Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Adopted His Hiring Process From Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg seated next to President Obama, February 2011.

The New York Times has profiled the ‘education’ of Mark Zuckerberg, essentially outlining all the people that have influenced the Facebook founder. One of those, as we know is the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs.

Jobs admitted in the Walter Isaacson biography he felt it was his duty to offer support and guidance to fellow Silicon Valley company leaders, as he was also helped by great companies in the past. One of those people he noted was Mark Zuckerberg:

…I tried to be as helpful as I could. I will continue to do that with people like MarkZuckerberg too. That’s how I’m going to spend part of the time I have left. I can help the next generation remember the lineage of great companies here and how to continue the tradition. The Valley has been very supportive of me. I should do my best to repay.

The NYT article notes the Facebook founder adopted his hiring practices from Steve Jobs, similarly going out for long walks with prospective hires, but Zuckerberg’s version goes on hikes instead:

Mr. Zuckerberg sought out Mr. Jobs early on at Facebook. The two were known to take afternoon walks in Palo Alto, and they nurtured what many describe as a meaningful personal relationship despite their eventual business rivalries. (Mr. Zuckerberg was also inspired by Apple designs, and modeled Facebook’s F8 conferences on annual Macworld conferences. Mr. Zuckerberg later adopted Mr. Job’s walkabout approach to hiring. When Facebook was headquartered in Palo Alto, he often took high-level new recruits on hikes along the wooded trails near his offices.

Several people who were hired this way say the strolls usually meandered along the trail — with Mr. Zuckerberg asking questions of the new recruit along the way — and ended atop a lookout. There, Mr. Zuckerberg would explain the terrain in front of them and his vision for the future.

“He pointed out Apple’s headquarters, then Hewlett-Packard and a number of other big tech companies,” one person who was recruited by Mr. Zuckerberg told The New York Times last year. “Then he pointed to Facebook and said that it would eventually be bigger than all of the companies he had just mentioned, and that if I joined the company, I could be a part of it all.”

That sales pitch sounds like something Jobs would say to a potential hire, no? Even at the most recent F8 Conference, Zuckerberg’s presentations skills had oddly become more ‘Jobsian’ than usual.

At the beginning of May, Facebook introduced organ donor tools which Zuckerberg admitted was inspired by the death of the late Apple CEO. Steve Jobs was able to have a liver transplant in 2009 thanks to an organ donor. Facebook’s upcoming IPO is set to become one of the largest in Wall Street history and will turn Zuckerberg into an instant billionaire.

[via New York Times]