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Google Businesses Patents

You're Only As Hirable As Your Google+ Circles 195

theodp writes "A pending Google patent for Identifying Prospective Employee Candidates via Employee Connections lays out plans for data mining employees' social graphs to find top job candidates. According to the patent application, the system would consider factors including the performance of the employees at the company whose circles you are in — under the assumption that the friends of top performers are more likely to be top performers themselves. It's the invention of three Googlers, including an HR VP who was quoted recently in an article that questioned the wisdom of certain Google hiring practices said to encourage 'echo chamber' hiring."
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You're Only As Hirable As Your Google+ Circles

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  • Management (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 03, 2013 @08:37AM (#45316885)

    Give them a yardstick and they think they can measure anything. Lines of code, number of published papers, gene sequence. The clearest result of risk management is that you stop taking risks: You're getting old, Google.

  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 03, 2013 @08:39AM (#45316891)

    Sounds like technological quasi-nepotism to me.

  • Oh good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 03, 2013 @08:41AM (#45316901)

    The work place becomes EVEN MORE of a popularity contest. Linked-in is already there with this bullshit. Google wants to make it worse 3.

  • Nepotism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stickerboy ( 61554 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @08:41AM (#45316907) Homepage

    Infinite computing power to apply analytics to hiring practices, and they end up with nepotism. Truly garbage in, garbage out. I bet the friends of the HR VP are all top candidates...

  • patented..? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @08:52AM (#45316939)

    thank you Google, once you have that patent other companies won't be able to use this stupid concept for hiring without breaking the law - and I guess every failed candidate will be first up to call in the lawyers if if becomes apparent this bullshit was used against them.

    Well, I can dream that a the patent system has some valid use, can't I?

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @08:56AM (#45316965)

    I don't really use social networks at all and I definitely don't have my family or any (current or former) colleagues in my circles or "friends" lists. I don't understand people who do that. I don't need or want to know every second of every day of their entire lives, whether they're the guy I used to work with at the office or my own mom (I don't even know who in my family has social network accounts and I don't care). They don't want or need to know any of that about me, either.

    The only place this would be remotely relevant would be at LinkedIN . . . where all of this pretty much already occurs, anyway.

  • Google Mindset (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goody ( 23843 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @09:11AM (#45317029) Journal

    Google considers Google Apps a viable replacement for Microsoft Office, so I can see where they would think Googe+ circles are a replacement for real interviewing and hiring skills.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @09:11AM (#45317031)

    Sounds like technological quasi-nepotism to me.

    You have to go to the right schools, work for the right company and know the right people. Otherwise GoogleJudge will condemn you as raw material for soylent green tacos. Google: making a dystopian future reality today.

  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Sunday November 03, 2013 @09:16AM (#45317057) Journal

    A week ago, I was logged into Gmail and looking at Youtube when this window popped up asking which name I wanted to use. I didn't look that closely at it, as I was busy. Just quickly clicked on what I thought would maintain the status quo. Now my Youtube handle has replaced my name in Gmail. I didn't want my Youtube and Gmail accounts linked. It seems the actions that one time popup started can't be undone. Attempting to delete the Google+ profile that was automatically created somehow isn't working.

    How did you delete Google+ without losing Gmail? Or did you delete everything?

    Google made a mess, and I'm not happy about it. Keep hearing all these stories about Google doing questionable things, even slightly evil things, but until this happened to me, I didn't pay much attention. And now they're rolling out this tool that could unfairly affect employment prospects. What are they thinking these days?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 03, 2013 @09:38AM (#45317119)

    This. I don't consider myself a "top performing programmer", but I have worked with some of those, and to a person, they don't have any interest in social networking. They consider it a pointless, mundane waste of time.

    There appears to be a strong inverse correlation between use of social networking, and intelligence.

  • Re:Remind me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 03, 2013 @09:43AM (#45317139)

    No, I'm working and getting results. I'm also wondering why on earth I should use Google+.
    I've got an account, but didn't find any use for it beyond Google Wave, and Google Wave I dismissed a loong time before the market did.

    If a company requires me to waste time fooling around on a proprietary and unstable platform giving out my personal, social and work information for free, then it's a good signal for me to avoid said company.

    Captcha: spectrum

  • Re:Management (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @10:09AM (#45317257)

    The clearest result of risk management is that you stop taking risks

    Mark Twain has been reincarnated in the 21st century. Seriously, that's the best damn description of risk management I've ever heard.

    P.S. Not being a credit stealer, I'll remember to attribute it Anonymous Coward. Is that a pseudonym?

  • Re:Management (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 03, 2013 @10:19AM (#45317311)

    The clearest result of risk management is that you stop taking risks knowingly

    Here fixed that for you.
    You still take insane amounts of risks, just the ones you didn't identify,which is the worst of course.

  • Re:Remind me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrmeval ( 662166 ) < minus herbivore> on Sunday November 03, 2013 @10:51AM (#45317425) Journal

    I won't hire someone who admits to being on G- or has a resume or card with G- on it. It shows an inebriated lack of the skills I need.

  • Re:Oh good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @10:51AM (#45317427)

    It just wants a piece of linkedin's pie.

  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Sunday November 03, 2013 @11:03AM (#45317473)

    It's a pretty arrogant assumption to assume that the best are where you think they are because that's where you think the best are. I'll go back in time to make my point to a chap named Charles Lindbergh who you might recall was the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean. When he accomplished his feat it surprised many, many people because he was a former pilot for the US Post Office and not a traditional glamorous background. It turned out that flying for the Post Office back then was just about the most dangerous job you could have a pilot [] with 31 out of the original 40 pilots killed.

    The presumption that the only people capable of doing a given thing well work at certain places is called arrogance, and that arrogance has cost entire countries their industry. History abounds with examples from the downfall of the American Auto industry to the rise of giants like Capital Group or Wal-Mart. You can't assume that just because someone didn't learn to do a given thing in a given circle of people that they can't do it. The arrogance of the circles also fails to understand that many people don't live in certain places (Silicon Valley etc) because they don't want to or because they can't. The entire concept of the social circle as being a decider for talent fails the tests of history with outsider after outsider unsurping the arrogant time and again in industry after industry.

  • Re:Diversity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @11:13AM (#45317525)

    "Diversity" [is] different viewpoints and different values that will help question assumptions you take for granted

    Ironically that's one of the reasons for age discrimination - the fear that old farts know too much history and have been around the block too many times to buy into the latest groupthink. Don't misunderstand me; it goes both ways. Sometimes the old farts need to be shaken up by younger people with crazy new ideas. The worst thing you can do in this industry is to have a closed mind and not want to try new things. OTOH, the old farts can tell a whippersnapper when his "new" idea has actually been tried 27 times, never worked, and most importantly, why it never worked. That's not always a death knell for a "new" idea, because sometimes the tech has changed such that it will be practical. Usually that's not the case though. At the very least, it challenges the whippersnapper to explain why it will work this time.

  • Re:The IT IN Crowd (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jonfr ( 888673 ) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @11:56AM (#45317709) Homepage

    Top performers burn out fast and do not return to the IT field.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb