In an article titled “How Google Picks New Employees (Hint: It’s Not About Your Degree),” Forbes magazine contributor Erika Andersen says the U.S. corporate giant has five basic attributes it looks for in candidates wanting to join the company. She says Google deems theses attributes more important than how well an applicant performed in college.
- An ability to learn. “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage” an applicant can have.
- The ability to guide and influence others to achieve a needed outcome, regardless of their job titles. This modern form of leadership includes knowing when to step back and let someone else take that role.
- Humility to balance a passion. Humility includes being open to someone who may have a better idea than you or know more about how to make something work. When a person has both a strong drive to make things better and “an assumption that other have as much to offer or more, that person tends to be both enormously effective individually and a wonderfully useful member of any team.”
- The ability to take ownership — to take responsibility for solving problems and moving the organization ahead. Employers need people who are internally motivated to find out how to make things better.
- Expertise. Anderson notes that Google puts this attribute last because while workers need the required technical ability, some experts may be “more likely to simply default to the tried-and-true” and not be open to new ideas.