Should hiring and recruiting be reduced to an algorithm?

Do your hiring practices use strategic algorithms? Google does. The mega-force company has created a unique, and albeit eccentric, way to search for talent among the more than 100,000 job applications it receives each month, reports The New York Times.

Google’s growth is exceedingly unique – even by Silicon Valley standards. The company has more than doubled its number of employees in the last three years. With its growth and special needs, the company is forgoing traditional hiring practices in search of candidates that may typically slip through the cracks because they didn’t receive a perfect 4.0 GPA or don’t have certifications that read like the alphabet following their last name.

As a result, instead of traditional hiring practices, Google has created an algorithm to explore people’s personalities and what makes them tick in order to determine if a job candidate fits the people management profile the company is looking for.

Applicants are asked to fill out an elaborate survey filled with questions that cover topics like attitudes, behavior, biographical details and personality. It’s the test of all tests and is leading to some interesting hiring decisions.

“As we get bigger, we find it harder and harder to find enough people,” said Laszlo Bock, Google’s vice president for people operations, according to the news source. “With traditional hiring methods, we were worried we will overlook some of the best candidates.”

“We wanted to cast a very wide net,” Bock told the news source. “It is not unusual to walk the halls here and bump into dogs. Maybe people who own dogs have some personality trait that is useful.”

According to the news source and Google’s findings, dog ownership could impact an employee’s personality.

“You have to know or at least have a hypothesis why having a dog makes a good computer programmer,” Professor at the University of Oklahoma Michael Mumford told The New York Times. “If you ask whether someone started a club in high school, it is a clear indicator of leadership.”

As a result of Google’s research, the company is looking to expand its hiring practices.

“More and more in the time I’ve been here, we hire people based on experience as a proxy for what they can accomplish,” Bock said. “Last week we hired six people who had below a 3.0 G.P.A.”

Google is hardly the only company looking to innovate its hiring and recruitment practices. The Global Assessment Trends report claims that only 41 percent of companies are currently confident that their human capital strategy is truly the right solution. Most senior executives are looking to update hiring practices to create a more effective implementation of capital investments in human resourcing. The rapid rise of social media and mobile technology is providing staffing professionals greater resources and flexibility.

Companies are increasingly using assessment practices, either designed internally or externally, to get a better feel for a job candidate. Organizations looking to better leverage these hiring practices can invest in staffing software that integrates with psychometric analysis testing to facilitate the successful placement of candidates and employees. The right tools that incorporate the use of innovative and traditional hiring practices and assessment algorithms allow recruiters to better meet the demands of their customers and help to ensure the success of the candidate/employee on the job.

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