It’s nearly 10 times more difficult to get hired at Google than to be accepted into Harvard, according to a recent Forbes article. In fact, more than two million people apply for coveted positions at Google every year, and only the elite few make the cut.


So how does Google separate new hires from also-rans? Through rigorous hiring methods. Let’s take a closer look at how Google’s setting the bar when it comes to hiring top talent.

1. Standards Matter

Google was once famously known for its arsenal of complicated brainteasers. While the company is rumored to have given up on the puzzles, it remains committed to consistency in terms of how hiring decisions are made. Google avoids ending up in any grey areas by sticking to a well-defined rubric under any and every circumstance. Not only does this support (consistently!) smart hiring decisions, but it also helps dodge issues like hiring bias and nepotism.

2. The Power of the Crowd

Maybe you were being pressured to fill a position. Maybe a particular candidate made such a good impression that you overlooked a critical missing skill. Whatever happened, you’re not alone: all hiring managers have — at one point or another — messed up. To avoid this situation, Google hires are not made by managers but by a committee. This consensus-based system mitigates poor decision-making at the individual level.

3. It’s a Waiting Game

Sure, it’s important to fill job openings. But the truth is that filling a vacancy with the wrong candidate can be more problematic than the alternative. Google never settles for less just because a job has been open longer than desired. While recruiters may need to step up their game, hiring managers never need to lower their expectations. Waiting for the right candidate can be frustrating, but “fit” can’t be rushed.

4. Talk the Talk

Today’s job applicants prize transparency above all else. Google gives it to them…and then some. Google is known for being forthcoming about everything from exactly what to expect during an interview to next steps — or lack thereof, for candidates who don’t make the cut. This is more than just a courtesy; it’s a form of brand building which helps keep Google’s name atop the list of the world’s most sought after employers.

There’s no denying that recruiters and hiring managers are under a tremendous amount of pressure. Keeping Google’s hiring practices in mind can help keep your hiring decisions aligned with your organization’s long-term strategic goals.

For more helpful insights into the hiring process, check out this Talent Acquisition Case Study from WittyParrot.

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