Tag Archives: HR

How Google Hires Differently … And Why You Should Too

Google spends twice as much on recruiting than the average company, even though it gets two million applicants a year. My book review of Laszlo Bock’s “Work Rules” in today’s WSJ on why that’s the case, read it here.

Lots of valuable lessons from the book, especially what Google has found to be the greatest predictor of whether a candidate will succeed (a sample work test), why the best and brightest candidates are not looking for jobs, and why most companies are potentially missing out on the ideal candidates.

The biggest predictor of whether you’ll succeed, Laszlo Bock outlines in “Work Rules!,” is how you fare in a sample work test. Whether recruiting for an entry-level position at a call center or for a seasoned engineer at Apple, a company needs to see people in action. For example, hearing how a job candidate keeps calm talking to an irate customer or watching how the person would solve a coding challenge.

That may sound obvious, but consider that today most companies conduct their initial filter of job applicants based on a version of the traditional résumé. Work tests come later, if at all. What that means is that, in most jobs, potentially the best candidates—those who would ace the work test—never make it past the first round. That has serious implications for a company’s performance.

Read the full review here.

Are these challenges you’ve encountered or tried to solve? How does your company hire differently than others?


Six Lessons to Guide You to the Top of Your Game (or your destination of choice)

On Tuesday I spent a great afternoon with Bob Ravener in Nashville, TN, interviewing him for the Apploi Observer. The interviews were centered around his book “Up! The Difference Between Today and Tomorrow Is You,” and advice for veterans re-entering the workforce.

The interviews will be worth watching – and his book (telling his story from childhood to the pinnacle of his profession) is worth reading. It also comes with endorsements from highly accomplished figures in corporate America, the sports world, the military community, and government, including Joe Gibbs, the three time Super Bowl Champion Coach, General Terry “Max” Haston, and Dale Nees, Assistant Dean of the Business School at Notre Dame.

Some readers may pick up the book, looking at where Bob’s career trajectory, curious about the secret of his upbringing. Indeed he’s worked in senior positions at top companies, including PepsiCo, Home Depot, and Starbucks, and Dollar General. He’s got a beautiful family, has been on a presidential commission, volunteered extensively … you get the picture.

But Bob’s childhood was anything but picturesque: By the time he was eight, his family had lived in three different houses in two different towns, and he had attended four different schools. His father was an abusive alcoholic who couldn’t hold down a job – and would take his anger out on his family (he and his brother would step in to block his parents lunging at each other with knives). His accompanying his father on “errands” usually ended with him watching his father get drunk in a bar.


His upbringing was the polar opposite to the type of upbringing that Amy Chua espouses in “Tiger Moms” as being critical to success. And his later experiences were filled with many more challenges and heartbreaks, from the personal (including the tragedy of a lost child) to the professional (the first company he went to work for after leaving the Navy went bankrupt just before he was due to start).

It’s precisely because Bob’s life was filled with more than his fair share of obstacles that this book is so valuable. It’s accessible. It speaks to those both in difficult situations or who have been through them, and shows a better future can be ahead. The book is filled with valuable pieces of advice to get there. Among my favorites:

·      Go to bed early, and wake up early (per Benjamin Franklin)

·      Stay organized: Make lists and write things down, it’s the surest way.

·      Surround yourself with good people and good friends: it’ll help shape and educate you.

·      Have a positive attitude: It’s critical to the success of an individual and a company.

·      Practice “finish-line thinking”: Know what you want to accomplish, and design a strategy to get there. Don’t live just day-to-day.

Each chapter starts with an inspiring quote, and perhaps the one which is most fitting for Bob’s story is attributed to Marcus Aurelius:
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

One of Bob’s favorite pieces of advice, while advising people to master their emotions is:
“I can’t control 100 percent of what happens to me, but I can control 100 percent of how I respond to what happens to me.”

And that’s not just good advice for those struggling on the bottom – it’s important for everyone.

You can buy the book here and the interviews will be published on the Apploi Observer here.



A $10-Per-Minute Fine for Keeping People Waiting?

I recently reviewed Ben Horowitz’s (LoudCloud, Opsware,  Andreessen-Horowitz) book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” for the Wall Street Journal. You can read the review here.

One of the most commented on parts of the review was Andreeseen-Horowitz’s policy of fining any staff member who is late to a meeting with an entrepreneur:

Their approach to entrepreneurs is summed up by a strictly enforced internal rule: a $10-per-minute fine for anyone in the company who is late to a meeting with an entrepreneur. “If you don’t think that entrepreneurs are more important than venture capitalists, we can’t use you at Andreessen Horowitz,” he writes.

It’s an admirable approach. And many readers wished it would be extended to other professions too. As one emailed: “why stop there? What about doctors keeping people waiting?” It’s an issue (as that reader knew) that I’ve written about before, see this article here for Forbes.

According to a report by Press Ganey Associates – a health-care consulting firm that surveyed 2.4 million patients at more than 10,000 locations – the average wait time to see a health-care provider is twenty-two minutes. And I’d love to visit those locations! My average wait time in New York City is probably around forty minutes.

Job-seekers are another group of people often subjected to unfortunately long wait times. See this article by Kevin Rector in the Baltimore Sun on a recruiting event for Baltimore’s new casino “Horseshoe Baltimore”:

The event, which is open to the public, will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at M&T Bank Stadium. Attendees are asked to use the stadium’s southeast suite entrance and to budget four or five hours to move through the process, Dixon said.

Four-Five hours? That’s a long time. At Apploi (www.apploicorp.com) we’re dedicated to changing that, and one of our standout early pieces of data from clients is a 90% reduction in time to hire.

Back to doctors and everyone else who keeps people waiting (I’m thinking trains, airlines, and customer service helplines). How about if they start paying customers for every minute they keep them waiting?

To keep it even more interesting (and give them an incentive to participate), I’d be even willing to pay a premium if they’re on time.  Any takers?