Want to work at Facebook? Here’s what its recruiters look for

February 14, 2013

In keeping this week’s trend of high-profile tech AMAs, Facebook is taking to Reddit to tell the social network what it looks for in employees.

Facebook engineer recruiter Will Barnett led the thread, which touched on subjects like corporate culture, benefits, and that awful GPA you graduated with.

The Facebook culture

This should be obvious, but before you apply for a job at a company, you should first know its corporate culture. Facebook’s can be summed up in one word: Building.

“We’re a culture of builders… of hackers. We don’t just expect our engineers to move fast and ship stuff, but everyone in focused on building product and services that create a more open and connected world,” Barnett said.

“The parts I like best are the mutual trust, internal transparency, celebration of each other’s success, appetite for risk, and hair-trigger sensitivity to our values,” a Facebook engineering director added.

What does Facebook look for?

From Barnett’s comments, it’s clear that Facebook looks for candidates who will fit well into its corporate culture — regardless of what country they come from. Facebook hires heavily from places outside the U.S., including Russia, India, and Eastern Europe.

And for you humanities kids out there, there’s good news, too: While Facebook is obviously very much an engineering-focused company, no company is run by engineers alone.

“Much of our campus hiring focuses on engineering, but we have hired new grads into marketing communications, user operations, payments and risk, monetization, business operations – the list goes on,” Barnett said, pointing to Facebook’s career page.

GPA isn’t everything, nor is a college degree

For candidates with…less stellar grades, Facebook’s solution is actually pretty straightforward: Have some good side projects.

“People who can display their actual skills by building real things beyond class projects are very frequently the stronger candidates. Ultimately, we want to hire people that [sic] build amazing things and push technologies to new heights,” Barnett said.

Basically, it helps to have some Github commits under your belt.

As far as the education question goes, you don’t need to look beyond Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg to know that a college degree isn’t everything. Facebook’s recruiters agree.

“It would we weird for us to require a college degree (see Zuck). If you can build awesome stuff and have big impact, that’s all we’re really looking for,” Barnett said.

Facebook recruitment is serious about applicant privacy

Considering that Facebook is sitting on a trove of user data, an obvious question is whether the company puts that information to use when it’s considering applicants. Fortunately, the answer is “no.”

“We take privacy very seriously at Facebook and no applicants profile is accessed beyond what any other user would be able to publicly view,” Barnett said.

The Perks

Unsurprisingly, the benefits to working at Facebook are pretty lengthy. “Our perks approach is to provide the benefits that most allow people to focus on their work and have impact. Things like food, transportation, small teams, laundry, health care, flexible hours, IT resources/equipment, and connectivity are a priority for us,” Barnett said.

“Oh, god, the food. It’s … really good,” Facebook developer relations lead Chris Blizzard added.

Copyright 2013, VentureBeat

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