How Google Hires the Best Talent (And How You Can Too)

How Google Hires the Best Talent (And How You Can Too)

December 3, 2018 by Stella Petrou Concha

The most effective hiring managers know the right person for a role is not always the most educated or qualified applicant. The best employees possess a range of other attributes that contribute to their success. Trouble is, it can be hard to spot these traits during the recruitment process. You need a clear picture of what you’re looking for, and an effective strategy to identify these qualities in your candidates.

Google, one of the most sought-after employers on the planet is continually looking for new ways to achieve this. They receive a staggering 2 million plus job applications every year, so clearly their hiring practises need to be solid!

They put lots of time and effort into researching the effectiveness of their recruitment strategies and are continually fine tuning the process. Although you may not have the same level of resources behind you, there are some key lessons to be learned that can really improve your hiring process. So, read on to find out how Google recruit the best talent (and how you can too).

Education alone is not enough

Not so long ago, Google rated an Ivy League University education as a key indicator of top talent. However, when they analysed the data they found there is no connection between attending a top school and building a successful career. This doesn’t mean a quality education is a bad thing. But it does highlight that when it comes to success at work, you need more than a degree.

When assessing your candidates, be on the lookout for those with the right qualifications, who also possess a broad set of skills, great attitude and are open to learning new things. Whether you include questions or exercises in the interview that allow them to demonstrate these skills or ask your shortlisted candidates back for a follow-up interview to get to know their strengths, the extra time you invest will help you get to know them beyond their resume.


Growth and transformation are important

According to Google, some of their most attentive, humble and open-minded employees are those who have suffered a deep personal loss. This may be due to a transformation in the way they think. A sudden loss or traumatic event shakes you up, and in the aftermath, it can permanently alter the way you think, feel and act.

While there is much focus on learning to develop our skills, it is transformation that can really help us to evolve and become better people. While it’s not always easy to pick up on this when you first meet someone in an interview setting, designing some questions that are a little bit different and require thoughtful responses can give you some insight into your candidate’s way of thinking.


The surprising dynamics of successful teams

If you’ve ever dreamed of putting together the perfect team, you’ve likely focused on a group of individuals with complementary strengths. However, according to Google’s detailed analysis of successful teams, it’s not who is in the team that’s important. What matters is how members interact, and particularly how comfortable they feel sharing their views and taking risks.

When your team feels safe expressing ideas without fear of embarrassment, it encourages innovation and collaboration. When they can also rely on their teammates to deliver quality work, are clear on specific goals and expectations and have meaning behind the work they are doing, it’s a recipe for success. To spot great team players during the recruitment process, ask candidates for examples of times they have achieved success working with others.


Hiring the right people involves digging a little deeper… but it’s worth it!

While we can’t all have the same recruitment resources as Google to guide our hiring decisions, there are some key takeaways from their research that can help improve your hiring strategies and effectiveness.

Before you interview any potential employees, be clear on the attributes you are looking for that fall outside the skills and experience required for the role. Structure questions or exercises that allow you to dig a little deeper and get an insight into your candidates hidden strengths. Look for those who add value beyond their day-to-day tasks such as a keen attitude, open mind and willingness to learn. The extra effort you put in to ensure your recruitment process is thorough and complete is well and truly worth it when you find the ideal employee.


Need help finding great candidates? Our recruitment consultants can help you find the perfect person for your role. Contact us for a confidential discussion today!

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