October 9, 2011

Which Social Media Company Has the Smartest People?

By Tom Johansmeyer | Social Times)

Facebook, right? It’s always Facebook! And, to a certain extent, this is true. When you look at the war for talent currently being waged in Silicon Valley, Facebook is one of the winners. Google, LinkedIn and Apple, however, are doing pretty well, too. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft and Yahoo! are at the other end of the spectrum.

The battles over the best minds in the Valley directly affect the users of the many social media platforms on the market. There are endless races to develop and launch new features that will attract more users and get them to commit more of their time. Just look at Facebook’s latest developments, not to mention the launch of Google Plus and the coming of a new iPhone, and you’ll see how important it is to have smart folks working for you in this space.

And maybe the latest hiring trends will show us who the ultimate winners in social media will be! Let’s take a look:

Facebook: there are no surprises here. According to Top Prospect, Facebook hires 15.5 people from Google for every one person Google hires from Facebook. It’s almost double that between Facebook and Microsoft!

Google: sure, Google is already publicly traded, so the big employee payouts are in the past, but it’s still considered a great place to work. And let’s not forget that Google is still the online leader, even if not in social. While Facebook has been raiding Google for talent, according to Top Prospect, Google has been taking people from Microsoft, Yahoo! and Apple. The biggest loser is Microsoft, which gives Google 5.2 employees for every one it takes.

LinkedIn: even after the big opening bell on the NYSE earlier this year, people want to work for LinkedIn. For every one person that Google takes from LinkedIn, LinkedIn picks up 4.8. It wins a whopping 43 new employees from Yahoo! for every one it loses to the once-upon-a-time leader of internet search.

Apple: Steve Jobs may be gone, but many new people are still coming in. Apple trades employees with LinkedIn one-for-one, but it’s still in a net-winning position with Microsoft. For every one person lured from Apple up to Redmond, Washington, the maker of the iPhone draws five. Like everyone, it seems, Apple pulls people from Yahoo! … at a ratio of 7.6:1.

Yahoo!: does anyone really want to work for Yahoo! anymore? Yahoo! is the only company in the Top Prospect study that isn’t pulling talent from at least one other company. Sure, the board of directors is in disarray. The massive portal doesn’t have nearly the prestige it once enjoyed. The real question, now, is what this means for the future of Yahoo! Could it wind up losing even more market share to its online competitors? That’s my guess, at this stage of the game. A great CEO and board provides leadership, but you need smart people below that level to come up with new product ideas and execute them efficiently. It’s pretty clear that Yahoo! is losing the race by a widening margin.

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