Big companies like to hire the best staff. And that leaves employers in difficult situations, as they ponder which candidate to pick for the limited number of positions they have. This isn’t a problem at Google: it simply hires them all.
It has to: Google has about 55,000 employees and adds about 6,000 each year. So when it finds talent, it isn’t picky.
As the Globe and Mail points out, Google’s “secret” is to basically bring in all — as in 100% of — the best talent it can find. The revelation comes from the new “How Google Works” book, written by executive chairman and past CEO Eric Schmidt, and former Senior Vice President of Products, Jonathan Rosenberg. It’s a treasure trove of management advice.
On the hiring process, Rosenberg explains the idea to go with quantity arrived after he talked to a group of Rhodes Scholars and was trying to decide which of the “exceptional group” he should ask to come in for a full interview. Company founder Sergey Brin told him to “offer them all jobs,” writes the Globe and Mail. Brin suggested: “why decide at all?”
Rosenberg did just that and apparently many went on to be brilliant.
The authors also say that hiring is the most important thing any executive can do — and add those at the top shouldn’t leave it to others. “The higher up you go in most organisations,” they write, “the more detached the executives get from the hiring process. The inverse should be true.”
Both Rosenberg and Schmidt feel employing fresh faces shouldn’t be left to middle men, who might not be in the same position for long and may even be worried about new staff usurping them in their aspirations to climb higher. As the Globe and Mail notes, Google follows an academic model, which uses a peer-based approach. The book even argues against the rule of hiring people you want to have a beer with and suggests that actually, while some people might be difficult to get along with, they’re good at their job and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Ultimately, How Google Works reveals the company employs people “not for the knowledge they possess, but for the things they don’t know yet.”