How to Incorporate Google’s Team Formula Into Your Hiring Strategy

How to Incorporate Google’s Team Formula Into Your Hiring Strategy

Emily Smykal

Recruiters spend so much time searching for quality hires for their business that their own talent acquisition team might not be top of mind. But the people you work with to recruit employees are crucial to your success. The effort you put in to building long-lasting and hard working teams for your company should first be applied to your own recruiters.

A well developed talent acquisition team will be your best weapon when it comes to winning the talent war and staffing your own team. To help understand the makeup of a successful team, we reviewed recent research from Google’s People Operations. After interviewing more than 200 employees and studying over 180 teams for two years, Google identified the five most crucial aspects of their most successful teams.

You might think this research isn’t applicable to you and your talent acquisition team. Google receives applications from millions every year, ranging from PhD’s and Rhodes Scholars to self-taught programmers and Ivy League engineers. But the qualities Google found are important to any team. They found that interactions, contributions, work structures, and reception were all more important than an individuals’ qualifications. In this post we’ll discuss the five keys to a successful team, and how it relates to your hiring strategy.

1. Psychological safety: Can we take risks without feeling insecure or embarrassed?

This might sound like an odd feature–do my employees feel psychologically safe?–but Google found it’s the most important attribute a successful team can have. Taking a risk means thinking outside the box, a quality most managers desire in their staff. But it also means opening yourself up to criticism and failure.

Talent acquisition is evolving rapidly thanks to new technologies and shifting candidate preferences. Your team needs to be comfortable exploring new recruitment methods, but also asking questions about them. For instance, if a member of your team doesn’t understand the value of LinkedIn, or thinks job alerts will irritate applicants, they shouldn’t be afraid to voice their opinions and seek counterpoints from the rest of the team.

2. Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?

This dynamic mostly goes without saying–who wouldn’t want team members they can rely on? And it’s particularly important for recruiters with an unpredictable workload. Vacancies can arise out of the blue, and sourcing methods can change with new technology. Talent acquisition staff that can adapt quickly while delivering high quality work are crucial to any recruitment team.

3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?

A clear structure and well defined team goals show every team member how they fit in and what they need to achieve. Plus it helps boost psychological safety, often eliminating embarrassing questions about project outcomes and individual responsibilities. A thorough, long-term hiring strategy can provide this kind of structure and clarity for your team. And by incorporating key metrics, your recruiters can understand not just their role, but how their success, and that of the team, will be measured.

4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?

A sense of purpose at work is important for every employee as it directly relates to their commitment to the company. Your talent acquisition team should not just understand their role, but how it relates to the business as a whole. And that should include a clear purpose, making your team members feel valued. Employer branding is crucial for this issue, as it allows you to advertise meaningful roles within your team through social media, content marketing, and your career site.

5. Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

Besides a sense of purpose at work, your team needs to see and appreciate the impact of their work. If a recruiter feels their role doesn’t matter, that no one values the outcomes they achieve, they likely won’t work to their fullest potential. They might even search for a job with a greater impact elsewhere.

Engaging with your employees to connect them with your hiring strategy, and the goals of the business as a whole, can help convey the importance of their own work. Recruitment is increasingly recognized as a strategic function of every company. The direct impact your employees have here should be apparent, and praised.

Final Thoughts

Most businesses are only as strong as the people who work there. Recruiting a reliable talent acquisition team that is comfortable taking risks and knows they have a meaningful impact on the business will position you to then hire the best people for the rest of your organization. And like your hiring strategy itself, your team should be continuously improving. New recruitment technologies and trends will arise, and your team should be structured in a way that they can handle any surprises.

Google’s research also lends itself to the development of your team. It’s not enough to hire the best recruiters–they need to be cultivated over time to achieve maximum productivity. Increasing responsibilities, clear paths to advancement, and a continued sense of purpose will build loyalty and motivate your team to work harder. Your talent acquisition team should be your best brand ambassadors, so nurturing them should be a top priority.

Today’s war for talent can be won and lost based on candidate experience. Is your career site set up to convert top talent? Get a free career site assessment from one of our specialists today.
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