Google’s HRM: HR Planning, Job Analysis & Design

Google HRM human resource management, HR planning, job analysis, design, description, specification, forecasting, HR supply, demand
Google’s offices in New York City. Google’s human resource management effectively addresses concerns on human resource planning, job analysis, and job design. (Photo: Public Domain)

Google’s human resource management involves different strategies to address the workforce needs of this diversified business organization. This diversification imposes significant challenges to human resource managers of the company. Nonetheless, there are certain HRM approaches that are generally applied to different areas of Google. For instance, in human resource planning, Google’s HR managers focus on the effective use of forecast information to minimize the surplus or shortage of employees, and to establish a balance between the supply and demand for qualified employees. Google’s job analysis and design approaches are also varied because of the different types of jobs in the different businesses of the company.

This article is part of a series on Google’s Human Resource Management:

  1. Google’s HRM: HR Planning, Job Analysis & Design
  2. Google’s HRM: Recruitment, Selection, Retention
  3. Google’s HRM: Training, Performance Management
  4. Google’s HRM: Compensation, Career Development

Google’s Human Resource Planning

Forecasting. Human resource managers at Google use trend analysis and scenario analysis for forecasting. Trend analysis is a quantitative technique that allows the company to predict possible HR demand based on current conditions and changes in the business. Scenario analysis is Google’s qualitative technique for forecasting HR demand. Scenario analysis involves analyzing different combinations of variables to predict HR demand for each resulting scenario. In this way, Google uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques for forecasting HR demand.

Surplus & Shortage of Employees. Concerns about surplus or shortage of employees at Google are mostly in the production processes, such as the manufacture of Chromecast and the provision of the Google Fiber Internet and cable television service. In developing and providing web-based and software products, human resource surplus and shortage are not a significant concern. For production processes, Google’s human resource management identifies possible surpluses and shortages through forecasting techniques. Thus, the company’s human resource planning includes forecasted surpluses and shortages of human resources. Such information is used for recruitment and scheduling.

Balancing Supply and Demand. Google’s human resource management faces minimal problems when it comes to balancing HR supply and demand. Even if demand for web-based/software products and online advertising services increase, Google does not need to commensurately increase its human resources in these business areas because of the digital nature of these products. Still, the company needs to address HR supply and demand in other areas, such as the production and distribution of consumer electronics like Nexus and Chromecast. For these areas, Google uses a flexible strategy where new employees are hired based on forecasts of human resource needs.

The combination of Google’s HR management approaches for forecasting, identifying issues with surplus and shortage of employees, and balancing of human resource supply and demand effectively supports the human resource needs of the firm. Google uses conventional methods and techniques together with advanced information systems to analyze human resource data to support human resource management decisions.

Job Analysis and Design at Google

Organizational Design. Google’s organizational design enables the company to flexibly address human resource needs. The interconnections in the firm’s matrix organizational structure allow human resource managers to easily identify cross-linkages among different parts of the organization and use this information for the processes of job analysis and design. Thus, Google’s organizational design facilitates and optimizes human resource management activities, particularly in job analysis and design.

Methods of Job Analysis. Google uses a combination of worker-oriented job analysis methods and work-oriented job analysis methods. However, the company emphasizes the use of work-oriented job analysis methods in jobs like those in research and development, as well as jobs in product design and manufacturing. Google emphasizes the worker-oriented job analysis methods in jobs that require significant interpersonal skills, such as human resource management positions.

Job Description & Specification. Because of the large size of the organization, Google has highly varied job descriptions and specifications. The job descriptions and specifications for positions in product development, for instance, significantly differ from the job descriptions and specifications for positions in human resource management. Nonetheless, Google emphasizes certain characteristics in all employees, such as smartness and drive for excellence in all job positions throughout the organization.

References
  • Alexander, D. (2015). Google HR Boss: We Don’t Care Where You Went To College. Forbes.
  • Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2012). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Geier, B. (2015). This is Google’s secret to making work less awful. Fortune.
  • Google Inc. (2014). Google Inc. Form 10-K, 2014.
  • Google Inc. (2015). Life at Google – Google Careers.
  • Hendry, C. (2012). Human resource management. Routledge.
  • Hoch, J. E., & Dulebohn, J. H. (2013). Shared leadership in enterprise resource planning and human resource management system implementation. Human Resource Management Review23(1), 114-125.
  • Lengnick-Hall, C. A., Beck, T. E., & Lengnick-Hall, M. L. (2011). Developing a capacity for organizational resilience through strategic human resource management. Human Resource Management Review21(3), 243-255.
  • Matei, Ş. (2013). Conceptual clarification of planning and strategic thinking in human resource management. SEA–Practical Application of Science, (2), 174-179.
  • Purce, J. (2014). The impact of corporate strategy on human resource management. New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals), 67.
  • Wright, P. M., & McMahan, G. C. (2011). Exploring human capital: putting ‘human’ back into strategic human resource management. Human Resource Management Journal21(2), 93-104.
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