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What Do Facebook, Google, and Uber Have In Common When It Comes to Hiring?

The way we work is changing – and the way we attract the most spectacular talent is changing with it. It’s certainly no coincidence that these companies have a reputation for hiring the best and brightest, but how is it that they are able to find out who the best and brightest are? Here’s a hint – it’s not through interviews. As many of us know, interviewing is rarely an exact science. Sometimes the best candidates in the interview turn out to be terrible in the workplace. In fact, this problem is so endemic that according to Laslo Block, Senior Vice-President of operations at Google ’Interviews are a waste of time… 99.4% of the time you are confirming the impression formed in the first 10 seconds.’

Want another hint? They don’t train average employees to be superstars either – most research shows that traditional training processes do little to promote a sustained increase in employee performance. So what do they do? They measure general mental ability to hire the performers from the 90th percentile right away – those who will start doing great work without needing training. Further, they measure a candidate’s personality to make sure that they have the right attitudes and values to fit in with the company and team they’re going to be working with.

Here’s how Facebook, Uber, and Google use data to make better hiring decisions:

  • Facebook: The data shows that the top 1% of employees often outperform average workers by 125% or more. And this discrepancy is even more pronounced in other industries – star computer programmers are eight times more productive than average ones. Facebook recognised this, and came up with a unique recruitment strategy. They use competency based assessment to match the candidate with Facebook’s culture, and even go so far as to tailor or even create jobs to match the best candidate’s skills and personality. And from what we can tell it’s working, Facebook receive over a quarter of a million job applications per year. But intelligent, data-based hiring processes have allowed them to meet the challenge, last year Facebook increased their number of employees by 48%, and were hiring nearly 11 people a day on average.
  • Uber: The new and improved taxi service has implemented psychometric testing to build a reputation for unsurpassed safety. In the past, Uber has been criticized as being unsafe due to their reliance on drivers without a taxi licence – and these criticisms are not unfounded – there have been several incidents where drivers have assaulted passengers. In order to overcome this they implemented personality tests to screen out those who may be less than safe. In Mexico, Uber has implemented a system where they look at how prone candidates are to violence, criminal association, or substance abuse in order to ensure that their drivers are safe. And it has seen enough success that the initiative is soon to be implemented in cities around South America.
  • Google: Tim Brown – author of Change By Design says that ‘it should be no surprise that Google has developed unique and profoundly effective approaches to culture, talent, and leadership.’ Unsurprisingly for Google, their approach is data-based – Google’s data shows that a top technologist is up to 300 times more effective than an average one, so they made it their business to ensure that they are only hiring the best. Google developed a unique algorithm to predict the top performers, and it works so well that they believe it only misses 1.5% of potential performers. The results speak for themselves, each and every Google employee generates over $1 million dollars in revenue every year.


Hiring can be a struggle – but by utilising the power of data it doesn’t have to be. Facebook, Google, and Uber are just a few of the massive companies who are hiring smarter. Best of all, you don’t need a hundred person HR department and a data-scientist whose salary is in the 6 figures to utilise data in recruiting. Talegent Empower has been built from the ground up to put to power of competency based assessment in your hands. Empower is easy-to-use, and you can pay as you go by credit card – no need for a contract. Just pick a candidate, pick the role they’re applying for, and we’ll take care of the rest. You’ll get a full report which tells you exactly how well they’re suited to performing in your company.

Register for Empower today, and you’ll receive 50 points, allowing you to assess up to 10 potential candidates absolutely free. So what are you waiting for? Supercharge your recruitment today.

1 Comment
  • Jane Reddiex
    Posted at 22:52h, 22 September Reply

    Building a job role around a candidates strengths is certainly innovative, but it’s unlikely to replace the traditional hiring process anytime soon

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