Google

  www.google.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Google Reviews

Updated Jul 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 2,334 reviews

96% Approve of the CEO

Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page

Larry Page

(1,245 ratings)

91% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 105 reviews)

  • Free food, amazing people, amazing vision - almost everything about this company is a pro (in 220 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 100 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 71 reviews)

More Highlights
759 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    402 people found this helpful  

    Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

    Program Manager (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros1) Food, food, food. 15+ cafes on main campus (MTV) alone. Mini-kitchens, snacks, drinks, free breakfast/lunch/dinner, all day, errr'day.

    2) Benefits/perks. Free 24:7 gym access (on MTV campus). Free (self service) laundry (washer/dryer) available. Bowling alley. Volley ball pit. Custom-built and exclusive employee use only outdoor sport park (MTV). Free health/fitness assessments. Dog-friendly. Etc. etc. etc.

    3) Compensation. In ~2010 or 2011, Google updated its compensation packages so that they were more competitive.

    4) For the size of the organization (30K+), it has remained relatively innovative, nimble, and fast-paced and open with communication but, that is definitely changing (for the worse).

    5) With so many departments, focus areas, and products, *in theory*, you should have plenty of opportunity to grow your career (horizontally or vertically). In practice, not true.

    6) You get to work with some of the brightest, most innovative and hard-working/diligent minds in the industry. There's a "con" to that, too (see below).

    Cons1) Work/life balance. What balance? All those perks and benefits are an illusion. They keep you at work and they help you to be more productive. I've never met anybody at Google who actually time off on weekends or on vacations. You may not hear management say, "You have to work on weekends/vacations" but, they set the culture by doing so - and it inevitably trickles down. I don't know if Google inadvertently hires the work-a-holics or if they create work-a-holics in us. Regardless, I have seen way too many of the following: marriages fall apart, colleagues choosing work and projects over family, colleagues getting physically sick and ill because of stress, colleagues crying while at work because of the stress, colleagues shooting out emails at midnight, 1am, 2am, 3am. It is absolutely ridiculous and something needs to change.

    2) Poor management. I think the issue is that, a majority of people love Google because they get to work on interesting technical problems - and these are the people that see little value in learning how to develop emotional intelligence. Perhaps they enjoy technical problems because people are too "difficult." People are promoted into management positions - not because they actually know how to lead/manage, but because they happen to be smart or because there is no other path to grow into. So there is a layer of intelligent individuals who are horrible managers and leaders. Yet, there is no value system to actually do anything about that because "emotional intelligence" or "adaptive leadership" are not taken seriously.

    3) Jerks. Sure, there are a lot of brilliant people - but, sadly, there are also a lot of jerks (and, many times, they are one and the same). Years ago, that wasn't the case. I don't know if the pool of candidates is getting smaller, or maybe all the folks with great personalities cashed out and left, or maybe people are getting burned out and it's wearing on their personality and patience. I've heard stories of managers straight-up cussing out their employees and intimidating/scaring their employees into compliance.

    4) It's a giant company now and, inevitably, it has become slower moving and is now layered with process and bureaucracy. So many political battles, empire building, territory grabbing. Google says, "Don't be evil." But, that practice doesn't seem to be put into place when it comes to internal practices. :(

    Advice to Senior Management1) Don't dismiss emotional intelligence and adaptive leadership. They're not just catch phases. You need great managers and leaders in order to build great companies and develop great employees. The people who may be brilliant at solving technical issues may not be (and are most often, not) the best candidates for management.

    2) Do something about that work-ife balance. Don't just have a bunch of pow-wows and tech talks and discussions about it. Leadership should actually model it. Consider re-evaluating how work is done; what processes are in place that are inefficient and ineffective and need to be updated or removed?

    3) Don't forget that there is already a pool of incredibly talented people within the company. If career development is really a goal at Google, then do it. Don't just hire from the outside. Take the time to help your employees develop their careers - then maybe you won't lose some of the great ones, and maybe you'll have prevent some of that burn out and disillusionment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good compensation at a personal cost

    Program Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsI know that as a single person I have enough to save, invest and live off of plus there is always room to pitch and execute on your own entrepreneurial ideas.

    ConsThe mirage of work/life balance is really convincing. Bosses do not model balance and climate has become selfish and brutal over the past 7 years. Definitely embarrassed to say that I work here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe Googley. Free, generous and whip smart. Always good humored and audaciously progressive.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Work with some of the smartest people in the field, but with a very corporate feeling.

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThe perks are unbeatable. There are intern activities like a carnival, baseball game, Arcade Fire concert, 5K run, and plenty more. All of the perks available on the campus including gyms, 3 delicious meals per day in around 20 different cafes, and random classes taught by other Googlers are available for interns. The people you meet at Google are incredibly intelligent and always have cool ideas to talk about, and the work that Google gives you is always challenging and keeps you learning new things.

    ConsThe cultural tries to maintain a startup feeling, but ends up being very corporate. There is heavy emphasis on secrecy around the campus and there are a lot of internal tools to learn before you can really become very productive. Because all three meals and so many activities are available on campus, the work life balance becomes hard to maintain and you end up working much more than 40 hours per week.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    I really enjoyed it!

    Recruiter (Former Employee)

    ProsYou work around amazing people that are passionate about what they do. You are provided with the tools that you need to get your job done and then expected to go out and produce. The benefits/perks are also great.

    ConsSometimes the environment is too nice. As changes cascade down from top management mid level management does not speak up and question or say no. This is not different from other companies, but with the culture there you would not expect it to happen so often.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGo directly to the people that will be actually executing your plan for feedback as opposed to their managers. You will get honest feedback and potentially save the company a great deal of pain.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    It's Google -- it lives up to its reputation

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- Free Food
    - the amenities are endless and truly amazing! It feels like a college campus more than a work campus.

    ConsIt is such a big company, it's really hard to list the pros and cons! It depends what you are looking for and what team you are on. It probably even depends what office or campus you work on. I can't speak to every situation when it comes to Google. I worked on a contractor, so for me, the perks were still great, but you always feel a little left out when you are not a full time employee. In my experience, my managers didn't really educate or work with me directly. I had a teammate who managed me, and he was great! But it felt a bit isolating at times. I also wish I would have participated in more events, groups and activities. But I think you have to feel comfortable in your role before you branch out, and right when I got to that place, my contract was over!

    Advice to Senior ManagementI think mentoring contractors (TVCs), making them feel included, being honest with them about their opportunity to continue with the company, and connecting them to resources more would be nice! But overall, working for Google is a surreal experience and it was amazing!

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great experience but limited mobility

    Account Manager (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsEnjoyed access to lots of resources and smart people. Really liked the author talks from interesting writers. Free food and benefits were awesome. Explaining to people at weddings that you work for Google alleviates all further discussion of details about what you do

    ConsHard to feel like you make an impact; convoluted career advancement procedures (need to always be strategizing around leveling up). Since the company is so big, you have to make a concerted effort to grow your skill set outside of your immediate world.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDoing a great job overall; just might not be the right fit for certain people who need more breadth in their job experience.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great place to build your career

    Product Marketing Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros- A lot of mobility available - career shifts to sales, marketing, etc are possible
    - International travel and mobility highly possible
    - All the perks you hear about are true! Free food, great vacation packages, etc.
    - Many opportunities for advancing education, personal growth, etc.
    - Work life balance very good on most teams I've been a part of

    Cons- You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape
    - Most opportunities are in Mountain View HQ - a horrendous commute no matter how you swing it if you're living in SF
    -Many teams have an 'ivy league only' culture that can be stifling
    -Email and meeting culture can be real time sucks

    Advice to Senior Management- Do something about the bureaucratic red tape
    - Proactively demonstrate more creativity and innovation - even in roles like sales and marketing
    - Be more marketing led, rather than product led

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Hr process is not great.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsPerks. Benefits are great, but work culture depends only on your team

    ConsBase salary is much lower than expected

    Advice to Senior ManagementBase salary is much lower than expected

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good, Needs Help

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThe interesting projects and people are a huge pro for me. The salary is extremely good as well. I'm very excited to see the Company's future.

    ConsWork/Life Balance is extremely hard. I don't know why they insist on turning us into slaves. If you have a bad manager, your experience will surely be ruined.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Played a lot of ping pong

    Technical Sourcer (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsWorked with awesome people. Terrific perks and benefits. Fantastic learning environment. Loved the free food. I got to play a lot of ping pong.

    ConsYou're a small piece of a large machine. It's difficult to have impact.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe contractor model for recruiters/sourcers doesn't work. You just train someone on best practices for a year, then send them directly to your competitors.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Worked for Google? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.