In the HR Daily Advisor, Steve Bruce recently reported on the keynote Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh gave at the SHRM Annual Conference. Hsieh shared that the Internet shoe business places so much emphasis on hiring for cultural fit that it interviews the receptionists and shuttle drivers with whom candidates interact to see if they should get the job, and it also mandates that trainees hit the call center phones during their first few weeks.
But here’s the really interesting thing. Once new employees are finished with training, they are offered a $3,000 bonus to quit right then and there. According to Hsieh, this is Zappos’ way of saying, “we only want people who really want to work here.” Two or three percent of trainees take the bonus and leave, and the employees who remain are more committed to the company’s mission.
Obviously, only a certain type of employee is going to survive and thrive throughout the interview and training process at a company like Zappos, but that’s exactly the point. Even in a poor job market like this, I still hear of organizations succumbing to desperation hiring so that they’ll have warm bodies to fill gaping holes.