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Evaluating competency is key to hiring process, ex-Google recruiter says

ORLANDO, Fla. — Evaluating a candidate’s competency is key to the hiring process, and a step that financial institutions must take to combat attrition, Ginny Clarke, the former director of executive recruiting at Google, said during a keynote address at the 61st annual Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) Convention in Orlando, Fla., on Monday.  

Clarke defines competencies as “the deconstructed elements of how you do something.” “We get so caught up in: Where’d somebody go to school? Which degrees do they have? Which other companies did they work for? The pedigree myth.  

“I’m here to tell you that I’ve met some people with beautiful resumes you’d be impressed with, but they were completely incompetent,” she said.  

Evaluating competencies becomes even more important when it comes to filling leadership roles, Clarke said.  

At Google, Clarke developed a library of more than 60 leadership competencies and worked with hiring managers and recruiters when filling vacant positions to select three to five critical competencies for a specific role.  

Some include “thrives in ambiguity,” or “problem solving,” Clarke said. “Then we would create questions for the various interviewers to pose during the interview” about behaviors applicants should have exhibited.  

“I would urge you to ask questions that begin with, ‘Give me an example,’ or, ‘Can you explain how,’” Clarke said. “It’s the ‘How’ that’s important. We’re saying, ‘Have you done this before? Yes, or no?’ But they could have done [the task] poorly.”

This story first appeared on Auto Finance News, a publication of Royal Media.