Online retailer Zappos announced that it is no longer using job postings to attract potential employees, rather, they want interested job seekers to join their online community - Zappos Insiders. They also want prospective staff to engage with the recruiting team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. The Zappos Insider FAQ requests candidates to create video cover letters "or some other creative way to show us your true colors, your real personality and who you are as an individual."
Michael Bailen, Senior HR Manager at Zappos, wrote in an article last week that the company expects to hire at least 450 people this year - and that last year the 7-member recruiting team received applications from 31,000 job seekers (they hired about 1.5%).
There's an interesting software platform behind this, too. Ascendify calls itself a "social recruiting platform" or an "integrated talent acquisition platform." Like some other applicant tracking software, it prioritizes referrals from existing employees, but it also is mobile-friendly for applicants, has advanced search features for recruiters, and focuses on "building community" among job seekers and hiring decision makers.
Critics have already pointed out issues with potential discrimination and privacy issues, but it will be interesting to see how this works for the Amazon subsidiary. With estimates of the cost of a bad hire ranging anywhere from 30-120% of the employee's annual salary, if this does reduce turnover, it seems likely that many of the concepts being put into practice by Zappos would be adopted by other companies.
What do you think of this hiring strategy?
I'm a certified career coach based in Philadelphia. I started my own practice to help people land their dream jobs and achieve their individual definitions of success.
I also keep this blog with my musings on changes in the employment landscape, advice for job seekers, links to other career-related articles, and anything else that catches my interest.