Google’s Insightful Approach To Talent

google talent

Reposted from Forbes:

A recent tweet from the UK-based @hrmagazine caught my eye: “When Google hires, it deliberately looks for learners – favour the ability to learn new things over past experience.”

It also reminded me that earlier this year, one of my favorite journalists,Thomas Friedman, had written a fascinating piece for the New York Times interviewing Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of People Operations, about their talent philosophy. “The No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability,” Bock had said in that interview, “and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.”

It’s such a simple but powerful insight, as @hrmagazine too seems to appreciate.  If I had to pick one quality to build a strong team around, I don’t believe I could come up with another single attribute that would be more helpful.  And the real power behind it is that any company can benefit from it.   It’s universally applicable – whether for Google, Alibaba, the solid 160 year old life insurance insurance company I used to work for, or Joe’s Car Repair down the street.  Every kind of business can benefit from employees who simply want to learn new skills and better ways of doing things.  Let’s consider some reasons why…

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