How To Hire The Best – Not !

The Cooper Review – Google, Amazon and Facebook’s Secrets To Hiring The Best People

It’s not April 1st any more and I have no wish to cause anyone to lose their job (as Google apparently managed to do yesterday with their April Fool’s Day ‘Drop the mic’ trick) However, I couldn’t resist sharing this tongue in cheek and very funny article that purports to set out 10 ways in which the cream of the hi tech companies recruit the best talent.

These are really funny because they use exactly the kind of language so beloved of HR people, but also because they’re almost plausible. Worse, can say with hand on heart that I’ve experienced a few of these personally (of course, I promise, only from the candidate side and never as the interviewer!)

Some of them have a general theme of disturbing the equilibrium of the candidate to see how they will react. I had a very mememorable experience of this when looking for a job after my graduation in the mid-80’s (yes, I’m really that old). Firstly, I was called to attend the interview at 5.00pm. As I arrived the receptionist was packing to leave the office at the end of the day. The place was in an out of the way place and it was quite challenging to get there. I didn’t have a car. Then, I was basically left sitting in a corridor with dim lighting and nobody around until nearly 6.30 – no refreshments, no nothing. Then, I was called in to an office where two men sat. For an hour and a half they played ‘good cop/ bad cop’. The most memorable exchange was with bad cop:

Bad cop: What newspaper do you read?

Me: The Times (sensible answer – safe, not tabloid or controversial)

Bad cop: So, you don’t read The Telegraph?

Me: Very rarely.

Bad cop: Well, how on earth do you expect to get a decent job i you don’t read The Telegraph?

Me: ……………………………..

When they had finished having their fun with this fresh faced naive student, they unlocked a door, let me out and I found myself in the middle of an industrial estate, in a place I’d never been before, after 8.00pm. I probably walked a good 3 miles before I found a bus. I think i got home around 10.30pm

They never offered me the job. Which was a shame, because I really wanted to reject it with full gusto!

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