What's the secret of FAANG recruiting?

Interview with Lital Zigelboim, Senior Technical Recruiter Leader at Facebook
June 1, 2021
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Lital is a professional tech recruiter with over 15 years of experience in global talent acquisition. In the last decade, she gained extensive experience while working at Google, Waze, Facebook and WhatsApp. Lital established Facebook's tech hiring in Israel, created the first WhatsApp hiring outside of North America and worked on countless talent acquisition strategies and efficient scaling across all brands and from all over the world. Lital’s vision is to bring the knowledge that she gained in recruitment into growing companies and help them fulfil their mission by hiring the right people. Lital is also a Yoga teacher for children. She loves practicing meditation and breathing and hopes to bring mindfulness into the recruitment world.

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How should companies think about selling their brand to candidates?

I believe that every interaction that the company has with a candidate impacts the company’s perceived brand.

Every interaction that candidates have with the company has a direct effect on your employer brand. The recruiters, the interviewers and everyone involved in the hiring process needs to make sure that the candidate's experience is positive. A candidate that had a positive experience even if they didn’t get the job in the end is the best ambassadors for your brand. They will share their experience with their colleagues and friends and will help you build your brand outside of your organization (there is a big chance that those friends can be relevant candidates).

There are many aspects to candidate experience. For example, it is important to update the candidate on where they are in the job search process and give them feedback.

Research shows that only 20% of candidates get email status updates on whether they got the job.

How do you want the candidates to view your organization? Get it right from the first stages of engaging your candidate as every interaction has a direct effect on your company’s brand.

What advice would you give to candidates to differentiate themselves when applying to tech companies?

Job seekers need to put in an effort and get to know the company they are interviewing for as well as the company’s products. Review the job description and the career site.

They need to share why they like the company and the product and what they can add from their specific background and experience.

Many companies are really looking to hire people who think differently and can add a diverse perspective to the team.

Be true to yourself - share your ambition and dreams.

What are the challenges you face as a tech recruiter?

The market today is really competitive. Good candidates are often contacted regularly by recruiters, making it harder for your email to stand out. You need to put extra effort when building this relationship with the candidates. You need to make sure that your approach to the candidate is a personal approach by tailoring your message for each candidate.

It is important to move really fast.

Strong candidates are usually interviewing with a few companies and if you don’t move fast there is a big chance that you will lose those candidates.

Building a strong employer brand is one of the key factors of successful recruiting. A good employer brand helps you attract and engage better candidates. Organizations that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire.

Yes, it is a complex, continuous, and collective effort that requires you to step out of your usual duties, but the effect of a strong employer brand is so powerful and has a long-term effect on your organization.

Tell us about your most interesting recruitment story.

When I look back at the candidates that I hired, each had their special story - I can share one from Google’s Tel Aviv office.

It was a very long process. The candidate was still in the Israeli Army and wasn’t looking for a job. I knew that she was a very strong candidate, and once she starts looking for a job she will have a lot of offers.

Her job was also very demanding - allowing me to only speak with her in the middle of the night. I had to adjust the interviews and sell calls to times that will suit her busy army schedule.

This candidate passed the interview process, was invited to a few of our recruitment events and in the end, joined the company. When she made the decision to join, she said the extra efforts we made helped her understand that we really cared about employees and she can see herself growing in this kind of environment.

What are the secrets of FAANG recruitment?

The challenges we face in FAANG recruiting are probably similar across many organizations.

Here are a few practices that are common to many large tech companies:

Passive candidate: FAANG companies put a lot of effort into sourcing passive candidates (candidates that are not actively looking to move jobs), engaging with those candidates, and creating special events. Those companies are not waiting for the right candidate to find them and do all that they can to find the talent themselves.

Candidate Experience: We make sure that every candidate gets a unique and special experience.

A good recruitment experience can speak volumes about how seriously you want the candidate to come on board. So even though initially, they might not be sure about joining your organization, they’d feel confident about it after the experience and they become motivated to be part of the company. We have a team that works on all the aspects of the candidate’s experience, starting from the first email that we send to the welcome present that successful candidates get in the offer stage.

Learning and Development: FAANG companies provide their employees a lot of learning and development courses which help us to continue to develop our skills as recruiters and perform at our best.

Read next?

How do FAANG companies think about recruiting?

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