The Zuckerberg Test: Only Hire Someone that You Would Want to Work For

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on August 17, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg is just 31 years old and has already massed a worth of $35 billion. He built Facebook from the ground up, and the company now employs over 9,000 people. While this is actually a small number for the size company Facebook is, that is an impressive climb to make in merely eleven years. Just the fact that he can build a multi-billion dollar company with so few people working for him shows that Zuckerberg knows how to make a good hire.

Yet Zuckerberg’s hiring philosophy is almost as simple as his social media business plan (let folks get together and share with each other). He just never hired anyone to work for him that he wouldn’t be willing to work for himself. It’s not likely that Zuckerberg will be lining up for any interviews anytime soon (ever), but you can use his simple advice to build a team of workers that can get an extraordinary amount of work done with incredibly little fuss.

Recruiting Isn’t Just Something You Do When a Position Needs to Be Filled

The best recruiters are not the ones who wait until a position needs to be filled and then scrambles to find the best fit for that position. The best recruiters are constantly on the lookout for great talent, healthy motivation, strong work ethic, superior talent, and impressive intellect. Hire them when you see them. Then, when a position does need to be filled, you already have a reservoir of stellar workers to choose from, and best of all, they already know a whole lot about how your company operates.

Fill your workplace with great employees and move them into positions as needed. This works far better

Get to Know the Person Behind the Resume

Resumes are tricky. Lackluster candidates with bad habits and low ambition can look spectacular on a resume. Similarly, candidates with a rock star attitude, incredible drive, and unbelievable talent can look strangely unimpressive on paper. Get to know the job candidates behind those facts and dates and fancy degrees. What are their goals? What are their plans for achieving those goals? What motivates them? Deep, open-ended questions are the key to delving deeper into who a job candidate is apart from where they attended school and what degrees they hold from which institutions.

Who Would You Be Willing to Work for?

So, in order to hire like Zuckerberg, you need to know who it is you would or wouldn’t be willing to go to work for. What qualities make a great boss but can also be turned around to make for a standout employee?

The right workers are far more like partners than employees.

• Ambition — When a person is really going somewhere, they can afford to hitch a few wagons to their shooting star. Ambition can catapult the worker through even the toughest of times because they won’t give up no matter what the circumstances look like.

• Wisdom — Wisdom can give a worker powerful ideas for making things better, and can also give them a needed boost to get out of tough jams.

• Patience — The hotheads are rarely the ones who garner both success and the respect of their colleagues and subordinates. The patient, understanding souls are the ones who do that.

What qualities do you most admire in those you work for? Look for those same qualities in the people you hire to work for you. 


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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