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?
If you're feeling like you don't even know how to start looking for a job, read my new article for Philly.com! In it, I share some tips on how to prepare yourself, get organized, and dive in! I also included some local resources for those job seekers who are looking for a little extra support.
The Rev. Michael Robinson, Director of Community Outreach & Hiring / Human Resources at Temple University, shared this flyer for the 8th Annual Neighborhood Job Fair located on the Temple campus. The event is slated to include representatives from more than 50 employers across a wide range of industries. I won't be able to make it, but would love to hear about it from anyone who does attend!
Kenneth L. Johnson, President and Diversity Recruiter at East Coast Executives, invited me to speak with the Urban League of Philadelphia's Connect To Work (CTW) class this week. The class is an intensive six-week program - offered free of charge - to job seekers interested in working in a wide range of customer service positions. CTW offers assistance with the job search process and resume editing, and it has partnerships with many local companies looking to hire qualified candidates. Participants in the program come from diverse backgrounds, and many already have numerous years of customer service experience.
When I met with the current CTW group, I was really excited to see how engaged the students are, and truly impressed by their openness to accepting new strategies to find meaningful employment. Our discussion focused on the interview process - different types of interviews, expectations, tailoring responses to address employer concerns, questions the job seeker should ask of the employer, and salary negotiation.
This was a great group, and CTW is just one of many fantastic resources the Urban League offers. Definitely worth checking out if you are interested in customer service positions and having a hard time getting noticed!