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The Roc Search Blog

4 Things We Can Learn from Google’s Approach to Recruitment

12 October 2017

Which 3 companies top the 2017 list of the world’s most attractive employers in 2017? 
Universum surveyed nearly 300.000 students in the world’s 12 largest economies. These students were asked to provide insight on who they perceive as their ideal employer. The results showed that number 1 is Google, number 2 is Goldman Sachs and number 3 is Apple.

You only have to watch the movie The Internship, to get a glimpse of what it is like to apply for a job and work at Google; it is not the easiest place to get into but once you’re in, it’s an amazing place to work. You have to go through a well-defined recruitment process to be selected to become a Google employee. Let’s look at this in a bit more detail:

Candidates that submit a successful Google application will be invited for an interview. A successful candidate will go through four interviews conducted via Google Hangout (Google’s own Skype communication tool) by four different Google employees before an offer of employment will be given. All this happens normally within a four-week period.

Each interview is independently conducted and if a candidate doesn’t pass one interview he/she will not be allowed to continue to the next interview. To be selected by Google each interviewer must be in agreement.

Candidates are assessed on 4 dimensions: Cognitive ability, Leadership skills, Googliness and Role related skills. Given that Google has embraced these four dimensions for so long, their highly trained interviewers know what a good answer sounds like. This way they are able to recruit with very high quality and validity.

When it comes to “Googliness”the interviewer focuses on qualities and values needed to fit into Google. Google highly values skills like; Drive, Curiosity and Boldness. These are based on Google’s adoption of the 10x principle. Getting 10 times better in each step forward.

So what can we as “ordinary” companies learn from Google’s approach to recruitment? It seems like they’ve done the basics right. They made Google a very exciting place to work at and they put together recruitment processes and procedures that give them the highest probability a new recruit will fit the company culture and work ethos. Here is my summary of the 4 things we can learn from the way Google recruits:

  1. Skilled interviewers. Not everybody is experienced in conducting an interview. It’s not just about asking the right questions but it’s also about interpreting the answers, reading body language, assessing the candidate’s personality etc. All Google’s interviewers have been trained to be able to do this.
  2. Use a process. Google’s recruitment is completely process driven. Questions are fixed, evaluating the interview, the approval cycle etc. This makes it easier to evaluate candidates, and to analyse trends and it reduces the opportunity for mistakes. Check out the reWork website from Google with Practices, research, and tools to improve your people processes.
  3. Look for other things than just the role. This is a key learning from Google’s recruitment method. They look beyond the job description. They look at fit, leadership, skills and cognitive ability. What are the dimensions that you will be evaluating?
  4. Sharing the company’s values. This is very important for Google. And this is often the reason why attrition in companies is high. Candidates don’t always fit in with the company’s culture and as a result they become unhappy there - which makes them leave. In these instances they’ll often not even make it through their probation period. It’s very important that in the interview the candidate is checked to see if they fit in with the company culture.

At Roc Search, we are constantly looking for the best people to join our fast growing company. And we have already adopted most of the learnings above. Our internal recruitment team talks to candidates on a daily basis and have all been trained in how to conduct interviews. We use a streamlined recruitment process and in the end each candidate will meet our CEO who has the final say. One of our most important criteria is to check if the candidate fits our culture. We are a forward-thinking, dynamic organisation and our employees have to reflect that. But we also take this a step further. Once new employees are on board, they will go through our Rocstar Academy training scheme where we mold them in true “Rocstars”. So if you are interested in joining our exciting company, connect with me on Linkedin or drop me a message and we can have a chat!

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