05 March 2015
By Stephen A Chadwick
The co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Inc, Mark Zuckerberg is in Barcelona for the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2015 and yesterday took part in a lively Q&A session in a local town hall. Topics included Facebook's future strategy, how the company was combatting fake accounts and what it was like working with Sheryl Sandberg. But perhaps most insightful for anyone looking to work for the social networking service was the billionaire's thoughts on recruitment.
Asked by a Barcelona business student what he felt the key was to attracting and selecting the right people to work for Facebook, Zuckerberg replied "You run into this challenge when you're running any kind of organisation, where there is always this pressure, there is always more work than you have people, and that leads you to want to get people in to help you out and do that work even if they're not the very best people. One of the things you always need to be very careful about is having a check in place so that you really only hire the best people despite this pressure. You know that you can compromise a little bit on quality today, get a bunch of work done in the next six months, but over the long term you're really only going to be better off if you get someone really good. "
"I've developed over time a simple rule for this. I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person - and it's a pretty good test. As long as you have that as your rule for picking people you work with, you're not going to go wrong. And if you're building a big organisation then it also works many layers down. If each person is only hiring people to work for them that they themselves would work for, then you're probably going to get a strong organisation."
This is Zuckerberg's second time in Barcelona, having been at last year's MWC when the idea of internet.org was first floated. Internet.org is the Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that still doesn’t have internet access. Zuckerberg opened the Q&A session by taking a few minutes to talk about the progress it has made in the last 12 months and his vision for basic free access to the internet for everyone.