Google’s Extended Hiring Freeze Could Impact Company Culture

Google has reportedly extended its hiring freeze as part of overall plans to slow hiring through the rest of 2022.

According to Business Insider, Google will continue to hire for “critical roles.” However, the new hiring policy has led to what one anonymous Googler told the publication was a “real vibe change,” with more pressure on productivity and efficiency.

“I don’t think you should underestimate the kind of impact that’s going to have on morale, or this sense of paranoia that they are looking for someone to put on the chopping block, and that it could be you,” another anonymous employee said.

Google extending its hiring freeze represents a significant change in tactics. As recently as July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated in an internal email that the search-engine giant had hired some 10,000 workers in the second quarter of 2022, with plans to maintain hiring into the third quarter.  

At the time, Pichai also emphasized how he wanted Google’s workforce to work with “greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.”

Despite the hiring slowdown, Google still needs to retain its extremely skilled and highly valuable technologists, so compensation remains high. Google’s software engineers can earn six-figure salaries—well above the average for software developers—along with significant bonuses and stock packages. Google’s employees also have a new review system to contend with; known as GRAD (Googler Reviews and Development), it’s designed to boost employee morale along with opportunities for promotion. The big question is whether GRAD can help ease employees’ uneasiness as Google readjusts to this new period of economic uncertainty.

If you’re interested in landing a job at the search-engine giant in this tightened environment, keep in mind that it’s not all about technical skills; “soft skills” such as empathy and communication are similarly invaluable, especially for those who eventually want to ascend to any kind of senior management position.