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Wanna Know the Best Hiring Plan? Google it

It’s the wild west out there these days in HiringLand. A surfeit of talent, a paucity of broad-based professional need, an increasing call for extremely specialized skillsets. And on.

As such, it behoves us all to stay alive to those hiring scenarios that work, however unconventional or apparently unique from our own situations they might be.


Enter Google, and its unique methodology for ensuring its employment rosters are packed with creative, dedicated and entirely appropriate staffers.

Herewith, four Google hiring secrets to get you started:

The culture piece

Chris Hodgson, sector lead for multi-channel solutions with Google Canada, chalks his organization’s hiring wins up to its culture. “Smart creatives don’t care about money; they care about making a difference…. We created passion that people wanted to be a part of and slogans that embodied that culture, like comfortably uncomfortable.”

The hiring players

At Google, the hiring manager is only one of four decisionmakers in a committee vetting potential hires. Any member of the group can veto a pick — even if the manager wants them.

The structured interview

According to the results of a meta-analysis of 85 years of research on job assessments’ ability to predict performance published in 1998, unstructured job interviews are pretty bad at forecasting how someone would perform once hired.

The best predictor? A work sample test that replicates an on-the-job assignment. Next best are tests of general cognitive ability with defined right and wrong answers, and behavioural and situational structured interviews, where candidates are asked a consistent set of questions with clear criteria to assess the quality of their responses.

At Google, though, hiring teams swear by a system that employs combinations of assessment techniques.

The power of the cross-functional interviewer

Google invites someone with little or no connection to the group for which the candidate is interviewing to sit in on the hiring process. In this way, the company enjoys exposure to an impartial assessment from someone who probably has scant interest in a particular job being filled, but is keen to keep the organization’s overall quality of hiring high.

LinkedIn Weighs in on Global Recruiting Trends

With a nod to the coincident increase of hiring volume and decrease in hiring budgets, LinkedIn’s just-published 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report concludes that pretty much every organization is challenged in the area of recruitment.


Among the highlights of the study — LinkedIn’s fourth annual — find:

Priorities: Sourcing highly skilled talent (46 percent) and improving quality of hire (34 percent) are the top priorities among today’s recruiters. Rounding out the top four: improving sourcing techniques (25 percent) and pipelining talent (23 percent).

Sourcing: The top sources of quality hires have shifted in the past four years, with social professional networks seeing the greatest gains — 22 percent in 2011, 34 percent in 2014. The most prevalent talent-sourcing category is Internet job boards, at about 42 percent.

Talent Brand: Social networks are also emerging as the preferred channels for promoting talent branding, says the study. Online professional networks saw the biggest boost in this category, jumping from 48 percent in 2011 to 61 percent in 2014. Fifty-six percent of global talent leaders say talent brand is their company’s top priority, and 75 percent believe it has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent.

Data and Metrics: In answer to the question, “What is the single most valuable metric that you use to track your recruiting team’s performance today?” most respondents — 44 percent — picked quality of hire (time to fill clocked in at 25 percent and hiring manager satisfaction at 18 percent).

Obstacles: Asked what their company’s biggest obstacles to attracting the best talent are, respondents assigned almost equal weight to competition and compensation.

Ultimately, the LinkedIn research concludes, companies need to play to their own competitive advantages when seeking to fill their employment rolls. And to make use of whatever technological advancements are available to help wherever they can.

“As the gap widens between hiring volume and budgets in 2015,” 2015 Global Recruiting Trends sums up, “recruiting leaders must do more with less and invest wisely.”