Google has a genius way to discover top talent–no degree or experience required

According to a study conducted by, Google is one of the most attractive employers in the world universumIt is taking off some of the most talented employees in the world. But it is not just the name and reputation of the search giant that is wooing the candidates. Rather, it is the requirements of the company’s role – or lack thereof.

No longer do candidates need flashy resumes and cover letters with Ivy League accolades and years of direct experience. In fact, Google is finding top talent without any degree or experience.

Google’s approach is similar to Elon Musk’s ‘2-hands test’, which finds top talent without a degree, but takes it a step further by eliminating the experience requirement. with programs like Google Project Management CertificateAn online and self-paced professional certificate course available for free CourseraGoogle is eliminating the traditional approach to staffing.

Upon completion of its certification course, Google gives interested students a shot at one of its project management roles. Instead of analyzing candidates based on their education or experience, the company measures competency based on the quality of their research.

In turn, what Google is looking for is not only the best project managers in the world, but project managers who have the exact skills they are looking to help take their teams to the next level.

It democratizes the employment landscape and is actually doing so by employing three key components to find top talent. Almost any business can embrace the core framework behind a trillion-dollar company’s genius strategy to build a better team.

Discover innovators by casting a wide net

Google’s free project management certification course is effectively helping to make its project manager positions open to anyone. By eliminating standard restrictions such as higher education and direct experience, it casts a much wider net on the potential candidate pool.

The reality is that there are many professions that do not require a degree to perform. Ignoring candidates without a degree in a certain field or without a degree at all can be detrimental to finding the best fit for a particular role within your organization.

The same happens with direct experience in many cases. There are instances where it is to the advantage of the employer that the candidate lacks prior experience in the field. This is especially true for innovative teams or organizations that don’t want things to be done the way they’ve always been, or when businesses are trying to stand out from their competition by doing things differently. Huh. Zero Experience gives a tremendous amount of fresh perspective. In fact, according to fast companyOne company found that employees who had no experience outperformed employees with 10 to 15 years of sales experience.

Prioritize the assessment of competency

Of course, the goal is not to get a high number of applicants, but to find the best candidate for a role. And so it won’t aid Google’s efforts to solicit more applicants if it has no way of fielding candidates and getting fit. The reason its free online training course is genius is that it acts as a portfolio for applicants.

What this means for Google is that there is a tremendous amount of insight into each applicant from a collection of completed assignments. The result is that each applicant is able to provide a portfolio showcasing their work, thought processes, leadership style and communication skills. More importantly, the curriculum effectively mimics the role, which reflects a candidate’s aptitude for a position.

On a smaller scale, this is where businesses of almost any size can use screening questions to assess incoming candidates and test projects to assess final candidates. Similar to Google’s Project Management course, something as simple as screening questions gives you additional insights about candidates during the application process, as well as information about them that you can use to make an apples-to-apples comparison. can do for

invest in employee training

Formal education doesn’t mean someone is ready to run—and neither does having prior experience. Every business operates differently, so no matter what type of role you’re hiring for, employers need to invest in employee training. Which, given to the candidates with the right qualifications, eliminates the need for specific education and experience requirements for the candidates.

Granted, the average business isn’t in a position to create a free online certification course like Google’s. However, there are ways to customize the recruitment process to prioritize qualifications over education or experience. A quick way to do this is to place more emphasis on training new employees the way you want them to function, how their former employer trained them to take on new employees and make them work.

After all, if you want to stand out in your market and from your competition, you have to do things differently. And for many, this means acquiring talent with a higher level of competency and a fresh perspective. Limiting your talent pool to experienced employees with formal education and years of experience in the field is a quick way to limit your team’s ability to innovate and your business’s ability to differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.