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■ Its core values are: to change people’s lives, leading with service, embracing the bizarre, creating happiness and community, and to do the right thing.

■ A fake Twitter account for Bruce Poon Tip launched in October 2010. Example tweet: “Uuumm beer o’clock is non transferable for holidays!!”

■ Each successful G-Factor Interviewee receives The Word According to G, a company values guide that includes testimonies from company CEOs (chief experience officers) and encourages “inter-office bromances”.

The G-Factor Interview process helps do away with an “evil” HR department

Tap into the G-Factor S

ome questions really do have no logical answer. “Do you regret your two years in the porn

industry?” is one of them. But that’s exactly the question the trio of G Adventures staff have picked out of the glittery purple top-hat to my left and expect me to answer. “I can’t remember… so I guess it was worth it,” is the bumbled, confused response I offer. Looking into the faces of Chris, Gareth and Nadia, I assumed I’d just blown my chances. This was my “G-Factor Interview” – a final stage test all potential G Adventure employees undergo before learning whether they’ve landed a job at the small groups tour operator. The process essentially hands the hiring role to three randomly selected staff members of

the company, who vet candidates on one criterion alone – whether they fit the company culture. The ability to perform the nuts and bolts of the said role is entirely secondary to this and works out to a 51-49 skew for attitude over aptitude. Unsurprisingly, Gareth Hamilton, marketing manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa tells me: “Most people have never done anything like the G-Factor Interview before.” “It’s our way of weeding out the ‘brilliant jerks’”, G Adventures’ managing director for the UK Michael Edwards says later. “Brilliant jerks”, I discover, are those people who are perfectly capable of achieving results on paper but have no interest in their co-workers’ personalities or buying into the company’s fun- focused brand message.

searching five years ago in which he had considered selling the firm, despite large profits and a host of awards.

Jesse Whittock took G Adventures’ G-Factor Interview to uncover the unique process the global tour operator uses to recruit its staff – and how to avoid hiring ‘brilliant jerks’

“If the guys that conduct the final stage of the process give that person the red flag, there’s nothing I can do about it. They have the final say on recruitment. It’s a foolproof way of ensuring we get the right kind of people into the business,” says Edwards. For this reason two actual candidates have been rejected for the job I’m “interviewing” for.

Culture of fun The interviews are designed to test a person’s open-mindedness and curiosity, motivation and passion, and propensity to embrace G Adventures’ fun and positive outlook. They’re resultant of founder Bruce Poon Tip’s decision to scrap its “evil” HR department in favour of “Talent Agency” and “Culture Club” divisions. This followed a period of serious soul

The Culture Club is an internal communications network that informs G Adventures’ worldwide staff of events and developments. And events, as with everything else about G Adventures, are slightly off- kilter. They have included Haircuts & Hotdogs days, a Three Pig Challenge and a Pies & Palms event that brought together palm reading with crusty pastry. The company’s North American AGM is also more akin to a three-day music festival and all employees get birthdays off. But such events have also lead to criticism, with some media reports comparing the firm’s ethos to a cult. “When people hear (about G Adventures) from an old-fashioned point of view they might think it’s cultish,” says Hamilton. “It’s not, because we do everything voluntarily. It comes down to working with great people; nobody forces you to participate in our games.” Amazingly, considering my natural journalistic scepticism, I later find out I’ve passed my G Factor. And I still can’t recall my porn career...

■Hear more from Michael Edwards in our video at

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