How Google Sold Its Engineers on Management

Kinda epigraph 🙂

There is a movie – “The Internship”, 2013 –

about hiring process in Google.

I’d reccomend to watch. (2013)



And now, concerning Google proving that Managers matter:

Google downplays hierarchy and emphasizes the power of the individual in its recruitment efforts, as well, to achieve the right cultural fit. Using a rigorous, data-driven hiring process, the company goes to great lengths to attract young, ambitious self-starters and original thinkers. It screens candidates’ résumés for markers that indicate potential to excel there—especially general cognitive ability. People who make that first cut are then carefully assessed for initiative, flexibility, collaborative spirit, evidence of being well-rounded, and other factors that make a candidate “Googley.”

So here’s the challenge Google faced: If your highly skilled, handpicked hires don’t value management, how can you run the place effectively? How do you turn doubters into believers, persuading them to spend time managing others? As it turns out, by applying the same analytical rigor and tools that you used to hire them in the first place—and that they set such store by in their own work. You use data to test your assumptions about management’s merits and then make your case.

Analyzing the Soft Stuff

To understand how Google set out to prove managers’ worth, let’s go back to 2006, when Page and Brin brought in Laszlo Bock to head up the human resources function—appropriately called people operations, or people ops. From the start, people ops managed performance reviews, which included annual 360-degree assessments. It also helped conduct and interpret the Googlegeist employee survey on career development goals, perks, benefits, and company culture. A year later, with that foundation in place, Bock hired Prasad Setty from Capital One to lead a people analytics group. He challenged Setty to approach HR with the same empirical discipline Google applied to its business operations.

Setty took him at his word, recruiting several PhDs with serious research chops. This new team was committed to leading organizational change. “I didn’t want our group to be simply a reporting house,” Setty recalls. “Organizations can get bogged down in all that data. Instead, I wanted us to be hypothesis-driven and help solve company problems and questions with data.”

People analytics then pulled together a small team to tackle issues relating to employee well-being and productivity. In early 2009 it presented its initial set of research questions to Setty. One question stood out, because it had come up again and again since the company’s founding: Do managers matter?

(c) Read more:


Google found that the best managers share these eight traits:

1. Is a good coach.
2. Empowers the team and does not micromanage.
3. Expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being.
4. Is productive and results-oriented.
5. Is a good communicator — listens and shares information.
6. Helps with career development.
7. Has a clear vision and strategy for the team.
8. Has key technical skills that help him or her advise the team.


Identifying the best traits and behaviors of managers is just one step. Managers aren’t just given the eight rules listed above. They also get feedback from the People Operations department on employees’ assessments of their performance on each trait, information on best practices, and suggestions on classes they can take to improve any areas of weakness.

Though the project succeeded in both convincing people of the necessity of management, and getting them to contribute to constantly improving it, Google plans to continue its research.

According to Prasad Setty, who leads analytics for the People Operations department, the company is now trying to analyze the managers’ assessment scores by their personality types to find more patterns and more areas to improve.

(c) Read more:


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