Facebook Time Capsule: An Inside Look At The Company – Pre IPO
Facebook may be in a quiet period, gearing up for one of the most anticipated initial public offerings ever, but it’s not stopping the company from making headlines with news like its recent Instagram acquisition or slowing employees from sharing details about the workplace culture and office environment on Glassdoor. In Glassdoor’s latest report, we’ve captured everything from employee sentiment around Facebook’s culture and salary packages to how employees rate CEO Mark Zuckerberg and even what it’s like to interview there – all before the company officially hits NASDAQ.
When we break down Facebook employee satisfaction over the past few years, we see they are giving all-time high marks in the areas of compensation and benefits packages, as well as how they would rate employee morale and work/life balance. Employee morale tops the charts in 2012 with a 4.7 rating (very satisfied) and satisfaction with compensation and benefits holds on to a fairly steady 4.4 rating (satisfied). Now the question is will these ratings remain steady once employees receive a positive financial return on the IPO?
Employees Believe in Mark Zuckerberg’s Leadership
As Facebook readies for this significant company milestone, the confidence in Zuckerberg by employees stands strong. Zuckerberg currently receives a cumulative 94% approval rating, based on feedback from more than 125 employees – note this is just two points lower than Apple CEO Tim Cook. When we break down Zuckerberg’s rating by year, so far in 2012 he has a 97% approval rating just three points shy of his perfect rating in 2010. (For perspective, since Glassdoor began collecting CEO approval ratings in June 2008, the average CEO approval rating on Glassdoor is a 62% approval.)
Will employees stay around after Facebook goes public?
The answer, of course, is: who knows? But there are some interesting comments within Facebook company reviews on Glassdoor indicating what keeps employees satisfied. When asked about the best reasons to work at Facebook (Pros), one of the most common responses is the food; in fact, out of all Facebook employees who have left reviews, more than 25% speak favorably about the food. A Facebook Employee (Palo Alto, CA) noted, “Amazing food. We get breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner served up by the best chefs around. Menus change daily and my favorite to date has been the Willy Wonka themed lunch menu. Sushi day is legit too.”
Other common ‘Pros’ of working at Facebook include the benefits (17%), perks (12%), salary and compensation (10%), and the sense of innovation (5%).
A Facebook Recruiting Lead (Menlo Park, CA) added, “Facebook gives their employees the freedom to work on projects that make an impact. When you’re able to work on things that affect millions and millions of people, it doesn’t feel like a job, more like a purpose.”
It’s also interesting to dive into the reviews and get a sense for what keeps the team focused on their purpose. As one Facebook Employee (Menlo Park, CA) commented, “The company cares about making the world a better place, and takes to heart our version of Disney’s famous “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” We really believe that.”
How can Facebook improve as an employer?
When asked to describe some of the downsides (Cons), one in 10 (9%) Facebook employees who left reviews on Glassdoor complained about long hours, followed by challenges to a good work/life balance (7%) and the politics (5%). As one Facebook Employee (location n/a) commented, “[Facebook is] fast-paced and demanding: not for the faint of heart or people looking for a regular 9-5 (which isn’t a always a bad thing). You have to constantly focus on impact to succeed.”
A Facebook Software Engineer (Menlo Park, CA) noted “I’ve done stuff that would’ve earned me instant promotions at a previous company, and only got a ‘cool, nice job’ at Facebook.” Another Facebook Software Engineer (Palo Alto, CA) commented that, “[Facebook] has now grown large enough that internal corporate politics have seeped in.”
How does Facebook pay…before the options pay out?
More than 300 Facebook employees have shared insights on their compensation on Glassdoor including average base salary, bonuses (cash, stock, etc.) and if applicable, commissions. These positions range from research scientist (average salary: $123,308) to user operations analyst (average salary: $43,518) to business development manager (average salary: $115,000) to product manager (average salary: $130,143).
Below are just a few highlights that break down what compensation packages are like for Facebook software engineers in San Jose, Calif., and then how Facebook compensation for software engineers compares to other tech giants in Silicon Valley. For example, while Facebook software engineers are among the highest compensated among top tech companies competing for talent, averaging $110,203 in salary and $14,262 in cash bonus, Google software engineers average slightly lower on base salary ($103,378) whereas cash bonuses average higher ($16,648), followed by Cisco, Apple, Yahoo! and Microsoft.
Facebook Software Engineer Salary & Compensation Report (San Jose, Calif.)
What should Facebook job candidates expect?
Facebook is hiring – there are more than 300 positions based on job listings on Glassdoor. Overall, job candidates say the Facebook interview process is about “average,” giving interviews a cumulative 3.1 difficulty rating. It’s interesting to note that candidates who left reviews about their recent interview experience in 2012 have been reporting a slightly more difficulty interview (3.3 difficulty rating). When we turn to see how candidates rate the overall interview experience, 41% report a positive experience while 21% report a negative experience, but as we all know, interviews can vary by department across a company.
For example, those who have interviewed for a Facebook marketing position report that the interview process rates as a 3.0 in terms of difficulty, yet only 6% report a positive experience while 44% report a negative experience. Whereas Facebook user operations analyst candidates report that the interview process rates as a 3.1 in terms of difficulty, and 41% report a positive experience and none have reported a negative experience.
Interview difficulty ratings scale: 5.0=very difficult, 1.0=very easy
Here’s a sample of recent interview questions Facebook candidates have been asked ranging from the basic to bizarre:
- “Given the numbers 1 to 1000, what is the minimum number of guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ for each guess you make?” – Facebook Software Engineer candidate (location n/a)
- “Implement a function to compute cubic root. What is the time complexity?” – Facebook Software Engineer candidate (location n/a)
- “Why Facebook?” – Facebook Recruiting Coordinator candidate (Menlo Park, CA)
- “What would you change about Facebook if you started tomorrow?” – Facebook Product Manager candidate (Menlo Park, CA)
- “What can Facebook do in order to improve and expand its user-base? (Particularly with the elderly.)” – Facebook Platform Operations Analyst candidate (Austin, TX)
- “Read in text from a text file or stdin and tally the most common words. Output, in order, the most common words present in the file.” – Facebook Operations Engineer candidate (Palo Alto, CA)
So as employees – and the rest of us wait – for Facebook to complete its initial public offering, Glassdoor will continue to collect and monitor employee sentiment at the social network. Stay tuned for updates along the way.
Work for Facebook? Contribute your anonymous salary report and company review to make sure your voice is heard.
Want to know even more? See what employees and job candidates in Facebook offices from San Francisco to Singapore really say about the company. Read more Facebook company reviews, salary reports, as well as interview questions and reviews. Don’t forget to also see your Inside Connections™ at Facebook by signing into Glassdoor via Facebook.
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