Zach Ware – About hiring people at Zappos

So at Zappos a number of years ago our employees came together and put together what they thought were the Zappos core values. So we have ten core values, things like be humble, or things like create fun in a little weirdness, embracing drive change or do more with less. Like for instance, I’m talking to you now or about a year and half old back I was there just sitting on top of the Zappos box so that I’m leveled up. We don’t have fancy equipment, that’s do more request, right? But the way we hire people is you come in and you do an interview at Zappos, you have one interview with the hiring manager or the hiring team, it’s about you technical ability. And then the next, and often times the longer part and more detailed part of the interview is what we call culture interview, which is typically a separate person from our HR team.

He would ask you questions like, if you were a super hero what super hero would you be, and things like that, that sort of help to determine do you take yourself too seriously, are you a fun person, will you be someone that needs to have five assistants to be able to do a job, or can you actually just kind of drive it yourself? Does change scare you? And if both teams, the hiring team and HR don’t agree that your culture fit, then you won’t get the job. So we won’t hire people even if they’re the most amazing candidate in the world from a technical standpoint, if we don’t feel their culture fit we won’t hire them.

And we’ve passed on a lot of really great candidates for really great jobs because of that. So when you start there and you translate that into the workspace what ends up happening is, the people you’re working with are people that you want to go out and have a beer with. And in fact we encourage managers to spend anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of their time outside of the office, with their teams, say having a drink, going out for dinner, going to see a movie and so when we create those, that we hire that kind of people that sort of can do those things, they’re comfortable doing that and then encourage managers and teams to get together outside of the office. The work that they end up doing together is not really work at all, it’s just hanging out with friends doing some fun stuff.

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