In recruitment, there is no magic formula. On paper a candidate may seem ideal, only for there to be something intangibly lacking at interview stage. Others, who may have been perfect for the role, may fall through the net due to a poor CV. Recruitment is more of an art than a science, and gut instinct combined with years of experience has shown to be the most reliable method of hiring the perfect fit.
How do the ‘big’ companies do it?
Google’s process seems relatively simple. Once the candidate has applied for the job and their CV has been screened, they’ll receive a telephone call, followed by a more comprehensive phone interview. If they come through that, they’ll be invited for a face-to-face interview where the real challenge begins. Google say that they’re looking for people with a view to the long-term – someone whose skills, experience and personality make them a good fit with the internet giant’s ethos.
Laszlo Bock, Google’s head of people operations in its California HQ, notes that they look for four things: “general cognitive ability” – the ability to absorb information, “emergent leadership” – the willingness to solve problems, “expertise for the job” and “googleyness,” which he describes as intellectual humility or the willingness to admit you’re wrong.
On the website of MI5, Britain’s counter-intelligence and security agency, the recruitment process is described as ‘transparent’ and, naturally varies with the role applied for. It is also extremely long, sometimes taking as much as nine months to complete, in order for candidates to be vetted due to the sensitive nature of the work involved. Candidates are pre-screened to ensure that they meet MI5’s initial criteria. They are then asked to begin the application online and, if selected to continue, they will undergo a series of competency-based selection processes. The utmost secrecy is involved with every stage – candidates are advised not to mention their application and a ‘cover’ story is offered to each candidate throughout the process to ensure discretion.
What are the alternatives?
Despite all the stages that organisations like Google and MI5 go through, even they can sometimes get it wrong, leading to time and money being wasted – something no company of whatever size can readily afford. This is where the expertise and experience of a recruitment specialist can come into its own. A really great recruitment agency will work alongside your HR team, not in opposition to it or in competition with it, to complement your own resources and provide a wider perspective on the recruitment problem you’re facing at that moment in time.
So whether you’re looking for permanent, temporary, contract or interim professional staff, call us today and speak to one of our experts.