Monday, February 8, 2010

Using Technology

This extract is from Think Twice by Michael J. Mauboussin.

Flooded with candidates and aware of the futility of most interviews, Google decided to create algorithms to identify attractive potential employees. First, the company asked seasoned employees to fill out a three-hundred-question survey, capturing details about their tenure, their behavior, and their personality. The company then compared the survey results to measures of employee performance, seeking connections. Among the findings, Google executives recognized that academic accomplishments did not always correlate with on-the-job performance.

A few observations:

a) Companies tend to fall back upon trusted means to derive solutions: so you know that if it is Google, then it has to be an algorithm.

b) 300-question survey? 300? I will be surprised if any answers after the first 10 questions made any sense.

c) "Academic accomplishments did not always correlate with on-the-job performance". I hope the survey resulted in some other meaningful conclusions also. 'Did not always correlate' is neither here nor there.

d) In his book, Think Twice, Mauboussin seeks to establish "Use Technology When Possible" by referring to this Google exercise. Is this the best example he could get of use of technology to solve organisational problems?

PS: Ok! I could get the original article that Think Twice refers to. It is called Google Answer to Filling Jobs Is an Algorithm.

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Anjana said...

This is by far, the most simplistic way of identifying solutions for effective recruitment. The survey, of course, flouts every market research principle. A 300 - question survey is ridiculuous and the observation on academic accomplishments and correlation with on- the -job performance is at best, laughable.First of all, I think a qualitative research study would have been more insightful. I have a few more questions. Why only seasoned employees and who are the seasoned employees. What about personal biases, when capturing own behaviour, personality etc. It should have been a 360 degree survey, if at all. The algorithm is totally incredible. If only things were that simplistic.

Ok one last question, kind of unrelated, but do you read fiction, at all? (apart from Harry Potter, of course) Your library shows no evidence.

ARJuna said...

I am sending this mail for a reason. I am turning 20 years old on 11th February, Thursday. This isn’t just any other birthday. It’s a coming of age of sorts and more importantly it is the day I cease to be a teenager. I pass on from being a Teen to an Adult.

I want to take this opportunity to connect with teens and adults alike who share my love for blogging. I want to know their views on the teenage and teens.

If you are interested to do a guest post for my blog, please make a note of the following:

1. Send me a reply on as soon as possible so that I know you are interested (please mention your mail id with which I can send you an invite to co author my blog).

2. As soon as I receive your mail I will add you as a member of my blog until 15th February, Monday.

3. You can publish your post anytime in that period though it would be preferable if you could post on or before 11th February, Thursday (so that it can coincide with my ‘coming of age’)

4. I have given a few pointers below to give you some food for thought about what you can blog about in your post.

The guidelines for your post are as follows:

1. What are the most cherished memories that you associate with your teenage?

2. Times have changed – What do you think is the difference between teenagers of yesteryears and those of today?

4. What kind of trials & tribulations, internal conflicts, successes and failures did you face as a teenager?

5. Any precious piece of wisdom you realised as a teenager?

6. What does coming of age mean to you? When do you feel you came of age?

7. If you are a parent then you are welcome to share a parent’s perspective of your kids who are/will be teenagers.

These are just guidelines; you can choose to adhere to all/some of them but remember your style, creativity and opinion are more important.

Looking forward to your reply

My Library