Why is Google’s employee turnover so high?

Why is Google’s employee turnover so high? I’m sorry that I’m anonymous, but I don’t want to get into trouble with Google. Every year, Google gives out employee surveys and publishes the results internally. You can also cross reference the results with Google’s Epitaph, an internal web site where it lists individuals who ‘go’, and ‘gone’. Coworkers can even write on the epitaph. The data is all there, any Googler can look into it. So, without disclosing the actual numbers, I see a lot of people leave in about 2-3 years, and it slowly goes down as employment reaches 4-5 years. There’s a chunk of people who actually stay 5-8 years. I guess they’re comfortable where they are. If you look at the average stay, it’s more like 2-3 years, but the standard deviation is pretty high. Still, 2-3 years is a very short time. You may wonder why. Unfortunately, I don’t have data to analyze why, and I doubt Google HR has good data on this topic as well because practically no one ever tells HR the hard truth during their exit interviews. However, it’s not difficult to look at well known issues in the company. First, you have to address the morale issue in the past few years. Facebook and countless companies have been poaching Googlers and giving them ridiculous amounts of RSUs [1]. I’ve seen countless people jump to Facebook after being offered ~$1M worth of FB RSUs vested over 4 years, valued at the rate on Second Market. That’s a lot better than your average ~$200K worth of GSUs () vested over 4 years. Secondly, Googler salary has been depressed for a very long time. It is only after Google and Apple got caught with their secret anti-poaching agreements (), that Google decided to give all the employees 10% raise () and more in subsequent years in an attempt to retain employees. Just look at Glassdoor data and see the huge jump. Third, the average age of Googler is 37, which is lower than many of the Silicon Valley companies. The Google helm is ruled by a bunch of senior and older guys, and obviously there are also a bunch of super young dudes. How many 25-30 year old dudes want to keep working at a big corporation for “the man” after they learned the world’s most amazing technical knowledge? They’re smart dudes, and they know damn well that they’re better off starting their own companies. For them, it’s so much more satisfying to go to a startup than to have to deal with big corporate politics and time consuming perfs. Lastly, Googlers are highly influenced by the never ending recruiter calls from companies funded by really high profiled founders and VCs. I was literally getting several calls each week. I guess having Google on my resume and LinkedIn profile is kind of like having a degree from a 1st tier tech school. I left Google for all of the above reasons.

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