Zappos Is Killing Job Posts, But You Can’t – Because You Aren’t Zappos

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Zappos made a big splash last week, announcing they were no longer going to post their jobs!

From this point forward, or as soon as they can get out of their legacy system, they’ll stop posting their open jobs.

Instead of the good ‘ole post-and-pray strategy used by the majority of companies worldwide, Zappos’s Talent Acquisition team will now only proactively search for candidates, build networks of possible candidates, and always have a slate or ready candidates available for each hiring manager whenever they have a need arise.

Sounds like the same line we’ve been feeding all of our organizations for a long time, right?

Why Zappos can pull this off

The difference is, Zappos can actually do it.  You can’t.

You see, Zappos is a “1 per center.” They are one of the very few employment brands who don’t need to post their jobs to get candidates. They have more candidates than they can handle.

They have one of the most engaged employee bases known to man who refer more great employees like themselves. Zappos can kill job postings because job postings, in their environment, actually make them less efficient! Their Talent Acquisition team is smart and doing exactly what they should to kick their competition to the side – taking advantage of their greatest strengths!

I do wonder, though: isn’t Zappos very big public announcement of  “killing job postings” just one very, very big job post? Ah, employment branding and marketing. Silly rabbit.

Let’s be clear: you are not Zappos.

This shows you don’t need to post jobs anymore

While you’ll need to keep running your post-and-pray strategy, I do think there is something valuable to take away from Zappos’s new no job posts posting strategy. Zappos has publicly shown all HR and Talent shops that you don’t really have to post your jobs!

What!?! Yes, Tim! Yes, we do! You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about!

Calm down, calm down. There are a few shops around that will continue to be forced to run job postings due to government contracts, or other “contractual” arrangements, I’ll give you that. But there is nothing legal, for most employers, that forces you to run job postings.

Most employers can hire whomever they choose. It is a best practice to post jobs, internally and externally, to ensure you are pulling in a widely dispersed pool of candidates and not opening yourself up to potential hiring biases, or even illegal hiring practices.

But most employers do not legally have to post a job. And just because you post one job doesn’t mean you have to post all of your jobs. That is the big takeaway from what Zappos is doing.

Why post ads for GREAT customer service/ call center jobs?

Let’s face it: Zappos’s operations is mainly a call center. They sell shoes over the Internet and on the phone. They are about customer service, and the best customer service job option known to man.

They are also in Las Vegas, which has thousands of crappy customer service jobs. If you’re good at customer service in Vegas, you’ll eventually want to work at Zappos. They have no need in posting call center jobs!

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You probably have similar issues. When I worked at a large health system, we had no need to post openings for cafeteria workers and lower level positions. We had people contacting us daily wanting those jobs.

Yet, every time we had an opening, we would post the job and have to deal with hundreds of applicants. Our “legal” department made us do this. It was to “reduce” potential risk, of which there was almost zero to begin with!

Putting the Talent Acquisition industry on notice

It was stupid. It made us do more work. It wasn’t needed.

Zappos has put the entire Talent Acquisition industry on notice — stop doing stupid stuff, like posting jobs you don’t need to post.

If you think you can get away with not posting any of your jobs, well, good luck to that. You’re not Zappos!

The micro-blog post, after the blog post:

You know what really pisses me off about this announcement from Zappos? For the next 3 three years I’m going to have to go to conferences and listen to people like Stacy Zapar and Mike Bailen tell us how Zappos is changing the recruiting world!

Ugh! More Zappos HR conference speakers … didn’t we already go through this with them? Oh yeah, I wrote about it, like three years ago and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh actually commented on the blog post – that was really cool! Check it out here! How Zappos Ruined HR!

P.S. Stacy and Mike — If you guys ever want to speak together at a conference just let me know; I’m willing to ride that Zappos gravy train out with you for the next three years!

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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