Google for Jobs is Evil

It's good to remember one of Google's original mission statements - Do No Evil. Google has just violated this credo in the announcement of their new service: Google for Jobs.

If you're not convinced Google for Jobs is evil, read part 2 of this post. So far, 100% of the people agree. You will, too.

Google contends the purpose of Google for Jobs is to save America by getting more people back to work more quickly. Don't fall for the con.

I contend it will make America less competitive and damage the American workforce. This is evil.

They might be saying to the world that they are trying to help people find jobs more quickly but they either are naïve – which I doubt – or realize the business potential for increasing job turnover and reducing job satisfaction is enormous.

Let me prove Google for Jobs is evil.

In the old days it took work to leave a job. So you didn’t just leave a job when you had a bad day at the office.

You first had to prepare a resume.

Then to find an open job you had to peruse the classified ads or display pages of the WSJ or a major local newspaper or contact a recruiter or former co-worker.

Then you had to send in your resume and wait.

When you had the occasional bad day at the office you just sucked it up. You didn’t change jobs for superficial short-term reasons. It was just too hard to do.

I contend that job satisfaction was higher in the old days, too. It doesn’t take much insight to read Gallup’s employee engagement reports and conclude that the current 70% disengagement rate of the U.S. workforce could be attributed to the ease of changing jobs for the wrong reasons.

The right reasons are related to lack of learning and career growth, not the occasional bump in the road. This difference is shown in the bottom half of the Job Seeker’s Decision Grid graphic.

Too many people leave jobs for short-term reasons – “The Daily Grind.” Then they make matters worse by accepting jobs for more short-term reasons – what they get on the day they start the job.

One of the core principles I advocate is to not accept a job unless the reasons for doing the job are intrinsically motivating. This is the box in the upper right corner of the grid. This represents what a person will be doing and becoming if successful. When making the job switching decision a good balance is 2:1 or 3:1 long-term over short-term. I advise job-seekers to assign their pros and cons into these two categories when comparing jobs. When the emphasis is on the short-term – more than 50% - dissatisfaction soon follows. This leads to “Job Hopping Syndrome” – a continuing series of jobs leading nowhere.

One problem is that while most candidates believe they’re making long-term decisions, they have often have little knowledge of the actual work before taking the job. That’s why companies need to switch to a performance qualified attraction and assessment approach rather than one based on skills and experience. Google for Jobs prevents these discussions from even happening.

To prove it, just look at the jobs being advertised. All they’re offering are lateral transfers. By emphasizing skills and experience as the criteria for initial consideration, they only appeal to the fully-qualified, under-employed and dissatisfied worker. They’re anti-diversity, too, since they instantly exclude diverse candidates who have a different mix of skills and experiences. This is the very definition of diversity that Google for Jobs overlooks.

Google for Jobs also ignores how strong people – whether they’re active or passive or fully-employed or not – actually change jobs and compare opportunities. It’s always slower and more long-term focused. That’s why I contend the Google for Jobs approach will lead to more negative outcomes by rewarding and emphasizing short-term tactical thinking over the long-term strategic reasons for changing jobs.

Just look at the Job Seeker’s Decision Grid graphic as you ponder this. Google for Jobs is focusing exclusively on people on the left half of the grid – offering lateral transfers to fully-qualified people who are more interested in leaving a bad situation for more money and some temporary pain relief.

The best career-minded people – those who make decisions using the right side of the grid – aren’t willing to apply directly so making the "find a job and apply" process more efficient is illogical for any person who wants to make a career move. That’s why I suggest companies put duct tape over the apply button and instead install a “Let’s have a conversation button,” in its place. The best people are willing to discuss the potential of a career move but aren’t willing to formally apply first.

All Google for Jobs has done has made it somewhat easier for the 15-20% of people looking for another job to find a temporary respite from their short-term struggles. It will take more creative companies to figure out how to entice the best talent to consider switching jobs for the right reasons. In a recent video with the talent leader of a Fortune 50 company, I suggested the right reasons are those that result in a 30% non-monetary increase. This is the sum of a bigger job, a mix of more satisfying work, more important work and a faster growth rate to ensure this learning, impact and satisfaction continues.

Unfortunately, Google for Jobs ignores this entire concept and makes matters worse by treating a job change as a mere transaction rather than a thoughtful process that has lifelong implications. To me that’s the very definition of evil.