Netflix Careers and Opportunities

Colleagues at a meeting
Gary Burchell

Netflix, Inc. was founded in 1997 and pioneered DVD rentals by mail, shipping DVDs to subscribers around the United States. 2007 saw the launch of its streaming service. Today, it dominates subscription video on demand (SVOD) across the world and is having a big impact on how people access content for home viewing.

Netflix by the numbers

  • Founded on August 29, 1997.

  • In 2000, Co-founder Reed Hastings offered the company to Blockbuster for $50 million, but they declined.

  • Delivered its billionth DVD on February 25, 2007

  • Offered a $1 million prize to the first developer to beat its existing video-recommendation algorithm. The prize was paid out on September 21, 2009

  • Lost 800 0000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2011

  • Worldwide subscribers reached 70 million in 2015

  • Annual revenue is $6.78 billion

  • Subscribers hail from 190 countries

  • Employs around 3100 full-time and part-time staff

Company Culture

Netflix scores high in company culture. Employees have freedom, flexibility, and a voice. The company released the Netflix Culture Deck, a presentation enshrining management philosophy. Many industry leaders praised it, with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg saying it "may well be the most important document ever to come out of the Valley."

Netflix’s management style can put pressure on those looking to build a career there. Employees must make sound judgements on their own; they aren’t micromanaged.

Unlimited freedom means they have to demonstrate strong skills and prove their worth. Netflix retains “outstanding” employees only according to Culture Deck author Patty McCord. The Chief Talent Officer is blunt about firing those who don’t fit into this mold. However, the company provides generous severance packages when skilled staff no longer meet Netflix’s needs.

Types of Jobs at Netflix

You can search for jobs via their job page or LinkedIn account. There are numerous tech job openings for:

Compensation and Benefits offered by Netflix

Netflix pays well and offers their employees an excellent benefits package. It pays the second highest median base salary according to Glassdoor’s 2015 report on America’s highest paying companies. Business Insider’s list of salaries at Netflix sets the average Software Engineer salary at over $140 000, 56% above the national average. A Senior Web UI Engineer earns $190,000 on average, and a Senior Software Engineer’s salary averages a little under $210,000. Figures are based on shared salary data on Glassdoor.com. Employee benefits include:

  • Free lunches

  • Up to 12 months maternity and paternity leave. Employees use their discretion on actual leave taken.

  • Unlimited vacation days, within reason

  • Open working hours (at the California office)

  • Health, vision and dental insurance

  • Employee stock purchase plan

  • Mobile phone discounts

    How to land a job at Netflix

    The application process

    Netflix responds to job applications through their website, and recruiters often reach out to potential candidates on LinkedIn. A phone interview will screen applicants with general questions about experience and career objectives. A second phone interview may follow and, if successful, one or more onsite panel interviews.

    Interviewing

    Netflix hires people it knows will fit into the company’s culture. Their Culture Deck is very important so know it well and investigate their “7 Aspects of Netflix Culture.” Your impressions of it reveal if the environment is right for you. You’ll need to be familiar with their product -- If you’re not a member of their subscription service, sign up. The first month is free. Think of ways the service affects you and how to improve it.

    Read the job description carefully, aligning key skills and experience to Netflix’s requirements. Research members of the interview panel and use that to build rapport. Netflix says it only hires “fully formed adults,” and you’ll hear this often in interviews. They expect employees to use their freedom responsibly and produce results. Interview questions will dissect company fit and analytical and technical skills.

    What existing employees love about working at Netflix

    Employees appreciate the freedom to work at their own place and use of their judgment to keep on top of workloads. The company has a 3.7 rating (out of 5) on Glassdoor, and CEO Reed Hastings scores an 87% approval rating. “Freedom and responsibility culture” dominates feedback about working there, appearing in 41 employee reviews on the site. Compensation, benefits, and work environment rank high as well.

    This article has since been edited by Laurence Bradford

    More Netflix Information

    From the Netflix corporate website, the following are “8 Great Reasons to Work at Netflix”

    • Netflix delights

      Connecting people with movies they’ll love is why Netflix exists.

      Really loving a movie doesn’t happen all the time – but when it does, it is intense. You can’t get it out of your head. You think about it a lot and you tell your friends all about it. Often you feel changed merely by the experience of having watched the movie. Everyone wants to see more “wow” movies like that.

      But such gems are unique to each person, which makes it very hard to find them in the ocean of 65,000 movies that span decades of filmmaking.

      Using the technology and community of the Internet, we help our customers select movies tailored to their individual tastes, so they love more of the movies they watch.

      We’ve been very successful in delighting people . Netflix is ranked #1 in customer satisfaction across all of ecommerce and above other great companies such as Apple and Amazon in independent studies not commissioned by Netflix.

      When you wear Netflix clothing in public, it is not uncommon to have strangers approach you to.exclaim “I love Netflix!”. Over 90% of our subscribers say they would recommend Netflix to friends.

      And we’re stretching to make Netflix better every day.

      Our passion for helping connect people to great movies is not all altruistic. When people love the movies they watch, they become more passionate about movies, and that helps our business. And as we continue to grow, we are, in turn, able to deliver more movie titles thus increasing customers’ delight. As a Netflix employee you can take pride in knowing you are contributing to a service which is so highly enjoyed.

    • We're democratizing movie distribution

      Producers of small films struggle to get their films promoted. Many go undiscovered forever. We’re changing that. We promote good small films as widely as big films.

      Our promise to filmmakers is simple: make a film that our customers love, and we will feature it as aggressively as the biggest Hollywood hit.

      For example, Hotel Rwanda is a small movie that few people saw in the theater when it was released in 2004. But Netflix subscribers rated Hotel Rwanda highly, so our system promoted it widely on our site.

      Hotel Rwanda is now one of the top 10 films of all time on Netflix, outperforming such blockbusters as Wedding Crashers and The Bourne Supremacy, all due to its high user ratings and our satisfaction-seeking website.

      As we grow, the market for small films grows, giving a voice to filmmakers everywhere.

    • We pay well

      We believe that one outstanding employee does more and costs less than two adequate performers. Thus, we try to pay at the top of the market for all our key positions. Our compensation practices are guided by market rates and performance, rather than seniority or resume.

      We focus primarily on a strong salary total compensation, rather than on bonuses and perks. Additionally, we offer investment vehicles such as fully-vested stock options granted every month, an employee stock purchase program, and a company-matched 401K program to allow employees to make decisions specific to each individual’s financial plans.

    • Our values are real

      Some organizations have lofty value statements however, often they are rooted more in aspiration than in practice.

      To understand the true values of an organization, watch how people interact with one another, who gets promoted, and who is let go.

      At Netflix we value – and reward – the following nine behaviors. The more these sound like you, the more likely you will thrive at Netflix.

      Judgment:Your judgment calls turn out well (people, technical, business, and creative judgment calls). Your insights are influential and important. You are an expert at what you do and a source that other employees look upon for guidance.

      Productivity:You are very effective in getting work done. What you accomplish amazes people.

      Creativity:You are inventive. You re-conceptualize issues to come up with innovative but practical solutions to hard problems.

      Intelligence: You think broadly and strategically. You make subtle connections others miss. You absorb large amounts of information rapidly. You learn fast. You can change directions rapidly when appropriate.

      Honesty:You are known for your candor. You avoid partial truth and tinted truth. You are non-political and straightforward when you disagree with others. You only say things about people you will say to their face.

      Communication:You are effective communicating both in meetings and 1 to 1. You practice Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood.

      Selflessness:You are perceived to be guided by what you think is best for Netflix, rather than best for yourself. You are ego-less when it comes to finding the best ideas and interacting with others.

      Reliability:Colleagues perceive they can depend upon you. You are not prone to flakiness, anger, or impulsiveness.

      Passion:You care deeply about Netflix success and your colleagues know it. Your thirst for excellence is infectious and inspiring.

      Each year we conduct a 360 degree review during which we give feedback to, and receive feedback from, individuals with whom we work The very core of these reviews lies in the nine values stated above. You will discover how well folks think you are doing and you will learn ways in which your colleagues believe you can improve going forward. Most people find it refreshingly honest and healthy and are reminded of how we actually live our values.

      • Rules annoy us

        Rules are developed to create boundaries and to dictate behavior.

        As most companies grow in size and complexity, they try to eliminate error by creating more and more policies. This drives out the creative mavericks who invent the future. A rules-driven business can grow in its original market, but invariably the market shifts in some way and the company follows the rulebook off the cliff of irrelevance. Too many tech companies have grown big, and then failed to adapt.

        With the belief that rules temper creativity and innovation, our modus operandi is based on anti-bureaucracy. Instead of adding rules as we grow, our solution is to increase talent density. Great people make great judgment calls, despite ambiguity. To provide employees context for great judgment, we are very open internally about our business, our customers, and our strategies.

        We want to innovate faster as we get bigger. We provide employees great freedom, and we’ve found that when we do, employees demonstrate great responsibility and accomplish amazing things. By way of examples, our vacation policy for salaried employees is “take some” - our expensing policy is “expense what you need to buy to do your work well”.

        We believe in freedom and responsibility, not rules.

        Our only absolutes are integrity and legality.

      • Our consistently outstanding people

        We’re a high-performance team, not a family.

        A strong family is together forever – no matter what. A strong company, on the other hand, is more like a professional sports team which is built to win. It is our philosophy that it is the responsibility of management at every level, to assemble a team that will generate huge success.

        To accomplish this, we seek to fill every position in our company with exceptional performers.

        In many companies, adequate performance gets a modest raise. At Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance package.

        For us, the cost of having “adequate” in any position is simply too large, when we could have “extraordinary”. Extraordinary performance means excellence in the nine values described above – which converge on talent and teamwork. Putting extraordinary talent together makes for a highly functioning and successful company.

        In our view, the benefit of a high-performance culture is that you work with consistently outstanding colleagues which is exhilarating. You do your best work, you learn the most, and you achieve a high level of professional satisfaction, when you’re surrounded by excellence.

        With a small team and few layers, you will be able – in fact, are expected – to make a real contribution to the business. We hire people who are great at what they do and we give them the freedom to practice their expertise without “second guessers” or “PowerPoint approval meetings”. The results are that you can get things done quickly and you are able to see the business impact immediately. Netflix is small enough so you can make a difference (and nimbly so), yet big enough to change the way millions of people enjoy their movies.

      • We love movies

        Many of us are into movies; some of us are just developing the love. Each year a few hundred of us flock to the Sundance Film Festival to watch films obsessively (and subsequently talk about them all year long). In our theater in Los Gatos, we show films screenings at work, and best of all, employees get a free 8-out Netflix account to gorge themselves on movies to satisfy their cravings.

        We live at the crossroads of technology and entertainment, and we’re passionate about both.

      • Our amazing future

        Our goal is to expand to over 20 million subscribers in the near future and along the way provide our customers the additional option of Internet movie delivery.

        For reasons both commercial and technological, we are convinced it will be a number of years before Internet movie delivery is even 10% of the DVD market. In the music business, eight years after Napster and five years after iPod, CDs continue to make up over 90% of music industry revenues. DVD will not be the dominant format in movies forever, but it will be for a very long time.

        Accordingly, we are making big investments in improving our DVD service. Our web software, which creates a custom website for each customer, is still in its infancy. We are constantly improving our proprietary logistics system which handles millions of DVD shipments to and from customers daily. In 2006 alone, we will invest over $200 million to market the Netflix brand. Furthermore, our film acquisitions group is growing and will be showcasing more and more films from smaller production houses and independent film producers. In short, growing to 20 million customers is transforming every aspect of our business.

        In addition to growing our business to 20 million DVD-rental subscribers, we are focused on leading the industry in movie downloading. Just as consumers watch movie previews from our website today, in the future they can choose to watch full-length movies delivered electronically by Netflix. We believe electronic downloading to be a relatively small near-term market as the movie studios continue to protect their vast DVD profits concurrent with the industry’s slow migration of bringing the Internet to the television. Over time, however, Internet delivery will become a huge opportunity for us.

        Way back in 1997, we very consciously named the company “Netflix”, and not “DVD-by-Mail”. We intend to become the leading company in Internet movie delivery, and expand the movie market significantly. So while we have achieved great success over the past decade, the most exciting and radical years of our company are just beginning.

        A final note about the connection between corporate success and respect. A great company earns, and is able to maintain, the respect of its customers, suppliers, investors and employees in large part to delivering on promises made. A great company, and a great brand, is essentially that – a promise fulfilled. We promise our customers stellar service, our suppliers a valuable partner, our investors the prospects of sustained profitable growth, and our employees the allure of huge impact.

        Delivering on these promises is our quest.

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