CEO Tim Cook reveals the four traits Apple looks for in potential employees

midian182

Posts: 8,332   +103
Staff member
Why it matters: Do you have aspirations of working for the most valuable company in the world? With its $2.35 trillion market cap, Apple offers plenty of employee benefits, but getting on the payroll isn't easy. According to boss Tim Cook, there are four qualities Cupertino looks for in its potential hires.

Speaking at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy (via Fortune), Cook emphasized how important it is that incoming Apple staff care about the world, as he believes this brings out the best work in people.

The CEO then broke down the four key attributes he says people need to work for Apple. The first of these and, given the company's controversial return-to-work mandate, possibly the most relevant today is the ability to collaborate with colleagues.

"…we look for the ability to collaborate with people—the fundamental feeling that if I share my idea with you, that that idea will grow and get bigger and be better," he said, noting that Apple's ability to create new products stemmed from collaborative, rather than individual, efforts.

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Unsurprisingly, Cook cited creativity as another trait Apple looks for in potential employees: "[we look for] somebody that will kind of walk around the problem and look at it from different angles and use their creative juices to come up with solutions."

Curiosity was next. Cook said being curious enough to ask lots of questions, be they smart or dumb, puts pressure on the person to think through the answers really deeply.

The last and probably most obvious thing Apple wants from workers is a high level of expertise. "If we're doing something in industrial design, we need somebody that knows industrial design and has a skill set in it either from their college days or through their work days," he said.

Cook said that Apple staff with these four skills had done well at the company, which is why it looks for the same attributes when hiring staff. He added that being paid a lot of money will not make someone happy if the job is unfulfilling. "People have to work for a reason bigger than themselves," he said. "So you want to have a vision for a company that is about serving the customer and somehow improving their lives. You want to do it in an ethical way."

It's interesting to hear Cook name the collaboration skill first. The CEO has long said in-person teams are essential to Apple's culture, which is why the company has been pushing harder than most to get its employees back in the office. It led to a staff petition in August against the return-to-work mandate that demanded location-flexible work.

Something else Cook perhaps should have mentioned as a trait Apple looks for is employees not making ill-advised comments in TikTok videos. Tony Blevins, vice president of procurement for Apple, made that mistake recently and it cost him his job.

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psycros

Posts: 4,464   +6,657
"People have to work for a reason bigger than themselves," he said. "So you want to have a vision for a company that is about serving the customer and somehow improving their lives. You want to do it in an ethical way."

And his "bigger reason" is Apple's bottom line. And that next part...he said that with a straight face?
 

Srhnd

Posts: 22   +32
"People have to work for a reason bigger than themselves," he said. "So you want to have a vision for a company that is about serving the customer and somehow improving their lives. You want to do it in an ethical way."

And his "bigger reason" is Apple's bottom line. And that next part...he said that with a straight face?
exactly where I stumbled upon whilst reading and thought, yeah sure...
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 616   +850
Of course, the ability to be happy with being a bland, conformist corporate drone is the unspoken attribute that is required of all potential employees in the 21st Century tech workplace

It's interesting to hear Tim Cook talk about the qualities he want in new starters, but the other important question is, are these qualities allowed to flourish?

In my experience, most employees arrive in the door full of enthusiasm and desire to make a difference. But sadly modern corporate management stuctures and culture can quickly snuff all that out. I suppose Apple might be better in that way than others?
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,315   +965
A couple of these traits - imply lots of freedom and space to work- mmmm
Google has a group like this apparently - sky something -- that's why google gets so more good, bad, whacky ideas projects they can kill off

Let's be truthful - Corps get a huge Government subsidies sponging of taxpayer Universities and researchers
Where they really do have more freedom to be curious , to be passionate

I think IBM use to have freedom groups as well - that's why so many patents


Anyway - our responses will be minimal compared to the secret messages going around in Apple.

What Apple has the right to examine and spy on all it's employers - what get searched in and out of the top secret and not so secret buildings - you lie , you lie

So this passion is needed for making consumer stuff - oh - so exciting ( now I get the purist M1 , beautiful new coding methods )

All these bright eyed bushy bunnies on there first days
Do they all end up dressed the same ?

Remember Apple was formed by Jobs and Jobs only - Wozzy was just a tool to be used

Look how the celebrate Woz - the Woz Pad , the Wozzinator - what these things do not exist - it's only Apple old fans who revere Woz - The Apple 1/ II family .

TBF - I think Steve Wozniak ( not sure how to spell ) was happy to potter around in background and just be happy and content
 

umbala

Posts: 786   +1,562
Instead of listing qualities they're looking for he should've just been honest and said "we hire people who will make the most profit for our shareholders".