This article was written by Thomas L. Friedman as he set out to talk to Lazlo Bock (the man in charge if hiring) at Google after hearing that in an interview he had said that G.P.A.s and test grades mean nothing when they are looking for new hires. With Google being so successful, Friedman wanted to talk to Bock himself and ask him some questions himself.
Friedman writes that Bock says, "Good grades certainly don’t hurt." The fact is that many jobs do take math and computing skills, but they look at more than just grades. He also points out that if your grades show your skill in an area, it would only be advantageous. He states that at google, there are 5 hiring attributes they are looking for. "If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly." He continues saying that second is "leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership... What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power."
Third and fourth, Bock states is humility and ownership respectively. He explains these by pointing out theveryone needs to have a sense of ownership in their work. Everyone has something to contribute to the group and then they need to know when to step back. Basically, know how much is your responsibility and when you need to leave it to others. He points out that people who are very successful in life don't often experience failures, and therefore, they don't learn as much. Someone with humility and ownership can can take, understand, and learn from failure, while at the same time taking responsibility for it.
Finally, they look at expertise ("the least important attribute"). The way Bock sees it is that this is least important because an expert will know what to do because they have done it many times before, whereas the non-expert will likely FIND the right answer, given the time. So while it is important, it is not the most important attribute.
I agree with what Bock says and his approach reflects what teachers need to ensure is taught in school. Don't teach to the test, but teach skills. Yes, there is content that needs to be taught, but soft skills will better serve them in life then knowing the date that the French Monarchy fell giving rise to the next Era of the French Revolution. If someone can learn, has emergent leadership potential, has humility and ownership in their work, and has at least some expertise, they would be a great asset to any job. As discussed earlier in this blog, all of these things are important for life, and so it is no surprise that one of the most successful international technology businesses hires based mostly on these attributes.
Fiedman, Thomas L. (2014, February 22). "How to Get a Job at Google." The New York Times. Web. Retrieved on 16 December 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-to-get-a-job-at-google.html?_r=2
Richard Sable is from Vista, CA and graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2014 with a B.A. in Social Science and is currently working on his single subject teaching credential in the field of Social Science at CSU, San Marcos.