I'm in the middle of a great read called "Work Rules" by Laszlo Bock, who leads Google's People Operations. Google is famous for their innovative and unique recruiting practices and interview techniques. Bock discusses how Google tweaked their recruiting practices for greater efficiency and results.
I plan to share some of the key topics of this insightful book in a multi-part blog post. It's my summer reading project!
Some initial highlights below:
In earlier days, Google's hiring process was infamous for moving at a snail's pace. It was also famous for finding superior talent. It wasn't uncommon to for Google to develop a 50 page candidate profile in a hiring packet and conduct a 7 month search process, per candidate. That lengthy process needed to to be shortened and improved.
Google spends more than twice as much on recruiting, in both hours and dollars, than the average company. Their upfront efforts in recruiting generally yield higher quality workers, with a better cultural fit and greater retention.
How does Google accomplish this? This is part of the Google playbook:
- Concentrate on passive candidates, i.e, quality workers not actively job seeking.
- Set a high bar, hire only people better than you and don't compromise.
- Assess candidates objectively. An unbiased group of people make the actual hiring decision.
- Give candidates a reason to join. Emphasize to candidates that the projects they will be involved with have importance and impact.
- Sell the culture. Have candidates meet and mingle with current Google employees. Superior Google employees sell themselves and the company. Above average candidates want to "work with the best".
What can the rest of us learn from Google? If you're a small company, one take-away is that even a single bad hire can have an outsized negative impact. Marginal performers or bad political actors can have a toxic effect on an entire team.
Independent recruiters such as myself, with a large network, can offer the benefit of access to passive candidates. The recruiting cycle begins with a higher quality pool of vetted candidates.