Interested in moving to Vegas? On the fence? In this new series called In Our Neck of the Woods, we talk to different Zapponians about what they love about living and working right here in Las Vegas.
For our inaugural episode, Norbinn talks about what he and his family enjoy doing in and around the Vegas valley.
Zappos Blogs: Zappos Recruiting
Interested in moving to Vegas? On the fence? In this new series called In Our Neck of the Woods, we talk to different Zapponians about what they love about living and working right here in Las Vegas.
If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be living in Las Vegas and working for Zappos as a technical recruiter, I would have probably laughed and muttered under my breath that “YOU’RE CRAZY.” Truth be told, as I sit here and write this, I still can’t believe that this is my reality. You see, I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit at heart with a sense of wanderlust and big dreams for my life and I’d even refer to one of my favorite quotes – “Fate loves the fearless” – as my mantra. However, it wasn’t until last fall that I really started embodying my wanderlust and fearless spirit. The day I actually boarded my flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas to interview with Zappos is when my fearless spirit ignited.
Even though I’ve only been with Zappos a little over 5 months, my serendipitous collision with this company started in the small town of Chico, CA almost twelve years ago when I was attending college and working full time at a women’s boutique downtown in customer service. I worked long hours putting together amazing outfits for the locals and one day, as I was walking to work, I noticed a new store a few doors down from us opening up--ZAPPOS. “Hmmm… funny name,” I thought to myself. I peered inside the window and noticed an amazing selection of shoes. This will be the perfect place to send all my customers to complete their outfits!
I was startled as a sales associate came outside of the store and greeted me and coaxed me in. She explained the Zappos business model and how they mostly sold shoes online and if there was any time they didn’t have a shoe size in the store stock, they could order it and have it the next day. “WOW,” I thought to myself. This seems like a crazy idea. Shoes, online? Next day shipping? So began my intrigue with this Zappos company.
I loved having them as neighbors, and then one day, I noticed a sign that they would be closing. I immediately ran inside to protest this. “Everyone here loves Zappos… what is going on?!,” I asked. The employees explained that actually, business was amazing – so amazing that the strategy to move the company to a full eCommerce site was what they were about to embark upon, as well as move the company and employees to Las Vegas. I was shocked. What a big risk. “You guys are CRAZY…,” I muttered under my breath. I wished them well and it truly was a sad day when they closed their doors in our small little town.
Over the last 12 years, I continued to follow Zappos in the news (as well as buy shoes from them) and admired the culture, the technology and Tony Hsieh’s vision from afar. Fast forward to fall of last year. I was needing a new challenge after spending the last eight years in San Francisco. The moment I boarded that plane for my interview, my life was forever changed. Everything I observed over the years was living and breathing in Downtown Las Vegas. The campus was alive with passionate people, the culture was really everything you hear it is and everyone is truly a family.
As a technical recruiter for Zappos, I am fortunate to work alongside the tech teams that are working on the CRAZY ideas and innovations that continue to set us apart from any other eCommerce company. I think of myself as more of a storyteller than a recruiter, as I get to share stories of our amazing company and culture with candidates starting their journey with us.
This was the career opportunity fate was telling me to take… and to be fearless. So when I told everyone I was moving to Las Vegas to work for Zappos, I started getting the “you’re CRAZY” comments from friends and family. But that’s the thing… the best ideas, the best business moves, the best adventures are the CRAZY ones.
Growing up in Santa Fe, NM, I was always surrounded by culture and tradition. Although it was a small town, I always found something fun to do. I played softball, basketball, ran track, worked on my car, had a whole collection of animals, and played video games until the sun came up. My very favorite thing about this community was that everyone knew each other and it was very much like one big extended family. That small town feeling never escaped me.
Fast forward to 2007. Driving through Winslow, AZ, my grandmother couldn’t help but belt out the lyrics to that once so popular Eagles song. We were headed for Vegas to join our family for a reunion. Little did I know that the universe had something else in store for me and my life was about to change forever. I met my now husband of six years during that trip. He swept me off my feet and we had an instant connection. Living so far apart I never thought something so short would turn in to very much but a few months later, we decided to try to make things work and the rest was history. That is where my adventure in Las Vegas began.
For the next 5 years, I worked to become an HOA Manager. I enjoyed working with the communities and helping the residents but never truly loved what I was doing. I knew I needed a change and luckily a friend and co-worker told me a little about Zappos. My first thought was “They get to wear pajamas to work and they believe in unicorns… Say what?!?! Zappos, where have you been all my life?”
I couldn’t help but explore all that Zappos had to offer and before long, I decided to take the plunge and apply. In August 2012, I started at Zappos as a Customer Loyalty Team (call center) member. I loved it! Coming to work was no longer a chore and I could wear a tutu to boot! If only I had found Zappos sooner.
I loved the culture, people, events, customers, service, charity work, and everything else that was Zappos. It meant so much to me that I decided I wanted to take my newfound passion to the next level. I progressed to the Scheduling Team and, with the help of my leads, was able to map out some goals for myself and start planning my career path.
My next move was applying for a temporary position called a Z’Apprenticeship as a Recruiting Assistant. During my interviews, the team was tough and asked me some off-the-wall questions to make sure I was the right piece to their jigsaw puzzle. As a final round, I was invited to happy hour with the whole team. It was at that moment that I knew I had found my calling.
I was lucky enough to be offered the position and asked to take on my role permanently a few months later. Since then, I have never stopped learning or falling in love with what I do and my work is a great joy in my life. The best part is working with our candidates and Zappos Insiders. Each day, I get to help people that hold that same passion and drive as I do and watch them become amazing contributors to the Zappos culture. What more could I ask for?
I don’t know what the future holds or where my Journey at Zappos may take me from here, but I am definitely enjoying the ride. I love that I was able to find the things that mattered to me the most growing up, in a company that I want to grow old with. Culture, community, family and a lot of shenanigans. Yep, I am home!
Once upon a time, in a faraway land called South Carolina, a college senior was researching potential summer internship opportunities. She searched and searched and nothing seemed to catch her eye or offer exactly what she was looking for. She was about to give up all hope of finding that perfect internship. That was until she stumbled upon the Zappos Family Interns website while shopping for shoes. At that moment everything seemed to click. An awesome company culture, jobs that make you want to get out of bed each morning, and the opportunity to get involved in the Las Vegas community-- It was the perfect opportunity. She knew Zappos was exactly where she belonged.
So now you may be wondering – did it all work out? Did she live happily ever after? Well, I will let you in on a little secret – that girl is me. It took some passion, determination and maybe even a weird video cover letter, but here I am nine months later at the new Zappos HQ in sunny Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada!
This summer I am lucky enough to be a part of the incredible Zappos HR Team as the Recruiting College Intern. This is the third year of the internship program here at Zappos and we have a total of 42 fun and slightly weird individuals from all over the world! That makes us the largest intern class the company has ever had – woohoo!
As the recruiting intern I have had some amazing opportunities to shadow and assist the recruiters and recruiting coordinators with their daily tasks as well as take on individual projects. Every day I learn something new and grow more passionate about my work. One of the things I love most about my internship is that I’m given challenging, meaningful assignments. No filing papers, making copies, or coffee runs for this girl! I have already taken on a variety of daily tasks as well as joining in on projects with members of my team. I am also encouraged to pursue growth and learning by coming up with new, creative ideas that will help my team and Zappos grow. I have never felt so supported by a company or team before.
Speaking of team, the recruiting team at Zappos defines what it means to have a positive team and family spirit (Core Value #7). Zappos believes in integrating your work and personal life which means I do not just think of my team as coworkers but also as amazing friends. What more can you ask for than having a group of people who you can collaborate with in the office and grab dinner with after work? The recruiting team has truly have become my family here in Vegas!
It is so hard for me to believe that I am starting week five of my nine week internship here. Not only have I had the time of my life but I have grown both personally and professionally. Working for Zappos has truly been my “happily ever after” and I don’t want it to come to an end. Going into my last couple weeks of this amazing internship, one thing is for certain: I can’t wait to see what else I learn and what the future holds!
Thomas Huxley once said..."Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."
And that's exactly something that I never want to stop doing--learning. Zappos has been nothing less than the perfect place to contribute to this passion. My brain is constantly cultivated by my daily tasks, the people that inspire me, and the culture that is contagious. It is a fountain of knowledge and you can always count on a variety of paths to pursue. This has been the theme of my journey here at Zappos.
A few years ago, I had decided to uproot myself from the beautiful state of California to move back home to Las Vegas. I was rapidly approaching what twenty-somethings call a "quarter-life crisis" where everything is much more dramatic in your fresh and vulnerable post-grad mind. I was torn between pursuing a legal career or continuing my education to become a speech pathologist. Because both of these routes would require a fair amount of certainty, I decided to take a break.
I needed to consider my options before diving head first into a dream that I was unsure I even wanted to chase. I began applying to a variety of jobs within those two industries of interest, thinking I had it all figured out--until life threw me a curve ball. I was driving on the freeway one afternoon and passed an adopt-a-highway sign that had the name "Zappos" on it. I had heard a lot about this company and knew how much its focus was on customer service. So when I got home that evening, I began to do a little more research on the company. After reading about the 10 core values and watching some of the videos on the culture, I was very impressed. Everyone looked so happy. The same kind of happy you see at Disneyland...but in the workplace. It almost sounded too good to be true.
The next day, I decided to contact the Recruiting Team to get more insight into applying at Zappos. I was amazed at how genuine and speedy the response was compared to the rest of my job search with other companies. Given all of the facts that I had learned about the company core values and the emphasis they place on customer service, I took a leap of faith and decided to apply for a position with the Customer Loyalty Team (CLT). What better way to understand a company than to work within the department that has the closest interactions with its customers?
The CLT department stood out to me as the face and heartbeat of Zappos. Before I knew it, I was taken on an adventure through the recruitment process. I was still in the midst of my interviews with other companies, but something deep down told me that this door was opening up for a reason and was one that I should not ignore. As I continued in the process, I knew more and more that this was a company that I wanted to work for. The stars lined up and I was fortunate enough to earn the job!
My journey at Zappos was off to a start! Little did I know how much my life would begin to change over the next few years. The training process was a great way to dig deep into the company's core values, culture, and history. Our trainers teach every new hire in the company this foundation in addition to the focal point of the company: customer service.
It can be scary to start off a new job not knowing anyone, but with training--I immediately gained 60 new friendships that I would take with me going forward. Once I began my journey with CLT, I learned to appreciate the value of true customer service and putting your customers as the #1 priority. This role taught me the importance of listening and challenged me to creatively think of ways to "wow" our shoppers.
After a few months, I began to grow within my team and learn from the leaders around me about the different ways I could pursue Core Value #5: Pursue Growth and Learning. Having always been a nerd when it comes to number-crunching, I landed a spot with our statistics team. This team gathered data and metrics from our customer-contact channels and would share this volume with the scheduling team in order to properly staff the entire department. The Excel-nerd in me came alive! Working with the numbers helped quantify the bigger story of our company.
A few months later, I continued my quest for knowledge as I joined the Toolbox team. This team helped develop leadership paths for CLT team members who had leadership on their heart. Our team also went on to help pioneer the company's first seasonal employee program in 2012. This role pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me find an inner drive that I did not know existed. It helped set me on my feet for the next step I would take: joining the Zappos Recruiting team.
Nothing excited me more than being able to help our teams find the best of the best to grow our Zappos family. I joined the team through a Z'Apprenticeship which is an internal internship program that we offer employees to pursue new opportunities with other departments. After working with the team for a few months, I knew I had found my passion! Lucky for me, they liked me too and decided to open up a permanent position for me to grow into the role that I now have as a Recruiting Coordinator for our Zappos family.
Looking back on the last year and a half, I have seen myself grow in so many ways. Bridging communication between our interviewees, hiring teams, and recruiters--I have gotten to know so many incredibly smart and talented individuals. I absolutely love that I can be both an advocate and a friend to our interviewees going through our recruitment process. My role has also taught me so much about understanding all of the little parts that go into running a successful e-commerce website. Today, I still find myself learning so much about the teams that I work with and I have challenged myself not to give up in continuing that knowledge.
You can probably tell that learning is extremely important to me. But I cannot forget to point out that while I pursue this growth and learning...there is another piece that is important to me, and that is the fact that I am surrounded by an amazing family of individuals who are always there to support me. We have our fair share of laughter and tears, we have our luck at bingo, we kick off our boots while line-dancing, we have a little too much fun together at happy hours, we are completely involved in each other's dating lives, we spend 40+ hours a week working with each other and we still want to hang out with each other outside of office hours.
What more can I say? My team is my home away from home. I cannot paint the picture clear enough. I have never worked for a company where I have seen myself challenged so much over the last few years. I have never felt as comfortable in my own skin as I do now. I have never made such a close community of relationships with the coworkers that surround me. The journey has been incredibly wild and the best part is that it only continues from here!
Dear Job Postings,
It’s not you; it’s me. From newspaper ads, Monster, CareerBuilder, Craigslist and Indeed, you’re all a company has ever really needed. You’ve been there through thick and thin and you’ve kept my recruiting team very, VERY busy. Unfortunately, I need something more. You’ve given us thousands of impersonal, transactional and cold introductions. Studies show that recruiters spend 5-7 seconds on a resume. That’s hardly an introduction. It’s barely even a handshake!
Full disclosure, and this is going to hurt, I went behind your back and am trying to make Zappos more transparent and accessible. We’ve created an @InsideZappos twitter account, a Facebook page and our recruiters are blogging. Crazy, I know! We also just launched our new careers page showcasing our departments and the living, breathing humans who work in those departments. Lastly, and you might want to sit down for this one. Instead of posting jobs, we are simply asking people to find a department they are interested in and make an introduction. By introducing themselves, people get to become a Zappos Insider and can actually… you know… talk to us.
Insiders have unique access to content, updates, tweetchats, online hangouts and back-and-forth discussions with recruiters and hiring teams. Insiders will also be the first people we’ll consider when there are new openings. Becoming an Insider is that first step in a long-term relationship. It’s not a short-sighted affair which is what we’ve been having.
I realize this must hurt. If it makes you feel any better, you can still head over to anyone else’s career site and scrape some job descriptions. It’s what you’ve been doing for years and years. But for me, working for a company is a two-way relationship and you don’t get that. I need more. And that’s the reason I’m breaking up with you.
Zappos Senior HR Manager | Twitter @BailenOut
Grandma’s homemade apple crisp, confetti cupcakes with buttercream frosting and chewy chocolate chip cookies that you must eat two at a time because they are THAT good. I bet right now you are doing one of two things… a) salivating and reminiscing about your favorite sweet treat or b) wondering where in the world I am going with this blog post. Well, just like every homemade recipe, we all have our own signature ingredients that brought us to where we are today. The recipe I’d love to share with you is my very own journey here at the Zappos Family.
- Mix together 1/4 cup “WOW”, 1 Tablespoon of Laughter and 2 Teaspoons of Inspiration in a large mixing bowl
I’ll never forget the day that I walked into my manager’s office and spotted a book entitled “Delivering Happiness." I had no idea what the book was about but I remember thinking, "who wouldn’t want to deliver happiness?" and, being the book nerd that I am, I asked to borrow it from my boss. After reading about these things called “Core Values," laughing at Tony’s first entrepreneurial adventure in the worm farm industry and finding out that Zappos was located in my hometown of Las Vegas, I had to learn more! I was wowed by this company and wanted to be a part of it! I took a chance and applied and it seemed like just yesterday that I told my boss of eight years, after reading the book that he let me borrow, that I was leaving to join Zappos. Let’s just say he hasn’t let me borrow a book since. ;)
- Add in 1 cup of “team and family spirit”
Here I am now… a part of the Zappos Family and when we say family, we really are. My favorite core value is #7 (Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit) and this is something that I am surrounded by every day of the week that ends in Y. My team challenges me but at the same time helps me. They encourage me to work hard and play hard. We have so much fun together here in Recruiting. Whether we are volunteering together on a Karma Adventure, winning the big bucks at Bingo or listening to our favorite jams while we work, we are always lifting our family spirit.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees and then sprinkle on a dash of “Passion”
Passion is what led me here and passion is what keeps me here. If you can’t tell, I am a little passionate about the Zappos culture and being able to share this with our candidates on a daily basis is just a beautiful thing. My day consists of meeting new faces, even if it is just an e-meet (yes I said e-meet), sharing our company culture and welcoming new family members to the most passionate, hard-working, fun group of people I have ever been around. Let’s just say I love my job!
I am honored to be this week’s #InsideZappos Social VIP and being able to tweet with all of you through our careers handle @InsideZappos. As the Finance recruiter here, I am also happy to have two of our amazing Financial Analysts (Nick Bortolotti and David Forbes) joining us this week as well, tweeting from the @ZapposFPA account. Be sure to follow me @mikelldonttweet. (Don't worry… I really do tweet!)
Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, she took the midnight train going anywhere…
Okay, the small town part is true! BUT I am not lonely and it was a 2004 Honda Accord to Las Vegas, Nevada. Ten years ago, this small town girl packed up her bags and headed out west to the glitz and glamour of Vegas. So many stories and such limited writing space but let’s flashback four years ago when my life drastically changed with the introduction of a small, start-up company called Zappos. (Okay, maybe not so small!)
I started with this great company in the Customer Loyalty Team (call center). I then had the amazing opportunity to do a Z’apprenticeship (internal internship) with the recruiting team. To my surprise, they offered me a full-time position after my internship ended. Since then, I’ve had the craziest progression path EVER!
I had the opportunity to work as an assistant and recruiter for numerous departments. Then one day I was asked to join and help build the amazing summer internship program on the college recruiting team. I jumped at the chance and it has forever changed my life. I have always considered myself a hard worker and I enjoyed my job but I never knew I could fall in love with a program and be so passionate about something as much as I have with our College Internship Program. It has been absolutely awesome working with amazing, eager and passionate college students.
We started with 19 amazing interns for the first official internship program in the Summer of 2011 (#zinterns). The program then grew to 30 last summer (#zpc13) and we are looking to have 42 summer interns this year! (We are in the final stages of filling all of our positions as we speak!) This year, we did things a little differently than in years past… okay, completely different. We actually didn’t travel to a single college to recruit interns… say what?!?! Yep, no career fairs, no information sessions and no onsite interviews.
With this new recruiting strategy, every candidate that applies has the chance to complete a virtual interview and technical challenge (in relation to the position they applied for). They are given a couple of weeks to complete both. Once they do, that’s when we kick it into high gear and review their challenges and virtual interviews. Each team narrows their selection down to 3-4 finalists. Those finalists are flown to Las Vegas for a fun and activity-filled two days. They do technical challenges, tour the office, team-building activities and, of course, interview! And it just wouldn’t be Zappos if there wasn’t a happy hour afterward where we can get to know everyone outside of the office setting!
I will be the #InsideZappos Social VIP this week and the voice of our Twitter Careers page - @InsideZappos. Thankfully, Twitter limits me to 140 characters or I would ramble ridiculously. (I tend to do that!) Thankfully, I will have Jessica Chiu (@ahhchiuuu) as my co-pilot. Jess was part of our very first official internship program (#zinterns), starting as a Merchandising Assistant intern with our Casual Lifestyle team. She is a rockstar and has since received numerous promotions, most recently to Assistant Buyer. Get it girl!