Books That Changed My Mind This Year: Fortune Staff Picks
12 must-read books, new and old

How Google Works, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg (2014)
—Matt Heimer, senior editor
I’ve been involved in making hiring decisions for about a decade, and in my experience the process has always been very bureaucratic: The HR department gathers the resumes; the managers review them in a systematic way; the promising candidates are brought in for relatively grueling interviews with The Boss. So it was a liberating surprise to read Schmidt’s and Rosenberg’s chapters about the recruiting and hiring process at Google (now Alphabet) where Schmidt is executive chairman and Rosenberg is a senior advisor. Finding job candidates is essentially a crowdsourced task whose guiding ethos is the phrase, “Everyone knows someone great.” For current employees, producing a stream of hiring referrals is part of the job description—it’s factored into performance reviews. For the company, the process is a way to ensure that the cream of the crop of “smart creatives” keeps coming to the Googleplex, even as the company grows ever larger. There are dozens of reasons to turn to a book about Google for business insights, of course, but this is the revelation that made the biggest impression on me.
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