Facebook is buying in bulk at Surplus Engineer City

Facebook has concluded that the best time to pick up new engineering and development talent is when it can afford to be picky and the engineers and developers can’t. Finding what passes for a silver lining in the recession’s clouds, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Bloomberg interview today that the glut of talent now out on the streets offers a great opportunity to stock up, and the company plans to to take advantage by expanding its staff by up to 50 percent this year. Facebook’s workforce currently numbers about 1,000, and it’s not clear from the story whether Zuckerberg was talking adding 500 on top of that or if he meant that the staff will have grown by 50 percent over the whole of 2009, but either way, it would qualify as a spree. “No one else has been hiring,” said Zuckerberg. “It’s been a great environment for us because the economy has helped out.” VentureBeat’s sources say Zuckerberg, who initially preferred to delegate hiring, is taking a more hands-on role in head-hunting and interviews this time in a personal effort to assemble strong managers.

Even as the hiring binge goes on, Zuckerberg told Bloomberg, the company is trying to keep a lid on costs, with the goal of reaching positive cash flow next year. It’s also trying to keep a lid on any delusions of grandeur among the staff, in part by not gussying up the industrial rough edges of the company’s new headquarters, an old building in the Stanford Research Park that Zuckerberg calls “the bunker.” “The thing I want to remind people of is we’re way closer to the beginning than the end,” he said. “A lot of times buildings can be a signal that you’ve made it. I would rather that our building feel much more like a very large garage.” Well, a very large garage that has an ex-Google chef supervising a 46-person kitchen staff serving three meals and a hot snack daily.


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  • aj

    People have to do what they have to do, but last hired first fired works here too.

    The jury is out on the Facebook business model – the older you are, the lower IQ you have to have to be amused by Facebook.

  • Sure, many who need a paycheck might be content to work at a social web 2.0 company, but the real excitement is in wireless. The innovation, the energy, the enthusiasm reminds me of the good old days when the web was first built. And yes, wireless companies like InnoPath are hiring. http://www.innopath.com/jobs/index.shtml

  • Sally

    Funny, when you look at a picture of the development groups at Twitter..Facebook… all the faces look pretty much like the white boys club. No diversity at all. When they say they are hiring, if you look different than the chubby twenty-something white boy with cutoff shorts, do they even let you in the door?