At the start of 2015, Google had 53,600 full-time employees around the world, compared to 47,800 Googlers a year before. Not even counting replacements, that means it hired about 6,000 new people in just one year.
Cofounder and CEO Larry Page approved each of them, according to Google HR boss Laszlo Bock, who writes about Google’s hiring process in new book “Work Rules!.”
Page told Wired in a 2011 interview that he developed a formal approval system because while he hates bureaucracy, he wants the company he cofounded with Sergey Brin in 1998 to feel true to his vision as it grows exponentially.
“It helps me to know what’s really going on,” he told Wired.
Bock explains in the book that Google’s hiring process is organised to avoid placing too much importance on any single judgment call. Rather than having only the opinion of a hiring manager or two, Google candidates must be screened by several hiring managers, their potential boss, their potential colleagues, a hiring committee, a senior leader, and finally Page.
Each week, Bock writes, Page is sent a report with links to extensive review packets on each recommended hire with accompanying executive summaries. Page takes a look at the highlights of what each reviewer had to say about the candidate, and checks the candidate’s portfolio if necessary.
At the time of the Wired profile on Page, he would send back his final approvals or denials within a few days.
“The most common feedback from Larry is that a candidate might not meet our hiring bar or that the creativity shown in a portfolio might not be up to snuff,” Bock writes.
He explains that it’s necessary that both candidates and employees know Page has the final say.
“More important than the feedback itself is the message from Larry to the company that hiring is taken seriously at the highest levels, and that we have a duty to continue doing a good job,” Bock writes. “And new Googlers (‘Nooglers’) are always delighted to learn that Larry personally reviewed their applications.”