By Rebecca Beyer
Between 2018 and 2020, Google added about 50,000 people to its workforce. As a program manager in the technology company’s staffing department, Dennis Tseng ’14 is charged with making sure the its culture continues to grow and evolve as well, including making its recruitment process more equitable.
“We see ourselves as a little bit R&D for the hiring process,” he told Yale School of Management student Emily Kling ’21 in a Career Conversations podcast earlier this year. “We’re trying to apply industrial organizational psychology and the data we collect at Google to make the hiring process more effective…with the goal of making Google more representative of the communities that we live and work in and the users that we serve.”
Tseng brings to that process his experience as a New York University-trained actor as well as his MBA toolkit. “Google is an incredibly data-driven place…but my superpower isn’t in data… My superpower is actually in storytelling and getting people to understand what I am trying to tell them in a way that they personally resonate with.”
Tseng has been thinking about how to make organizations work better since he was a student at Yale SOM, where he was drawn to the design aspects of organizational behavior—“teaching companies or organizations how to… turn creativity into a process that creates new products, creates new services.” A course with Professor Rodrigo Canales taught him to approach that work from a quantitative perspective. And, as a leader of the Design + Innovation Club, Tseng created a 14-lesson curriculum, teaching design thinking to more than a hundred students each week.
After graduation, Tseng took a job in strategy at SYPartners, a communications and design firm in San Francisco. There, he consulted with companies such as Apple, Hyatt, and Starbucks on how to define their culture and purpose, before he joined Google in 2018.
Tseng spends his days working in hiring, but he says long-term, sustainable success means looking beyond promotions and paychecks.
“When you think about your career, don’t ever let it get divorced from the person that you are,” he says. “I think that’s made me a healthier person; it keeps me focused on making me mentally and emotionally whole.”
Listen to Dennis Tseng on Career Conversations:
Interviewed on May 13, 2020