Google tends to win talent wars because its brand is sexier and its perks are fantastically lavish. Googlers commute on discreet shuttle buses (equipped with wireless broadband and running on biodiesel, naturally) to and from the head office, or “Googleplex”, which is a photogenic playground of lava lamps, volleyball courts, swimming pools, free and good restaurants, massage rooms and so forth.
Yet for some on the inside, it can look different. One former executive, now suing Google over her treatment, says that the firm's personnel department is “collapsing” and that “absolute chaos” reigns. When she was hired, nobody knew when or where she was supposed to work, and the balloons that all Nooglers get delivered to their desks ended up God knows where. She started receiving detailed e-mails “enforcing” Google's outward informality by reminding her that high heels and jewellery were inappropriate. Before the corporate ski trip, it was explained that “if you wear fur, they will kill you.”
One man's utopia is another man's living hell.