building in order to take care of their minds and bodies. Google wants their employees to bring their life into the Google community because its employees are very active people.
In addition to that, employees see each other much more while working or socializing in the company building and they feel Google as a family. All these facilities make employees concentrate on their projects better and team achievements affect the company’s overall success. The work flow in Google is organized in a different way. There are small teams with changing leaders among other project members. Team works bring employees together and they share their experiences with each other because of the organizational value of Google. There is no hierarchy and the most rewarded thing is to complete the projects successfully.
The teams are responsible units of a project. When they feel like they are important, they deal with team members and the work condition becomes better. According to Google, team orientation is the primary characteristic of its organizational culture. As mentioned above, Google encourages its employees to work and socialize together in order to act as a family. Everybody in Google is on the same level and they work together. It is better to feel like a group rather than working at other departments. However, Google is sometimes welcome for individual ideas and employees spend 20% of their time on self directed projects.
Google has a very strong organizational culture. It hires people who represent their company’s values and desire to share their experiences and unlimited information (Weber, 2008). This passion makes employees come together and work towards the same goals and achievements. Because of that, Google has almost no employee turnover and more than 1,000 people a day apply for Google (Fortune, 2007). Google’s organizational culture combines ethics, spirits and customer response (Google, 2007). Google employees are encouraged to be more creative in problem solving by allowing them enough freedom in their jobs.
They are allowed to work at flexible hours (Weber, 2008). Google encourages employees to work together to achieve common goals rather than be competitive against another. This prevents unethical behavior. The team leader changes time to time and each member can be a leader for a period. That makes employee’s strengths increase. The basic purpose of team working is that each member collaborate each other and sharing their different strengths. The work in Google is very low formalized and service oriented to be customer responsive. The employees have the freedom to make decisions which benefit Google users.
The employees are related to their users when trying to provide best service. They have to think outside of the traditions to satisfy a customer need while maintaining Google values. This type of thinking business makes Google become a spiritual type of organization. Google employees are rewarded when they accomplish the team works successfully (Fortune, 2007). Google motivates its employees by allowing them to have fun with their jobs. This motivation is a way of taking relationship among employees and also between employees and the company. 3. GOOGLE’S RECRUITMENT & SELECTION POLICIES
Google has a tendency of recruiting the best people. A candidate has to have a doctorate or at least a master’s degree from a top ranked university (Girard, 2009). Co-founders of Google are very strong in mathematics and rationality. Since people with PhD degree have learned math deeply, they usually hire people who has doctorate degree. In Google an employee may be promoted rapidly during his/her first years of employment. Therefore, Google tries to recruit overqualified people. The main property Google wants from candidates is the intelligence.
Google only invites students from top rank universities with top grades. Most of the students being invited are the best of their departments and recommend by their professors (Girard, 2009). As known, it is very expensive to hire best employees. Google trains many IT specialists; however, only some of them can start working for Google. Google recruits best engineers at low starting salaries. Google prefers a different recruitment process rather than most human resources departments choose. Google had almost 350 people work for recruitment process in 2005.
At that time, 1 / 14 of Google’s employees were working in recruitment (Girard, 2009). In traditional companies the ratio is normally %1. Most of the employees at human resources department at Google work temporary. The number of employees increases when needed. Other companies use only the following recruitment tools: employment agencies, job fairs, print advertisements, contact with universities and academicians (Weber, 2008). Google uses these tools, too. It gives importance to academic success and academic experience especially including database research.
Google offers summer courses for students to write programming code for a lot of projects. By this way, human resources department can identify the candidates’ capability of solving complex problems. Google sometimes sponsors competitions to attract the most intelligent students in IT field. It has also its own search tools to see the people who are interested in vacant positions at Google. In the recruitment process of Google, recruiters play roles on different specializations. Some recruiters are responsible for entry level positions.
Some specialize with technical people or managers. Others focus only on overseas candidates. Therefore, each recruiter concentrate on very few candidates and he/she can evaluate them more easily. The candidates, who apply for a technical position, have to take Google Labs Aptitude Test including difficult but original statistical and mathematical questions. When one passes the test, he/she can be accepted for interviews (Girard, 2009). The selection process of Google is very strange but original. Google usually arranges 8 interviews for each potential candidate (Girard, 2009).
Each candidate is asked technical questions. Google does not ask the candidate for his personality, but wants to learn candidate’s capability. The questions being asked in the interviews are technical, challenging and much related to the position. The questions being asked in the interviews are very realistic and about Google’s business. These kinds of questions are very different than the questions being asked by traditional companies’ interviews. In small traditional companies, human resources department use methods based on intuition and empathy.
In large traditional companies, they evaluate employee’s personality and ability to adapt to professional environment. In Google the candidate has to persuade the recruiter that he/she can solve the problems faced in work life. To give a brief summary of Google’s recruitment and selection process; recruitment is very important and special at Google. Human resources department at Google is very flexible and the number of the staff in human resources department increases when needed. In selection process, degrees and academic qualifications of candidates are evaluated.
During interviews, technical questions are asked in order to see the technical qualification of the candidate. 4. THE CONCEPT OF EMPOWERMENT The roles of managers has a tendency of being less straight forward because of new waving of management thinking. However, most of managers are not willing to have less hierarchical control. Concept of empowerment takes attentions of employees; however, many managers desire to maintain control over others roles and responsibilities. They usually prefer command and control system. However, in modern management when talking about empowerment, managers must stop controlling (Mullins, 2008).
Empowerment is allowing employees more freedom, self control on their work and more responsibility for making decisions (Whetten and Cameron, 2007). With the empowerment theory, managers should act as facilitators and they must give power and responsibilities to employees. By this way, people work in jobs which they are capable of. If empowerment can be managed effectively, it has many benefits to all level of positions. By this way, employee can take better motivation and job satisfaction rate and work performance both increase. More motivated staff means good quality customer service and profit increase.
The empowerment concept will be common in future organizations. The empowerment of employees gives allowance to them to generate ideas for new products, processes and strategies. Google’s empowerment system is being supported by Intranet technology. On Intranet, each employee can list his/her ideas on topics including new codes, search algorithm, new way of improving the company website and so on. They are allowed to do brainstorming on Fridays from the net. If an idea is approved, it is outlined on the Intranet and the company wants the idea owner to accomplish his/her idea.
Google’s newcomers ha better ideas and Google faces this competition. Once the competition is very intensive, employees, who are very close to customers, processes and technologies, are not under control by leaders (Hills, 2004). Actually the empowerment system provides many opportunities to tomorrow’s leaders. If the communication between leaders and employees are very strong, the amount and the quality of the information they share are more than traditional leaders do. When leaders and their employees work together and collaborate each other, leaders can easily find employees’ capability of solving problems.
It is surely that the benefits of the empowerment system come out only when an organizational culture is open, collaborative, innovative and when employees trust their managers. Google is a good example of this kind of organizational culture. Managers should have very strong relationship with their employees regarding strategic goals or the problems that company faces (Sossik, 2004). 5. CRITIQUE OF GOOGLE’S MANAGEMENT There are not many management problems that Google faces in the next few years in order to remain competitive.
Google’s organizational culture is really different, strange, funny, and its employees feel very comfortable while working. Google wants its employees to be a family and in order to make its employees spend their time at workplace after work instead of spending their off time at home. This is why you can see social places at workplaces. My group and I disagree with spending most of their time at workplace. If a person stays at the same place all the time, he/she can be affected psychologically. In addition to that, a 12 hour working day is not normal.
Working 12 hours a day is acceptable for entry level employees but not for the senior employees. Life does not mean only work. When young engineers become older, they will not want to spend most of their time at workplace and will not want to work 12 hours a day according to my group’s opinion. Some analyst showed that Google’s organizational culture was not set to manage its growth. The other point we would like to criticize is the recruitment and selection process. Google’s recruiters only focus on the academic and technical background of candidates.
They recruit people according to academic records and graduate ranks. They do not care about experience. Therefore, they only value intelligence and brainpower more than experience. It will not work like that in the future according to my group’s opinion. In selection process, Google human resources staff tries to evaluate only analytical skills of the candidate instead of his/her personality. In Google’s management and empowerment model, managers share all information with their followers just because of the company’s goal.
However, if an employee being recruited is not a team worker or sharing person even he is intelligent, what will happen? Therefore, I and my group do not agree with the point that Google recruiters evaluate only intelligence. They should evaluate the personal abilities of the candidate as well.
REFERENCES Girard, B. (2009) The Google Way: How One Company Is Revolutionizing Management as We Know It, No Starch Press Weber, S. (2008) Organizational Behaviour – Google Corporate Culture in Perspective, Grin Verlag Mullins, L. J. (2008) Essentials of Organisational Behaviour, Pearson Education Whetten, D. A. and Cameron, K. S. (2007) Developing Management Skills, Prentice Hall Hill, B. (2004) Building Your Business With Google, For Dummies Sossik, J. J. (2004) The Dream Weavers: Strategy-Focused Leadership in Technology-Driven Organizations, IAP Fortune (2007) 100 Best Companies To Work For Google (2007) Corporate Information