Recruiter Spotlight: Rockne, This Week on @InsideZappos

Picture this. You enter a room full of mismatched colored tiles.  At the end of the hallway, there’s a door. Discovering it’s locked, you decide to turn back around.  But wait! The original door you came from now has a music activated lock? OMG, this place is weird. After playing the password song, the original door opens to a jaw-dropping scene. Everything in this new room is made of sweet treats and sugary delights. Oversized gummy bears and caramel-covered apples hang from trees. Mushrooms covered with whipped cream. Twizzler candies coiled up in fern-like shapes and sizes. Chocolate milk waterfalls adorn the background. This can’t be real… or can it?

To be completely honest, I’ve never come across a place like this unless I’m glued to my TV, watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In reality, there wouldn’t be such a place. It would attract ants and other bugs. The sugar would probably crystalize over time or just dry out. The realist in me has come to terms that this would probably never happen, yet the feelings I get when I think of such an idea are the same feelings I get here at Zappos.

From the unparalleled focus on customer service and satisfaction, to the opportunities that this company provides to every employee, and not to mention the free happy hours, I constantly question this company’s legitimacy.  Can this be real? Well, in this case, yes it can!

@InsideZappos, @Zappos, inside zappos,zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees,Zappos Family,Zappos Recruiters,Zappos Recruiting, Zappos Merchandising, Zappos on Twitter, #InsideZappos, Zappos careers, For five years now, I’ve been part of this amazingly quirky and passionate company.  I’ve been fortunate with many growth opportunities, from customer service to new hire training and now recruiting. Through it all, I’ve realized one thing: When it comes to this company and where you want to go, literally the sky’s the limit.  Each day brings a bountiful amount of challenges, opportunities and rewards. So much so, that you constantly find yourself editing your professional and personal roadmap. Just like the dead end hallway in Willy Wonka, you sometimes realize that a path you may have taken might not be the right one for you and that’s alright. Zappos supports your mistakes and encourages you to turn around and try a different path.

When you find that right one however, you’re not welcomed with gummy bear trees or chocolate waterfalls or even Twizzlers.  Even better, you’re welcomed with the opportunity to love the job you’re doing. Don’t worry though, I promise there’s still chocolate here! Above all, this company makes you realize that the experiences you encounter here will only bring out your very best potential.

Speaking of Willy Wonka, wasn’t that a crazy character?!  So much quirkiness, so much pizazz.  In a strong way, I can definitely identify with him. Seven years ago, I took the chance and moved from Hawaii to Las Vegas to create my vision of who I wanted to become. My eclectic taste in reality shows, music and Spam very much mirrors Wonka’s diverse outlook in life. It’s almost like I’m the quirky carbon copy of Willy Wonka himself. There is one thing, however, that I can’t agree with: that hideous top hat! LOL.

With that being said, I’m super excited to announce that I have the amazing privilege of representing @InsideZappos this week! My job is to share the wacky, the zany and the sometime whimsical environment known as Zappos.com! I promise I’ll try to include my crazy personal antics as well! It’s time to take that leap, open that door and see what #InsideZappos is all about.

First things first! Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Thursday 4/17 at 10am PT / 1pm ET for our next  #InsideZappos Twitter chat, hosted by yours truly, Rockne Henriques @Rockne808 , the Merchandising Recruiter for Zappos and Tyrone Holokai @tyroneholokai, one of our future Fashion Footwear Buyers. We’ll be sharing our Zappos journeys with the world and answering all of your questions.

The best part? We will be joined by all of our recruiters at @InsideZappos. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it! See you there!

Recruiter Spotlight: Kyle, This Week's @InsideZappos Social VIP

What an amazing time it is to be @InsideZappos! First we’re in a blender, now we’re saving lives - What?!! Just kidding. All “Internship” movie quotes aside, we’re super excited to carry on our recruiting visibility efforts, leveraging social media to make the stereotypical mundane hiring process a more personable one. As we scale, our goal is to not only protect the Zappos culture, but root our talent brand by focusing on what’s most important - candidate experience!

@InsideZappos, Inside Zappos, Zappos Recruiting, @ZapposCoach, Zappos Recruiters, Zappos Core Values, Zappos Culture, Zappos Employees, My name is Kyle, and I’m a technical talent sourcer here at Zappos.com, Inc. I proactively scour the globe for the most technically capable and culturally sound candidates who will contribute to the Zappos vision. June will mark my 2 year anniversary with the Zappos family and I couldn’t be happier! I am thankful for the support of the good people here who have encouraged me to take risks. Big shoutout to Augusta Scott, our very own @zapposcoach. She helps change lives for the better.

My journey to Zappos began back in December 2011 when I filmed my first and only video cover letter. (Enjoy!) A Zappos recruiter reached out after my 3rd time applying for various merchandising assistant roles. Like many, I assumed merchandising is where everyone starts, Zappos being an e-commerce site selling shoes, clothing and all. My recruiter was patient enough to let me know that most folks start in the call center, learn the company, and then apply to positions they’re passionate about. I was wowed away by that! Most of the other companies I applied to at the time didn’t even bother to let me know they filled the position already. Being my first encounter with a Zapponian, that’s when two things were confirmed for me: (1) Zappos is a special place with people who care & (2) I wanted to pay that kindness forward and WOW potential candidates like she did.

Fast forward to June 2012, I took that advice, applied for the call center role, and was selected to join the Customer Loyalty Team on the phones. After a year of “wowing” customers via phone and live chat, I decided to “pursue growth and learning.” (One of Zappos' ten core values.) I applied for the internal Sourcing Z’Apprentice role with recruiting and got it! I even emailed my original recruiter to let her know that I would not be here if it weren’t for her support during my journeys’ infancy. After three months of rocking the Z’Apprenticeship, recruiting converted me to full time status, and now I live my dream job every day! I get to find and engage talent for one of the best brands in the world. I am so humbled by my Zappos expedition thus far and can’t wait to see what the next chapter in this developing story will bring! 

Last week was an incredibly successful maiden voyage for @InsideZappos new Social VIP program because Christina Bates (@CBates9) let her boundless energy and enthusiasm shine through her tweets. Thanks Christina. Let’s keep this party going! This week, I'll be the voice behind the tweets @InsideZappos, sharing the quirky fun shenanigans occurring every day in the kingdom of Zapponia (work gets done too, promise!).

Check us out this Thursday 4/10 at 10am PT / 1pm ET for the second Zappos tweet chat, hosted by myself @kylenathaniel and Dave Stevens @byterange, the Mobile Web Manager for Zappos Tech. There will be many other Zapponians on the Twitter chat as well, fielding questions and sharing insights on the cultural climate #InsideZappos. Hope you can join us!

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We welcome everyone (Zappos employees – current or future!) to join our #InsideZappos Twitter chat this Thursday April 10th at 10am PT / 1pm ET at http://tweetchat.com/room/InsideZappos. Mark your calendars now!
 
Q1: What’s your current role at @Zappos and how long have you worked here?

Q2: What's the BEST part about working @InsideZappos?

Q3: What your FAVORITE @Zappos perk / benefit?

Q4: What's the COOLEST thing you've ever purchased on @Zappos or @Shop6pm?

Q5: What makes @Zappos the MOST UNIQUE company culture you're worked for?

Q6: If I could describe @Zappos in one word, what would it be?

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Recruiter Spotlight: What’s Life Like @InsideZappos?

Have you ever wanted to see a face behind the careers process at Zappos? From time to time I get suggestions that it would be nice to make our approach to hiring more personable. Well we’ve listened, and here’s our first attempt at doing just that!

Zappos Culture, Zappos Jobs, Zappos Careers, Zappos Recruiters, @InsideZappos, Twitter, Zappos Summer Internship Program, #InsideZappos, Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Christina, and I’m a recruiter here at Zappos.com, Inc. located in downtown Las Vegas, NV. I’ve been working here for just a little over two and a half years, and I absolutely love it! One of my favorite things about working for Zappos is not only the people I get to work with, but also the fact that the company values personal growth.

My path at Zappos began in September 2011 where I was fortunate enough to get hired into the customer loyalty team (CLT), also known as our amazing call center. One of Zappos’ core values is to “Pursue Growth and Learning.” So I did just that, and after six months I applied for an internal Z’Apprentice position in recruiting. From there I assisted with our tech department needs and got an opportunity to fill the shoes (pun intended!) of the college recruiting coordinator. While in this role, I helped recruit, organize, and manage our summer internship program! Just recently I was promoted to a recruiter role, and I now assist with our marketing and creative services positions. My journey here at Zappos is something that is always evolving, and I’m constantly faced with excitingly new day-to-day challenges.

Today, I’m excited to announce that we are starting a new chapter in our social recruiting efforts, and the journey begins with our new Twitter handle @InsideZappos. I'll be the voice of @InsideZappos all this week, sharing lots of fun info about Zappos and helping everyone see what a great company we are.

Be sure to tune in on Thursday 4/3 at 10am PT / 1pm ET for our very first tweet chat, hosted by myself @cbates9 and @JoshtheWeaver, the Social Media Community Manager for 6pm. We’ll be sharing some fun insights behind our wacky culture and show you what life #InsideZappos is all about!

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We welcome everyone (Zappos employees – current or future!) to join in the discussion this Thursday April 3rd at 10am PT / 1pm ET  at http://tweetchat.com/room/InsideZappos. Mark your calendars now!
 
Q1: What’s your current role at @Zappos and how long have you worked here?
 
Q2: What’s your FAVORITE thing about working @InsideZappos?
 
Q3: What’s the best part about living in Las Vegas?
 
Q4: What do you think it takes to be successful @InsideZappos?
 
Q5: How would you describe your work to your friends and family?
 
Q6: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen @InsideZappos?
 
Q7: How can people who are interested in working @InsideZappos learn more about the company?

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Zapponian Spotlight: Stephanie H.

At Zappos, we like to make sure that Customer Loyalty Team has someone they can turn to if they need some additional information. This is called the Resource Department. We also like to make sure the Resource Department (“RDesk” for short) has someone they can turn to if they need additional information. This role is called the quartermaster. They are like the Resource Department’s resource department! They have even more Inception-like qualities.

One such quartermaster is the indefatigable Stephanie H. The H stands for “hunka burnin’ love”. Ok, that’s not actually true. The H is a closely guarded Zappos secret. I sat down with Stephanie to see what other secrets she might have…

create fun and a little weirdness, zapponian spotlight, zapponians, zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees, zappos hq

First question is a challenge. If you answer it, you receive one point. Then at the end of the interview, we’ll see who has the most points.

SH: Wait, so I’m competing against you, and you know the answers to everything? 

No, I don’t know the answers to everything. If you feel like you have any challenges you wish to issue during the interview, you are free to do so. You should know that gives me opportunities to pass you in point. Ok, are you ready?

SH: Yes.

Ok, that is one point for you since you got that one right. Now for question two. Can you describe for me what quartermasters do. But your answer must be an acrostic that spells the word “pirate”!

SH: Ok, so P- I help “please” the team. If they have questions, I help answer them. Or if they need anything like tissues because their nose is running --

Or they’re crying.

SH: Or they’re crying. I‘m there to wipe their tears. And their nose. Ok, the letter I. Can I just make the “I” me? I’m quartermaster so “I”. R is “run around and dance”. A is --

(At this point, a Zappos Insights tour group from Taiwan joins us in the UFO meeting room…)

SH: A for “all kinds of stuff”. T for “telephone”, I answer that. E for “excitement”…

(the Taiwanese tour group applauds here)

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and why?

 

SH: Whether I’m hungry or not, because my answers will have a lot to do with whether I’m hungry or not--or grumpy. But if I’ve had food, I’m a happier person.

Wow. If you ever get interviewed again, I hope someone asks you that question.

Anyway, next question. So, you notice there’s this pad and pen in front of you. To a layman, it might seem more logical for the pad to be in front of me. But I assure you this is not an error. For your next question, you must explain what Zappos culture means to you. But while you answer, you must close your eyes and draw a rabbit.

SH: Umm, ok.  [draws bunny] To me, the Zappos culture means that I can go to work, and I can have a fun time. I still get my work done, but I can dance around in between calls, and I can sing and express myself. 

Keep answering until the bunny is done! You ran out of answer before you ran out of bunny!

SH: Is that cheating? Oh no! And yeah that’s it!

Stephanie puts the pen down. I hold up the drawing of the bunny.

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Stephanie's rabbit & a real rabbit for reference.

The tour group “oohs” and “ahhs”.

If you could be any kind of shoe, what would you be?

SH: I would be an Alexander McQueen heel because I can’t afford one.

That is the end! Thanks so much Stephanie for taking the time to do this Zapponian Spotlight interview!

Oh, and those tourists? Some say that they are still in the Zappos UFO to this very day, whispering things that you can’t understand. ‘Til next time!

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Zappos Baggage Claim Game!

At Zappos.com, we love to create unexpected stories that surprise and delight people going about their everyday activities.

On the busiest travel day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving, we decided to bring some of that special, unexpected surprise to travelers in Houston, TX.

We wrapped a baggage belt with prizes, and turned the baggage claim area - one of the most dreaded places for travelers - into a game show.
Introducing the Zappos Baggage Claim Game. #TravelHappy!

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Content Has No Limits!

Content’s fall 2013 Olympics last week at the beautiful Springs Preserve.  Following tradition, the department was divided into six teams distinguished by color.  Each team came up with their name and was encouraged to show team spirit by representing their color.  Competing this year were The Hornets, Chicks with Tricks, Blue Steel, Purple Haze, Orange is the New Black, and The Lone Pink Rangers.

build team and family spirit, Minute-to-Win-It, Springs Preserve Las Vegas, zappos content team, zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees

The fun-filled event started off with four Minute-to-Win-It games: Suck It Up, Cookie Face, Speed Eraser, and the hilarious Junk in the Trunk.  The latter involved contestants shaking ping pong balls out of empty tissue boxes that were tied around their rears.  Up next was an intense round of trivia with questions from five different categories.  Isn’t it funny how people are always convinced that their buzzers don’t work?  The competition wrapped up with a photo scavenger hunt.  Teams were given clues to various attractions throughout the Springs Preserve and a time limit to find as many of those as possible. 

build team and family spirit, Minute-to-Win-It, Springs Preserve Las Vegas, zappos content team, zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees

The day wound down with socializing over a delicious catered meal, including sandwiches & wraps, pasta salad, potato salad, chips, cookies, and assorted beverages.  Small prizes were awarded for Best Team Name (Blue Steel) and Best Use of Team Color (Chicks with Tricks).  Fabulous prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall winning teams at Content’s next department meeting October 1st.  Until then, the judges are keeping those scores under wraps.  Although, they may or may not be accepting bribes…

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@Zappos_Service Answers Your Most Pressing Questions---Right Now!

Did you know that you can tweet Zappos Customer Service anytime, any day of the week and they’ll respond in minutes? If you not, let me introduce you to “@Zappos_Service” -- your exclusive resource for getting questions answered…right now.

When it comes to providing exceptional customer service, Zappos has long been recognized as an innovator (CEO Tony Hsieh literally wrote a book on the topic).

So, it makes sense that they lead the pack when it comes to serving customers on social media. They respond literally 100 percent of the time when customers send them questions on Twitter, far superior to the 14 percent response rate my company reported in a recent social customer service study. Zappos doesn’t just respond either. They start conversations and they scour the Twitterverse for opportunities to surprise and delight Zappos customers in need.

@Zappos_Service, Ashley Verrill, customer service, Tony Hsieh, zapponians, zappos culture, zappos customer loyalty team, Zappos customer service, Zappos Service Twitter, ZCLT

For example, this customer that was having trouble finding a pair of sneakers he liked. Luckily, the @Zappos_Service team was there to the rescue.

@Zappos_Service, Ashley Verrill, customer service, Tony Hsieh, zapponians, zappos culture, zappos customer loyalty team, Zappos customer service, Zappos Service Twitter, ZCLT

Recently, I had a chance to catch up with @Zappos_Service crew to find out exactly how they provide exceptional customer service in the social media context. Here’s what they had to say:

Does the @Zappos_Service team literally respond 24/7?

ZS: Just like our contact center, we are manning the @Zappos_Service twitter account 24/7. Our graveyard team takes care of responses in the wee hours of the morning. So we’re here to help, whether it’s a 3 a.m. fashion emergency, or a lunchtime shopping break.

Do you respond to questions that mention Zappos, regardless of whether they use the full @Zappos_Service handle?

ZS: We respond to anyone that mentions Zappos (and a few misspelled variations just in case, as well), as long as their account is public so that we can see the tweet. It can be a question about an order, a comment on an item they found on the site, a news article with our name mentioned, or even if they are just bored and want to have conversation!

What other tactics do you use to keep the experience awesome for your Twitter-azzi?

ZS: We try to showcase our team’s personalities, so we encourage back and forth between them and our Twitter friends about anything at all. Creating Fun & a Little Weirdness is Core Value #3, and we get a lot of opportunity to do this on Twitter. The team normally introduces themselves at the start of their block of time working Twitter, and will try to engage folks somehow. This could be anything from asking who’s excited about football starting to asking opinions on the greatest Prince song of all time.

Give @Zappos_Service a ring--they’re here to help day or night, rain or shine!

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Trading Places: "West Coast Meets Southern Style"

This internship has gone by so fast! I can’t believe I only have a couple weeks left with the other interns! One of my favorite components of the internship has been the mentor program. A group of three to four interns are assigned to a single mentor, who operates not as a manager or direct report, but as someone to go to with questions about work, Zappos culture, or any other concerns. The mentor also acts as a guide for the intern culture project.

My mentor Thomas has met with me and his other interns weekly to create personal weekly goals, and discuss any concerns with the internship. Although I have never been one to regularly set and update personal goals, I have found that doing so has helped me see my progress.

Zappos Interns, Zappos Internship Program, Zappos Internships, Zappos intern, Zappos Market Research, Zapponians, Zappos Culture, Zappos fun, office fun, Zappos campus, create fun and a little weirdness

One of my favorite bonding moments with Thomas happened a couple weeks ago. He and I were talking about men’s style after grabbing some beverages from the ZCafé. Off the cuff, I commented that I thought his style was very “West Coast.” He took offense, and we spent the rest of the day going around asking random Zapponians whether or not he dressed in a “West Coast” fashion.

I myself am from the South, and I consider my style to be rather preppy. So we came up with the idea to switch styles for a day. I would dress like him, and he would dress like me. I didn’t have a lot of West-Coast attire in my wardrobe, so Thomas let me borrow some of his clothes, and I went out and bought the rest. The next day, Thomas dressed as preppy as possible, while I tried to go for the most stereotypical West-Coast outfit. We proceeded to go around the office (once again) and figure out who impersonated the other’s style better. I think it’s pretty clear who won. Hint: it’s the guy wearing the hat and Dickies shorts!

--Raphael Fix

Market Research Analyst Intern