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Zappos Insiders

Zappos is establishing a social network, Zappos Insiders, dedicated to recruiting and hiring new employees, reports Adam Auriemma in The Wall Street Journal (5/27/14). The goal "is to make the hiring process faster and easier by keeping a pool of willing and able candidates at the ready." Using software via Ascendify, Zappos’ "seven-person recruiting team" plans to sort candidates "based on skill sets or personal interests, shuffling them into ‘pipelines’ such as merchandising or engineering."

Rather than reviewing "cover letters and resumes" the Zappos recruiters "will spend time pursuing candidates in the Insiders group with digital Q&As or contests … to help gauge prospective hires’ cultural fit." The expectation is that this will also create "more time to spend on targeted outreach … such as following up on employee referrals." Michael Bailen, Zappos’s head of talent acquisition, says applicant privacy will be respected, that they "can engage with us in a very public way or private way if they’d like."

Some question whether applicants will "remain engaged … if months go by without job opportunities," but Michael "thinks those who identify with the company’s vision will stay connected for as long as it takes." Zappos currently employs 1,500 and last year fielded some "31,000 applicants," hiring 1.5%. It expects to hire "450 people this year." Zappos eliminated job titles recently and "also practices holacracy, a management system that rejects hierarchy and instead spreads authority … evenly across an organization."