When it comes to hiring employees that will work with him directly, Zuckerberg says he looks for one key characteristic.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that there is a single guiding principle he keeps in mind when hiring people to work with him directly and that it hardly ever fails.

That principle: never hire someone unless you would work for them yourself.

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” Zuckerberg told an audience gathered in Barcelona during the fourth instalment of ‘Q&A with Mark’.

The "Zuckerberg Golden Rule" holds value for both employers and employees. For those doing the hiring, he stresses the importance of resisting the urge to settle for lesser candidates in the name of manpower. Over the long term, you’re only going to be better with the right people, not more people. 

As they say, work smarter, not harder.

For the person hoping to be hired, this begs the question: in applying to become an employee, how can you be a boss?

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Zuckerberg states that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, is the perfect example of the kind of employee that he would happily serve. While Zuckerberg respects having mentors outside of the company, he believes that the most influential figures in his life are the colleagues he sees on a daily basis. “Sheryl would be at the top of that list,” he noted, crediting her with the fact that 2 million businesses advertise on Facebook today.

Sandberg is well-renowned for her book Lean In, which is written primarily for women and discusses the unique challenges faced by women in professional settings. However, there are certain teachings within her books that hold true for all genders, professions and seniority levels. Among these are having the confidence to ask controversial questions that may spark necessary discussions, crushing the stigma associated with showing feelings in workplace decisions and engaging with every employee, regardless of their level or role.

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