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How to Hire Like Google

May 5, 2015

hiring-handshakeConstantly topping the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ charts, Google is considered to be the golden standard in terms of modern organizations. Aside from making their employee satisfaction one of their main priorities, Google accomplishes this by hiring great people who will thrive in the environment they’ve created. Now while not every company can offer the laundry list of perks that Google can, every company does have the ability to follow the same hiring process as the tech giant.

What Does Google Do Differently?

While it is true that Google enjoys the rare advantage of being able to pick and choose from the cream of the crop when it comes to hiring, their rigorous hiring procedure assures that they’re getting the best of the best, a strategy that can be emulated.

The first practice that Google enforces when hiring is the establishment of an unwaveringly high standard by which all potential candidates must be measured. This does not mean that you should hold your applicants to the same standard as Google, rather, you as a hiring manager should clearly define your expectations for new employees and stick to it. Determine which qualifications you will not compromise on and use them as a tool through which to weed out candidates. Work with your peers and supervisors to learn what is most important for the organization in terms of employee experience, knowledge, and ability, and use that to guide your search for new employees. Even if the hunt to find an employee that satisfies that standard is taking longer than planned, don't give up. Once you compromise your standards, you’re allowing a potentially sub par employee into your organization.

Google’s next recommendation is to look inside for new hires. By that, they mean that you should ask your current employees to refer potential hires to your company. Current employees know your company well, and likely have a good idea if someone they know professionally would be a good fit. Google recommends that you use LinkedIn, Google+, alumni databases, and professional associations to discover talent. Be sure to put these referrals through your full hiring process though. Don't hire someone based solely on the fact that a good employee recommended that person.

The third practice suggested by Google is the implementation of objective, scheduled employee assessments. Making sure that employees have the chance to be regularly and fairly evaluated means that they will be able to receive quantifiable feedback with specific comments and suggestions of areas to improve, which in turn will lead to a more qualified and satisfied workplace. A company with employees that have no way to find out how they’re performing will flounder over time, with low performers continuing to perform as such with no way to objectively improve.

Finally, Google recommends that you give applicants a reason to join. This idea goes back to doing everything in your power to create a positive, employee friendly workplace. Create a culture which supports and rewards your employees. It doesn’t have to be perks on the level of Google’s free food and fitness classes on campus, but even things as simple as explaining to a candidate why the work they would be doing would matter, or working with them one on one to make sure they would get out of the job what they’re looking for would go a long way towards satisfying them.


Be sure to have a robust, objective hiring process in place for all hires. Set high standards for those new hires, and don't hire a lesser candidate just because you need someone to fill a position. Don't neglect your company culture either. Candidates will be more excited about working for you if they feel that your culture will support them. Not every company can be Google, but with a few tweaks and adjustments, maybe your company can hire like them. 

Source: Google HR boss shares the company's 4 rules for hiring exceptional employees

The Ultimate Hiring Manager’s Guide

Greg Kedenburg Greg Kedenburg was an I/O Psychologist with PSI living and working in Chicago, IL.