How not posting open positions can help find better candidates

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Amazon subsidiary Zappos has long been notorious for its creative HR techniques, including paying employees bonuses to quit, and offering some candidates vodka shots during interviews. Now, the edgy company’s senior HR manager Mike Bailen has publically decried the “fundamentally broken process” of traditional recruiting.

Fueled by brainstorming and “liquid courage”, Bailen decided that the company will no longer advertise job postings, and instead reinvent the company’s recruiting function in order to better connect with job seekers.

Last week, the company launched a new careers site to reflect the change. Where most careers sites would advertise openings and only accept applications for those specific positions, Zappos now invites visitors to become a “Zappos Insider” and submit their information.

“Since the call-to-action is to become an Insider versus applying for a specific opening, we will capture more people with a variety of skill sets that we can pipeline for current or future openings,” said Bailen. “By removing the redundant nature of screening, reviewing, and rejecting candidates, we will redirect that energy into creating proactive pipelines of talent. When our managers have an opening in the future, we’ll already have Insiders pipelined, prequalified, and ready to be interviewed.”

Although there are still some job descriptions remaining on their site, Bailen admitted, they will be phased out in coming months.

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