How to Hire Like Google

Hire-like-Google

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How to Hire Like Google

How do you keep a once-startup with 26,000 employees innovating? You hire like Google.

Step One: Know your objectives.

Here’s what Google strives to do.
The pillars of innovation keep new ideas coming, and becoming developed.[1]

1.) A mission that matters =
Organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible

2.) Get your hands dirty.
Google Books contains 10 million+ books.
Yet started when Larry Page
Bought a scanner + started scanning pages +
Timed how long it took + ran the numbers

= Realizing the world’s books COULD be brought online.

3.) Iterate rapidly, don’t look for instant perfection.
People won’t remember failed product x.1 if product x.31 takes over the world.

4.) Everyone has something to add.
AdWords should talk with Gmail should talk with Maps should talk with Doodlers

5.) Believe in the impossible
And use your 20% time to make it happen
20% time = 1 day a week you can work on your own project.
(many major Google projects start on employees 20% time)

6.) Share everything.
All 26,000 Google employees view the same yearly board meeting,
And get introduced into the direction the company is going.
Because they might have something to add!

7.) Enable others
Through Android, the mobile platform
And Google Earth, the mapping platform
Others can add their insights, passions, and build off of Google’s work.

8.) Don’t be afraid to fail:
Google Answers = fail
Google AdSense = success
Yet Answers taught Googlers a lot. That was applied to other projects.

Step Two: Find out who fits your organization’s goals.

At Google: [4]
The PI (People and Innovation) Lab
And
People Operations
(Google’s HR)

Are constantly (a) asking questions and (b) testing hypotheses.

Step 3: create a rubric!

Google’s OKR’s[3]
(Objectives and Key Results)
Set quarterly and annually
Set at personal, team, and company levels
Publicly available
Graded each quarter

Objectives:
Ambitious
A tad uncomfortable

Key Results:
Achievable objectives
Quantifiable
Can be objectively graded.

It takes a special type of person to excel in Google’s ranks.

An OKR for Google’s hiring practices:

Objective:
Look past traditional achievement to discern potential.
Key Results:
Advancement over time
Successful in roles
Push innovation

Objective achieved when:
HR looks past young hotshots with ivy degrees and MBAs

Why?
The lack of failure reinforces attribution errors:
If something good happens — I’m a genius.
If something bad happens — It’s someone else’s fault, or I didn’t have the resources.

Through data Google has determined the traits of its most successful hires:

Top characteristics:
(from most important to least important)
1.) General Cognitive Ability:
Focusing on–
a.) Learning Ability
b.) Ability to process on the fly
c.) Pull together disparate bits of information
2.) Emergent Leadership
Not traditional leadership
But–
Feeling of responsibility when there’s a problem.
Enough humility to step back when someone else has something to offer.
3.) Lastly, expertise

Hiring like Google can be hard. But hey, look at the pillars of innovation. If it works for Google, it might just work for you too.

Hire-like-Google

Citations:

  1. http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/8-pillars-of-innovation.html
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-to-get-a-job-at-google.html?_r=0
  3. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-google-okr-employee-grading-system-2014-2?op=1
  4. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/01/google_people_operations_the_secrets_of_the_world_s_most_scientific_human.html