Did you ever think about the number of job applications Google receives in a year and its hiring figure.? Well, it’s something surprisingly amazing.
There is a huge disparity that exists between two numbers.
Each year, around 2.5 to 3.5 million people submit employee applications to Google. However Google only hires a fraction of it.
It recruits 4,000 people only in a year which makes 0.001 percent of total applications. The luckiest aspirants succeed after going through the ‘ultra-selective’ process.
Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations, presides over the entire selection process.
A revelation was brought forth by him in his recent interview with a U.S based newspaper by shedding light on how the search engine evaluates candidates.
Here are key revelations made by the recruiting officer.
Google hires smart & curious people rather experts:
Bock says people with a learning ability possess skill of finding correct answers to unknown questions.
“Google gives preferences to smart and curious candidates than people who are deep, deep experts in one or another area”, he revealed.
Google looks for candidates with high ‘cognitive ability’
Bob says people who are willing to learn, likely to discover new solutions.
“If you hire someone who is bright, and curious, and can learn, they’re more likely to come up with a new solution that the world hasn’t seen before,” Bock explained in Google Q&A.
“This looking for cognitive ability stems from wanting people who are going to reinvent the way their jobs are going to work rather than somebody who’s going to come in and do what everybody else does. We recruit for aptitude, for the ability to learn new things and incorporate them”. He added.
Google hunts down people having ‘grit’
Recalling how he persuaded a student who was thinking about switching out of computer science as it was too difficult, Bock told U.S. newspaper, “I told that student they are much better off being a B student in computer science than an A+ student in English,”
Adding, “Taking computer science signals a rigor in your thinking and a more challenging course load. That student will be one of our interns this summer.”
As key research in education reveals, grit – courage of facing challenges by taking on difficult work – is more important for success than raw intelligence quotient (IQ).
Google evaluates candidates on ability of tackling complex work
The company generally known for asking cranium-crashing brainteasers like “what is the probability of breaking a stick into three pieces and forming a triangle?”
However, later on it was found that they weren’t that helpful and has moved on then.
Now, Google’s interviews comprised of questions about the candidate’s concrete experiences, beginning with queries like “give me an example of a time when you solved an analytically difficult problem.”
Bock, in this regard, says by asking people to speak of their own experience, an interviewer get two information, “You get to see how they actually interacted in a real-world situation, and the valuable ‘meta’ information you get about the candidate is a sense of what they consider to be difficult.”
Google prefers candidates with analytical skills
“Analytical training gives you a skill set that differentiates you from most people in the labor market,” bock says.
He says basic computer skills signal the ability to understand and apply information by thinking in a formal, logical and structured way. “But there are options beyond computer science.”
“Taking statistics while I was in business school was ‘transformative’ for my career”, he says.
Google expects people to meet ridiculously high standards
“We don’t compromise our hiring bar, ever,” Bock says. Because of this, job listings stay open longer at Google than you’d expect, he says – they have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding The One.
Google doesn’t care about GPAs
The company believes that High GPA and test scores do not correlate with success.
“Academic environments are artificial environments. People who succeed there are sort of finely trained; they’re conditioned to succeed in that environment”, Bock says.
Google intends to know accomplishments of candidates compared to their peers
Bock while telling how to write resumes said that most people miss that the formula for writing quality resumes is simple: “I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.'”
He explained, for instance, a lot of people would just write, “I wrote editorials for The New York Times.”
However, a stand-out resume would be more specific about their accomplishments.
Bock gives a better example: “Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.”
Google looks for employees having leadership qualities
Bock says traditional leadership he does not care for ‘traditional leadership’
“We don’t care,” he insists rather than we take keen interest in how one plays his role at time of facing a problem being part of a team.
Google seeks people who take ownership of projects
Sense of ownership is mandatory for becoming part of Google team.
“You’ll feel responsible for the fate of a project, making you ready to solve any problem. But you also need to defer when other people have better ideas”, Bock explained.
Google also wants to see humility
Beside intention to learn, curious to discover, and having leadership skills, the ideal candidate for Google must possesses ‘intellectual humility’ to succeed at Google.
“Without humility, you are unable to learn”, Bock says by stating that this is a common problem among the well-educated; elite business school grads tend to plateau.
Success can become an obstacle, Bock says, since successful, Google-bound folks don’t often experience failure. So they don’t know how to learn from failure.