Business Insider/Julie Bort
Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page.
When it comes to desirable places to work in the tech industry, two companies are always at the top of the list: Facebook and Google.
But which one is really the better employer?
To answer that question, we compared the two companies head to head,with the help of data gathered exclusively for Business Insider by Glassdoor. Glassdoor is a job hunting site where employees rate companies.
We looked at the companies in multiple rounds of comparisons and declared a winner in each round.
Round 1: Overall satisfaction ratings — Facebook wins
(Score so far: Facebook – 1; Google – 0)
Facebook employees rate their employer slightly better overall (4.6) compared to how Google employees rate Google (4.1), from at least 550 company reviews per company.
Satisfaction ratings are based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied. So, we can see that employees are highly satisfied with both companies.
Interestingly, Google’s rating has been climbing, indicating that current employers are getting happier. As of this quarter, the two companies are tied at 4.5 each, as the chart below shows:
Round 2: CEO Approval Rating — Mark Zuckerberg wins
(Score so far: Facebook – 2; Google – 0)
In 2011, Google employees were far happier with their CEO, Larry Page, than Facebook employees were with their CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Those were Facebook’s pre-IPO days, when rumours were circulating that Zuckerberg planned to sell Facebook, and people were grumbling that Facebook needed a more mature CEO.
By the start of 2012, just before Facebook’s IPO in May, employees were feeling great about their young CEO. His ratings wouldn’t dive again until just before the so-called Facebook phone was announced, Facebook Home, and the HTC smartphone built with Home that failed fast.
Even so, Zuckerberg has eked out a slightly higher approval rating from employees overall, 97%, compared to Page of 95% of employees who approve of Page, based on at least 475 ratings per CEO.
And so far in Q4 13, Zuckerberg is enjoying a perfect 100% CEO approval rating.
Round 3: Employee confidence in the future — Facebook wins
(Score so far: Facebook – 3; Google – 0)
More Facebook employees (84%) than Google employees (80%) believe their company’s business will improve in the next six months.
More Google employees (18%) than Facebook employees (16%) believe their company’s business performance will remain the same in the next six months.
More Google employees (2%) than Facebook employees (0%) believe their company’s business performance will get worse in the next six months.
(This data was based on at least 60 ratings per company over the past three months, August-November.)
Round 4: Perks and Salaries — Google wins
(Because this is such an important area, it’s worth two points. Score so far: Facebook – 3; Google – 2)
One big thing that Google has over Facebook is that it pays more for technical talent.
Over the past 12 months, the average salary for a Google software engineer was $US128,225; At Facebook it was $US121,183.
And more Google employees are happy with perks like free food than Facebook employees. More Google are happy with work/life balance and work hours than Facebook, too.
These are the most common compliments and complaints employees have:
“You work with some of the best and brightest in the world. Whichever field you’re in there’ll be at least one and probably several of the field’s most renown luminaries working at Google. The perks are amazing, it’s a great environment to get things done.” — Google Security Engineer (Mountain View, CA)
“It’s a big company now. It often takes a lot of effort to start new projects and there are plenty of distracting or disassociated programs.” — Google Program Manager (Mountain View, CA)
“Brilliant colleagues, fantastic startup-ish culture and desire to do things the right way, interesting and widely varied technologies and challenges to solve, great perks to make your life comfortable.” — Facebook Production Engineer (Menlo Park, CA)
“There isn’t a lot of hand holding or pats on the back, and being critical and outspoken is rewarded almost all the time. This can get exhausting.” — Facebook Analyst (New York, NY)
Round 5: How hard is the job interview? — Facebook wins
(Score: Facebook – 4; Google – 2)
Both companies have high standards. And interviews shouldn’t be too easy. But we also assume that neither company would invite a candidate to an interview if the person didn’t have exceptional qualifications.
So, how hard do they make it on the person during the interview before they give an offer?
Google job candidates say the process lasts 35 days. Facebook job candidates say it lasts 31 days (on average, based on at least 210 interview reviews per company so far in 2013).
Interview difficulty ratings based are on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very easy, 3.0=average, 5.0=very difficult.
Here’s how one Google candidate describes the interview process:
“Stay calm and talk through your answers. Don’t assume you did poorly or well, it’s too hard to guess and treat each interviewer individually. Overall a long process, but a fair one. In engineering it’s important to keep standards high and consistent.” — Google Software Engineer interview candidate (Mountain View, CA)
Here’s how one Facebook candidate describes it:
“I had a really positive overall experience during the interview and hiring process. My recruiter and hiring manager were so good at communicating next steps and they would follow up weekly to let me know where the team was at in the process.” — Facebook Program Manager interview candidate (Menlo Park, CA)
Here’s some sample questions recently asked at each company.
“Why does Starbucks expand the way they do having multiple stores next to each other?” — Google Product Manager interview candidate (Mountain View, CA)
“How would you design a parking system?” — Facebook User Operations Team Lead interview candidate (Austin, TX)
And the champion is … Facebook.
Final score: Facebook – 4; Google – 2.
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