Advice on getting the most out of employees usually starts with: Make sure they’re engaged. The book Work Rules! by former Google HR chief Laszlo Bock would seem to follow that pattern, except that he undermines his own argument. Yes, Google’s “high freedom” approach to managing is a big part of its culture, but Google can afford to give employees lots of freedom because it hires only about 0.25% of applicants—the very best.
Bock’s best hiring tips:
1. Your best recruiters are your employees. They should be motivated to spread the word.
2. Interviews are lousy screening devices because interviewers base judgments on irrelevant factors. Have candidates perform a task as close as possible to the job they’ll do, and hire based on that.
3. Pick top performers from state universities. Not only are they more likely to be brighter than their Ivy League counterparts, but they’ll probably also have more grit and determination.
— Adapted from “On your toes,” The Economist.