One of the most important aspects that determine the direction that an organization takes in terms of economic achievement is that of human capital. Human capital can also be referred to as a human resource. It is a factor of production that no organization can do away with. With proper management, the human capital can catapult a company to high levels in terms of the achievement of organizational goals. According to Itika (2011), the management of human capital includes aspects such as compensation, motivation, benefits, wellness, safety and continuous training of employees to enhance skills. The workplace environment and culture cannot be effectively managed without human resource.
If a company introduces a certain change, for instance, the acceptance and implementation of this change will depend on the working environment and the culture that the employees are already accustomed to (Demo et al., 2012). This means that the employees are the carriers of the organization's vision and they are the only ones who can define its success or failure. Therefore, it is important to promote employee satisfaction and retention for any organization to succeed. Human resource management plays a very strategic part in the growth of a company. Google is one of those companies that have identified the value of the human resource and capitalized on investing in it for maximum benefit. The heavy investment in human capital has seen the company grow in leaps and bounds in the international economic space. Although it is, at times, expensive to keep the employees highly motivated to perform their duties and go beyond the fulfillment of targets, the benefit goes to the company and they outweigh the presumed financial burden.
Questions based on the Case of Google
What I think of Google's idea of employees' traits and screening of job candidate
Google carried out a survey to determine the relationship between their employees' traits and their performance in the company. They then used that as the basis for screening people looking for jobs in their company. In my opinion, this is a very good idea. Personality traits are a major determinant of job performance. According to a survey on the influence of the five-factor model of personality on job performance, an individual who is organized, focused and dependable tends to be a high performer in any job (Klang 2012). This survey demonstrates that there are traits that separate a top and poor performer. According to Ahmad et al. (2014), top performance is normally a result of the commitment to an organization, and personality traits act as a precursor to organizational commitment. This implies that Google uses personality traits to promote organizational commitment and this is, in turn, likely to lead to excellent performance. In that case, the idea of Google basing the screening of their candidates on personal traits from their employees is highly significant and fruitful.
The significance of the benefits that Google pays to its employees
Google pays enormous benefits to its employees. Apart from the free on-site carwash, doctors, oil changes, washers and dryers, free transport for the employees, unrestricted sick days, sponsored ski trips, free epicurean meals, generous bonuses among other benefits, Google also offers the privileged option to buy the highly valued Google shares. These benefits may be expensive to sustain but they help motivate the employees. If I were to defend the benefits before the security analysts who are analyzing Google's performance, I would emphasize to them that employees need to be motivated so that they bring into the company high levels of creativity, commitment, and energy that will see the achievement of organizational goals. I would convince them that motivation stimulates teamwork and the desire to obtain outstanding results. According to Achim et al. (2013), apart from implementing flexible work schedules, employee participation in decision-making, objective appreciation of performance and bonus offers, encouraging employees to become shareholders in the company through the option of buying company shares highly boosts performance. This is because, on one hand, the company gets an opportunity to increase its share capital, and on the other, the employee becomes more committed, loyal, and interested in the company outcomes (Achim et al., 2013). In the process, productivity increases since the employees feel they also own the company.
Recruiting and selecting the brightest people around
If I were to hire the brightest people around, I would apply the most practical strategic process of selecting and recruiting them. I would avoid the traditional mode of simply looking at their CVs and application essays, determining the one with the best grades and experience, carrying out an interview and finally recruiting the successful candidate. Argue (2015) asserts that since it is highly likely that applicants for a job meet the minimum requirements, organizations need to identify outstanding abilities and endeavor to manage talent in order to boost organizational success. Research shows that ability surpasses top grades in terms of the achievement of organizational goals, and, therefore, apart from topping their class and having a wealth of experience, a potential employee must demonstrate what they can do beyond the classroom studies since academic qualifications and work experience are not a guarantee for best job performance (Argue, 2015). For that reason, I would look for talent in addition to qualifications and experience if I were to get the brightest recruits. In the selection process, I would evaluate diversity, talent, and metrics so as to get outstanding employees.
Human Resource policies that Google has implemented to support its recruitment strategy
The human resource policies and practices are diverse since they are normally applied in organizations depending on the environment and organizational goals. Since most HR practices are guided by logic and desired skills, they provide a tool that creates a powerful impact on organizational goals by capturing and communicating the objectives of an organization in a concise and clear manner (Demo et al., 2012). Some of the HR policies at Google include:
- Recruitment and selection - Google's policy is to recruit the brightest and most talented employees. The implementation of this policy has helped the company to attract the best and most effective employees that have seen the company grow exponentially.
- Participation - the policy on involvement at Google is elaborate as all the relevant employees are involved in coming up with a solution whenever a problem arises. Employees are also allowed to buy company shares. This has encouraged teamwork and commitment to the organizational objectives.
- Compensation and reward system - At Google, the employees are highly compensated for their dedication. A new MBA, for instance, earns over $100,000 per annum. There are other reward systems such as bonuses and these highly motivate the employees who are willing to give their best to the company.
- Work conditions - Google has implemented a conducive working environment that ensures the safety and satisfaction of the employees. The employees must be assured of their safety so as to build confidence and the ability to work without worries considering it is a 24-hour operation yet the employees need to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Career development - In this regard, Google has developed a practical performance appraisal based on individual competency. The employees at Google can move up to six steps up their career ladders. This supports career planning and growth.
Factors that Google must consider as it transfers its culture and reward system abroad
In doing business internationally, it, sometimes, becomes tricky to transfer the culture of an organization from the host country to other countries. Google must, therefore, consider factors such as government stability, competition, legal and regulatory issues to doing business in the new country, cultural differences, product standardization to meet local needs, employee commitment and dedication as well as market and investment potential (Dong et al., 2008). As it transfers its culture and reward system, Google will find it viable to consider the cultural orientation and commitment of the employees. Since it is impossible to reward mediocrity, Google has to carry out a thorough evaluation of the local contributions, as well as new employees' culture, and find out if any changes or adjustments are required before transferring its culture in entirety (Dong et al., 2008). Additionally, the commitment to organizational goals must play a major role in the implementation of Google's reward system and ways of doing business in its international operations.
Activities Google can pursue during new-employee orientation
The orientation of new employees is a very important factor in solidifying the human resource base. If properly done, employee orientation can lead to a positive culture, job satisfaction, and an interest to achieve organizational goals (Council, 2004). Some of the activities that Google can integrate with its orientation program include:
- Preparation of the work area - Before, the new employee reports, Google must make the area or station the entrant is going to use is ready. It must have the necessary facilities so that the new employee does not get confused.
- Encouraging self-expression - During the first few minutes of orientation, Google should create a strong first impression by allowing the new employee to express their opinion about working with the company.
- Building up confidence - the initial orientation should be employee-centered but not company-centered. According to Council (2004), an employee orientation schedule that majors on the identity, history, and culture of the organization is intimidating to the entrant. The orientation should be more about the new employee by making them feel proud and confident for working with the company.
- Developing expectations - Considering that Google is based on 24-hour operations, the new employee must be made to understand what they are getting into. The company must develop the new employees' expectations by clearly explaining what is expected of them.
Google Case Analysis
A rigorous process for the selection and recruitment of employees is a major step towards the realization of company goals. Further, the motivation of the employees is paramount in the success of any organization. However, elaborate recruitment and motivation do not necessarily guarantee the retention of employees (Itika, 2011). This means that even as a company tries to address other issues, it must have excellent recruitment and retention strategies in place so as to avoid high rates of turnover.
Google offers very attractive packages for its employees. However, there are retention issues as exemplified by the engineer who came up with Gmail yet decided to retire at thirty upon accumulating a lot of wealth from the Google stock options. Considering that most of the employees at Google are young, in their twenties and thirties, the issue of early retirement to pursue other endeavors is a big challenge to the company. Retention of employees is a major driver towards a company's success and growth (Council, 2004). Other challenges facing Google include the effort to maintain a healthy work-life balance of their employees, the creation of the correct culture as the company goes global, recruitment and building of best staff especially for overseas stations, and addressing the tensions associated with a search for solutions. Google has tried to address these challenges...
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