My Path to Google: Ginny Clarke, Leadership Staffing Director

Welcome to the 27th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Ginny Clarke. She will be speaking at the 52nd Annual Consortium Orientation Program (OP), taking place June 9-13. See our recent blog post about it here. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Riverside, CA. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but ended up with BA degrees in French and Linguistics from the University of California, Davis. I then went to Northwestern (Kellogg) for my MBA. When I am not working, I like to exercise, cook, write, travel, spend time with my son, Julian, and play with my dog, Mika. I wrote a book called Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work in 2011, and hope to write one or two more books.

What’s your role at Google?
My title is Director, Leadership Staffing. Leadership Staffing is Google's internal executive search firm and I am responsible for driving diversity, internal mobility (helping senior Googlers find new internal roles), and leading a team of 20 non-tech recruiters.

Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for..."
Create processes that help Google hire the most qualified and diverse senior talent in the world.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I am excited about Google's ability to attract talent it hasn't historically attracted or considered. I am working to institutionalize processes and rubrics that help to identify, attract, and hire this talent to help take our company to new levels around the world.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
Google called me because of my expertise in executive recruiting, in particular, diversity recruiting. I was watching Google and it's tech competitors grapple with diversity at the senior levels and when called, agreed to take on a new role. Within two months of joining I was asked to develop an internal mobility program for senior execs – which I did. Nine months later, I took on leadership of a team of recruiters – I had three jobs within 18 months of joining!

How did the recruitment process go for you?
The recruitment process was a bit bumpy at first because there wasn't exactly an open role when I was first reached out to. Another tech company started pursuing me, but Google stepped up by introducing me to a couple of very senior execs (our Chief Financial Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer) who convinced me to join.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I consider myself to be an expert interviewee given that I've interviewed thousands of people as a recruiter. I did learn as much as I could about the company and the individuals I was interviewing with, and was able to establish good rapport with everyone. I view interviews as an opportunity for a conversation, not just responding to questions. I had my own questions of the interviewers and was interviewing them as much as they were me.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Be clear about what role you want, why you want it, and what makes you distinctively qualified to do it. This helps you not only in the interview, but once you start in the role – it keeps you clear about what you want to achieve. If you don't get the role, move on and don't take it personally – there are plenty of great companies where you can leverage your skills.