CASE STUDY HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGMENT: How Google Chooses Employees PLease read the case study…

CASE STUDY HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGMENT: How Google Chooses Employees PLease read the case study then answer each question in paragraph form (this has to be a 2pagepaper).

Finding the best engineers, programmers, and sales representatives is a challenge for any company, but it’s especially tough for a company growing as fast asGoogle. In recent years, the company has doubled its ranks every year and has no plans to slow its hiring. More than 100,000 job applications pour into Googleevery month, and staffers have to sort through them to fill as many as 200 positions a week. Early on, the company narrowed the pool of applicants by setting avery high bar on traditional measures such as academic success. For example, an engineer had to have made it through school with a 3.7 grade-point average. Suchcriteria helped the company find a manageable number of applicants to interview, but no one had really considered whether they were the most valid way to predictsuccess at the company. More recently, the company has tried to apply its quantitative excellence to the problem of making better selection decisions. First, itset out to measure which selection criteria were important. It did this by conducting a survey of employees who had been with Google for at least five months.These questions addressed a wide variety of characteristics, such as areas of technical expertise, workplace behavior, personality, and even some nonwork habitsthat might uncover something important about candidates. For example, perhaps subscribing to a certain magazine or owning a dog could be related to success atGoogle by indirectly measuring some important trait no one had thought to ask about. The results of the survey were compared with measures of successfulperformance, including performance appraisals, compensation, and organizational citizenship (behaving in ways that contribute to the company beyond what the jobrequires). One important lesson of this effort was that academic performance was not the best predictor of success at Google. No single factor predicted success atevery job, but a combination of factors could help predict success in particular positions. From this information, Google compiled a set of questionnaires thatwere related to success in particular kinds of work at Google: engineering, sales, finance, and human resources. Now people who apply to work at Google go onlineto answer questions such as “Have you ever started a club or recreational group?” and “Compared to other people in your peer group, how would you describe the ageat which you first got into (i.e., got excited about them, started using them, etc.) computers on a scale from 1 [much later than others] to 10 [much earlier thanothers]?” The data are analyzed by a series of formulas that compute scores from 1 to 100. The score predicts how well the applicant is expected to fit into thetype of position at Google. Michael Mumford, an expert in talent assessment at the University of Oklahoma, says that, in general, this approach to predictingperformance is effective, but only when it relies on reasonable measures. So, starting a club might be a way to measure leadership behavior, but owning a dog (ameasure Google abandoned) should be used only if the employer can find an explanation for why it is relevant.


1. Based on the information given, would you say that Google’s use of questionnaires is a reliable, valid, and generalizable way to select employees? Why or whynot?

2. How does this approach to selection contribute to making selection decisions that avoid illegal discrimination?

3. Besides the questionnaires, what other selection methods would you recommend that Google use?How would these improve selection decisions?


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