How Facebook is Kicking Your Ass Recruiting The Country’s Top Talent

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I went to the University at Buffalo two weeks ago to attend a CodeCon that Bloomberg was putting on. 150 computer science students attended to compete for three top prizes of smart watches. Pizza and swag was provided. After the two-hour competition, the top 30 ranked students were contacted for follow up internship interviews. The event cost Bloomberg under $2,000 without the travel and accommodations they had to also pay for their representatives.

I spoke with some students afterwards. One of them will be interning at Facebook this summer getting paid $45/hour, all meals supplied (via Facebook’s cafeteria), and housing also paid for. That’s what Buffalo is competing with. That’s what the world is competing with. Facebook isn’t just recruiting the top engineers at the University at Buffalo, they’re doing it at every college. I can’t blame these kids for going out West for that. Work at Facebook, gain experience and start paying off student loans? Hell, sign me up.

Companies that have their internship programs fully baked like Facebook does, have an advantage over every other company and get access to the best talent. Kids are influential at that age. They lack choice and opportunity. They’re broke and thirsty for experience. Facebook spends $25,000 per student intern, plus recruiting costs and ensuring a great experience for these kids. Facebook gets a 3-month trial with these students to give them some of the Facebook Kool-Aid and also to determine if the candidate would be a future fit. Facebook offers $30,000+ signing bonuses for engineering interns who convert to full-time employees and the average starting salary is $100,000 – $125,000. If Facebook hires an intern full-time and that individual stays for 4 years, the overall investment was rather cheap to have landed one of the world’s brightest from the vast global talent pool.