Tag Archives: Tech

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?


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?