CWS 3.0: April 17, 2013


Hiring Manager? Not at This Tech Giant

Being unable to directly communicate with hiring managers ranks as a common complaint by staffing suppliers under managed service provider programs. The thought is direct managers have the best knowledge about whom to hire, whether it be a contingent worker or a full-time, traditionally employed worker.

However, the practice at one technology giant casts a different light on the relationship between “hiring” and “manager.”

Google does not allow individual managers to make decisions, said Prasad Setty, vice president for people analytics and compensation at Google in a fireside talk held April 4 at a Carnegie Mellon University site in Silicon Valley.

The problem with allowing individual managers to make hiring decisions is people tend to hire people who are like themselves, Setty says. Instead, Google wants to hire people who are good for Google.

Mangers can still add input. But “we don’t want single points of failure where one person has a lot of power …,” Setty says. “That kind of power corrupts.”

Instead of allowing the individual managers to make decisions, the company relies on a vigorous framework to hire people. That includes such things as independent hiring committees and 40 to 50 pages of information for every candidate that includes résumé information and data on what was discussed during interviews.

The process seems fitting for a firm such as Google that prides itself on being highly data-driven. Setty says the company once experimented with 42 shades of blue to optimize click-through rates.

In fact, Setty says a goal for his team is that all people decisions should be backed by analytics.

This is a huge task. The company has 40,000 people and closer to 50,000 when including Motorola, Setty says. The company also receives 2.2 million applications a year but hires only a few thousand.


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