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Facebook and Zappos's Different Views on Worker Retention

Published on October 30, 2009
by Tomio Geron

For fast-growing technology start-ups, there are many approaches to employee hiring and retention.

Two of the more successful ones, Facebook and Zappos, have very different methods, each with different goals: Facebook wants to hire entrepreneurs even if that means they will eventually leave, while Zappos wants to hire the best people to fit its culture and figure out how to keep them.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, said at a talk this weekend at Startup School, a Berkeley, Calif., event organized by Y Combinator, that Facebook seeks to hire entrepreneurial “hackers”–people who want to build something new–even though they may not want to stay for long. The company is focused on technology and tilts its hiring toward engineers, even for people in non-technical roles such as marketing, he said.

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