Would Your Company Hire You Back?

Check Out my Book From Vendor to Adviser for advice on building these traits.
Check Out my Book From Vendor to Adviser for advice on building these traits.

Who Get’s Hired in the Future? Do You?

Great article today on who Google Hires.  Between HR and the Big Data Hiring Trends, and articles like this one (How to Get a Job at Google – from the NY Times,) we should all be rethinking the definition of a great hire. How many interviews have you sat through where the interviewers seem ill-prepared?  How many have you been involved in from the inside, where the hiring criteria are unclear…or maybe management is simply looking for someone with great contacts on the sales side, but not doing much to analyze the effectiveness of the candidate they are talking to?

With the ongoing instability of our economy, and the cost of hiring people who don’t perform, this seems to be an area companies are starting to think harder about. Google apparently takes this hiring thing pretty seriously…look at their criteria:

Google’s Criteria For Hiring:

  • “Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. … We found that they don’t predict anything.”
  • “The “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time — now as high as 14 percent on some teams.”
  • “The No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.”
  • “The second…is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club?…We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead…”
  • “Do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”
  • “Ownership…It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in…to try to solve any problem.”
  • “Humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. Your end goal is what can we do together to problem-solve.”

How do you measure up?

How can you improve in one or more of these areas? This explains why Google is so successful…great teams are made up of individuals with strong character.  If you look at this list, the thing that jumps out at me is the focus on character traits vs. skills and connections.  The focus on degrees, majors, grades,…all come up as meaningless.  And while the article did mention that people need to have programming skills – the emphasis was on these elements of character, not the skills.

Ability to listen and respond to problems – speaks about attentiveness and alertness…perhaps decisive action.  Taking initiative at the right time vs. having had a title at some point – this is a character trait, not a credential.  Willing to relinquish control – or deference, another character trait.  Responsibility or dependability…these are character traits.  And finally, one we don’t often hear from a large company – that of humility, an essential ingredient for someone who works in one accord with a team…This is a great list, one we should all take note of.

One of Benjamin Franklin’s Keys to Success was his practice of taking one character trait each month and focusing on developing it.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. This past week I conducted a panel discussion, assessing what happened at Target – and lessons we should all learn from the Target IT Guy..you can view it in the SVLC Insider’s Circle!  Find out how to gain access to it for FREE right here.


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