Google Recruitment Process

Swati Chaudhary has spent over 4 years in the Digital Marketing Industry and has written numerous content pieces, covering domains such as technology/software, education, entertainment & news. Currently working with CareerBuilder India, she now helps job aspirants solve their career-related issues. Connect with her on Twitter: @iSwatiChaudhary

Have you ever imagined life without Google? What would you do if Google disappears? Life without Google is unthinkable.

Google has changed the way life functions in the 21st century, and it will continue to do so.

The Search Giant has covered a 17-year old excursion, started back in 1988 by two PhD students of Stanford University – Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to becoming world’s leading employer brand. Currently, there are over 57,100 Googlers from different geographical locations are contributing towards strengthening Google’s mission worldwide.

Listed as the ‘Best Company to Work for’ Google topped Fortune Magazine’s List in 2007, 2008 and 2012. In 2010 it was also nominated as the ‘World’s Most Attractive Employer Brands among Grads’ by Universum Communications talent attraction index.

Sneak-Peak to World’s Best Recruiting Process


Google Recruitment Process
Image Credit: PiqueShow

Recruitment is a rather boring subject to talk about. But at Google, talent acquisition, and hiring are two most strategic and engaging processes that one could ever create.

Currently, Google Inc. receives over 3 million applications/year and hires only 700 people annually; meaning 1 out of every 428 applicants is recruited by the firm making it 20% more selective than Harvard, Stanford or Yale.

However, if we talk about Google’s hiring scenario 5-10 years back, it was not that fascinating. The risk factor was high with constant organizational growth. But, presently this American Conglomerate continues to be world’s favorite employer brand.

The Weekly Noogler Inflow Rate in Google had grown from 31 people per week to 300 people a week.

What was wrong with Google’s Hiring Process?

Every applicant had to go through 15-25 rounds of interview and selection took around 6 to 9 months. Techniques such as Brain teasers made the traditional interview process an awful candidate experience.

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What Changed – Implementation of the Hiring DNA at Google Inc.

Today, everyone at Google is focused on recruiting. Google intends to create stronger employer brand and in the process went to create 3 uncompromised hiring fundamentals.

1st RULE: Set a High Bar for Quality and Never Compromise with It

In general, recruiters hire candidates a notch greater in quality than the existing workforce and ends up creating a mediocre talent pool.

But, at Google, there is a high bar for quality, and none of the recruiters are allowed to compromise on it.

Plus, hiring managers at Google does not have decision-making powers. Instead, the organization designates this responsibility to a hiring committee which has no relation to the recruiting process. They access the candidates individually, points out pros and cons then vote for selection.

The motto of developing such process is to create a non-biased recruitment system and hire ‘best of the best’.

2nd RULE: Access Candidates Objectively

Accessing resumes are hard as one needs to go through stacks of paper and find the most accurate one. Did You Know? A naïve observer needs only 10 seconds to make the same assessment as by an expert.

Science FTW

Search Maestro solved the Interview turbulences by measuring a candidate’s ability on ‘four criteria’ – key to a Google interview.

  1. General Cognitive Ability – Accessing the problem-solving skills of a candidate.
  2. Leadership – Google promotes ‘Emergent Leadership’ which means people at the firm are willing to relinquish their power and allow someone else to lead when s/he is a better leader for given situation. Best Example is hiring manager’s inability to take hiring decisions.
  3. Googleyness – People who are comfortable with ambiguity, intellectual humility and can bring something new & different to the table every single time.
  4. Role-Related Knowledge – Accessing the skills and knowledge required to do the task candidate is being hired for?

Today, Brain Teasers are BIG NO at Google’s Interview.

3rd RULE: Give Candidates a Reason to Join

Allow candidates to witness relatable life changing aspects of the job. The job needs to be a calling, a source of enjoyment providing a sense of fulfillment to the employee. People who see their job as a calling outperform themselves and create a highly engaged workforce worldwide. Enabling employees to witness the life changing decision of a job also has the positive impact on organizational productivity and engagement.

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Google focuses on providing every hire with a connection to organization mission by providing meaning to their working; it’s a term Google recruiters live by.

What Recruiters Can Learn from Google’s Hiring Practices?

  1. Have clear criteria for hiring – set a high standard for everyone and never compromise with the same.
  2. Provide a definition for an interview regarding bad, mediocre and good results.
  3. Don’t fail to ask right set of questions – focus on creating ‘Structured Interview’ process

How Does it Feel Interviewing at Google?

**Source: Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President, People Operations at Google at Talent Connect 2014

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