Sean and Michal of Webanywhere
Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg have recently published a book called “How Google Works”. In it, the former CEO of Google and now Chairman Eric and his product guru Jonathan describe what has made Google successful.
One of their ideas is to organise the business around the people with the biggest impact. The 2 pizza rule from Jeff Bezos is recommended when getting started with projects. A small team that can be fed by 2 pizzas can be highly effective. The 7 rule explains how each manager in a business should have at least 7 direct line reports, as this keeps the organisation flat and avoids micromanagement. Eric and Jonathan actually recommend that organisational reorganisation should be done in a day and the remaining issues left to the smart creatives in the business to sort out.
So what is and who are these smart creatives? Firstly, they are learning animals with lots of curiosity. Of course being smart creatives they are obviously smart people. They want to make the world a better place and are always thinking of a better way of doing things. Smart creatives have a growth mindset and can live with ambiguity.
If smart creatives are what’s needed how do you get them? Google take the whole hiring process very seriously – so much so that every candidate’s data sheet was vetted by Larry Page until recently. Hiring is not just the job of management – it’s the job of everyone in the business. Google only hires great candidates. Great candidates are smart, ethical people who will challenge the organisation. These smart creatives want to make the product much better and get stuff done. They are passionate and believe in collaboration over competition.
Google believes in relationships, not hierarchies, and a culture of ‘Yes’. We all need to hire smart creatives who have an upward career trajectory. We must expand the field of potential candidates and not just recruit for now, but for the future. If we are to become smart creatives ourselves we must become learning animals.
I have written in the past about our fruitful relationship with the Bradford University School of Management, and would like to let you know about a fantastic project we have collaborated on recently.
Webanywhere linked up with a group of students at the School of Management looking at entrepreneurship. As part of their final project the students met with business leaders in the Bradford area to look at the real life challenges facing their organisations, and were tasked with creating solutions.
A major issue for Webanywhere at the moment is managing recruitment. We are growing fast with new vacancies being created all the time (check out our Careers page to see our current vacancies – as you can see there are plenty of opportunities for the best and brightest!). As a result, we set the students the challenge of how to recruit and retain employees who are aligned with our company values.
I hosted a visit from the group to our offices in Keighley, providing them with an overview of our history, our culture and values, and our goals for the future. Our HR team then worked closely with the group on the specifics of our recruitment process: the type of people we look for and the issues we face in ensuring we recruit those able to drive growth and innovation
The students interviewed staff face to face, sent out staff surveys, and compiled an incredibly insightful report featuring several eminently practical solutions to the challenges we face.
I was incredibly impressed with the results of our collaboration, and I was not the only one! This Telegraph and Argus article details the positive impact another group of students from the Bradford School of Management had on this year Positive Bradford campaign.
We will be keeping in touch with the group, as it contains some exceptional individuals with bright futures, who would fit right in here at Webanywhere. We are already working on a new project with web development students at the University on an interactive online recruitment tool – watch this space!