How not to recruit employees

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talent development

Developing your human capital.

In the middle of last week, I shared an article highlighting that Google doesn’t employ grad students based on their GPA or even from Ivy League schools.

"Google has spent years analyzing who succeeds at the company, which has moved away from a focus on GPAs, brand name schools, and interview brain teasers."

And then on the weekend, I see two classifieds from world famous companies inviting applications for management trainee positions. One was Nestle and the other was Mondelez. One European and the other American.

Both companies were looking to fill management trainee positions. Both wanted graduates with a CGPA above 3.0

What a contrast these two companies are from Google.

Are these companies ignorant and living in the stone age by requiring CGPA of 3.5 and 3.2 respectively?

Is CGPA the indicator of high performing employees?

From these requirements, can someone point out that Mondelez’s standards are lower – that they employ less competent people?

No empirical research supports such a view. CGPA may be related to IQ, but all recent research indicates that a great leader has high EQ and SQ (social quotient).

I hope Nestle and Mondelez actually want these management trainees to become leaders one day.

If Google’s formula works, why would you want to regress and employ people with high CGPA?

I wonder if Nestle and Mondelez are not aware of profiling as a far better indicator of employee potential than CGPA? I can’t believe this as many multinational companies use these tests regularly.

So what’s going on in Nestle Malaysia and Mondelez Malaysia?

And on the same day, Manipal University Group took out an ad, claiming that Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO) is an alumnus.

Thus they were implying that Nadella got the job at Microsoft years ago because he came from India’s Ivy League. Well, maybe that’s the way Bill Gates employed and we can see their continuous decline.

And for sure Nadella didn’t get the CEO post based on his Manipal degree or CGPA, but his leadership capabilities (hopefully).

In fact it’s better to identify future leaders is by evaluating their abilities. Here’s a list of ten…


1. Propensity to lead. They step up to leadership opportunities.

2. They bring out the best in others.

3. Authenticity. They have integrity, admit mistakes, and don't let their egos get in their way.

4. Receptivity to feedback. They seek out and welcome feedback.

5. Learning agility.

6. Adaptability. Adaptability reflects a person's skill at juggling competing demands and adjusting to new situations and people. A key here is maintaining an unswerving, "can do" attitude in the face of change.

7. Navigates ambiguity. This trait enables people to simplify complex issues and make decisions without having all the facts.

8. Conceptual thinking. Like great chess players and baseball managers, the best leaders always have the big picture in mind. Their ability to think two, three, or more moves ahead is what separates them from competitors.

9. Cultural fit.

10. Passion for results.
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