Generational Recruiting – What Microsoft and Other Companies Can Learn From Facebook

My son is attending Art Center College of Design for Interaction Design, and was recently accepted for a summer internship at Facebook. I had a front row seat to the whole process. As someone directly involved in recruiting top talent for InterKnowlogy, watching how Facebook recruits was fascinating. What Facebook has embraced from head to stern is that they are only as good as their people. Many companies give this lip service, and they might actually believe it, but their actions don’t hold up. Facebook is continuously bringing in the best young minds into the fold through internships and putting their stripes on them as quickly as possible. Having name cache does not hurt – what college student wouldn’t want to work at Facebook? But that only helps to generate a long list of potential candidates. It’s the rest of what my son underwent that was most impressive.

At Facebook, potential interns are interviewed by qualified people. These are senior employees that are skilled in the domain of the intern, and not someone who has been delegated a task to interview a “lowly intern”. Qualified people can quickly evaluate and bond with potential interns, and it only serves to excite the students. At every step, Facebook was demonstrating how invested they are in the success of the interns. They have the foresight to prioritize the time of the right employees to engage with the potential interns. By doing this, Facebook can maximize their chances of having a highly qualified crop of new talent. My son felt that they took the time to get to know him and his interests, including the type of work he wants to do to best align his internship into one of the many Facebook teams. They never made him believe that they were doing him a favor by just talking to him – they made him feel special and valued.

After successfully completing this process, my son was given an internship offer beyond his expectations. Facebook is showering him with hardware and software (all the tools he needs to design apps). Their handling all aspects of the internship including how he will be travelling to Menlo Park, managing his lodging for three months, and even will be feeding him. Facebook, at every turn, is a sending a message that they value him and his time, and want him to value his experience. This investment has already produced a sense of loyalty in my son. By spending the money and taking the time and putting forth the energy to engage the right people, Facebook is setting themselves up to be able to hire top talent right from the best colleges year after year, generation after generation.

Want to make sure the best and brightest are continuously flowing into your company? See the above.

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