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Recruitment in Google: 6 Success Factors You Can Apply at Your Company

By Alex Huete | 18/01/17


Image credit: flickr.com

Google is well known for its unique recruiting culture. In fact, its hiring system is one of the most admired and "imitated" over the world.

However, by writing this article we do not want you to simply copy Google’s recruiting strategy – most likely that would be counterproductive for your company. Our intention is to show you some aspects of its philosophy that you can use to improve your selection of personnel.


Steps in a Google’s recruiting process

Before analysing Google’s selection process, we must keep in mind its very powerful employer branding. This is certainly a huge advantage that allows them to be pickier, and to carry out a much more demanding selection process.

With this in mind, we will analyze the characteristic steps of their selection processes. As you will see, some details are perfectly applicable for any company:

1) CV evaluation: recruiters review CVs to assess the potential of each candidate. Nothing out of the ordinary at this stage.

2) Phone call evaluation:  the most interesting candidates are contacted by phone. Each conversation takes about 30 minutes. During this time, the recruiter gives an accurate description of how the selection process is going to be, and also performs a small test to infer their technical skills

3) Face-to- face interview: between four and five people individually interview the candidate. Each interview usually lasts about 45 minutes. In each one of them, the candidate must solve similar tests to those that will be in his job. Thus, they try to better evaluate their skills or know-how.

4) Feedback: recruiters present their conclusions in standard format, assigning a numerical rating to each candidate. Then, they compare the different feedbacks and look up referrals from previous employers.

5) Hiring Committee: a committee made up of senior executives and experts in the talent staff area are responsible for reviewing the information (curriculum, professional experience and feedback results) of potential candidates. Based on their conclusions, they do the final screening.

6) Remuneration, final executive review and economic offer: the compensation committee defines the salaries and benefits of new employees. Then, senior executives review the economic offer that will be presented to the candidates. Finally, a recruiter transmits the offer and explains all the details.

As you can see, Google’s recruitment is quite unique. Let's see what lessons we can learn from their recruitment approach.


Success keys behind Google’s recruitment

From Google's talent selection, we can learn the following:

1) The value of diversity

Google knows that diversity (ethnic, cultural, different interests, skills, etc.) has many benefits for the work teams. This is why, in order to avoid discriminatory biaseshey include many (and very diverse) people in the evaluation of candidates. In this way, the company acquires a more complete vision of the potential of each candidate.


2) The need to have extraordinary employees

At Google they are aware of how important it is to choose the best professionals. Keep in mind that at the end of the year they receive more than one million applications, of which only between 4000 and 6000 will end up with a contract.

Google’s selection process is very strict because they adequately estimate the value of talent. They understand that recruiting outstanding people is crucial.


3) Using metrics to improve the recruitment

Over the years, Google has been modernizing its recruitment by using numerical data. For example, in the interviews, they used to use riddles like: "How many golf balls can fit in an airplane?"

However, they later realized that there was no correlation between the performance of their best employees and their responses to such questions, so they decided to review the structure of their interviews.


4) The faster you make decisions, the better

At Google they know firsthand that there is a lot of competition to hire the best talent.

If their selection processes are not fast enough, companies like Facebook or Twitter will win the game. That is why they devote great efforts and resources to accelerate their recruitment to the maximum. They understand that the loss of a brilliant candidate in these circumstances is a very costly mistake.


5) The importance of investing in talent recruitment

Google invests substantial resources in recruitment; above all, after drawing up a study in which thet came to the conclusion that an outstanding employee generated them 300 times more value than a mediocre one!


6) Work experience and academic qualifications are not everything

A talented person is able to learn fast. That's why Google does not value professional or academic experience too much. With long-term eyesight, the company tries to recruit based on the potential value that the person can add. So much so that even grant important responsibilities to recent graduates with little work experience.



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