Microsoft is the most popular recruiting destination for the new generation of digital giants, illustrating how legacy tech companies are now playing a defensive role in the war for talent.

Nearly 13,000 former Microsoft employees currently work at other digital native companies including Amazon, Apple and Facebook, according to L2’s latest Human Capital report. Many talented individuals from Yahoo have also defected to digital natives.


Conversely, Facebook is the most difficult digital native company to recruit from, according to the study. Companies that manage to poach a significant number of Facebook employees are generally newer, with the ability to award significant equity – i.e. unicorns like Uber, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

However, winning digital talent is not necessarily the end of the story. Many digital recruits are younger and less experienced than staff at top consumer companies: only 22% of Snapchat employees have more than 10 years of experience, compared with 56% of the Johnson & Johnson workforce. And even for big players like Facebook and Google, retention proves challenging; Snapchat went through seven talent managers in 2015 alone. As the tech giants battle to demonstrate their staying power, these could prove to be considerable challenges.



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