Tech giant Google hires those who add to team, not those who fit in

Google has grown its staff strength here to about 2,000 since it started operating its Singapore office in 2007.
Google has grown its staff strength here to about 2,000 since it started operating its Singapore office in 2007.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Technology giant Google has grown its staff strength here to about 2,000 since it started operating its Singapore office in 2007. It has a global workforce of more than 100,000.

As a company that thrives on innovation, one of its recruitment principles is to hire for "culture add" rather than "culture fit". This means it focuses on what someone can add to the team or organisation - characteristics, competencies or experiences - rather than on how well they will fit in.

The company also promotes an environment of psychological safety where people feel it is okay to fail and take risks, as well as strong and effective collaboration and connection across the organisation, where everybody feels like they have a voice, said Google Singapore country director Ben King in a podcast last month.

Last year, to help employees cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, Google announced a US$1,000 (S$1,300) work-from-home allowance for necessary equipment and extended paid family care leave to 14 weeks for staff worldwide.

Staff who need a listening ear can also talk to colleagues who volunteer in Google's Blue Dot initiative, which is a global peer support network started in 2016 to provide safe spaces for conversations about mental health.

Mr King said being ranked on the Singapore's Best Employers 2021 list is a valuable reminder that investing in employees is one of the best business decisions a company can make.

"It is our people who allow us to deliver value to customers, partners, and our communities, and we will continue to invest in a workplace that spurs innovation and risk-taking, and keeps our employees inspired as they develop and grow."