Here’s Another Reason Why You Don’t Have Google’s Employment Brand…

Kris Dunn Uncategorized

I was talking to someone on my team about the prospect of a boomerang hire – an ex-employee who had left our company, only to find the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the hedge.  In any event, we talked for 5 minutes or so about all the reasons why our company is a good place to be.

One thing we don’t have – Matchbox 20 concerts cruising through our campus…Matchbox_20

From a recent issue of Fortune:

"Filmore East and the Apollo were once some of the legend-making venues of rock and roll.  Add a new locale to that vaunted list:  The Googleplex, Google’s Silicon Valley HQ’s 2,000 seat auditorium, has become the latest stop for touring musical artists, including John Legend and crooner Tony Bennett.  In October, Matchbox Twenty paid a visit and played a few tunes from its new album."  (see video of the performance here)

Ugh.  Here’s the thing about all the perks at Google and the employment brand it creates – it’s great, but it’s not the real world.  If you are a HR person at Google for any length of time, more power to you.  If I see you in the marketplace a decade from now, I know you had a good time and everyone loved being there.  I also know that you probably didn’t have to grind it out very much. 

Employee satisfaction scores down a fraction?  Let’s roll in the Foo Fighters.  Didn’t get the developer you wanted?  Here’s another 25K, go back and get them. 

It’s not that way in the real word.  Ten years from now, I’m as likely to hire the HR Manager who kept the union out at Whataburger than the HR Manager who was the human perk dispenser at Google.  Unless I’m at Google, in which case that perk design expertise might come in handle.   But of course, the growth rate at the big G will have cratered by then, and it will probably be the union avoidance skills of the Whataburger generalist that will be the most valuable then and there as well.

But hey, who doesn’t like Matchbox 20?  My favorite cut from them is ironically named "Real World."  Wonder if they played that at Google?

Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.