Google’s Eric Schmidt is out promoting the company in a new management tell-all, How Google Works. He and his co-author Jonathan Rosenberg argue that because the Internet industry is littered with the graves of fallen empires, companies need to attract and be structured around entirely new type of employee: “smart creatives.”
He has an interesting set of tips on how Google gets its top talent:
“These are the folks who combine technical knowledge, business expertise, and creativity.”
Google, Schmidt says, look for people who are a happy mix of the liberal arts and hard science. They dream big. In previous interviews, Google’s head of human relations, Laszlo Bock says that the company looks for intelligence, but also a person who “innately curious, will to learn, and has emergent leadership skills.” In other words, smart drones don’t build amazing products.
“Never forget that hiring is the most important thing you do. People say this, but then they delegate hiring to recruiters. Everyone — EVERYONE! — should invest time in hiring”
The company places a heavy emphasis on personal recommendations of new recruits and asks everyday employees to review résumés. The very same cross-section of Google can reportedly sit in on interviews.
“Most forward-thinking companies tout their consensus-driven approach. But they fail to understand what consensus means. It’s not about everyone agreeing, it’s about everyone being heard and then rallying around the best answer.”
Good ideas can come from anywhere, Schmidt argues. So the goal is to have everyone share their perspective. This process makes sure that even the shy smart creative in the room with a good idea still gets heard. There is now a more structured approach to this strategy, which Zappos is trying, called Holacracy. Google may have its own version, but for companies looking to implement a consensus-driven management style, Holacracy outlines a step-by-step approach.
As for Schmidt’s thoughts on smart creatives, readers can check out the full list of tips here.