How does ByteDance achieve a low churn rate to recruit core Internet talent?

Editor’s note: This article is from the WeChat public account “Chaotic School” (ID: hundun-university), author: Chaotic School.

Zhang Yiming became another founder of “Rapid Retreat”, and the low-key Liang Rubo succeeded him as the CEO.

Why Liang Rubo?

Zhang Yiming’s internal letter described it like this: “He has successively assumed the responsibility of product R&D, Feishu and efficiency engineering, and group human resources and management in ByteDance. Since the establishment of the company, From purchasing and installing the server, he took over half of the system I wrote, important recruitment, corporate system and management system construction, and he assisted me in many things.”

A person close to Bytedance told Fortune (Chinese version) that in the past two years, Liang Rubo was not responsible for products, but was responsible for legal affairs, internal publicity, logistics, and human resources in Bytedance. “He is the decision maker in these departments and the role of a steward.”

According to the “Poison Eye” report: On March 12, 2020, Bytedance initiated the largest organizational adjustment since its establishment.

Zhang Lidong serves as the chairman of Bytedance (China), and Douyin CEO Zhang Nan serves as the CEO of Bytedance (China). In this adjustment of the organizational structure, it is rarely interpreted that Liang Rubo took over Hua Wei as the head of ByteDance’s domestic human resources.

The year when Liang Rubo worked in human resources was a year of crazy expansion by ByteDance. The total number of people in the company jumped from 60,000 to 100,000. The rapidly expanding bytes put higher demands on managers.

And the organizational adjustment in March 2020 made Liang Rubo the only ByteDance executive who understands both technology and the company’s human resources work, and he is also a founding employee.

An HR with a technical background succeeded Zhang Yiming as the CEO. It can be seen that Zhang Yiming attaches great importance to technology and talent.

Today we are not talking about technology, we turn our perspective to the inside, and talk about the super-high person’s imitation principle of byte beating, and how they get along with the great people.

Why did Zhang Nan, Yang Luyu, Zhu Jun and other outstanding founders of the acquired team still charge on the front line of Bytedance today, becoming the new heroes of the Bytedance Empire in opening up the frontiers??

How does ByteDance achieve a low churn rate to recruit core Internet talent?

I have heard a lot of people complain to me that it’s too difficult to keep good people. Really talented people won’t work for you. These people would rather start your own business than stay in a big company. Restricted everywhere inside.

Indeed, we have indeed seen too many such cases, and such complaints must have resonated with many people. But before making the final conclusion, we might as well take a look at the case of byte bounce.

Zhang Nan, the current CEO of ByteDance China, was a product entrepreneur of social graph bar in his early years. After being acquired by Byte, he entered the headline and was responsible for the earliest product “intension”. In 2018, due to his outstanding contributions to Douyin, Zhang Nan was quickly promoted to President of Douyin. In 2019, he developed products such as Qingyan and Clipping. In 2020, he became the CEO of Bytedance China.

Yang Luyu and Zhu Jun, the founders and co-founders of, joined the company after being acquired by ByteDance in 2017. Currently Yang Luyu is in charge of an education product, and Zhu Jun Alex is in charge of the ByteDance product strategy Vice president.

If ByteDance has an attractive magic, then what is this magic? With such questions, I started a case study for more than a year.

01 Company is also a product

In 2015, Zhang Yiming once had such a short Weibo: Develop a company as a product.

Zhang Yiming believes that when entrepreneurs start a business, they are actually working on two products at the same time.

One is a product provided to users, and the other is a product provided to employees, which is the company itself.

The CEO of the company is the product manager of these two products. He is responsible for linking the two ends, one is the business, and the other is the employees.

Some people may have questions. The company pays its employees salaries and bonuses. How can employees be its customers?

Actually, under the principles of economics, “employees contribute factors of production to the company, and the company pays wages and bonuses to employees”. This is the same thing as “the company provides products and services to customers, and customers pay for goods and services to the company.” In essence almostThe same is an equivalent exchange under the maximization of the interests of both parties.

“Maximization of profits” is a key indicator for all our decisions. Here we introduce a concept in economics-ROI (Return on Investment) to help us understand.

ROI, generally translated as “return on investment”, refers to the total economic return we can get from an investment.

Zhang Yiming once said: Many companies treat people as a company’s wastage cost, especially some CEOs are very economical and always want to hire some cheap people.

But this concept is clearly wrong in economics.

Although this person is very cheap, but can bring you very little return, or is lower than the salary you pay him, then the ROI that this person brings to you is negative. Although this person is very expensive, it will bring you greater rewards. Maybe this person is really cheap.

The same is true for employees. Why is he willing to join your company? Because joining your company has the greatest return on personal investment.

For the CEO, how to design the “company” product is to let the company and employees have the highest ROI at the same time, so that each other is satisfied with the return on investment.

So what factors determine the ROI of the company and its employees? I have listed the following formula.

Its size is mainly determined by four elements, which are the functional input (the time and money invested) at the denominator side of the formula plus the psychological input (inner fatigue, mental anxiety);Performance returns (long-term and short-term income) plus psychological returns (happiness, sense of accomplishment, growth).

If we want to maximize ROI, we actually have to do only two things, lower the denominator and increase the numerator.

02 How to maximize employee ROI?

Zhang Yiming disassembled byte’s talent mechanism into three points:

First, return. Including long-term and short-term economic returns.

Second, growth. How much growth can be gained on this platform.

Third, mood. Can you work happily with your team and leaders? Does the cost of commuting affect your mood?

For example, how to reduce the functional investment at the denominator end. For example, HR suggested to provide employees with shuttle buses. Zhang Yiming said no, and directly gave employees a monthly rent subsidy of 1,500, allowing employees to rent houses near the company, saving transportation costs.

For another example, we know that many companies nowadays are rich in business, which reduces the efficiency of the company’s operations. We found that the general situation is that the person in the meeting took a long, long time to prepare the PPT. During the meeting, he was given 20 minutes to explain the content of the PPT to everyone. This time utilization is very, very low.

There is a department in ByteDance that specializes in improving the efficiency of meetings-Flying Reading.

The first step in the meeting of Feiyue is not for everyone to talk about PPT, but to send your prepared materials to everyone in advance. After everyone has read it, insert their questions directly through Feishu (byte internal communication software) And suggestions. After 10 minutes, everyone began to discuss the inserted questions and suggestions, which effectively improved the efficiency of the meeting.

Another improvement is “space-time asynchrony”. In a meeting, not everyone will speak. Many people will come over with their computers and listen to them while dealing with their own affairs. Therefore, the Flying Reading Conference has also established a mechanism. If a person is only related to a certain topic in the meeting, then he does not need to come to the meeting. When the discussion reaches this link, he can be connected.

Second, reduce the psychological input on the denominator end.

One of the corporate cultures of Bytedance is to create a “frank and clear” corporate culture, which can be understood as “dare to express real ideas face to face, oppose upward management, and be honest and direct”.

The “lack of honesty” here refers to not only malicious fraud, but also the inability to express ideas truthfully. In other words, although you did not lie, you did not express your opinions frankly. This is also a manifestation of inefficient communication.

For this, I am deeply moved. A year ago, I went to ByteDance to talk about a consulting and cooperation project, and the teacher in charge of the reception gave me two points for attention.

First, when communicating with colleagues in our company, just call them by their first name, and don’t call them the general manager.

Secondly, our meeting room is only booked until 10 o’clock. One more minute will not work. You must go out at 10 o’clock.

Sure enough, at 9:59, there was a knock on the door outside, so please end the meeting as soon as possible. The colleagues who were waiting outside also came in directly to start the meeting, and there was no extra polite thank you.

To work in such a work culture, our mood is very simple and pure, without any psychological pressure.

Sometimes, the key thing for employees is not only whether your salary is high or not, but also whether you have a fair evaluation of the work contribution of everyone in the company, and be fair in all aspects of the process reasonable.

Third, increase the material return of molecular employees.

In terms of salary fairness, Zhang Yiming also raised many questions.

He said that by comparing salaries and performance, we found that salaries often have various forms of premiums.

For example, newcomer premium. This person jumps over, so how can we get a certain increase from his original salary? However, the high salary is likely to produce an unfair contrast to the fast-growing people in the original team.

How to solve it? Zhang Yiming believes that the company should set a monthly salary according to the job level. The job level represents a stable monthly salary. If you make outstanding contributions, the company can use bonuses to reflect it. Secondly, let HR rather than the business director set the salary, and HR also does not need to refer to the person’s historical salary when determining the salary. HR will give a final offer based on the job level and comprehensive supply and demand in the talent market.

There is another option issue.

When a startup company recruits people, because it is not attractive enough, it often gives some options. But the problem is that the scale of the company is getting bigger and bigger, and the option pool is getting smaller and smaller. At this time, we find that it is difficult for the diluted options to attract top talents.

Zhang Yiming also discovered this problem during the interview, because good candidates often tell him that today’s headlines are very good, but the best time to join you has passed.

The person who received option rewards in the early stage, even if his contribution is less later, but because his options are particularly large, he will get a lot of rewards. In other words, the status of the employee who gets the reward is no longer an employee. , But the identity of the investor.

How to solve this problem? The method given by Zhang Yiming is very simple. For early people, pay more bonuses and replace options with higher salaries.

Zhang Yiming said that an option is essentially just a financial tool, and what employees want is a financial return. So we only need to give outstanding employees an excess financial return. He and HR said that as long as this person makes outstanding contributions, the employee can get a year-end bonus of up to 100 months of monthly salary at the end of the year.

So we see why ByteDance can retain the core personnel of the excellent entrepreneurial team. The reason behind it is that they have truly achieved Pay for Performance and treated your contribution fairly.

Every CEO and HR understand the two words fair, but it is very difficult to achieve it.

Fourth, improve the psychological rewards of molecular employees.

Staff came hereCan this company grow? Are you happy at work? Can you give him a sense of accomplishment?

When I visited Netflix 4 years ago, I was very impressed by the concepts they advocated. Netflix said that the best benefits for a company to give employees are not cool team building activities or good coffee in the pantry, but recruiting even better employees than him, so that employees can interact with the best in the industry. Work together, this is the best employee benefits.

In a sense, Bytedance also practices this culture.

03 How to maximize the company’s ROI?

How to reduce the company’s total investment? Zhang Yiming also gave three criteria for their recruitment.

Super strong learning ability

Broad vision

Mature of mind.

For Zhang Yiming, what he wants to recruit is the top people in the market. These people must use the highest salary level in the market to get them, including salary, bonuses and options to employees. The cost is relatively speaking. very high.

But at the same time, we found that after such people were recruited

The cost of company management has been reduced. Excellent employees are quick to speak and learn quickly. The training time and money the company spends on each employee has been reduced.

The psychological investment that leaders spend on employees has also decreased. Everyone has a clear goal and performs their duties without losing the chain, and there is no need to worry that employees can’t stand the pressure, and our psychological investment will be greatly reduced.

Looking back, Zhang Yiming’s super learning ability, broad field of vision, and mature mind are actually used by these three key traits to accurately hit the cost reduction of all elements except money to effectively maintain the company’s total Invest.

At the same time, we also found that companies’ perceptions of outstanding talents are almost the same.

In 2016, I visited the headquarters of Didi Chuxing. At that time, I saw a value poster called “Xiaoju Eyesight Chart” in their office, which wrote a few:

Achieve others, recruit someone who can become your boss after 5 years, with a broad vision and a big structure;

Put down the glass heart and exchange it for a steel one, which is to recruit mature adults;

Always accept the challenge and regard growth as the most important thing.

Translated, these three indicators are almost identical to the three key indicators mentioned by Zhang Yiming. It can be seen that, from the perspective of economic principles, the logic of the outstanding talents pursued by the company is actually the same.

Secondly, increase employee returns to the company on the molecular side.

Zhang Yiming’s approach is to open up the boundaries of the business without setting limits, allowing the entire company to grow rapidly. Because only in this way, these top talents can continuously create top returns.

About talent recruitment, Zhang Yiming has a famous imitation of Munger.

Never lose talent;

Never forget the first one.

In Zhang Yiming’s view, this talent must come to me, and after he comes to me, he must also avoid being poached by competitors.

In fact, this is another abnormal thinking.

When we usually fancy a talent, if he is not the person I need in the business section, or he is unwilling to come over as a backup force, in the end I can only reluctantly give up my love and choose to let it go.

But Zhang Yiming believes that what this person did before is not important, what is important is what you can bring to my company in the future? If my company does not have this business for the time being, as long as you are good enough and I prepare this business for you, why not?

As long as you can help me bring a higher ROI, we can do it. This is why we see why ByteDance now has so many APP products.

04 Create the optimal allocation of internal production factors through economic principles

Finally, we can see that, in fact, Zhang Yiming’s way of getting along with a man is to be able to use economic principles to create an optimal allocation of internal production factors.

Zhang Yiming has allocated top company treatments, fair and transparent working mechanism, industry top talents, perfect administrative support, huge product flow, and high degree of freedom product space for outstanding talents. Top talents cannot refuse in all aspects. Staying here has the greatest ROI for themselves, so what reason do they have to go out and start their own businesses?

If a talent comes to you, the salary is average, the heart is very tired, and the space for exertion is small, this person should not work here.

You have no reason to keep this person, you are wasting social resources. Because the invisible hand of the market is here, the factors of production will flow to the optimal level, and they will flow to a more suitable position.

As Didi Chengwei said, the cognitive boundary of the founder is the true boundary of an enterprise. If others leave you, you may be the boundary.

05 Startup company self-view list

Finally, after talking about so many principles, how can we copy these methods into my company? I think there are two points that require special attention.

First, the byte method cannot be copied in full.

Business growth and talent density must match each other. If the company’s business growth is slow now, we really cannot give employees the highest level of salary in the market in one step.

So we can’t copy all the byte practices. Instead of getting it in place in one step, it’s better to move forward gradually.

Second, employees need to be viewed hierarchically.

For example, many senior executives are no longer so sensitive to money, but we are still giving them money in the wrong direction, or that many young people are in poor economic strength, and our company is still instilling them The sense of mission and corporate vision, in fact, the ROI we can obtain in the end is very low.

Finally, I have compiled two self-examination lists for you, and I hope it will be helpful to you.

Perspective 1: Self-check list for maximizing ROI of employees

1. What is the percentage of the employee’s effective and efficient working time in his total work-related time? Can it be improved?

2. Is there room for employees to reduce their own money investment in work? How to lower it? Such as canteens, gyms, rental subsidies and so on.

3. Is there room to reduce the distortion and internal friction of employees at work? How to reduce it? As a leader, do you respond to the needs raised by employees soon, or do you respond after a long time? Do you often have random meetings and assign tasks, disrupt the pace of other people’s work, and finally make employees have to work overtime to complete their work?

4. Does the company’s salary policy and option policy have any problems with acquaintance premium, newcomer premium, and seniority premium? How to pay fair based on performance and market level?

5. How to make employees grow quickly at work? Do company leaders have coaching leadership?

6. How to let employees find a sense of accomplishment and work meaning in their work?

Angle 2: Self-inspection checklist for maximizing ROI of the company

1. Does the company have a clear talent strategy? Are our talent recruitment standards clear?

2. Is there room for improvement in the effectiveness of the time spent on employees by leaders at all levels of the company? How to improve?

There are actually two logics.

The first one, bytedance, is to recruit the best people with the highest salary.

Second, Foxconn’s style of play, my average labor is very cheap, but I have established various standardized SOP processes, as long as people can do it, this method can also be successful. There is no standard answer to this question.

3. Are leaders at all levels of the company exhausted and exhausted because of their immature minds and inability to improve their performance? How to improve?

4. Does the company have any problems with internal organization and inter-departmental cooperation? How to improve?

5. How about the company’s strategic growth rate? Can it match or even exceed the rate of talent growth? How to find more room for growth?

6. Have leaders at all levels of the company effectively coached employees and helped them create the greatest contribution to the company?

I hope that the above questions can help you improve your human efficiency and find some ways to improve gradually.