Applying for a job at online retailer Zappos is no longer as simple as submitting a resume. The Las Vegas-based company has scrapped traditional job postings and created a social network for people who really love Zappos and are dying to work there.
The network, Zappos Insiders, is a place for prospective employees to chat with current ones, find out about events, and schmooze in the hopes that a recruiter on the network will take note of their devotion.
Zappos human resources manager Mike Bailen said the switch from traditional job listings to a more social-oriented approach came after the company decided that the existing process wasn't turning up the best candidates. Zappos last year received 31,000 resumes and hired 1.5 percent of those applicants.
"Job postings are so one-sided," Bailen wrote in a Thursday article for recruiting site Ere.net. "We ask the candidate to sum up their existence on a sheet of paper and quickly rush to judgment without giving much in return. In our model, we want to be super transparent and accessible. Zappos Insiders will have unique access to content, Google Hangouts, and discussions with recruiters and hiring teams. Since the call-to-action is to become an Insider versus applying for a specific opening, we will capture more people with a variety of skill sets that we can pipeline for current or future openings."
How will you know what position you're applying for? The company does let you choose which department you're interested in. If you want to work on the tech side, you can chat with designers and engineers as opposed to accountants. (And, pro tip: Zappos still lists its open positions right here.)
It sounds like a great way to get to know the company, but the new process also sounds like a ton of work. If you're committed to a life working for Zappos, then a social network designed just for getting a job at Zappos is the best idea ever. If you're a regular person with a wider job-hunting net, then putting all of your effort into getting a job at one company isn't smart.
In a FAQ about Zappos Insiders, the company recommends that you create a video cover letter that conveys your personality, participate in biweekly Twitter chats, join in on Google Hangouts with recruiters and current employees, and comment on the company's various Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest posts to stand out from other Insiders. So, basically, being an Insider is a full-time job that weeds out anyone who isn't wholeheartedly committed to the Zappos brand. Sounds exhausting, but the Amazon subsidiary is known for being a little weird, a culture that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh rhapsodizes on regularly. Anyone who finds the new process off-putting probably wouldn't want to work at Zappos anyway.