Google
4.2 of 5 2,096 reviews
www.google.com Mountain View, CA 5000+ Employees

Google Reviews

Updated Apr 20, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 2,096 reviews

                             

95% Approve of the CEO

Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page

Larry Page

(1,081 ratings)

91% of employees recommend this company to a friend
2,096 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development"
    in 92 reviews
  • "Free food, amazing people, amazing vision - almost everything about this company is a pro"
    in 207 reviews
Cons:
  • "This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging"
    in 85 reviews
  • "Google is no different than any other big company and they are starting to realize it"
    in 68 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
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  • No Opinion of CEO

270 people found this helpful  

Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

Program Manager (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I worked at Google full-time for more than 8 years

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

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4 people found this helpful  

Great company, but poor low-level management and hiring process.

Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)

I worked at Google full-time for less than a year

ProsGreat salary and benefits.
Wide range of products to work on.
Name recognition conveys huge status.
Great people and culture.

ConsGoogle has an enormous number of divisions, and I can only speak to the one I ended up in - YMMV.
My work area was a warehouse with open ceilings, concrete floors, and metal desks arranged in groups of six people in a workspace.
The interview process was generic, so that once you are approved, you go into a pool of candidates from which managers pick new hires. I only had a half-hour phone interview with my future boss before I had to decide whether to take the position.
My boss never allowed me to work with anyone on a project to get me up to speed, despite numerous requests for help. He assigned me the task of writing the specs for a major modification which included several groups not in my area - a task I would not expect of anyone with less than two years experience in the division, yet he assigned it to a person with less than four months experience.
HR won't let you change groups until you have completed a year in your first position, so no allowance for bad fits is made.

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't waste your employees. HR should strive to find a good fit for a qualified candidate that is struggling in one group rather than turning it into a sink or swim proposition.

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

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1 person found this helpful  

Great Company

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Google

ProsThey take care of their employees

Consthey do their best, there aren't many cons I can think of.

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1 person found this helpful  

Great company to work at

BizOps Associate (Current Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I have been working at Google full-time for more than a year

ProsVery talented, ambitious and nice people
Diverse tasks, fascinating challenges
Reasonable working hours
Competitive salary
Good opportunities for growth
Excellent facilities and perks

ConsAs the company has grown very fast, some of the processes are still designed for a small company and it is frustrating to make them work for a large corporation
In some circumstances, politics start to sneak in

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

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1 person found this helpful  

Contract position with Google

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Google as a contractor

ProsI got to work with some of the most amazing people, on an innovative new product.

ConsI would strongly recommend against a contract position. Fact, they just aren't as invested in your development as they would be if you were an employee. I would recommend a full-time employee position at another company versus a contract position at Google. Do not accept a contract position with the mindset that you will be converted. The conversion rate is shockingly low.

Advice to Senior ManagementMy managers were alarmingly inexperienced. One was brilliant behind a computer, but had no clue how to interact with people, that's a problem when you are managing a team of over 20. My other manager (we were rotated between managers so often it was like a merry go-round)never took accountability for anything and was so inept, I could have done his job better.

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1 person found this helpful  

Great Company

Account Strategist (Former Employee)
Melbourne, FL

I worked at Google full-time for more than 3 years

Prosgood atmosphere in the company

ConsThe Benefits could be increased around insurance

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

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1 person found this helpful  

Great company to work for

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Google full-time for more than a year

ProsPerks are unmatched! Smart colleagues, interesting projects

Consthe perks can also find you always working late hours!

Advice to Senior Managementwork-life balance is important!

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

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1 person found this helpful  

A great place to work

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Google

ProsGood compensation, fun and challenging problems

ConsIt's a big company. There's red tape.

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Great

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I worked at Google part-time for more than a year

ProsGreat benefits great company to work here

ConsBureaucracy is a big problem

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

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Software engineer

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I have been working at Google full-time for more than a year

ProsChanging the world one step at a time

ConsToo much talent in one place

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

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