How Google Hires

Francisco Homem de Mello

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According to Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of People Operations, through extensive research and experimentation Google’s found that the most predictive screening methods for hiring were:


1. Work samples: putting prospective hires to work on a problem, case study, or situation, helps you id who’s serious about the opportunity, and really see the person producing, thinking, and being resourceful (or not). Give engineers code to work. Ask marketers to set up an AdWords campaign. You know.


2. Cognitive ability: to assess your prospective hires’ cognitive ability you can – and should – have a look at their SATs, and other standardized exams. But you should also test them with reasoning challenges, or online tests.


3. Structured interviews: you should have a structured interview process. Interviewers must:

– Follow scripts that make them ask comparable questions and assess key topics (for example, you need to have all interviewers ask similar questions regarding the subject’s adhesion to your cultural values);

– Have every interviewer write down interview notes, and compare them with other interviewers;

– Keep these notes after the hire’s been made. That way, you can keep track of whatever an interviewer felt about the prospect, make them accountable, and therefore ensure long-term commitment to the hire’s success with the company.


4. You should also have a committee review and veto hiring decisions. This committee must comprise disinterested professionals, who can evaluate the prospective hire with an unbiased stance for their merit. This ensures that no manager makes a hire based on his “desperation” to fill a vacant spot (avoiding the “anything is better than nothing” syndrome).


5. Survey prospective hires for their experience. Send out a survey to all participants, hired or not, and have them rate your hiring process. You want everybody happy, so they can promote your company to friends as a “great place to interview”.


Learn more about Google’s hiring practices here.

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