Leadership

Sheryl Sandberg says this is more important than experience if you want to work at Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg speaks about overcoming grief and resilience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Sheryl Sandberg speaks about overcoming grief and resilience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

If a former Facebook employee endured 17 rounds of interviews before getting his job, one can imagine scoring a role at the social media company is no easy task.

In order to get a leg up on the process, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says there is one thing the company especially cares about in the hiring process: your skills.

"We believe that skills are more important than experience," Sandberg recently told Glassdoor in an interview. Facebook was named number one on Glassdoor's Best Place to Work in the U.S. as part of its 10th annual Employees' Choice Awards.

"When we talk to people, certainly there are jobs we are hiring for where we love having experience, but my life experience has told me that people with great skills can do most things well," Sandberg said.

While talking about where you've previously worked and illustrating your grasp of Facebook's mission are important to landing a job at the company, discussing your abilities and strengths will showcase your versatility.

"Skills are more important than experience. So, I would rather take a total superstar in another area and move them into a new job, than take someone who hasn't performed as well but has the right experience," Sandberg said.

Self-made billionaire and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously spoken about how powerful promoting talent from within a company can be for a business' culture.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg told LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman that he's been focused on making sure that people have opportunities to grow in the company.

"It sends the signal to everyone else in the company that they can be those people in a few years, if they do good work and really excel," Zuckerberg said.

By considering a current or future Facebook employee's skills before their experience, this ensures that person will become an even more adaptable member of the company.

"Some companies spend an awful lot of time, especially in review processes, telling people what they're not good at, and trying to make them better," Sandberg said. "We try to shift the focus onto strengths and spend more of our time identifying what people are good at, and finding jobs for them that play to their strengths."

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