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What does it take to get a gig at Google?

The tech giant receives more than two million applications a year, but only thousands make the cut
How Google is reinventing the workplace 03:55

What's the key to getting a job at Google? It might not be so much about credentials or where you went to school, according to Laszlo Bock, the company's senior vice president of "people operations," or human resources. He said the number one thing they look for is cognitive ability.

"Can you take a difficult problem, pull it apart, figure out how to solve it and can you demonstrate having done that early in your life," Bock said Monday on "CBS This Morning." "The next most important is leadership, and that means for us, stepping in when you see a problem, but just as important, stepping out."

Google is consistently ranked the best employer in the United States. It receives more than 2 million applications a year, but only thousands make the cut. Not surprising, the company's corporate culture is an alluring factor.

"The culture from the outside, you look at it and it looks like bean bags and lava lamps and free food and that's all there is to it. But from the inside, there's actually a lot more," Bock said. "You could take those things away and it will still feel very much like Google."

In his new book, "Work Rules! Insights From Inside Google That Will Transforms How You Live and Lead," Bock outlines three aspects of their corporate culture that attract top candidates.

The first is a mission that matters.

"I know that sounds a little trite, but this mission of organizing the world's information is compelling because it's aspirational," Bock said. "It's not about shareholders; it's not about money. It's about how can we can make the world better."

He also said transparency is key.

"We share tremendous amounts of information with people inside the company. So for example, Eric Schmidt, our chairman, every quarter comes into the company and does a meeting, all hands with everyone in the company, where he shares the board materials -- this very confidential; 'how's the business doing, how's our product?' -- with everybody," Bock said.

Google ensures employees of all levels are privy to that information, especially new hires.

"Because we believe if you believe people are good, you'll treat them that way," Bock said.

The Silicon Valley-based company also prides itself on encouraging employees' voices.

"This is the idea that employees are actually allowed to shape the company," Bock said. "Not just allowed to, but it's part of the responsibility of being there."

Bock also described their philosophy about managers.

"What we found is when you become a manager, you suddenly want to treat people differently, different from how you're treated as an employee," Bock said. "As an employee, you want freedom, you want people to encourage you, support you, coach you, create opportunity, clear bottlenecks."

Bock writes in his book that at the tech giant, "managers cannot decide unilaterally whom to hire, whom to fire, how someone's performance is rated, whom to promote."

"There are all these psychological things that happen where an employee wants to kiss up to their manager, so by taking away power from managers, all the manager's left being able to do is help," Bock said.

He also advised to pay workers unfairly -- that is, to pay based on performance.

"The reality is, if you look at things like athletics, nobody thinks it's bizarre that Kobe Bryant scores way more than anybody else and is paid way more than anybody else," Bock said.

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