Google’s old hiring plan: Go to the toughest schools, find the smartest people, give them the hardest tests. Hire the ones who perform the best.
They changed their plan.
Google’s new talent acquisition process: Uncover the hidden qualities of the current highest-performing employees. Then, select candidates who replicate those same qualities, ensuring a cultural fit as well as a continuation of pre-established successes.
We wanted to dive a little deeper, so we asked Juan Betancourt how to avoid Google’s hiring mistakes, and instead hire faster, smarter, and stronger-fit candidates.
Juan is the CEO of Humantelligence, a company that measures team culture through science. Their 12-minute EQ test allows leading organizations to uncover hidden culture fit, overall eliminating 80-90% of labor in hiring, resulting in their customers finding the highest-performing candidates.
Previously, Juan was the Global Head of Strategy at Puma, USA Country Manager for DECATHLON ($20B global sports brand), and founded Gonza Executive Search, to help mid-market companies find and place C-Suite executives. Juan completed his undergraduate career with a BA in Economics from Harvard, and got his MBA from Wharton. (If you haven’t got this already, this guy’s a brainiac.)
Obviously, we had to have him on our Digital Transformation Pioneers podcast.
Hiring for Culture, Not Just Intelligence, Gives You The Highest-Performing Candidates
As Google learned, intelligence is not the most accurate predictor of whether a candidate will be a high-performer. When Google hired their first HR manager, they took an inventory of their best employees. They discovered that emotional intelligence was the leading indicator of high-performance.
This methodology of discovery is exactly what Juan says you should do — reverse engineer from your highest performers.
You want to “unleash the power of people and put them in the right place, so they will be more engaged and mores successful. Also, the relationships between that individual and the others will be improved, so they can understand, connect, and communicate.”
One Company Does Not Equal One Culture
One piece of advice here: One company doesn’t mean one culture. Cultures vary across companies. The finance department has their own culture, which will be widely different than the culture of sales, marketing, HR, etc.
Geography also plays a huge piece in cultural makeup: What leads to high performance in Miami versus Philly will vary dramatically.
People intuitively understand these elements, but the Humantelligence test proves it empirically.
“Our platform is a way to measure what people already know conceptually.”
AI Lowers Subjectivity, Speeds Up the Process, & Reduces Turnover
Talent acquisition is a laborious process. At the highest level, hiring executives requires scrutiny of long, intense CVs, along with several layers of interviews.
In retail, you are often choosing between hundreds of candidates who probably have no resume. The interviewer is left to hire based on subjective likes and dislikes. No matter how skilled an interviewer is, this process does not always lead to the best outcome — it’s very subjective, and people typically hire those who are similar to themselves as far as personality and work style. This is often not the best candidate for the position.
A sophisticated AI (like Humantelligence) will eliminate these subjective issues. This also erases 80 to 90% of the entire hiring process, and then leads to far less turnover, and overall, a happier culture.
Next time you’re hiring, remember the EQ, not the IQ, makes the most difference.