This rule of thumb also requires looking for candidates whose values align with the company. Since Facebook “is not a company for everyone in the world,” the company is relatively small compared to its tech counterparts. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg also believes that building a lean team has contributed to Facebook’s success.

At AC Lion, we interview people daily so these types of tips and tricks definitely come into play.

We have conducted around 90,000 interviews to date, and since we work with so many different companies and receive hundreds of resumes a day, it can be a challenge to filter out the best talent. We have developed somewhat of a framework for an ideal candidate that we know works well for us, but are always looking to evolve (especially since the digital landscape changes everyday).When it comes to hiring for the AC Lion staff, one of our most effective methods has been to ensure the candidate meets a range of players in the company. We are a small and intimate team, and there needs to be a strong fit with the culture. We believe this has been effective since our staff retention rate is very high compared to other companies in our space.

Facebook isn’t the only company we can look to for advice on how to find the best people for the job. Here are three tips for hiring top talent from some of the most innovative tech companies.

1. Gather “Meta Data”

While Google used to be known for asking tough, out-of-the-box questions (e.g. “How many gas stations are there in Manhattan?”) to gage their sense of logic, now the company focuses on asking questions relevant to the candidate’s previous experience solving difficult issues. From there, the interviewer can dig deeper to “meta” data around what he or she considers “difficult,” as well as specific details about how the candidate actually handled that real-life situation

2. Hire Only “A-Players”

Steve Jobs famously built a team of “A-players,” and other companies have followed in his footsteps. Patty McCord, former chief talent officer at Netflix, helped shape the company culture around teams of top talent. It sounds simple, but by making sure to hire only candidates as good as or better than current employees, the company was able to keep people happier and more productive. Employees are usually happier working by themselves or in small teams than with anyone inadequate whose mistakes would have to be fixed later.

3. Look to the “Bar Raisers”

Amazon knew it wanted to hire these A-players, but they first had to figure out how to ensure that every hire was a strong candidate. So the company implemented a process for “bar-raising,” assigning current employees to be the bar-raising team. These individuals are included in every hiring conversation and involved in every interview process to determine whether or not the candidate in question is better than the existing talent at the company. Unlike hiring managers, these bar-raisers are coming in with an objective perspective. At Amazon, in order for a candidate to be hired, both the hiring manager and bar-raiser must agree that he or she will be able to do the job 50% better than the people currently in the position.

To find those bar-raisers, look to the people who display good judgment and have recommended exceptional talent in the past.


What hiring lessons have you learned from other companies? Share your tips in the comments!