FAANG refers to five of the largest and most prestigious tech companies globally; Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. Despite the FAANG companies collectively listing over 250,000 jobs in the last year, even the best talent often finds it challenging to land these roles.
Most candidates consider securing a job at these companies as the ultimate professional goal, and this is not without reason. The FAANG companies offer excellent benefits, such as high compensation: the annual median data compensation in the US is $187,000, while the median data compensation at Netflix is $450,000. Moreover, a job at these companies offers global recognition, an engaged and diverse community, and immense learning opportunities.
As job seekers work hard towards landing a job at FAANG, recruiters look for insights into the hiring practices of the tech giants. These illustrious companies are known to attract and retain top talent through their advanced recruitment efforts.
If you’re a professional interested in learning about FAANG’s hiring strategies and key takeaways for your business,, this article is for you.
The key components of hiring at FAANG
In today’s job market, top firms compete against each other to hire the best talent. As a result, brands have to put in the extra work to create robust hiring strategies and approach candidates in a meaningful way. Here are some of the key strategies used by FAANG to better their hiring efforts.
- Reaching out to passive candidates
Instead of waiting for suitable candidates to apply for a position, FAANG companies spend time reaching out to passive candidates, i.e., candidates who are not actively looking for a job. The recruitment teams at these tech companies engage with these clients through networking platforms and organize special events for them.
- Creating a positive candidate experience
A positive recruitment experience can be the difference between hiring and losing a suitable candidate. It makes people more inclined to accept an offer, increases referrals and word-of-mouth hiring, and improves your overall brand reputation.
According to Lital Zigelboim, Senior Technical Recruiter Leader at Facebook, FAANG have teams dedicated to improving the entire candidate journey, “starting from the first email that we send to the welcome present that successful candidates get in the offer stage.”
- Investing in tech-based hiring
FAANG rely on tech to help them select the best hires. Tech recruiting uses advanced tools to evaluate candidates objectively based on their practical and technical skills. Since these companies have to screen thousands of applications per role, technology helps them make the process faster and more effective.
FloCareer provides state-of-the-art tech-based solutions to all businesses, allowing you to reap the benefits of tech-based hiring. The JD to CV match is a machine learning-driven product that pre-screens and shortlists candidates based on a skill matrix and the job criteria. Moreover, the live interview platform reduces hiring time with features like auto-scheduling and interview structure curation.
Company-wise hiring approaches
While all FAANG companies focus on tech-based hiring and positive candidate experiences, each firm also has its unique recruitment strategy.
Facebook (now known as Meta) has 71,970 full-time employees (as of December 2021) and looks for candidates' enthusiasm, curiosity, and motivation while hiring. Its hiring process starts with a phone interview with the recruiter, after which potential employees visit the campus for a series of in-person interviews and a tour.
Facebook uses practical assessments to evaluate candidates. It doesn’t believe in using puzzle-type trick questions; instead, it creates specially designed coding assignments for different purposes. These assignments help gauge knowledge, skill, and concentration in candidates.
With more people preferring flexible or remote work after the pandemic, Facebook has adapted its hiring and general work culture. Miranda Kalinowski, head of global recruiting for Facebook, says the pivot to virtual interviewing was a big shift. This new way of recruitment has expedited the hiring process as “prospective candidates seemed to be more available to take calls,” says Kalinowski. “They were more available to network because they had less time spent commuting and traveling.”
The recruitment process typically has the following steps:
- First, the recruiter reaches out to the candidate via email or a phone call. Candidates are sourced from a variety of platforms, including online applications, intern programs, or referrals.
- After clearing the primary screening, the candidate is scheduled for an initial interview with a potential co-worker, where they are questioned about their values, resume, skills, and motivation.
- This step also focuses on coding exercises. The candidate is sent a link to a collaborative editor and asked to solve programming problems.
- The final step consists of an onsite collaborative loop where several interviews occur on the same day. Instead of coding in a text editor, the candidate writes code on a whiteboard.
Amazon is considered a recruiting giant - it employs about 1,400,000 people globally and recently announced its plans to hire 55,000 individuals for corporate and technology roles globally. In addition, due to the high demand for a position at the company, it receives an enormous number of applications- 1,000,000 people applied for a job at Amazon during a recruiting week in September 2021.
The Bezos approach to recruitment has a strong focus on quality and is rooted in the company’s 16 leadership principles which include customer obsession, the ability to innovate and simplify, and thinking big. During interviews, candidates are assessed on behavioral traits such as how much ownership of the company they take; statements “that’s not my job” are not acceptable.
The Bar Raiser program at Amazon consists of Bar Raisers (skilled Amazon interviewers) who, in addition to their day jobs, undergo training and serve as objective advisors during the interview process. They typically belong to fields outside that of the potential employee and are brought in to analyze the final candidate’s strengths and aptitude. Bar Raisers have the following key responsibilities-
- They evaluate candidates for the specific role and long-term success at Amazon.
- They help hiring managers prepare for the interviews.
- They ensure that each candidate gets assessed fairly and openly, and each member of the interview loop participates in the discussion.
- They ask the potential candidates questions related to the Leadership Principles and provide written feedback on the individual.
- They can veto or override the hiring managers’ decisions, whether in favor of or against hiring an employee.
Apple is one of the largest job creators in the United States, providing over 2,000,000 jobs. However, the tech company is secretive about its interview process, and its hiring evaluations are deemed longer and more rigorous than other FAANG corporations.
Apple focuses on ‘the rule of three E’s’ while hiring: expertise, ease, and employability. Recruiters at Apple prioritize technical questions, and its interview structure can often be unpredictable. Candidates can expect to go through up to five rounds of FaceTime interviews where they must showcase their technical and behavioral skills.
While the exact process may vary depending on the specific role, recruiters at Apple typically follow these steps:
- First, the recruiter and team lead conduct an initial screening of the candidate over one or two phone calls. During these telephonic interviews, the interviews ask the potential employee about their skills, experience, and past successes.
- Second, the candidate has one-on-one interviews over Facetime, where recruiters gauge their technical skills. These interviews can be rigorous and require immense preparation.
- Third, using Apple's online Assessment Center, the candidate is asked to complete a group exercise, a written exercise, and a roleplay exercise. Apple also uses group interviews to mimic the fast-paced work environment in the company and assess the candidate on ‘employability.’
- Last, if the candidate clears all the above stages, they are invited for on-site interviews, which may last for six hours and involve multiple team members.
Netflix employs approximately 11,300 full-time workers and has a presence in 190 countries, making it a prestigious company to work at. While hiring employees, Netflix looks for qualities such as curiosity, courage, and selflessness. The company focuses on skills more than previous job titles or education. It is known for making unconventional hires, i.e., hiring individuals who may not have held the exact role as the open position but have transferable skills for various roles.
Netflix evaluates and reviews the performance of current employees frequently. Under-performing employees are asked to leave “no matter how valuable their contributions had once been,” according to McCord, Former Chief Talent Manager at Netflix.
Netflix’s hiring process involves the following steps:
- First, the candidate will be sent a copy of Netflix’s core values and company culture. After this, there is a recruiter phone call where the candidate is asked questions such as “why do you want to work at Netflix” or “what would you change about the work culture at Netflix?”
- The next phase involves an interview that focuses on technical questions to assess the candidate’s knowledge of relevant technology or programming languages. This stage can also involve a take-home project, e.g., building a microservice to estimate and review the pricing of subscriptions based on specific rules.
- Candidates who clear the first two rounds proceed to on-site interviews. The first phase consists of four interviews with team members that involve technical questions about algorithms, data structures, and whiteboard challenges. The second phase consists of three interviews with human resources, the hiring manager, and the engineering manager. Sample questions asked in this round include, “how would you work with a team on a hypothetical project?” or “give an instance of when you received negative feedback and how you dealt with it.”
Apart from being one of the most influential companies globally, Google is known for its vibrant culture. Google pays a lot of importance to its recruitment efforts and aims to build a diverse and inclusive workplace through a fair hiring process. However, getting into Google is no easy feat: Google receives approximately 2,000,000 applications a year, and only one out of every 130-150 candidates who apply gets selected.
Google aims to hire well-rounded individuals who have the right temperament and attitude to fit into the organization. The selection process consists of 4-9 interviews (virtual and onsite) over about two months and focuses on problem-solving skills. Google has also moved away from brain-teaser questions since 2013, stating they are unfair and lack skill-assessment attributes.
Google’s hiring process usually follows these steps:
- All candidates first take a short online assessment or quiz.
- After this, the candidate has a brief virtual interview with the recruiter, hiring manager, or potential team member to assess them for critical skills.
- Candidates must then complete a project such as drafting a case study or writing code for a specific task.
- The next step involves in-depth interviews, which can be taxing (three to four interviews a day). The interviews are structured, and candidates are assessed with a pre-determined rubric. These interviews also involve open-ended questions to get to know the candidate better.
Implementing FAANG strategies in your business
The top tech companies in the world have spent countless hours researching the best hiring strategies, and you can implement these learnings in your business.
- Ask candidates to do a lot of coding during the interview process. Facebook has found that programming ability correlates strongly with how well individuals perform as employees.
- Involve current employees in the hiring process as they understand the company’s expectations and goals. For example, Amazon’s Bar Raisers help raise hiring standards by identifying candidates who are likely to perform better than at least 50% of the existing employees in similar positions.
- Follow Apple’s example and prioritize expertise over education or experience. Moreover, analyze the ease with which the candidate maneuvers the interview process and if their culture and values align with the firm’s.
- Review employees’ performance frequently to ensure that they achieve their highest potential. Netflix believes in letting employees go if their productivity or work ethics decline irrespective of past achievements.
- Google uses a structured interview strategy to evaluate all candidates using the same rubric. Its hiring managers also include open-ended questions in the interview process to understand the candidate’s strengths and thought flow.
Hiring based on skills rather than educational background has been shown to improve hiring efforts, and FloCareer can help you with this. Our variety of products and solutions allow you to automate skill-based hiring and carry it out on a large scale. Our on demand interviews use a variety of questions, including coding assessments and scenario-based questions, to test for relevant skills and aptitude. Our interview structure strategy helps carry out standardized interviews using a scorecard to evaluate each candidate fairly and reduce hiring bias.
By taking the guesswork out of hiring, you can improve the quality of your hires and filter candidates efficiently. Our team of over 3,000 experts is here to help; sign up for a free demo today!