Yes, I know what you might be thinking. Why should I care about how Google hires, when I’m a restaurant recruiter and Google is a goliath software company? Two completely different industries, I get it. Well, I’ll leave you with the words of Pablo Picasso: “good artists copy, great artists steal”. So in this case here, I’d like encourage you to steal a thing or two from Google when it comes to hiring! Disclaimer: These hiring tactics are better suited for higher level positions such as Restaurant Managers, Executive Chef’s, etc.
But before I get into the nitty gritty, here’s a bit of context. A lot of the ideas, I’m about to outline actually come from a book I literally just finished called, How Google Works which was written by ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg. Which in summary covers a large array of topics but in particular really dives into the best way for businesses to succeed and attract the best employees and providing the employees with an environment where they can thrive. Highly recommend it, and it seriously helped our company with some recent hiring we had done.
So let’s get started. According to Google, hiring is the most important process in a company. Here are a my top 5 takeaways from the book, when it comes to this process:
1) Always be on the watch out for talent and find out where they are. “Sports coaches – they go to meetings all day, yet they would probably say that the most important thing they do is draft, recruit, or trade for the best players they can. Smart coaches know that no amount of strategy can substitute for talent and that is as true in business as it is on the field. Scouting is like shaving: If you don’t do it everyday, it shows”. Googlers make priority #1 to invest the time and energy to ensure they get the best possible people.
2) Character set. Passion is crucial, being a ‘learning animal’, and being well-rounded and engaged with the world. What happens when the candidate lets his guard down? How does he treat the waiter and bartender? Great people treat others well, regardless of standing or sobriety. Also, great talent often doesn’t look and act like you. So, when you go into that interview, check your biases at the door and focus on whether or not the person has the passion, intellect, and character to succeed and excel.
3) The Interview. Probably the most important function. Google emphasizes that you must prepare. This is true regardless of whether you’re a senior executive or a fresh associate. Being a good interviewer requires understanding the role, reading the resume, and — most important— considering your questions. You must ask challenging questions that push your candidate. Also, the interview should be 30 minutes max. According to Google, oftentimes, you walk into an interview and know within minutes that a person is wrong for the company and the job. Who says you have to spend the rest of the hour making useless conversation? What a waste of time. That’s why Google interviews are a half hour long. Most interviews will result in a no-hire decision, so you want to invest less time in them, and most good interviewers can make that negative call in a half hour. If you like the candidate and want to keep talking, you can always schedule another interview.
4) Ask questions like… What was the low point in your career? Or why were you successful at XYZ? You want to learn if the candidate was the hammer or the egg, someone who caused change or went along with it. One of your objectives is to find the limitations of the candidates capabilities. Get the candidate to show off her thinking, “What surprised you about…” is a great way to not get a rehearsed answer and force her to thinking about her experiences in a different light.
5) Have executives or management interview candidates to screen for quality. The higher up you go in most organizations, the more detached the executive’s get from the hiring process. The inverse should be true. Larry, one of the co-founders at Google implemented a policy that senior management would review every offer. This demonstrated that everyone in the organization is involved in hiring and just how high priority it was. Nothing is more important than the quality of hiring.
Anyways, that’s my top 5 tips for today. I hope you found these interesting and helpful. If you want to know more definitely check out the How Google Works book. Additionally, inside the book they actually recommend Work Rules! By Laszlo Bock, which dives even deeper into hiring.
Finally, Business Insider had an article on how Google was the most desirable employer (according to Linkedin). Which obviously means they are doing something right! And as famous businessman and motivation speaker Tony Robbins says, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
That’s all for today, and happy hiring everyone!
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