“Googley”. Doesn’t sound like a real word, but it defines the number one trait that Google executives look for when they are hiring candidates. Stacy Sullivan, Chief of Culture for Google, says it’s not a definable term but “means someone that is not too traditional or stuck in their ways”. This flexibility and mental agility is core to Google’s culture and helps drive its success.
Google has created an addictive culture that job seekers flock to. The campus exudes energy and creativity offering open office space concepts with hangout areas and corporate sponsored cafeterias. The firm has succeeded in creating a community rather than just an employee base.
At Google, hiring is a team sport! It takes the hiring process seriously and requires company executives to spend at least one full day a week recruiting. During the hiring process, recruiters and executives market the Google culture and look for those “googley” candidates that will be the best fit for the company.
The company’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, tells candidates how Google wants to create technology to dramatically improve the world. “We are in unchartered waters, but that’s why we do what we do,” he says. According to Ray, the world is the test lab for Google which drives their need for people who are intellectually curious enough to push the limits.
Ray gives perspective employees a view of the culture within Google which makes them one of the most sought after companies in the world. Ray’s hiring pitch helps candidates understand what is vitally important to the company in a well-defined culture statement.
Hiring for a cultural fit is as important as hiring based on the requirements of the job. Someone can meet all of aspects of the job description but be the worst employee for your firm if they are not a cultural match. You want someone who will not only be able to do the job but be completely invested in the vision and direction of your company.
Perhaps you need to create your own word to describe that x-factor that determines success within your company. Make it a team effort! Involve employees from varying levels of the organization in the creative process. Once your team has helped to define the culture factor needed to succeed within your organization, incorporate it in your hiring process.
Google’s hiring methodology has narrowed their x-factor down to being “googley”. Even the word says something about Google’s culture. Its ability to involve culture throughout the hiring process has helped sort through numerous candidates to find the not just any candidate, but the right candidate.