How Facebook shifted its recruiting during COVID

p 1 facebooks head of recruiting on what covid changed about hiring

The shift to distant work during the pandemic modified worker expectations. In flip, job seekers have modified their expectations, too. An EY research discovered that more than half would quit their jobs for good if their firm didn’t provide flexibility. To adapt to a brand new office, recruiting has to pivot together with it, and the modifications are probably for good, says Miranda Kalinowski, head of worldwide recruiting for Facebook.

“Final 12 months, we employed over 10,000 product and engineering people,” says Kalinowski. “I’m very grateful that we had been in a position to hold recruiting all through 2020; I do know not all corporations had been in that very same scenario. We’ve acquired over three billion individuals who depend on our services and products each month. It felt like individuals had been relying on [our products] greater than ever earlier than. We wanted to proceed to rent nice builders to maintain them up and working and quick and dependable.”

Onboarding such a excessive variety of individuals required the social media platform to alter its recruiting methodologies.


In search of new traits

Distant working preparations required new worker strengths. Kalinowski says she appeared for candidates who demonstrated sturdy battle decision and efficient communication kinds.

“These had been attributes that had been positively amplified all through the pandemic,” she says. “And we proceed to search for these immediately. Whereas Facebook has a robust infrastructure to assist working from dwelling, it is a pivot for us as a result of we had been used to inserting plenty of emphasis on face-to-face working.”

Making an attempt new outreach strategies

Recruiters additionally tailored their methods for reaching candidates and located larger success with less-tech-driven strategies. Historically recruiters ship an e-mail or LinkedIn message. Through the pandemic, nonetheless, many individuals had e-mail fatigue. In consequence, some candidates most well-liked to obtain a telephone name or a textual content message. “That took us again to some much less used practices, however they had been extremely efficient,” says Kalinowski.

Main with empathy

Facebook recruiters additionally grew to become keenly conscious that candidates had been residing underneath totally different circumstances. That meant one dimension of recruiting wouldn’t match all, says Kalinowski.

“We acknowledged some individuals had been juggling homeschooling and distant working and on the identical time,” she says. “Some had been navigating devastating job loss or illness. We actually wished to steer with empathy in our connections with individuals.”

Facebook recruiters hung out like checking in with candidates to see how they had been doing. Whereas some had been all for participating within the interview course of, others didn’t wish to introduce extra change or complexity into their lives {that a} job change would convey.


Overcoming digital interview challenges

The pivot to digital interviewing was additionally a giant shift, says Kalinowski.

“In a typical interview, there’s a cultural expertise you’re attempting to create with candidates and that occurs extra simply in particular person than it does nearly,” she says. “We sometimes do workplace excursions and present individuals round to get an actual taste for what their day would contain. We wished to assist individuals get a way of what it’s prefer to work right here in the event that they haven’t stepped foot into an workplace.”

For some positions, Kalinowski’s group supplied Oculus digital actuality workplace excursions to share the expertise in an immersive means. Recruiters additionally had images and descriptions of particular buildings so they may see what it might be like in the event that they return to an workplace sometime.

One other expertise recruiters recreated was the standard begin to an interview. “With an in-person interview, somebody walks with the candidate to the interview room,” says Kalinowski. “That’s a time of excessive nervousness for a candidate, and that stroll may also help calm them down and provides them a way of what’s coming within the interview. That’s a extremely necessary human connection and we would have liked to copy that albeit nearly.”

Kalinowski’s group scheduled time for a candidate to spend with a coordinator earlier than the interview for the same alternate. “That was actually well-received by candidates,” says Kalinowski. “Diving straight into the interview will be fairly jarring.”

Including extra distant positions

Along with the hiring course of, the employment expertise modified, too. Distant work goes to be a important candidate determination driver as a result of there’s an elevated urge for food for the pliability that individuals have loved over this time.

“We lately commissioned a survey that confirmed that almost all of pros within the US and UK would favor not less than half of their days distant as soon as COVID is over,” says Kalinowski. “Distant and adaptability now really feel like desk stakes. They’re right here to remain.”

The advantages

One of many advantages of a brand new means of recruiting was that recruiters discovered it simpler to attach reside with candidates, which helped the hiring course of transfer sooner. “Potential candidates gave the impression to be extra accessible to take calls,” says Kalinowski. “They had been extra accessible to community as a result of that they had much less time spent commuting and touring.”

1000’s of interviews happen on any given week, and digital connections made it simpler to match candidates with hiring mangers on the proper place and the best time. “Prior to now, the best place was being in the best room on the proper constructing off the best shuttle bus,” says Kalinowski. “It was fairly the logistics problem.”

Including extra distant positions additionally offered entry to a broader expertise pool, growing variety. “Candidates who wouldn’t have thought of working at Facebook as a result of they weren’t wanting to maneuver to be close to one in every of our workplace areas are actually in a position to think about what we now have to supply,” says Kalinowski. “That’s totally different and thrilling as we glance to incorporate extra underrepresented expertise in our workforce.”

Shifting ahead

Recruiting in a post-COVID world will take a brand new outlook, says Kalinowski.


“I feel shifting a mindset from bringing the expertise to the corporate to bringing the corporate to the expertise is important,” says Kalinowski. “We’re actually joyful to have the ability to provide workers a option to decide about what is correct for them, whether or not it’s distant or within the workplace. We’re taking a strategic and considerate method to distant work to set everybody up for fulfillment. I feel it’s a needed factor for corporations to consider.”

Kalinowski says corporations additionally must embrace the brand new means of working that’s backed up with efficient expertise, however not at the price of human connection.

“Folks nonetheless need to have the ability to expertise the reference to individuals the way in which they used to,” she says. “Proceed to spend money on the bodily workplace but additionally spend money on the digital workplace. And be versatile. From an operations perspective, flexibility is the important thing for those who’re going to achieve success recruiting on this new setting.”