An anonymous reader tipped us to a New York Times article about Google's newest HR tool: an algorithm. Starting soon, the company (which gets roughly 100,000 applications a month) will require all interested applicants to fill out an in-depth survey. They'll be using a sophisticated algorithm to work through the submitted surveys, matching applicants with positions. The company has apparently doubled in size in each of the last three years. Even though it's already 10,000 employees strong Laszlo Bock, Google's vice president for people operations, sees no reason the company won't reach 20,000 by the end of the year. This will mean hiring something like 200 people a week, every week, all year. From the article: "Even as Google tries to hire more people faster, it wants to make sure that its employees will fit into its freewheeling culture. The company boasts that only 4 percent of its work force leaves each year, less than other Silicon Valley companies. And it works hard to retain people, with copious free food, time to work on personal projects and other goodies. Stock options and grants certainly encourage employees to stay long enough to take advantage of the company's surging share price. Google's hiring approach is backed by academic research showing that quantitative information on a person's background -- called 'biodata' among testing experts -- is indeed a valid way to look for good workers."
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