Monday, October 23, 2006

Google points the way toward good hiring practices

Not content to rule search, Google is conducting an applied class in smart HR by adjusting their hiring practices to focus more on job-relatedness and candidate service.

Historically Google has put candidates through the wringer, with up to six interviews (not uncommon for high-tech) and long wait periods between interviews and the final word. They've also focused heavily on academic credentials--GPA and college degrees. Earlier this year, they brought in a new HR director who is shaking things up and helping the company hire more volume but retain quality.

After a survey of current employees and linkage to performance measures (read: criterion-related validity study), they've made some changes:

1 - Fewer interviews. Average has gone from 6.2 at the beginning of the year to 5.1 in June.

2 - Targeted interview feedback based on pre-defined factors.

3 - Multiple scores rating a candidate's KSAs.

4 - Biodata (e.g., "Have you ever turned a profit at your own non-tech side business?"). BTW, many of the survey questions were biodata as well, such as age they first used a computer, how many foreign languages they spoke, and how many patents they have. Would love to see those correlations! Wonder how they broke down the jobs...

5 - Personality (e.g., how assertive the person is)

6 - Work style (e.g., prefer to manage others or do work yourself?)

7 - Higher standards. Google is looking for overqualified people. (Take that,
City of New London, CT )

The head of HR gets it: he says Google tries "to strike the right balance between letting candidates get to know Google, letting us get to know them, and moving quickly."

Thanks to
EASI blog for the heads up.

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