All Grown Up (Part 2)

Another sign emerges of Google’s maturity.

The company that popularized “Don’t Be Evil” as a corporate slogan has learned of another way that it is “one of the crowd.” Innovative engineers are leaving for newer start-ups. Google now has 23 thousand employees—4 and a half times more than the 5 thousand it had five years ago. Every day some of its legendary engineers are wooed by Facebook or some start-up that offers simplicity, autonomy, and a chance to get into a new company before its initial stock offering.

The global war for talent is standard fare for large companies. Google is finding that in order to grow it needs to add new talent and stop the exodus of the old. So it is making counteroffers, raising all salaries by 10%, and offering some key employees six-figure retention bonuses.

But often these rear-guard actions are a losing proposition. Programmers attracted to the “small-is-beautiful” ethos won’t stay on when they have to CC twenty-five other team members in order to add a comma to an error message. Of Facebook’s 1700 employees, 10% are Google alumni. A cadre of former colleagues at a smaller, more nimble rival offers a powerful pull.

The solution is to create your own talent. Google already does this by sending representatives to top college campuses, having active Facebook and LinkIn presences, and using headhunters to fill key positions. Eric Schmitt noted recently that Google fills more spots in one week than they have lost to Facebook it its lifetime.

But he’d better be careful. Such comments smack of competitive hubris. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make proud.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By |2014-09-12T10:52:16+00:00November 28th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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