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A protest by Google employees last year over the company's handling of harassment charges against former executives. Photo by Bloomberg.
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Google Discourages Culture Fit in Hiring With ‘Googleyness’ Update

By
Nick Bastone
 |  Oct. 31, 2019 11:23 AM PDT
Photo: A protest by Google employees last year over the company's handling of harassment charges against former executives. Photo by Bloomberg.

When Google interviews job candidates, it has long considered a handful of attributes, including the applicants’ leadership, knowledge about the roles they are applying for and “general cognitive ability.” But in a move little noticed outside the company, Google has clarified the definition of the most sacred of those attributes—a collection of qualities it calls “Googleyness”—to avoid bias in hiring, The Information has learned.    

Google says the term still means what it has always meant—including an ability to thrive in ambiguity, value feedback and challenge the status quo—but it has quietly added language to an internal hiring guide that instructs employees to “avoid confusing Googleyness with culture fit, which can leave room for bias.” While subtle, the change represents a rare tweak to the hiring principles of a Silicon Valley giant that has long boasted about the uniqueness of its corporate culture. Increasingly though, the company has come under criticism for a lack of diversity in its workforce, along with hiring practices that could exclude people who don’t fit the traditional mold of a Google employee.

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