Battling brain drain, Google reportedly hands out 10% raises

To keep employees happy and stop them from moving to Facebook, everyone gets raise

It's a good day to be working at Google.

The company is giving each of its 23,000 employees across the globe a 10% raise effective in January, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. According to the Journal, the move is an attempt to keep workers from defecting to competitors like Facebook, where a reported 10% of the staffers are former Google employees.

"We want to make sure that you feel rewarded for your hard work," Google CEO Eric Schmidt reportedly wrote in an e-mail to employees. "We want to continue to attract the best people to Google."

Google declined to confirm the report, but it said this in an e-mailed statement to Computerworld: "While we don't typically comment on internal matters, we do believe that competitive compensation plans are important to the future of the company."

Citing unnamed sources, the Journal also noted that, using an algorithm and taking into account factors such as employee reviews, Google is trying to calculate which employees are most likely to bail and go work for another company.

Google may be looking to hold on tight to its best employees as competition with rival Microsoft increases over a variety of technologies, from search to operating systems and browsers. And while that competition continues, Google is increasingly facing off against social networking phenom Facebook.

Last month, Facebook turned to Microsoft instead of Google when it launched an effort to tie search more closely to social networking. Industry analysts said Microsoft's Bing search engine has failed to steal much, if any, of Google's share of the search market. However, by taking advantage of Facebook's worldwide popularity, Bing could start to make some gains.

Facebook could end up being something of an Achilles' heel to Google.

"The real importance of [this week's] announcement is that it highlights the growing strategic conflict between Facebook and Google," Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner, said in a recent interview. "There is a battle for the future of the Web, and it is not about search engines, but about the social Web. The competition is between the new and the old -- between Facebook as the early leader in the social Web, and Google as the dominant player in the content Web."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon