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about 2 years ago

3 ways of adopting the hiring strategy of Silicon Valley

3 ways of adopting the hiring strategy of Silicon Valley ​

Businesses in Silicon Valley have consistently been ahead of the curve when it comes to their talent strategy. They know they need the best people on their team, and they are making sure that happens. We have a look at Google to see what they are getting right.

1. Hiring talent is the single most important thing

If you asked your management team today what the most important aspect was of your business, they are likely to talk about the company strategy, products, sales or developments…

However, Google believes that Hiring is the most important thing managers should do.

They have built their culture so that it rewards and prioritises hiring above everything else.

Can you say the same thing about your own business? Commonly we see hiring as a distraction or additional task on top of the day job. It is something no one is that invested in doing and managers tend to set very little time for their process.

If you’re looking to double in size it is not just a case of posting more jobs. Google believe that hiring talent is everyone’s responsibility, not just that of the (very large) recruitment team. They believe great people know great people. So as Google make it a habit of finding the best talent they are likely to recommend someone and before you know it, it's doubled.

Make hiring the main priority of your business and really invest, and build a culture around it, the truth is you are likely to struggle to achieve the growth you envision.

2. Data is King

Google might deal in data, but they make really know how to use it. Google does not make any decisions around talent without having the data to evidence it. utilise it in order to make decisions and grow. And this isn’t just a case of working with what you’ve got. If there are questions to be answered and the data isn’t available, models are built to get what they need to make informed decisions.

The other thing about Google is they look at data points most companies don’t consider when thinking about their talent strategies, for instance:

  • The number of hours employees spends interviewing

  • Number of referrals each person makes

  • Number of events an employee attends

  • The time it takes for a manager to complete an interview feedback form and return it

Recording the things which really matter when it comes to talent, allows them to review and improve their processes in a meaningful way.

3. Even Google gets it wrong

When anyone is trying to scale a business, the process is super important. If you don’t have robust processes in play it's going to be impossible to achieve the growth you’re looking for. But the flip side to this is with a lot of processes often means the loss of flexibility.  

In the beginning stages of Google, they had a guy called Kevin. He was part of the marketing team, and they were keen to have him on a career progression programme. However, it wasn’t as simple as adding Kevin to the programme. Due to the processes, they had already had in place, anyone joining the career progression pathway had to have a degree in computer science and since Kevin was in marketing, he didn’t have the requirements to join. As a result, the request for him to join the career progression programme was rejected multiple times over, despite his managers' request for Kevin to join.

As a result of this, Kevin left Google.

The Kevin in this story is, Kevin Systrom, who went on to co-found Instagram. A few years later he sold Instagram to Facebook for $1Billion.  

Moral of the story: Yes, processes are important. But it is not so important that you should not be agile within those processes, otherwise you could miss out on quite literally billions.

*This sounds great but we’re not like Google*

Before you dismiss anything because ‘we’re not like Google”, there isn’t the same level of funding available, the fact is, Google wasn’t always the huge tech giant it is today. Ok, you might not have the funds within your business-like Google does, and your aspirations may not be to grow to Google size, but we are talking about the ethos towards talent which is important to consider and that is where businesses can take on some of Google methods.

You can build processes and methodologies in a way that is like Google, and it will enable you to achieve your hiring strategy. It isn’t about being like Google but is it’s about putting Talent first.

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