Hire Like Google And Facebook:
Competency Based Interview Probe Your Candidates Beyond Their Technical Ability
In a recent New York Times interview with Laszlo Bock – the Vice President for People Operations at Google – Laszlo said that GPAs and test scores are worthless criteria for hiring and that almost 14 percent of some Google teams consist of people without any college education. While good grades don’t hurt and specialized skill sets are required for many jobs, there are some hiring attributes – or what we call 21st century skills – that make prospective employees more desirable to employers all over the world: leadership, personal and intellectual humility, the ability to attribute some purpose to your work, and the ability to take ownership of the task at hand. Bock mused that while you can train new employees for many technical abilities, a candidate without these personal characteristics was a non-starter.
This information makes us wonder how companies like Facebook and Google probe for the skills they look for and hire the talent profiles they need?, as the 21st century skills are very difficult to assess, and very difficult to reduce these skills into discrete qualifications and quantifiable metrics in the same way we assess recognized degrees and numerical grades. It’s clear that we need 21st century methods to assess 21st century skills.
Well structured competency based interviews are among the most commonly used style of interviews nowadays. Employers all over the world use competency based interviewing to evaluate a candidate’s level of competence across the key competencies of the role: can a candidate think innovatively? Collaborate with other team members? Assimilate feedback and coaching? Will the candidate be adaptable to new environments and successfully integrate with teams?
Competency based interviews can predict employee performance on the job by providing the employer with certain selection tools and procedures; These tools can be tailored to a particular job in a particular organization, and are statistically calibrated to provide reliable predictive results (i.e., candidates who score highly on these tests also tend to perform well after they’re hired). Also the probing for 21st century skills provide an extremely valuable lens through which companies can define what to teach and not teach a new hire on the job.
We’d like to hear about your experiences hiring for 21st century skills.