Promotion nightmare for Google staff: Is your career safe?

Onur Demirkol
Mar 8, 2023

Recent reports showed that Google has warned current employees that the promotion pace will be slowed down and fewer employees will advance to more senior levels compared to the past.

Lately, tech giants have started cutting costs to ensure a more stable and sustainable environment, resulting in huge layoffs. According to a report by CNBC, Google has taken internal precautions apart from recent layoffs. This year, fewer employees will get promotions to senior roles. Employees will get lower performance ratings after the new review system, and promotion rates will eventually decrease. The executives want "to ensure that the number of Googlers in more senior and leadership roles grows in proportion to the growth of the company."

“The process is manager-led and will be largely similar to last year — though with our slower pace of hiring, we are planning for fewer promotions into L6 and above than when Google was growing quickly,” said in an email viewed by CNBC. " The L6 distinction refers to the first layer of staff that’s considered senior and typically includes people with about a decade of experience," the website added.

Google has introduced a new performance review system that gives employees lower rankings, affecting promotions.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai via Reuters

This year, Google introduced a new performance review system called Google Reviews and Development (GRAD), and the changes are the result of that. CNBC reported that Google estimates that 6% of full-time employees will fall into a low-ranking category, putting them at higher risk for corrective action. This number was 2% before. Google expects 22% of employees to be in one of the top two categories, and this number was 27%.

CNBC added that Google's "sprawling" middle management damaged its shipment efficiency last year. After recent economic difficulties and other reasons, tech giants are taking more cautious steps in terms of hiring and internal employee dynamics. Many companies cut out significant amounts of their workforce, including Alphabet. In January, Google cut out 12,000 employees, roughly 6% of the full-time workforce. The layoffs included people who were recently promoted. Besides, the company has also slowed its hiring process, welcoming fewer employees.


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