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June 5, 2014

Zappos – Non-Traditional Workplace or Innovative Trendsetter

Filed under: General HR Buzz,Hiring & Jobs12:10 pm

A few months ago, Zappos, an online shoe retailer, announced it was restructuring its workforce into “circles” eliminating hierarchy by having no job titles and no managers.  This type of structure is known as a “holacracy.”  Within a holacracy, leadership still exists.  What it does is distribute leadership into each role, holding employees personally accountable, and rotating leadership among those in the circle.  This is definitely not a traditional organizational structure!

Now, Zappos is making another unique change – eliminating job postings.  The retailer plans to hire about 450 workers this year.  Though Zappos will be using social media, it is not what you may think!  They have created Zappos Insiders, a social network that candidates can join and become acquainted with current employees of the company.   The theory behind this method is to allow recruiters to be more efficient and effective by creating a constant pool of candidates that could be ready-made hires.  Recruiters can gauge cultural fit and skills of the candidates by asking specific questions and holding contests then using a separate software to organize the responses.  So, not only are job postings gone, but so are the plethora of resumes’ to wade through!

It will be interesting to see how this cutting-edge practice evolves and if other organizations will follow suit.  But, we in HR always have questions:

  • Will a social network glean more personal information about candidates than a company needs?
  • Will it help Zappos avoid costly bad hires?
  • Will candidates grow tired of waiting to be selected?

Before you try to walk a mile in Zappos shoes (eliminate job postings in your company) you may want to just curiously watch the success of Zappos in pioneering this new trend!

Source:  Auriemma, Adam. The Wall Street Journal. “Zappos Zaps Its Job Postings.”  Available here.

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