4 Tips for hiring the right culture fit – By Zappos Recruitment team!

March 1st, 2017 at 9:03 am in #, #, Hiring for culture fit, Uncategorized by Paris Petgrave

Why recruiting for values matter – An insight into Zappos recruitment strategy

Zappos, a highly successful national shoe retailer and aspirational brand. Zappos are extremely well known for their founder Tony Hsieh’s thought leadership and insights into building a great company culture. Tony Hsieh is none short of a legend when it comes to good practice in hiring for culture fit. It is evident that they are one of the few companies that really get it right.  Meet a Zappos employee and you will see that they truly live their values and are the strongest and most passionate ambassadors of the Zappos brand.

For the Zappos talent acquisition team, values matching is regarded as one of the most important factors when making hiring decisions. During the recruitment process, a candidate not aligning with the company values trumps technical capabilities.

When asking Kiersten Sedlar, college recruitment program manager why this is so important to Zappos, she passionately responds that making a hire that does not align with their company culture and values can have devastating implications long term.

Zappos invest a significant amount of resources into the hiring process. The Zappos recruitment team are fully committed to hiring into the company culture and they stand by the motto  “slow to hire quick to fire” to ensure they make the right decisions.  They follow a rigorous 5 week, $15K per head training and induction process to ensure they are getting the most compatible candidates.

Zappos are passionate and uncompromising when it comes to excellence in customer service. They are a customer first culture and hiring a candidate that does not align with this value can potentially contaminate the team. This leads to more disruption as the hire can begin to influence and disrupt other employees or even clients and customer relations.

Katrina Jadkowski, part of the  Zappos recruitment team says the implications of a bad hire effects the team members. Clients relationships and culture are valued highly at Zappos and the entire team work hard to protect it.  Katrina also points out that productivity, team morale and customer service can all be effected by having the wrong cultural fit within your organisation. This inevitably affects your growth, impact and profitability as a business.

Here are 4 tips to helping your next hire be the right cultural fit. Inspired by the Talent team at Zappos.  

  1. Do a values workshop. The company itself should have a strong idea of their values and culture to be able to create a series of interview questions around it.
  2. Use a range of behavioural Interview questions and series of rigorous interview questions around the company culture to ensure the candidate is the right match.
  3. Do not rush the process. Kiersten stresses that you can never find the perfect fit, and when you are really focusing on culture, you take as long as you need to find the right cultural fit. Our HR team are not driven by numbers and KPI’s around hiring as it takes as long as it takes.
  4. One size does not fit all. Find a process that works for you. Zappos value cultural fit so highly they invest in every potential employee through a 5-week intensive training and assessment centre that can cost up to  $15K per head. This process might not be feasible for everyone, however, Zappos encourages that companies no matter their size can find a process that works for them.
  5. The things that they don’t line up with are coachable. Ensure your training and development programs align with your company values

Find a job within a company that shares your values get started.


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