When considering a hiring strategy intended to attract the absolute cream of the employment crop, it helps to take a look at the methods and processes of elite organizations known for their aggressively successful hiring: FAANG companies.
The FAANG companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google – are famous not only for being the most ubiquitous and successful technology companies in the world, but also for their hiring values – making them an important study for recruiters of all kinds. Analysis of FAANG reveals two significant factors in their attractiveness to potential recruits. The first are internal organizational values such as diversity, inclusion, healthy work/life balance, and appealing compensation. These values are strongly emphasized by all FAANG companies.
The second factor, how the company is perceived overall through the eyes of consumers, varies significantly for each organization and has also fluctuated considerably for some of them. Let’s take a look at how these elements have played out for some FAANG companies, and what lessons your organization can apply to its own strategies.
The Facebook Harbinger
Even Perceived Instability Spooks Candidates Away
At its peak, Facebook was the darling of the internet – young, disruptive, and growing. But then things got weird, as privacy and other user concerns began to make headlines. Today, despite holding solid at over 2 billion users, Facebook’s image isn’t what it once was – and this has affected employee sentiments. Amid a plunge in the stock price, ongoing leadership turmoil, and critical media coverage, just over half of employees said they were optimistic about Facebook’s future, down 32 percentage points from the previous year, according to the nearly 29,000 employees surveyed. 53% said Facebook was making the world better, down 19 percentage points from a year ago.
The Takeaway: no matter how appealing your internal company culture and prestigious standing, public perception of a company affects more than just the public – your employees feel it too. Running an ethically upright and and transparent organization will go a long way in drawing the right people – and keeping them there.
The Amazon Prowess
Service First – Even in Recruiting
Amazon, one of the most valuable brands in the world, puts special emphasis on their hiring process – impressing potential personnel right at the get-go. New employees have gushed at the efficiency and helpfulness of recruiters during the admittedly rigorous interview process. One new recruit invoked the company’s motto as part of her onboarding experience. “‘Work hard. Have fun. Make history.’ If you connect with that saying and approach your job in that capacity, if you enjoy diving deep on problems, and working in an exciting, fast-paced environment, then Amazon is the perfect place to work.” It’s this kind of attitude that has made Amazon not only the top e-retailer in the world, but also the most desired employer – one brimming with confidence in its ability to fill 50,000 roles in brand new operational regions.
The Takeaway: even if you’re not (yet) one of the world’s wealthiest companies, tapping into the cultural informality, friendliness, and efficiency of the tech office scene even before your recruit has walked in the door will secure you a reputation as an awesome place to work.
The Netflix Tenacity
The Company is the Personnel is the Product
Even in a world where “innovation” characterizes the work of every successful tech company in one way or another, Netflix stands out. From its humble origins in supplying rented DVDs, it morphed into the premier web-based media streaming service it remains today. Netflix led the charge as media platforms began creating their own original content – with award-winning results. This solution-oriented focus on agile innovation plays a significant role in how the company works internally and presents itself to prospective recruits. Interviewees at Netflix have found that few to no questions are asked about their degrees. While expertise in the role they’re applying for is of course vital, more emphasis is placed on personality traits like self-discipline, problem-solving abilities, self-awareness, and the ability to work well with a team. In fact, the team being applied for often gets a chance to interview the candidate themselves, and consensus on whether to hire in most cases must be unanimous.
The Takeaway: along with its famous hunger for innovation, Netflix’s style of hiring self-motivated, autonomous, and emotionally mature employees contributes to its desirability as an employer of status and prestige. Smaller companies with serious tech offerings can replicate this culture by channeling the company’s core confidence and drive into the hiring process – attracting top-shelf applicants with its clear and ambitious company vision.
Companies with a serious drive to attract the best recruits need not be internationally recognized, Fortune 500, or even particularly wealthy. For today’s young professionals, salary is not the sole element of potential employer attractiveness, by any stretch. Any solid company with a clear vision of itself and its goals can compete for top talent – and obtain it. It’s all about pinpointing what makes your company, product, and ‘personality’ unique, then bringing those aspects out organically in all aspects, including recruiting.