How Small Businesses Can Recruit and Hire Like Facebook

Pete Jansons

You may not employ 15,000+ workers, but the people you bring aboard are just as critical to your small business’s success as those professionals are to Facebook’s future. Take cues from the social media giant by making these strategies part of your recruiting and hiring strategy:

Build an employment brand

Facebook has become synonymous with “great place to work.” With sky-high employee satisfaction ratings and an abundance of perks (including an impressive array of free food), unsolicited applications regularly pour into the company. Such interest cuts down on recruitment costs and enables quicker filling as positions become available. Following Facebook’s lead may yield the same situation for your small business. Get your name and mission out there, emphasize your company’s corporate culture (a strong Careers page with worker testimonials is a great start), and certainly treat your current employees right so they’ll sing your praises.

Involve your team

Speaking of your workers, remember that employee referrals consistently rank among the most valuable leads. One of Facebook’s tactics for building a database of potential talent is called “Ninja Hunts.” These informal meetings gather a group of employees together to examine their contacts and point out highly-qualified individuals who may make good future employees. Consider conducting similar sessions from time to time at your small business (and maybe even offering a monetary incentive if a recommended candidate gets hired).

Look beyond the resume

Perhaps because CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t hold a college degree, Facebook tends to place less stock in educational degrees and professional backgrounds and more on proof of ability. Internet-based technical contests such as The Facebook Hacker Cup allow hidden gems the opportunity to shine. Look for similar ways candidates can demonstrate their potential worth to your small business. Ask applicants to submit work samples or solve a relevant problem. Create realistic sample tests in line with skills needed for the position at hand. Such actions help remove hiring bias and allow the cream to rise to the top.

Seek team players

Group dynamics are important at any company, but they can make or break a small business where quarters are tight and dependence on one another is high. Ask candidates to talk about their experiences on teams. Look for responses where “we” is used instead of just “I.” Inquire about contributions to the team when talking to references. Bring in a few current employees during the interview process for a mock project or problem-solving session. Facebook oftentimes does this when hiring designers to gauge how a candidate interacts and communicates.

Prioritize onboarding

Finally, don’t let your recruiting efforts go for naught. Positive experiences early on increase the likelihood of new hires sticking around. Facebook’s six-week boot camp gets newcomers jazzed about the company’s vision and operations as well as their own ability to contribute. Implement similar measures at your small business to build competency and foster connections. A welcome lunch, an assigned mentor, a ready-to-go workstation, and activities beyond filling out paperwork can make a strong initial impression.



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