Monday, February 10, 2014

Facebook's Hiring Surprise and What It Signals for the Future of Job Opportunities in Silicon Valley (And everywhere else)

George Anders writes:
When Facebook hunts for new talent, what tops its wish list? Brace yourself for a surprise. The giant social network – now valued at more $150 billion – is in the midst of a skills quest that doesn't involve its usual pursuit of software virtuosos.

What Facebook craves these days is people who can sell.

Scan the listings on Facebook's careers page, and you'll find an impressive 170 or so openings in sales and business development. (The exact total fluctuates slightly, day by day.) The reason: Facebook's money engine is built on advertising. Even in the highly automated world of online marketing, it turns out that making deals come together still requires a human touch.

There isn't a single technical department at Facebook that is as eager to hire. As of Feb. 9, Facebook was hunting for 97 more software engineers, another 78 infrastructure specialists, and 51 data/analytics experts. Yes, fast-growing Facebook has some openings in every section. But the demand for extra people is most intense in the time-tested world of sales.

There's a bigger message here.Think of Facebook's job postings as a peek into the next decade's career options for all of us. We're in the midst of an age of incredible technological disruption to traditional jobs. But there's a way to make your career automation-proof without needing a high-tech Ph.D. As I've suggested before, the key to sustained employment will be to concentrate on the people skills that machines can't copy.

Read the rest here.

Note: I have written before that those who have sales skills will never be out of a job. Businesses need people who can sell their product. BUT, don't think sales is about having a super-enthusiastic personality. It is about being a professional deliverer and searcher of information. The best book on sales ever written was written by the great financial author, Harry Browne. Browne's book The Secret of Selling Anything nails it.. I just told a person that is entering the sales field to read the short book through every month for each of the next 12 months.

From Browne's book:

1. Contrary to the accepted mythology, enthusiasm is not a virtue; it destroys
more sales than it creates.

2. “Positive thinking” is an unrealistic fallacy. The salesman who thinks
negatively has a far greater chance for success than the so-called “positive

3. Sales success does not come from convincing people to buy things they
don’t want.

4. The salesman who always has an answer for every objection is also
probably plugging along with a very low income.

5. Extroverts don’t make the best salesmen; they are invariably outsold by

6. To be a good salesman, you don’t have to be a “smooth talker.”

7. Another all-time sales fallacy is the statement “When the going gets tough,
the tough get going”. When the going gets tough, I usually take a vacation.


  1. to much in this country is upside down----twilight zone---ever since the 1960,s---like this article-------

    1. I don't get your meaning there, anon. I'm with you on the country, but what is it you believe is upside down in this article?

  2. In my early 20s, I was a dedicated socialist, as were many of my friends. Then I read Browne's "You can profit from a monetary crisis." The first 10 or so chapters contain a primer on free markets that is pure magic. In one sitting, I was transformed from a collectivist to a libertarian, and I've never looked back.

  3. Harry Browne was a wise man and reading his book How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World taught me two of life's most valuable lessons. Firstly, don't work up even one drop of sweat worrying or worse yet, trying to fix, things about which you have absolutely no control over. Secondly, don't expend any precious energy working on something that will return less value than the amount of time and effort you put into it. i.e. Don't sweat the small stuff.