The Strategist

Dream Job (Google Version)

09/16/2015 - 16:56

Google – this is colorful slides and bean bags, free delicacies, sleep capsules and bikes in the office; also, the company has been recognized as the best employer in the world. Happy people working together and having a great time - looks like a paradise, right?

Here’s a story in the first person about all the secrets of Google’s HR politics: how the company looks for, hires and works with the right employees.

Change the world for the better

We all want our work to mean something. There is no stronger motivator than knowing you are helping to change the world for the better.

As Amy Wrzesniewski says, people perceive their job as just an obligation (a necessity that does not make a big positive in their lives), career (something that you need to "win" or where to "move") or true purpose (source of joy and achievement when you are engaged in socially useful work).

The most talented people of the world need is to be encouraged and inspired to high achievements. Giving them a target is the challenge for leaders.

From time to time, Google try some crazy stuff to find the most talented employees to assess their mental and leadership skills. In 2004, they hung out billboards with a cryptogram puzzle in Cambridge and at the 101st California Highway in the hope that interesting and ambitious computer scientists will solve it.

Those who solved the puzzle correctly, got a reference to the second puzzle. Once it was solved as well, the person was taken to a page with an invitation to work at Google.

Once the candidate reached the stage of the interview, he is asked behavioral and situational (often not trivial) questions: "Tell me about time when you effectively managed your team and achieved the goal. What approach did you use?","How many golf balls fit into a Boeing 747?","If I reduce you to size of a one-penny coin and shove a blender, will you be able to get out? "

The golden rule of hiring at Google reads:

Hire only those who are better than you. Looking for exceptional candidates requires more time, but the wait is worth it.

Not only your immediate supervisor will be presented at the interview, but also colleagues, subordinates, recruiters - experts in reading "between the lines". And only if everyone likes you, you win. Especially if you have been tested for “googlity”.

Check for “googlity”

This includes features such as the ability to have fun, a certain proportion of humility (hard to learn something new, if you are not willing to admit your mistakes), integrity (need owners, not just the performers), the ability to confidently feel oneself in the unusual complex situations (work at Google is full with surprises) as well as previous experience, coupled with something interesting and requiring courage. This is an excellent illustration.

In 2011, Archbishop Desmond Tutu invited the Dalai Lama to pronounce the opening speech at the Center for Peace n.a. Desmond Tutu, in honor of the 80th birthday of Archbishop. This promises to be an event of historic significance. However, after pressure from the Chinese authorities, the board of the African National Congress decided not to grant the Dalai Lama with a visa. Archbishop Tutu was indignant. Loren Groves - one of the brand new Googlers - was sent to Tibet, then to South Africa. There he organized a meeting between the Archbishop and the Dalai Lama using Google Hangouts.

The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu were talking face to face, being separated by thousands of miles. This was the main event of October 2011 - so Google take those who can save the situation, acting outside the scope of instructions in trivial circumstances.

Expect more from people

The truth is that people tend to act in accordance with your expectations, both high and low. Sophisticated, specific objectives (try to achieve 90% correctness) not only motivate better than vague exhortations or low expectations (do what you can), but also lead to excellent results. Consequently, it makes sense to expect more from people.

When employees aim at stars, and only reach the moon - not scold them too much. Ease the pain of failure, allow them to be taught. If your goal is ambitious and quite mad, even failures are achievements.

Supporting employees

Going to work at Google can resemble a trip to a mall. Depending on the size of the office, there are libraries and book clubs, facilities for sports, yoga and dancing, laundry, rental of electric cars, free meals in canteens and micro kitchens. All for free. Massage services, manicure, dry cleaning, car washes, childcare are offered for a small fee right in the office.

Google pay much attention to learning. Employees organize public lectures Tech Talks and share the results of their recent work with everyone who is curious. In addition, these meetings draw talented thinkers coming from the outside world. Among Google’s guests were spotted Presidents Obama and Clinton, the author of "Game of Thrones" George Martin, Lady Gaga, an economist Burton Malkiel, Geena Davis, writer Toni Morrison, George Soros.

Checklist for the manager

"Model 299" long-range bombers of the new generation could carry five times more bombs, flew far and fast. But there was one problem: it crashed. The aircraft was much more complicated than competing models, and at the first flight, the experienced pilot has forgotten to turn off a new locking mechanism controlling rudders. Then, a special checklist was developed for pilots.

With this, the pilots flew on the "Model 299" 2.9 million km without a single accident.

Management is also a phenomenally complex mechanism. Requiring the leader to be a prolific generator of ideas, financial genius, a market magician and inspirational manager is, perhaps, too much. Nevertheless, if we try to reduce the list of requirements for a good leader, we will not have to spend millions of dollars on training or trying to explain to people why one leadership style is better than another. When Google decided to find out what allows managers to consistently achieve success, a check list has been composed:

The manager must be a good coach. The manager delegates authority and does not do micromanaging. The manager evinces interest / participation to success and personal well-being of the team members. The manager focused on results. The manager is successful in communication - listening and sharing information. The manager helps the team in career development. Managers have a clear vision and strategy for the team.

No matter who you are - the head of the company or a graduate, beginning your career. Your task is to become part of the team and take responsibility for its success or failure. And then at some point, the work will cease to be a source of income and will be a source of fulfillment and happiness. Google is a vivid example of such a company – but keep in mind that your company is not Google. Be yourself. Do you have all chances to reach the next level? Start right now!

based on Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

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