How one company became among the most desired.
Future of Work

2 million job candidates are desperate to work for Google. Why?

Think about this: Google is not just a tech company. It’s also a company that could determine the future of work in this country.

Why? For one thing, Google’s human resources operation sees more traffic in resumes and job candidates than most companies can ever imagine. In the U.S. every year, Google gets more than 2 million job applications every year.

Yes, more than 2 million.

Of course, those people don’t get the job. With only one in 130 applications getting a final offer at the company, you have a better shot at getting into Harvard University than the top-ranked company to work for in America. That’s what global recruitment platform Staff.com found in its analysis of Google’s rigorous application process.

The overwhelming flood of applications make sense. Fortune Magazine has named Google the best company for six years straight because of its perks, benefits, and admired work culture. This 7-year-old girl has already decided that Google is her future home.

Google is jumping into the employment market as well. The company is spending $50 million to invest in nonprofit organizations that explore “the future of work,” including job listings, training, and improving work conditions.

What is Google doing that’s drawing 2 million job-seekers a year? Here are some things the company is doing right— and that it may want to do a bit better.

Salaries

Although Google is currently in hot water with the U.S. government for an “extreme” gender pay gap, the company is known for paying the highest engineers salaries in Silicon Valley. Google’s software engineers have the highest base salaries starting at $128,336, according to a Glassdoor report, and go up to $167,000 with a bonus. The highest-paid software engineers can make up to $630,000.

The drawback, however: Google maintains obscurity about its salaries. A few years ago, a rumor went around that one software engineer’s salary was $3 million, a fact that could never really be verified. A Google employee spoke of a spreadsheet where employees talked about their salaries, but the company reportedly tried to stop that discussion. The US government recently accused Google of having an “extreme gender pay gap.”

Perks

Once you jump through an interview process that can last 37 days with five different interviewers, a tech Valhalla awaits you. Free gourmet food and massages, free on-site daycare and free rides to work are all included. You can even bring your dog to work at the Mountain View, California, campus.

Strong benefits

Google recognizes that to retain top talent, you need to offer top benefits. Google saw its employee retention increase by 50% after it increased its maternity leave from 12 to 18 weeks.

On Glassdoor, employees also boasted about the company’s excellent healthcare and 401(k) investing plans.

Google will even help its employees through their hardest life events by paying half of an employee’s salary to his or her surviving partner for a decade after the employee’s death.

If a Googler dies, they get all of their stock vested immediately on top of their life insurance payout. In addition to the ten-year payout to a surviving spouse, any surviving children will receive $1,000 per month until they reach 19 years of age, or until they turn 23 if they’re a full-time student.

“When I mentioned this benefit to my wife, she cried,” Googler Paul Cowan wrote in a Quora post about the death benefit. “She actually cried that the company would do that for her if something happened to me.”

Positive work culture

Working with top talent will inspire your own. Google receives high marks from its employees on this invigorating work environment that’s tasked with the high stakes of changing the world.

It’s not just Google’s own work culture it wants to improve. As we mentioned, Google’s new philanthropic initiative “for the changing nature of work” aims to better connect job seekers with jobs.

For one Googler, that’s the best part of working at the tech giant: the exciting work you do and the company you will keep. “For me the best perk is to be able to see, listen to and meet with people who I grew up reading about. Never in my life have I met so many people with a Wikipedia page,” Googler Aditya Somani wrote.

Google also pushes you to pursue your own passions, and will allow its employees to use 20% of their time to work on individual projects—as long as you get manager approval.

Google’s positive work culture is no accident, it’s being constantly tested and analyzed by Google’s People Operations department. The company’s former head of human resources Laszlo Bock told CBS News that Google thinks about building this positive work culture starting on day one of employment. “We have data that says that if the manager shows up and says, ‘Hi nice to meet you, you’re on my team, we’re going to be working together’ and does a few other things, those people end up 15% more productive in nine months,” Bock said.