Search Giant, Search Thyself

Fewer Americans are quitting jobs that don’t satisfy, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, Google is worried enough about brain drain that it has developed an algorithm to identify which of its employees are most likely to jump ship. The algorithm has already identified some unhappy Googlers, giving the company time persuade them to stay. Creative H.R. maneuver or corporate spying? While this algorithm probably doesn’t have a speaking voice, we’d imagine it would sound just like Toby Flenderson if it did. (HT: derekgardiner) [%comments]

Walter Wimberly

I think they also know that this economic time will also end at some point, and those who might have been "hanging on" will be tempted to leave, where if they work on problems, and get people motivated again then: 1) Productivity can increase 2) when times improve, they wont have such a (sudden) brain drain.


Hmm. I wonder if they've got a version of their disgruntlement analyzer that they can point at other companies to cherry pick those who are ripe for a new venue?

Of course, maybe if Google thinks you're prone to malcontent, they may not want you any way.

Avi Rappoport

Or maybe, they could just *ask* people if they are unhappy. The original article says that they are usually unhappy because they can't make an impact, can't contribute as much as they want (or presumably, be as important as they want to be). If asked, those people would say so, no algorithm required.


Gotta agree with Avi. Don't take the "human" out of "human resources."

Anyway, if you're a smart Google developer, just create a fake trail of website hits that will make them think you're leaving, and maybe you'll get a raise.


Weird. Didn't they lay off a large number of contract staff late last year and early this year? Seems to me that's the reason so many of their (free) services keep on having downtime, slowdowns, bugs and security flaws recently.

If they are so worried about brain drain, they should be more careful about laying off people, shouldn't they?