Thursday, 25 July 2013

Google’s Deepak Ramanathan tells us what kind of people Google like to hire

I’ve mentioned this on many occasions, but one of the benefits I enjoy the most from being a student at the University of Sydney Business School is all the opportunities for interaction with industry gurus. I can honestly say that most of us a probably pretty ga-ga for Google. So I, along with many other students from the Masters of Marketing and the MBA cohort, jumped at the chance for a Q&A session with the Head of Marketing of Search at Google. Deepak Ramanathan, alumni of University of Sydney Business School, is based in Mountain View, USA, and sat down with us on Saturday 20th July to chat about what it’s like at Google.

The talk was a fantastic back and forth between students and Deepak, gaining great insight not only into Google, but many pearls of wisdom from Deepak’s meritorious career. One major take-away Deepak gave was about how to be a global company. Google, while spanning oceans and continents, is still an international company based primarily in one location. Just like many other companies. Deepak spoke about the importance of first and foremost setting up your company to be global. At Mountain View a range of people from around the world, just like Deepak, work together on the grand strategy of Google. This is not just about fulfilling a diversity requirement. Your company must be set up with different regions, and different thinking in mind in order to gain perspective from all areas.

Deepak gave the example of Google Korea. As a very successful product, Google Search had no doubt that adoption of the new would be high. However, results were not as expected. When Google looked into the matter, it was found that many Koreans thought that the website was still under construction. In comparison with existing websites, such as, which had images, weather, links and news, the Google Korea search page seemed ‘incomplete,’ and people thought, “Oh, well I’ll come back and give it a try once it’s finished!” As well as this, it is extremely difficult to type in Korean. This is why users prefer pages with links already there – because it saves them the time and hassle.

Although Google gained great insight into the Korean market, they also learned a lesson on the importance of perspective.

And of course, being Google, we were all eager to hear how to go about getting a job. Although Deepak didn’t walk us through the step-by-step process of sweet-talking our way into the heart of the tech giant, he did explain the three types of people Google likes:
  1. People who get stuff done. People who want to do things fast, experiment, and test. This is often what drives those ‘Google stories’ – the mentality of their worker’s motivation to make change happen.
  2. Be flexible. Expect things to be different, to change. While many of us get caught up on long term plans, Google likes people who don’t plan too far ahead. Especially in an ever-changing industry, you can’t expect all your plans to work out.
  3. Although echoed over and over, one word can’t be beat: Passion. It shows when people have are passionate. And Google is looking for it!
So with this in mind, go forth! Be spontaneous! Have passion! And perhaps Google will spot you a mile away from their newly refurbished Maps app, and hand you a delicious tech job on a silver platter!

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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