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Google's Golden Rules

I've recently started advertising my book through Google's AdWords program. It's a very interesting company that has had a nearly instant impact on the lives of everyone who uses the internet. CEO Eric Schmidt co-wrote an article for Newsweek describing how Google finds and inspires its knowledge workers (a.k.a. geeks). Most organizations could take away something from the article.

My favorite Google approach is to "hire by committee." Everyone who interviews for a position at Google talks to a minimum of six people. They talk to managers as well as would-be co-workers. Schmidt says the committee method may take longer, but it makes the process fairer and raises the hiring standards. "If you hire great people and involve them intensively in the hiring process, you'll get more great people."

Successful companies hire people whose values are in alignment with their organizations. But in their haste to attract workers, company recruiters might neglect to explain their organization's culture fully. The omission gives the impression that the organization has the same values as a candidate's current or previous employer, or is looking for someone to bring new values to the table. That's when misfits happen.

For their part, applicants must be comfortable with an organization's culture to contribute fully. Hiring by committee ensures that someone clearly spells out the company's values and expectations to applicants during the interview process. Only then can a candidate accurately assess if the company's values fit his or her personal needs and ambitions.
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"Hiring by committee" has a LOT of negatives, including:
1. It means that the hiring manager isn't responsible for the quality of his hires. If the new hire doesn't work out, you can't fire the whole team.

2. Any person on the hiring committee who wants to stall the process for whatever reason can and will. S/He may want to hold the position for a friend. Or they find the candidate a threat, so they invent a flaw.

3. The belief that people who get along during the interview will always get along is erroneous. It's immature.

4. Many people don't get ANY training in hiring, beginning with the very managers themselves. Letting people who don't know how to evaluate others is a recipe for disaster. It also makes you overlook people who are FAR BETTER AT THE JOB THAN THEY'LL EVER BE AT INTERVIEWING (as interviewer or interviewee!)

5. Hiring by committee is yet another form of obsession about teamwork. Yet we still hold individual performance appraisals.

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