Google has spent years analyzing who succeeds at the company, which has moved away from a focus on GPAs, brand name schools, and interview brain teasers. In a conversation with The New York Times' Tom Friedman, Google's head of people operations,...
In a recent interview, the top HR executive for Google indicated:
“For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not IQ. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”
Even though Google did a great job learning that brain teasers had no correlation to on-the-job performance, they still get it wrong by focusing too much on the ability to process on the fly. This approach has nothing to do with actual work.
No companies base their success "on processing information on the fly". You sit in meetings, collect data, research information, talk to experts, form opinions, test and share ideas - and great ideas, tactics, and strategies evolve through this process - it's not about "learning on the fly."
When will companies stop trying to guess at what makes people successful and just start having transparent conversations in the interview about the work that actually needs to be done? Until we reach this tipping point of changing the fundamental element of interviewing, hiring accuracy at best will never exceed a 50/50 level - it will remain a crapshoot in most organizations.
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