During an all-hands meeting, Google executives were forced to defend themselves after receiving criticism over employee compensation.
The virtual meeting hosted earlier in March came after an internal survey revealed that only 46% of Google employees feel their pay packages are fair and competitive.
Using Dory, a website where employees can submit and rank the questions they want executives to answer, executives responded to inquiries about how the company’s compensation compared to the same jobs at other firms.
“There’s some macro economic trends at play,” said Bret Hill, vice president of Google’s “Total Rewards” benefits program. “It’s a very competitive market and you’re probably hearing anecdotal stories of colleagues getting better offers at other companies.”
Hill added that growing inflation is mostly impacting workers that decided to relocate and receive lesser pay based on their geographical location, which has also faced intense scrutiny.
Another question referred to Amazon adjusting its base salary cap, and whether Google would be taking similar steps. Hill responded that Google typically pays in the top 5% to 10% of the market.
However, employees seem unsatisfied with this comparison, with another question asking about when Google would “remove lower paying companies like Walmart from our benchmarking.”
“This trend — it is concerning to us and we are keeping a close eye on it,” said Hill.
In the “Other” section of Dory, the top rated questions were still about compensation.
“If Google aims to hire the top 1% of talent, why doesn’t Google aim to pay the 1% of salaries, rather than being top 5%-10% of the market?” one question read.
Hill replied that the company has been successful in hiring top talent by offering such a range in pay.
Although Google has historically been viewed as the golden child of tech employers, the last two years have accelerated employees’ needs for better work conditions, including more say in their work location and pay.