Zappos Makes Job Seekers Join Company Network

Social media has pretty much upended the traditional job search, as employers look for talent (and would-be employees seek to display it) on professional networks like LinkedIn as well as general use networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Online shoe emporium Zappos is taking the whole idea to the next level, however, with the launch of Zappos Insiders -- a social network that job applicants will be asked to join in order to communicate with current employees and show off their interest in, and passion for, the online shoe retailer. All the details of 450 new jobs at Zappos will be posted exclusively at Zappos Insiders, so applicants will have to join to even find out what positions are available. 

Even if job-seekers aren’t hired immediately, they will boost their chances of future employment by staying on the network and continuing to interact with Zappos staff. Meanwhile Zappos will have a constant pool of interested potential applicants to draw on.

Applicants are also encouraged to upload a traditional resume, and may record a video “cover letter,” but that’s where the traditional part ends. The new network will use technology provided by recruitment software firm Ascendify to categorize applicants by skills, interests, previous experience, education, and so on. Once they’ve been categorized and sorted this way, recruiters will then reach out to applicants with different interactive channels, including Q&As and contests, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile a “Life at Zappos” section details all the fun reasons to work at Zappos, including its quirky, light-hearted corporate culture, replete with ice cream trucks, animals on campus, and all that.

Last year, using traditional methods, the company received applications from around 31,000 people and only hired 1.5% of them, according to the Wall Street Journal -- a process that overwhelmed the company’s seven-person recruiting team.

The unusual recruiting plan comes just a few months after Zappos got rid of job titles for its workforce, which numbers around 1,500, back in December of last year.

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