Finding a Good Fit with a New Recruit

Zappos sells shoes and handbags. While most of their business is online, they do have an outlet store and warehouse in Kentucky next to a UPS hub and two more stores in Nevada. They also have a Canadian branch in Ontario. Since its founding in 1999, Zappos has grown to be the largest online shoe store, with projections of over $1 billion in sales for 2008. Impressive while­­­ these statistics are, what has really garnered attention to Zappos recently is their recruiting strategy.

New recruits at Zappos must go through an intensive four-week training session that immerses them in the company’s corporate culture and customer emphasis. It is not an easy job–much of the work is done over the phone (Zappos has mastered the art of customer focus and telephone service) and stories of excellent customer relations are legion. Employees are expected to use excellent judgement and be positively energetic at all times. So about a week or so into this on-boarding, Zappos makes “The Offer”–new recruits are offered $1,000 to leave, on top of what they have already earned during their paid training time. Yes, you read that right–Zappos incents its new trainees to quit WITH pay.

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