Nowadays, start-up companies are all the rage as it is comparatively easier to venture into the business world with just a plan in hand. However, it is still prevalent that many new business owners lack the experience in terms of hiring the right employees.

Ever wondered what goes on in the hiring process of big names such as Google, Amazon or Apple? Let us take a look at some of the hiring practices of these renowned companies.

Tips to Pinpoint When Hiring

With the ever competitive market, it is not uncommon for someone to be a graduate with a degree. However, we are often reminded that big companies put the importance of quality over quantity. The following are some of the positive attributes that big names look for when they hire.

1. Integrity

You most likely have come across the saying, “Success will come and go, but integrity is forever”. Integrity begins with knowing your worth. This means that a person is completely honest with themselves and their relationships with other people. People of integrity are not afraid of admitting where they stand, in terms of their strengths and weaknesses as well as admitting to their past mistakes. One strategy that Google uses to test the integrity of a potential candidate is to carry out structured behavioural interviews that help them to assess the quality of responses. The interviews are usually behavioural or situational.

2. Leadership

Leadership is a very desirable quality because it shows how a person takes charge when faced with a challenge. Not only that, leadership is also the willingness to take on the responsibilities of other tasks while being committed to achieve the goals of an organization.

For example, Google gives a chance for their candidates to discuss situations where they are able to take the lead and know when to step back when someone else steps in. As for Amazon, they have a list of leadership principles that they follow by which includes, customer obsession, insist on the highest standards, learn and be curious, think big, frugality, etc.

3. Likeability

At times, the likeability of a candidate overweighs their skills and knowledge. The fact is that, skills can always be learned, but a person’s personality is hard to change which also tells a lot about a person. Most employers are on the lookout for people who are warm, pleasant, easy-going and most importantly cooperative with others. The key to a successful business is teamwork. Typically, people with good personalities are more popular and more effective at whatever they do.

People who hire at Apple’s retail stores put their focus on people with positive attitudes that can be gauge by their personality and enthusiasm and not how much they know about the products.

Make Your Hiring Process Stand Out

1. Google uses: Gamification

The rules are simple with Gamification. The main concept is to utilize game mechanics and design in a non-gaming type of context. At the same time, it implements important values and goals of Gamification which raises the bar in an organization’s recruiting process with a more inventive approach. It is also a method for the company to showcase the fun side of an organization while achieving recruitment targets and hiring potential candidates. Essentially, this process may be utilized in many sectors which involve engagement. Not only does it benefit the organization but the candidates as well as it give them a view into the tasks and skills of the job itself.  It’s a win-win situation.

An example of how Google utilizes Gamification is through their software writing competition, Google Code Jam. Since the start of the competition, Google has been running it for 14 years and has attracted diverse applicants from all over the world. Named as one of the most challenging programming competitions in the world, Google uses the competition as a platform to hire new talent with the right set of skills.

2. Amazon uses: Bar Raisers

Getting the most out of your employees is a simple way of putting the term “bar raisers”. The methodology to this hiring process of online shopping giant Amazon is to allocate people who are already part of the company to act as bar raisers. Vice President of Web Services Amazon, Anurag Gupta emphasizes that the key element to getting the right candidate is to hire “bar raisers” who have high standards and have an eye for talent. As soon as the role of a “bar raiser” is given to an employee, they will be included in every hiring conversation and interview loop. The difference between the hiring team and a “bar raiser” is that they are not pressured be on par with the hiring manager. However, “bar raisers” being the benchmark for the company, still need to work hand in hand and believe that the candidate has enough skill set to do the job which exceeds 50% of what the other individuals are doing. As long as they understand their role, all that is left is for the “bar raiser” is to go with the flow of the whole hiring process.

3. Smobble and Mindvalley uses: Video Cover Letters

Video cover letters are a great tool as it is a chance for hiring managers to get to know the different sides of a candidate.Through the use of video cover letter, it becomes a unique way of communication between hiring managers and the potential candidates.  Moreover, it also showcases how a candidate is able to think outside of the box. Smobble and Mindvalley are companies – both nestled in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are attracting the younger crowd. They receive thousands of applications and it can be very competitive. Thus, the ones that really stand out are the ones that sent in a video application.

After getting to know the insights of the various hiring practices of these big names, it is always advisable to choose the method that fits well with your organization’s values and goals. Learn to be flexible with your hiring practices. It is also beneficial to switch up your company’s hiring methods time after time. This is so that, you are able to have a better understanding of which of these methods work the best for your company.


This post was written by Jillian Cheong from iPrice Group.