Frankfurt Book Fair - Day 5

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Jobs + Skills10.17.14

Steal Google’s Simple Strategies For Finding and Hiring Talented Staff

In their new book How Google Works, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg reveal the simple, but powerful recruiting strategy responsible for the company’s consistent growth

In case you missed it, midmarket companies are where the jobs are. In the second quarter, more than 40 percent of mid-sized companies increased their ranks compared to last year.

Hiring to simply to fill seats isn’t the objective. In their new book, How Google Works, executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of product Jonathan Rosenberg write that a defining characteristic of today’s successful companies is the “ability to consistently deliver great products” and do it fast. The surest path to  achieve this goal: hiring the most talented people. At Google, they’re called “smart creatives,” and are responsible for consistent, profitable growth that’s made the company the world’s largest online search platform.  Any mid-sized company would benefit from having these people on their teams.

To identify them, Schmidt and Rosenberg write that they possess some key characteristics. Smart creatives are:

  • experts in doing
  • curious
  • risky
  • self directed
  • open
  • thorough
  • communicative

Not every applicant has all these attributes, they write. “But they all must possess business savvy, technical knowledge, creative energy, and a hands-on approach to getting things done. Those are the fundamentals.”

Once they’ve narrowed the applicant pool, Google’s interview process weeds out those not suited to becoming “Nooglers,” the company’s parlance for new hires.  These practices have been cross-examined and criticized –especially with regard to quirky, open-ended questions such as, “How much does the Empire State Building weigh?” The company contends it’s less about arriving at the correct answer than giving the hiring manager insight into how the candidate thinks.

Finally, the book breaks down the hiring process into a series of simple Dos and Don’ts. The following Don’ts are cherry-picked from the overall list because of their potential to influence an entire culture of success:

  • Don’t hire people you can’t learn from or be challenged by.
  • Don’t hire people who think only about problems.
  • Don’t hire people who just want a job.
  • Don’t hire people who prefer to work alone.
  • Don’t hire people with narrow skill sets or interests.

And finally:

Hire only when you’ve found a great candidate.
Don’t settle for anything less.

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