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Businesses Google

Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees 134

jfruh writes People concerned about the growing gap between the rich and poor point to a common practice in Silicon Valley: going through staffing agencies for non-core jobs like janitorial and security work, leaving those workers disconnected from the company and lacking in the job security and benefits their co-workers take for granted. Google has now decided to buck the trend, bringing their security guards in-house.
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Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Imagine that. Hiring your own employees. And paying them. With benefits. It's almost like it's 1955 all over again.

    • its not uncommon for a place to run there own guards. one are local hospitals have there own guards. they only used outside guards for when they where moving to a new building and the tare down of the old one.
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:54PM (#48078191)

        And by the same token, it's not uncommon for guards to be outsourced, especially since it's the sort of job that you might only need one guy for, and he can't ever call in sick. If you outsource the position, he comes from a larger pool.

        Further, guards come with liability issues. You might not be well suited for managing them, arming them, training them -- especially if you're going to have one or two of them, at most.

        Security guards, cleaning companies, the people who water your plants... ...all make sense for outsourcing if you're not huge.

        Google is probably big enough to bring them all inside -- if they're not too stingy with the benefits.

        Now, all they've got to do is hire all of their bus drivers -- or at least pay their employers to end split shifts for them.

        • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

          by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @07:06PM (#48078307)

          Hire a cleaning company and I guarantee you they will bottom feed. You will have tweakers and ex-cons cleaning/stealing and cleaning crew managers demanding a cut of all theft as well as a share of pay. Honest cleaners _can't_ survive under that kind of deal.

          You will lose more the theft then you can possibly save. Anybody with physical access should be an employee or contractor. So you have some control of who is in you space.

          Replacing the cleaning company is no help as this is an industry that truly did spiral to the bottom.

          • That's what your rented security is for -- to follow the cleaners from secure area to secure area.

            In large industries that I've worked, the cleaning staff has been internal, but it's been external in every "office" job I've ever had.

            ...economies of scale and all.

            • Have you ever worked an office job the didn't have an ongoing (cleaning crew/mystery overnight) theft problem?

              I haven't. Except the one that got so sick of it they told the landlord to just clean the toilets and changed the locks. We emptied our own trash cans and the office manager ran the vacuum once a week. There was hate in the cleaning crews eyes after that.

              • I guess I'm fortunate. "Cleaning crew theft" has never been a problem in my world. I'm sure a few things have vanished over the years, but I suspect plenty of (real) employee theft has been blamed on the cleaning crews over the years.

                • Laptops, phones, purses (what woman leaves her purse behind?) anything of value left on a desk. One was caught red handed. Claimed it must have fallen into the trash bin on his cart. They would steal from you if you were working late and went to the can. No apparent fear.

                  Could be something about the Sacramento market. I could see one or two really bad large cleaning companies fucking up a whole eco system.

                • You never questioned the multiple $300+ calls to Ecuador, El Salvador, or Mexico at 3 A.M.?
              • I had a server at a site once that would always go down on Sunday night. Turned out that one of the cleaning crew had found a notebook with passwords in it laying on one of the PHBs desk and decided to use his spare time on the weekend playing games on one of the servers. He was sort of cleaver about it too, he rebooted the server to a live windows CD with the game already installed, played, then rebooted the server thinking everything would come up again. Except everything didn't come back up automatically

              • by mrvan ( 973822 )

                Our cleaning is outsourced and the cleaners generally have little command of the local language. I know most of them by now, however, and have a little chat when I can. I leave my wallet and phone on my table if I go grab a coffee to allow them to clean my office (I work late a lot of times). Nothing untoward ever happened and I've not heard any of my colleagues complain.

                • by TyFoN ( 12980 )

                  I'm basically in the exact same situation. Never had any problems with leaving cash/wallet/phone on the desk overnight.
                  Never heard of anything being stolen.

                  Guess it depends on the cleaners. Ours seem to be from Morocco, and I live in Norway.

          • Re: Wow (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            What kind of two-bit company are you working for? Here the cleaning staff is forced to strip naked and forced to undergo cavity searches when they're finished. Then, once per month, they're marched off to the incinerator to be disposed of. It's not like there isn't a queue of lowlifes desperate for any job.

          • by cjjjer ( 530715 )
            A contractor like Snowden? Putting aside if he did the right thing or not he stole from an organization end of story, which is the one problem I have with what he did.
        • by jrumney ( 197329 )
          A big issue with security guards is licensing. It makes more sense to bring the janitorial staff under the company umbrella, unless California is happy with any old ex-con with a gun becoming a security guard and there aren't any licensing issues there.
          • California requires guards, alarm company employees and private investigators to be licensed and to submit to regular background checks. Google has about 200 guards just at its Mountain View headquarters, which is plenty to warrant the extra work needed to run that in house.
        • If I were a Fortune 500 company with a lot of valuable IP to protect, I sure as shit wouldn't cut corners on my security. You don't want the guy who decides who can come in and out of secure areas in your building to be some outside contractor making $9/hr. What do you think some guy like that is going to say when someone approaches him and offers him $10,000 to look the other way when they come in?

          • by BVis ( 267028 )

            What you're saying makes sense. However, despite the logic, it costs money. As such, no big company will do it. In Big Business, it's always better to save money today, even at the expense of losing tons of money later. Gotta keep those quarterly numbers up.

            • In Big Business, it's always better to save money today, even at the expense of losing tons of money later

              If you're an auditor or CFO or something for a big company, I'll believe you.

              Otherwise, it's just hot air.

        • You have to ARM security guards? What sort of insane society do you live in? We don't even arm people driving guided missiles around the country for repair (I was hitch-hiking once and got a good long lift off such a load.)
      • >> its not uncommon for a place to run there own guards. one are local hospitals have there own guards. they only used outside guards for when they where moving to a new building and the tare down of the old one.

        Ok, try again ...

        It's not uncommon for a place to run their own guards. For example our local hospitals have their own guards. They only used outside guards when they were moving to a new building and during the tear-down of the old one.

        Fixed that for you. I mean, really. And get off my lawn.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          No, you misunderstood. The GP really meant this:

          There (at some unknown location), the guards are owned by the nation's (its) 'not uncommon for a place to run', which I'm guessing is the name of a native tribesman. And the one hour (misspelled) local hospitals [they] have there, also own guards. And as a result of the ample availability of slaves, they used outside guards only when moving to a new building or when adjusting the scales underneath their existing building to adequately determine the weight

      • All the security guards at any hospital I have seen has been either off duty sheriff deputies or a branch of the local police department. It's not uncommon to find police department substations inside of hospitals.

        As someone else pointed out, there are liability issues with security guards but I think the reason for cops (on or off duty) in the hospitals (at least where I have seen) is mainly because of drunk driving accidents, drug overdoses, gunshot wounds or stab wounds, domestic violence, and other ER v

    • And paying them. With benefits.

      Yeah, but now they have to worry about Google conspiring with other Silicon Valley companies to keep their wages down.

    • Every military junta knows: Pay your soldiers well.

  • you know....that glass-hole thing....they didn't want it.
  • Google PMC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by horm ( 2802801 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:17PM (#48077831)
    How long before the government starts contracting Google to provide armed security for VIPs like Blackwater?
  • by deathcloset ( 626704 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:21PM (#48077859) Journal
    The security guards at twitter have been proper employees since they moved to Market street. I believe they even hired a couple of the old guards of the last office from the security company they used to contract for. But twitter is a bit of an egalitarian exception, still just wanted to say.
  • by Himmy32 ( 650060 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:26PM (#48077905)
    Good for them. One less party getting a cut of a probably already small paycheck. It also gives Google more control over employee quality.
  • Is the social capital gained by this move that valuable? Are the costs that minimal? When there are companies specializing in providing custodial staff at costs lower than google could feasible hire them, why does it matter how they are employed?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by magarity ( 164372 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:29PM (#48077939)

      The why is obvious if you take a cynical approach: not long ago there were articles about the ethnic ratios of Google employees. Now if they hire all their own security of african-americans and hispanics, woo-hoo, just look at those workforce diversity numbers skyrocket!

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        I like you assumption about security guards.

        • It's not an assumption, he's saying they could use biased hiring practices to improve their diversity stats.
        • I'm not making any assumptions, I just read the article. It specifically states the outsourced security guards they already employ are mainly black and latino.

      • The why is obvious if you take a cynical approach: not long ago there were articles about the ethnic ratios of Google employees. Now if they hire all their own security of african-americans and hispanics, woo-hoo, just look at those workforce diversity numbers skyrocket!

        That.......................actually makes sense

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Not everything is money.
      Most service provider treat there employees like shit, and pay them like shit. Google has decided that it wasn't right, and brought them on board. At a raise in salary and benefits.

      "why does it matter how they are employed?"
      Are you 8 years old? do you think everyone gets the same pay and benefits?

    • Outsourcing custodial work is just stupid.

      They are all over you physical plant. The outsourcer is a specialist bottom feeder, he knows how to hire ex-cons/tweakers etc for absolute minimum. He even knows how to get a % of the value of the stuff they steal (or he will bad mouth them to the parole officer). He can run a tighter margin than any honest businessman possibly could as he has hidden income from the deal.

      Ask yourself: Q Why is it that no custodial contractor can deliver honest cleaning crews? A

      • Talk about making massive assumptions, stereotyping, ad hominem attacks. Sheesh, you nailed them all. Do you happen to have data or just anecdotes? My anecdotal experience has been the opposite of yours. The cleaning crews at the places I've worked have been friendly, honest, and harder working than many of the in-house employees so far as I could tell.

    • When there are companies specializing in providing custodial staff at costs lower than google could feasible hire them, why does it matter how they are employed?

      Well, an obvious answer is that minimum wage gets you minimum loyalty, so if you actually need security, it might be a food iodea to pay your guards more than strictly needed to get warm bodies into uniforms - and the only way to ensure that is to pay them yourself.

  • There are good things and bad things about hiring workers directly for things like security. At the tech company I work for, we hire outside services for security, landscaping, stocking the coffee stations, and running the cafeteria. Obviously these workers aren't getting the same benefits package that direct employees get. On the other hand, it lets the company focus on doing what the company does and letting other companies specialize in other services.

    It's rather like using an outside cloud vendor for

  • In house (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:33PM (#48077991)
    I'm glad to see Google making this decision because contract security companies beat up their employees for crap pay, no sick time, and benefits that are laughable. I should know because I was an Allied Barton Employee when between IT contracts. Their medical benefits were so expensive as to leave very little left over and for coverage that was simply a sick joke. I wish more companies would make this move!
    • yea theirs some shit ones out there. i worked for a shit one for a long time now i work at a good one
  • Google Army.

    • Google has, roughly 20BN in cash reserves. That's almost enough to buy the majority stake in Halliburton, and certainly enough to buy Academi (nee Blackwater).

      Google can buy an army any time they want one.

      ...but I suppose starting with a few security guards couldn't hurt.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Google Army.

      It will take over several small countries whilst in beta before being disbanded for no good reason.

  • So does that mean they've stopped hiring the current guards and will hire new ones. What will happen to the old ones?

  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:48PM (#48078133) Homepage Journal

    Bring services in means more control, the actor will a have a higher degree of agency, lead to less disenfranchisement, and they will develop a better repoire with the coworkers.

  • leaving those workers disconnected from the company and lacking in the job security and benefits their co-workers take for granted.

    Ok, I gather, janitors and landscapers will be next.

    How about the construction workers, who build Google's fancy offices — and those paving the roads leading to them? Shouldn't they share Google's wealth and fancy (free) lunches too?

    How about the makers of furniture used by Google? Is it not unfair, than anybody, who ever came into contact with this wealthy company

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      When I worked for Boeing, they spun off their core engineering and manufacturing tasks involved with building airplanes faster than they scaled back their facilities group.

    • Why not?

      If you're a large organisation, you must already be expert in hiring, logistics, personel management and purchasing, since that is always required no matter what sort of jobs are being done.

      Basically, if you need more than one person on the payroll then why not hire then permenantly? You already have the support infrastructure to deal with them. I used to work for a large and old university. Despite the bashings universities get in the press, it was the most efficient large organisation I've ever wo

  • If someone complains you don't hire enough people in group X because you can't find many techies in group X, you now add another pool of talent.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've been in the private security industry for 5 years. Most of that was working for a contract company. The security company I worked for specialized in security for the industry I was in which made it more tolerable but the flaws of contract security were still clearly visible. As a contract employee there was always the feeling of working in a building full time for years but never actually being treated as an employee with management, yet also having two sets of bosses - the Security company and the man

  • They just learned about guards from outside staffing agencies "looking the other way" before certain incidents after taking bribes from competitors?

  • They must be protected against the rabble, and few official food tasters will be cheaper then paying a decent wage to all the people who could possibly poison them. And if a food taster does get poisoned, there will be plenty of people standing in line for the job, because working at Google means you're not one of the peasants. You might even be able to afford to retire and not eat dog food!
  • Where I work they spun off their own security company before I even joined (more than 4 years ago), now they do security work for other companies as well.

  • Google police
    Arrest this man
    He search with Bing
    He Buzzfeed on a fridge
    He's listening on Mixradio

    Google police
    Arrest this girl
    Her iPhone six
    Is making me feel envy
    And we've crashed her macBook

    This is what you'll get
    This is what you'll get
    This is what you'll get
    When you mess with us

    Google police
    I've given all I can
    It's not enough
    I've given all I can
    But we're still on the payroll

    This is what you'll get
    This is what you'll get
    This is what you'll get
    When you mess with us

    For a minute th
  • Wait a few months. These guys will sue Google for stock options, win the case & google will settle for millions. And then back to agencies again.

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