Google, like many other tech giants, is firing thousands of employees. It started layoffs in the United States and now the tech giant has begun firings in India. Google India announced the first round of layoffs on February 16. With no prior communication, impacted employees directly received the layoff email, and minutes after their access was taken away, a laid-off Google India employee told India Today Tech on the condition of anonymity. The employee, who shared with us emails and relevant communication regarding his layoff, did not want to be identified in the report because it might impact his severance and employment closure with Google.

Layoffs not on performance basis

The employee, a part of the YouTube team, believes that the layoffs are not based on the performance evaluation, contrary to what Google has said. He believes that if Google layoffs were on the basis of performance rating, he would never have lost his job. The Google employee received Spot Bonus reward in December 2022, which the company offers to employees who make the most impact. He also highlighted that in India around 4000 people among a total 1.85 lakh (approximately) employees, got the Spot Bonus last year and he was among them. Yet, he lost his job.

The Google employee also received an “Outstanding Impact” rating (given to the highest performer of the year) with around 20 per cent hike during the recently announced appraisals. Despite that, the person was laid off after spending 3 years at the firm.

“Our YouTube team was out partying and around 8:30 PM on February 16 we (impacted employees) received that we are terminated and do not require in office anymore,” the Google employee said. “Many broke down and didn’t know what to do next. The company is surely providing lots of benefits including 3-4 months severance pay, health benefits, leave encashment, and more but they are not willing to tell us why our job has been impacted.”

No clarity from Google

Neither HR nor the senior managers are sharing any clarity on the criteria that were taken into consideration before deciding the layoffs, the employee said. Responding to an email asking how the layoffs were decided, the Google India Human Resource team told this employee — India Today accessed the email response — that the “decisions were based on a mix of factors designed to align resources against our highest priority needs… We kept the group of decision-makers limited to those leads with overall responsibility for our business and product strategy.”

Internal hiring discontinued

Google has also discontinued its internal hiring system, which means existing employees will not be able to apply to a different team or location. The Google employee said Google Korea is looking for someone with his job role and he would have liked to apply for that. However, the company has overnight discontinued the process of internal hiring. The same email from HR informed the employee: “Unfortunately, you will not be able to apply to internal-only roles or to roles through Grow.”

Benefits for laid off employees

Although the company hasn’t shared many details about the reason behind the layoff or criteria it has taken into consideration, it is offering several benefits to the impacted employees. These include 3 months salary (from Feb 16 to May 17), severance pay, health benefits, and so on. The company has also set up a team for employees facing mental trauma and anxiety issues due to layoffs. In addition, Google India is also helping employees find new jobs, the company has setup a placement cell.


India today