This is Mark Zuckerberg's No. 1 rule for hiring great employees

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on May 1, 2018 in San Jose, California.
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With 1.47 billion daily active users and over 30,000 employees as of June, Facebook has a lot to manage.

Facebook is often ranked as one of the top companies to work for and young people aspire to land jobs there, despite recent controversy and public criticism.

When it comes to hiring new talent at the social network, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses a rule that is simple and straightforward: Don't hire someone you wouldn't work for yourself.

"I always tell people that you should only hire people to be on your team if you would work for them," Zuckerberg recently told Recode's Kara Swisher. Of his own high-ranking employees, like chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg or chief product officer Chris Cox, Zuckerberg says, "in an alternate universe, I would be honored to work for any of these people."

That mentality can even separate successful companies from failures, according to the 34-year-old billionaire.

"The single biggest difference that I see in whether the companies end up becoming really great and reaching their potential, or just pretty good, is whether they're comfortable and really self-confident enough to have people who are stronger than them around them," he explained on Reid Hoffman's podcast "Masters of Scale."

If you wouldn't work for the candidate sitting across the table from you, then hiring them won't help your company advance.

"If the tables were turned and you were looking for a job, would you be comfortable working for this person? I basically think that if the answer to that is 'no,' then you're doing something expedient by hiring them, but you're not doing as well as you can on that," he explains.

When he was hiring Sandberg, Zuckerberg says he quickly realized her talents and strengths, "things that Sheryl, ... is just much stronger than me at, and that makes me better and makes Facebook better," Zuckerberg says. "And I am not afraid or threatened by that — I value that."

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