Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh: Hiring requires culture match, not just skill

Tony Hsieh (Wikipedia Photo)

Tony Hsieh (Wikipedia Photo)

If you want to get hired at Zappos, you have to have more than just the right skills. You also have to be a proper fit for the company’s corporate culture.

Hiring someone new into a company is always a risk, especially if the preservation of your corporate culture is something that matters to you.

For Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh keeping the lighthearted and open culture of his company intact is an important part of the plan. Even after being acquired by Amazon, which is known for being closed-off, Zappos is still holding open tours of its offices.

As a part of his keynote today at the START conference, Hsieh said that Zappos works to maintain that culture by conducting an additional interview during its hiring process to see if a candidate will mesh well with the company’s culture.

“The hiring manager and his or her team will interview for the standard stuff, like looking for fit within the team, relevant experience, technical ability and so on, but then our HR department does a separate set of interviews purely for culture fit,” he said.

While that may seem like a small change, Hsieh says that it’s had a very significant impact on the company’s hiring.

“We’ve actually passed on a lot of really smart, talented people that we know can make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line, but if they’re not good for the company culture, we won’t hire them for that reason alone,” Hsieh said.

We’ll have more coverage from START coming up.

  • Steve Ardire

    Really ? What a brilliant epiphany!