How Google works
A look from the inside to the most desirable employer on the planet. Ten years after entering the stock market, Google remains the world’s most popular workspace. It is at the top of the Fortune list with the 100 Best Companies to Work, and receives over 2 million job applications each year. In the new How Google Works book, which is due to be released at the end of the month, President Eric Schmidt and consultant Jonathan Rosenberg reveal how the company created the unique culture of innovation in the workplace that distinguishes it.
The two of them talked to Fortune about the recruitment practices that followed, the talent, and the essence of the company. Here are some extracts.
– How has Google managed to maintain its culture even in fast-growing conditions?
Smith: I think a way to understand Google is to understand that we have built it to systemize innovation. If you have a way in which new things happen constantly, then the culture evolves with him. You do not say “we will protect our culture”. Instead, builders have a culture of innovation that will protect itself.
Rosenberg: We talk a lot about the need to define the principles of culture from the beginning. And I think we continue to keep these principles as a “marker” of culture with all the people we have hired since our entry into the stock market.
– What is the worst interview for a job you’ve found?
Rosenberg: I ??remember when the Procter & Gamble people came to hire people at the University of Chicago. They were looking for people with statistical knowledge and strong quantitative analysis skills, and they were trying to hire me as a product manager. The guy told me that going to P & G was like looking at the mirror of your car. The idea was that P & G encouraged product managers not to think forward but rather to look back on quantitative data, trying to find out what to do with prices, etc. That was my worst.
– How do you spot the talent?
Rosenberg: The number one thing you’re looking for is passion. You want the kind of person you are constantly learning. Ask them to reveal the surprises they found in the things they worked on, because that shows their way of thinking.
Smith: Most companies hire on the basis of the position, not the individual. So, look for someone on LinkedIn that suits all the criteria. She must be five years from that and ten years from that – and that’s just the wrong way to recruit. The right way is to hire the smartest people you can, because business is changing. What interests you is critical thinking. You want leaders to fight and change their strategy and tactics so that they end up winning.
– What happens when a Google employee starts to lose his passion?
Shit: It usually starts with a conversation where you ask him: “Where do you see yourself in five years? What excites you? ” Only a specific type of person wants to work in an environment that is constantly changing.
Rosenberg: If someone has lost their passion to solve big problems and change the world, there is not much I can do as a manager. What we have done quite aggressively is to do rotation with our passionate employees in various departments throughout the company.
– So, where do you see yourself in five years?
Rosenberg: I ??do not expect to be in a full-time role at this point, so the ideal job for me in the years to come is to try to help small groups in Google learn and understand the principles we adopt in the book.
Smit: I made a decision that Google is my home. I have been the CEO of the company for a decade. My plan is to be president for a long time. I have worked on innovation and technology policy – part of a long tradition of scientists helping the government to do the right thing.
– Do you have any advice to job seekers?
Smith: The main thing to do as a potential employee is to find out which is the most enjoyable and fast growing company, and go to work there.
– You say you are looking for candidates who show the essence of Google. Who is she;
Rosenberg: I ??would say it is passion, humor, attention to detail, and the type of person you are constantly learning from, just by being side by side.