Overview of Talent at Google

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Talent is one of the most significant resources in the modern world. Every large corporation does its best to employ many talented individuals because they are expected to make a difference. It is so because such people, for example, can find the most useful solutions to existing issues. That is why firms invest much of their time and effort in identifying and developing talent among their employees. Now, there are many theories that address the phenomena above. Thus, the principal task of the given paper is to comment on the available approaches, analyse them and explain what options are the most suitable for Google.

Theoretical Background

As has already been mentioned, there exist numerous opinions concerning talent measurement and development. Sometimes, they can offer contradictory thoughts on the concepts under consideration, which is subject to ambiguity. That is why it is necessary to understand these theoretical concepts and assess how they will work in practice to find the best ideas. Thus, the given section will only present abstractive information on identifying and developing talent.

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Talent Identification

It is a complicated process to identify and measure talent, and numerous options are available here. Companies are free to choose between traditional and innovative approaches. As for traditional ones, they are mainly based on personal communication between candidates and employers. It refers to job interviews, cognitive ability tests, personality inventories as well as many others, and their effectiveness is proved by industrial-organizational psychology (Chamorro-Premuzic, Winsborough, Sherman & Hogan, 2016). Furthermore, Foster (2017) admits that “the feedback from peers, colleagues and managers” is another way to identify talented individuals (p. 9). It is so because any superior skills and qualities manifest themselves in practice. The given idea is supported by Tyskbo (2019), who states that performance evaluation is the most effective tool to determine whether some employees are gifted. These approaches are the easiest ways to cope with the task under consideration, but it should take a while to obtain results from them. In addition to that, the modern world is developing, and it is rational to imply some innovative strategies to identify talent in the technological and digital society.

In this case, it is reasonable to understand that talent is not an isolated phenomenon. Thus, Lai and Ishizaka (2020) explain that it is necessary to analyse how a person can contribute to the team’s effectiveness “instead of focusing on individuals’ abilities and potential” (p. 10). It is possible to predict this fact by applying some up-to-date techniques. On the one hand, many companies now benefit from using social media to evaluate their candidates (Chamorro-Premuzic et al., 2016). This approach is useful because modern people tend to use the profiles to share their abilities with the world. Consequently, recruiters can analyse these online data to define whether a person has talent because many specialists state that social media profiles are polished resumes.

On the other hand, it is also rational to use innovative tools. Chamorro-Premuzic et al. (2016) explain that it relates to phone metadata analysis to identify candidates’ personalities. It means that recruiters draw attention to “call frequency, duration, location” and other parameters to reveal to what extent an individual is focused on performing their job functions (Chamorro-Premuzic et al., 2016, p. 626). In addition to that, some companies try to measure talent with the help of puzzle-solving games on mobile phones. These specific applications are useful for firms to see whether a person has sufficient skills and abilities to make a difference for a particular company. At the same time, applicants will also appreciate this approach because many of them spend much time playing games.

Talent Developing

Once talent is identified, companies should draw their attention to its development. According to Khoreva, Vaiman and Kostanek (2019), including talented individuals into high-performing teams is one of the most common ways of talent development. In this case, gifted persons cooperate with one another, which contributes to knowledge sharing within groups (Esfahani, 2020). Kunasegaran, Ismail, Rasdi, Ismail and Ramayah (2016) stipulate that long-term planning is essential here, and this phenomenon can be achieved within the talent pools. In addition to that, Esfahani (2020) argues that training is useful to develop talent. However, Bartz (2018) admits that training is narrower than talent development because the latter one refers to the process when persons acquire knowledge and skills that are beyond their present professional functions. That is why Bartz (2018) mentions that it is useful to identify the strengths of talented staff members and make these individuals apply their knowledge and skills in practice. This approach requires employers and recruiters to take essential managerial efforts.

Recommendations

Since many scientific works are devoted to talent identification and development, it is not a surprise that gifted individuals are significant for every company. That is why various businesses should do their best to attract talented employees and contribute to the improvement of their knowledge and skills. Consequently, the present section will explain how Google can improve its approach to measuring and developing talent within its workforce.

To begin with, one should state that the existing strategies of identifying talent at Google try to reflect changes in society. Thus, Sutton (2015) admits that the company has refused to rely on brainteaser-type questions. Furthermore, Google does not draw attention to candidates’ grade point average from university. It is so because these two phenomena do not have any connection to future performance. As an alternative, the company uses structured behaviour interviews to identify whether a candidate has sufficient problem-solving skills.

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The information above denotes that Google focuses on traditional talent identification approaches. That is why a suitable recommendation is to complement them with modern strategies. Thus, it is useful to check candidates’ social media profiles and, especially, LinkedIn. It is so because these resources can have more information compared to standard resumes. Individuals tend to share their strengths via social media, which allows the company to find the true self of a person. However, this strategy implies a limitation that refers to the fact that people only distribute the information that is advantageous for them because individuals pretend to be better than they are. Consequently, Google should not take the content of social media profiles for granted, which means that additional talent measurement approaches are also needed.

One can say that the use of puzzle-solving games as a talent identification tool is a suitable option. On the one hand, the relevance of mobile games has been described in the previous section. On the other hand, since Google poses as a successful company that offers innovative solutions to the existing issues, it should use unusual methods. In this case, it will be reasonable to design specific mobile applications that will assess applicants based on their leadership, role-related knowledge, problem-solving skills and gogleyness. The four are the most significant phenomena that are indicative of talented individuals (Sutton, 2015).

In addition to that, it is necessary to comment on how it is possible to develop talent at Google. Sutton (2015) admits that the company does its best to provide its employees with famous perks. As a result, people enjoy spending time at work, which increases their productivity. As has been mentioned above, creating talent pools and high-performance groups is a useful way of developing talent, but this option implies both strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, it is beneficial for the firm when talented individuals are grouped. Talent pools are useful when it is necessary to find a candidate, while teams that only consist of gifted persons are productive. On the other hand, this strategy leads to discrimination in the workplace. It relates to the fact that depression is a typical problem among those people who are excluded from the talent pools and high-performance groups (Swailes & Blackburn, 2016).

The information above means that talent development is a complicated process that requires deliberate decisions to result in positive outcomes. Since the talent pools have some features of discrimination, it is better to invest in the development of strengths among talented individuals. This approach requires an effective management system with professional and experienced recruiters. They should incorporate gifted persons in the team, while the development of their strengths can be possible if they are asked to perform tasks that are outside of their direct responsibilities. An essential limitation of this strategy refers to the fact that its effectiveness will depend on how well the recruiters perform their duties. However, the main advantage of this approach relates to the fact that talented individuals will positively influence the whole company, contributing to better performance.

Conclusion

In the modern world, large corporations draw much attention to talent and talented individuals because the two are the most significant phenomena. This topic is popular in research because many works are devoted to the issues of talent identification and development. Numerous studies stipulate that companies can utilize traditional and innovative approaches to measure talent, while its development can be possible with the help of talent pools, high-performance groups and specific management strategies. However, a Google case study has revealed that it is more reasonable to identify talent by combining traditional and innovative approaches, while strengths management is suitable for talent development.

References

Bartz, D. E. (2018). Components for talent development of staff members. International Journal of Organizational Theory and Development, 6(1), 1-10.

Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Winsborough, D., Sherman, R. A., & Hogan, R. (2016). New talent signals: Shiny new objects or a brave new world? Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 9(3), 621-640.

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Esfahani, H. D. (2020). Talent acquisition and development in global companies (based on a study on Nexans Group). Web.

Foster, C. (2017). Talent management. Web.

Khoreva, V., Vaiman, V., & Kostanek, E. (2019). Talent identification transparency: An alternative perspective. European Journal of International Management, 13(1), 25-40.

Kunasegaran, M., Ismail, M., Rasdi, R. M., Ismail, I. A., & Ramayah, T. (2016). Talent development environment and workplace adaptation. European Journal of Training and Development, 40(6), 370-389.

Lai, Y.-L., & Ishizaka, A. (2020). The application of multi-criteria decision analysis methods into talent identification process: A social psychological perspective. Journal of Business Research, 109, 637-647.

Sutton, A. (2015). Work psychology in action. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan.

Swailes, S., & Blackburn, M. (2016). Employee reactions to talent pool membership. Employee Relations, 38(1), 112-128.

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Tyskbo, D. (2019). Competing institutional logics in talent management: Talent identification at the HQ and a subsidiary. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. Web.

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