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Google remains to be one of the most sought after employer today. The company received over 75,000 resumes within one week after announcing that it plans to hire 6,000 new employees for the year in 2011 – which proves the point that becoming a Google employee is a dream for many today. Fortune’s best companies to work for list in 2011 has ranked Google at no. 4 and the internet giant remains fascinating for the youth across the globe. The speculations on Google’s hiring process and strategies remain alive all the time over the years.
Although its difficult to understand how Google makes its hiring decisions, former CEO Eric Schmidt has shared some insight about the process during his talk with McKinsey Director James Manyika at a McKinsey conference. He explained the company’s personal philosophy, corporate culture and talent management practices at the conference.
Google is very specific about who they hire. Only the exceptional ones can make it to the final to join the large Google family. Schmidt said, “And we spent more time, and pretty ruthlessly, on academic qualifications, intelligence, intellectual flexibility, passion and commitment.”
The ability to manage your own is a key quality that Google expects in the aspirants. Schmidt states the company strongly believes that the best employees are those who don’t need much managing. “People are going to do what they are going to do, and you’re there to assist them. They don’t need me, they are going to do it anyway. They are going to do it for their whole lives. Maybe they could use a little help from me,” he explained. “At Google, we give the impression of not managing the company because we don’t really. It sort of has its own borg-like quality if you will. It sort of just moves forward,” he said.
A winning personality is not that Google always looks forward. He says although getting the right people is important, the right people aren’t always the most personable. “You are going to have to deal with the odd people. Because not every one of these incredibly smart people is a team player, and so forth. So I would suggest that as part of the recruiting, you need to look at whether they’re sort of compatible with the other people. We basically want people ‘even if you don’t want them around, we still need them,” he said.
Google has a recruiting team or a hiring committee to get the best ones to the company. “We would allow people to have an arbitrary number of interviews. It got to the point where people were being interviewed 15, 16, 17 times, and then we were turning them down. So eventually, by fiat, I ordered that it be taken down to 8. And we’ve since statistically modeled that you can get a probabilistically correct outcome at 5 interviews.”