In the past it appeared that in some institutions, the very fact that a postdoc could get research funding on his/her own might have been the impetus for them to continue to hire his/her as a staff member. As much is stated in the PhysicsForums guide (https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/so-you-want-to-be-a-physicist.240792/page-2). I also heard that publishing as a first author in places like Nature or Science went a long way in securing some form of academic career at least somewhere. Recently the only faculty hires I personally witnessed seemed to be on the order of 3d-rate universities attracting people with several years of uninterrupted external funding, bringing with them at least 300k+ in further external funding and having published 5+ papers in Science/Nature. The two faculty hires I saw a bit earlier in higher-rated universities were people with 5000+ citations and 10+ years of uninterrupted external funding. Has the bar really risen that high recently? Or is it just a few coincidences in my personal experience?