Zappos pays new employees $1000 to quit

Internet shoe retailer Zappos.com has an interesting approach to employee indoctrination.

They pay new employees to quit.

After a week or so in this immersive experience, though, it’s time for what Zappos calls “The Offer.” The fast-growing company, which works hard to recruit people to join, says to its newest employees: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.” Zappos actually bribes its new employees to quit!

Why? Because if you’re willing to take the company up on the offer, you obviously don’t have the sense of commitment they are looking for. It’s hard to describe the level of energy in the Zappos culture—which means, by definition, it’s not for everybody. Zappos wants to learn if there’s a bad fit between what makes the organization tick and what makes individual employees tick—and it’s willing to pay to learn sooner rather than later. (About ten percent of new call-center employees take the money and run.)


It's a fascinating idea and a great way to find out who really wants to work there. Bad hiring is expensive. Keeping the wrong person in a job they hate costs the company thousands of dollars, hurts productivity, angers coworkers, makes life rough on management, and means someone who could be great in that spot does not have the opportunity.

If this method helps ensure a happy, qualified, and committed workforce, it is money well spent.


Daisy said...

Well, I know they are doing something right because we have bought many pairs of shoes from Zappos and have experienced fast shipping and friendly service with every order.

Anonymous said...

So how long do you have to stay for them to pay the $1,000 upon departure? ;)

Book Calendar said...

I've used Zappos many times and they always seem to deliver what I want 10 1/2 5E shoes which are very hard to find anywhere else delivered the next day.

It takes the average person about 3 months to find a decent job so $1000 is not that much money if you think about it. It costs a lot more than $1000 to recruit a person as well.

Anonymous said...

Great policy! $1000 isn't a whole lot, but it's a nice figure for those lazy fools who don't really want to work. They better not put their Zappos working experience on their résumés!