Changes in Google’s Employee Selection System

Introduce the case briefly by providing an overview/summary of what is happening in this situation

Google is one of the largest digital corporations, and today, the company occupies a leading position as an information search engine service. In addition to this activity, the company is involved in a number of successful projects and collaborations with other major participants in the information technology market. The transformation of the organization from a small company into a global corporation with significant assets and branches in different world regions is the result of hard work regarding innovative development. The reorganization of recruitment programs has become one of the prerequisites for success.

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Due to the fact that Google interacts with more than one million job seekers annually, recruitment algorithms are a significant aspect of the company’s internal policy. Such a large number of potential employees was one of the reasons for the changes in the selection program. Key reorganization operations have touched on interviews since Google’s management refuses to take long and routine conversations in favor of more modern and advanced algorithms of interacting with applicants. The introduction of the biographical information blank (BIB) system has allowed creating a comprehensive database that is a convenient tool for analyzing the preferences and possible strengths of potential corporation employees. Numerous conversations have given way to convenient onsite interviews, and the key emphasis is on identifying applicants’ specific abilities. Searching for talented and creative employees is still a priority maintained by Google’s hiring policy, and the reorganization of the selective system proves managers’ interest in recruiting who are able to be proactive and think outside the box. Thus, the hiring process has become more streamlined, which is a valuable outcome of all the changes.

Why did Google change its selection system? How has the selection system been changed?

One of the main reasons why Google outlined a program to reorganize its selection system was the large flow of applicants, which made it difficult to evaluate all the strengths of job seekers effectively. Another weakness of the previous hiring policy was a long process of interviews that took place one after another and took time both from potential employees and HR specialists. Since Google adheres to the strategy of hiring creative employees who can not only carry out immediate duties skillfully but also show initiative, leadership skills, and a high level of teamwork, that recruitment plan did not meet the company’s goals. As a result, the selection system was changed in favor of more advanced algorithms for interacting with applicants.

Previously, Google’s internal hiring policy focused on selecting employees with a good academic background, but today, additional criteria are taken into account. According to Klazema (2018), interviews are held in different modes by using various digital tools depending on a certain position. Also, the introduction of BIB technology has become one of the solutions that improve the selection process. At the reorganization stage, in addition to information about work experience and academic success, Google’s HR department asked its employees to fill out relevant documents with a wide range of questions. They concerned not only professional but also personal life and included such topics as hobbies, personal traits of character, and other nuances that helped reveal employees’ individualities. These profiles were analyzed, and correlations with specific posts were identified. Thus, the corporation’s database was replenished with an expanded card index, which helped evaluate applicants’ compliance with desired positions not only on the basis of their experience and knowledge but also other important criteria.

Using evidence to support your position, would you argue that the changes implemented are an improvement compared with Google’s previous selection system? Why or why not?

The changes implemented in the selection system are a significant improvement for Google’s recruiting policy compared with the previous algorithm. Firstly, the new program evaluates not only the academic background of applicants but also other aspects that may play an important role in future work. Secondly, as Garmastewira (2018) notes, all the steps for joining the corporation have been simplified through convenient interviews. According to the updated strategy, initially, a responsible employee of the organization talks with an applicant on the phone and receives basic information about a potential worker. Further, several interviews take place, but they are not standard answers to the questions of an HR specialist but interaction with different representatives of the company. The management encourages an applicant’s communication with both the heads of departments and colleagues, which helps establish a productive working environment and maintain positive relationships in the team. These measures help make the selection process more convenient for all interested parties and, first of all, for the company. Google receives all the necessary data about a potential employee faster and, at the same time, can evaluate his or her professional potential from different perspectives.

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Is using an online biographical information blank (BIB) the best way for Google to manage the large volume of applications? Why or why not? Be sure to consider issues of privacy, and potential for adverse impact on minority applicants.

When regarding the BIB system as an algorithm that allows storing a large volume of data, it is convenient primarily for the company. The absence of the need to maintain a complex file cabinet and engage employees for additional work on the systematization of these data simplifies the HR department’s activities and speeds up the speed of processing. In addition, while considering this mechanism, Belcourt, Singh, Snell, Morris, and Bohlander (2018) state that the reliability of all the predictions made is high, which favors strategic management and allows the organization to minimize errors. In the process of transition from outdated methods of collecting and storing personal information to modern and convenient ways of data processing, Google uses efficient tools, thereby avoiding unnecessary costs and creating an advanced algorithm. Moreover, in the conditions of a large number of applicants, working with all the data manually is an extremely difficult task, and digitalization stimulates a faster activity process. Nevertheless, despite the fact that for the company, such a data management system is convenient and productive, this mechanism has some negative aspects that affect employees.

One of the main drawbacks of such a system is the lack of privacy, which cannot be respected due to the fact that employees are forced to disclose their personal data. Google uses this information freely for its own purposes, and there is no guarantee that all the data remains inside the company. Also, as a potential adverse effect, one can note the issue of verifiability. Although all the information stored in the electronic file cabinet is systematized and protected, it is difficult to predict how valuable it is for the corporation’s recruiting policy. Only internal resources are involved in testing all the results. This means that the responsibility lies with Google’s analysts, and their competence is a key criterion for the anticipated outcomes of HR activities. In addition, minority applicants can also experience the adverse effects of such a system. If a candidate does not fit into the general framework indicated by interpreting information from the system, this makes it difficult for him or her to get a job in Google. Therefore, such a program is more convenient for the corporation itself than for its employees.

Will the new system be more effective at helping Google to hire candidates who will be more “well rounded” (i.e., have demonstrated abilities in leadership, teamwork, creativity, etc.)? Why or why not?

Since Google’s leadership promotes the idea of ​​encouraging creativity and initiative among subordinates, introducing the new recruiting system can help address these objectives. According to Cascio and Aguinis (2018), talent management includes not only an appropriate selection algorithm but also the strategy of retention aimed at stimulating promising employees. In this regard, the BIB system implemented in the organization in question may be utilized with benefits in order to offer each worker the conditions that satisfy his or her needs as much as possible. This, in turn, helps achieve maximum productivity and realize both short- and long-term goals.

When analyzing the new hiring policy through the prism of the company’s key priorities, one can note that involving specialists who can show their leadership, team, and creativity skills to the maximum is successful. Onsite interviews as a method of direct and quick interaction with job seekers allow HR managers to receive basic information about certain skills of a person who applies for a specific position. However, in addition to such information, other important individual aspects are also taken into account. Since a potential employee knows what the company expects from a particular position, he or she is ready to show strengths and prove one’s competence. Since Google promotes the strategy for sharing experience among colleagues, each applicant can count on the support of others and develop themselves professionally. Therefore, the use of such a strategy allows the management to hire “well-rounded” specialists with expanded potential and the ability to learn to develop valuable working qualities.

What alternative ways are there of identifying the kind of “well-rounded” candidates Google is looking for?

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One of the methods used to search and evaluate “well-rounded” candidates for Google is to offer applicants unique tasks to determine their creativity. This assessment method makes it possible to put a potential employee in a situation that requires not only academic knowledge but also the ability to build a problem-solving process productively. Another principle for the successful identification of valuable applicants is creating conditions for an employee to work in an environment unusual for him or her. For instance, a candidate applying for the position of a technical engineer can be offered to work in the mode of interaction with developers or testers in order to be aware of their activity features. This approach promoted in Google has several positive implications and strengths. Firstly, an applicant has an idea of ​​ what tasks his or her colleagues deal with daily, and this experience contributes to a faster resolution of immediate tasks. Secondly, constant interaction brings the collective together, which makes it possible to organize effective joint activities and, at the same time, identify a particular employee’s teamwork skills. All of these methods are convenient and, more importantly, effective recruiting strategies.

Imagine that you have been put in charge of staffing at Google. Using evidence to support your approach, explain how you would determine whether the online BIB and interviews are helping Google accomplish its employee selection objectives?

The performance of Google’s HR strategy may be proven by evaluating some aspects of the recently implemented system, including the BIB method and onsite interviews. As Cappelli and Tavis (2016) argue, in changing operating conditions, the management should take into account the needs of not only the organization but also employees by “aligning individual and company goals” (p. 63). Accordingly, in order to determine whether the updated program is convenient and productive, interaction with representatives of various departments can be carried out, and their opinions about all the changes may be found out impartially. In case all the interviewed employees confirm the success of this regime and the convenience of its use as a selection approach, this will prove the value of the strategy in question.

As additional methods for evaluating the success of the new program, special tests may be conducted. In a modern managerial environment, ability and personality assessments can serve as valuable tools for analyzing any changes, including HR principles. Working behavior is one of the essential aspects that determine the quality of control and the effectiveness of measures taken to ensure the necessary operating conditions (Cappelli & Tavis, 2016). Based on this indicator, one can compare employee performance indicators before and after the relevant changes made to the selection system. If it turns out that the staff worked less successfully before the introduction of the new recruitment program, this will be valid proof of the value of the implemented program.

The combination of assessment models may be a convenient and effective evaluation mechanism if the right steps are taken. The activities of the HR department of the company should be studied, and conclusions can be drawn regarding the results of work in the new mode. For these purposes, Belcourt et al. (2018) offer to focus management activities on the multi-analysis of performance indicators, in particular, expected and real outcomes. In case the results are higher than those planned before the implementation of the new program, this will be an additional confirmation of the significance of the strategy. As data for the report, such aspects may be affected as staff turnover, employee satisfaction based on anonymous surveys, and other important criteria. This information is valuable in order to test the effectiveness of the system and its relevance to the company’s policy.

References

Belcourt, M., Singh, P., Snell, S., Morris, S., & Bohlander, G. (2018). Managing human resources (8th ed.). Toronto, Canada: Nelson College Indigenous.

Cappelli, P., & Tavis, A. (2016). The performance management revolution. Harvard Business Review, 94(10), 58-67.

Cascio, W. F., & Aguinis, H. (2018). Applied psychology in talent management (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

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Garmastewira, R. (2018). Google onsite interview experience. Medium. Web.

Klazema, M. (2018). An inside look at Google’s hiring and onboarding processes. Betanews. Web.

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