Social Recruitment Strategies to Learn From: Zappos

By Lindsay Shoemake, JWT INSIDE Account Coordinator

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When we think shoes, we often think Zappos. Since its inception in 1999, the online shoe retailer has grown from its humble beginnings into an ecommerce giant who is now owned by Now with a base of over 1,500 employees, career hopefuls are scrambling to join the ranks of the friendly, down-to-earth, Las Vegas-based company. JWT INSIDE had the exclusive opportunity to chat with Stacy Zappar, Zappos’ Candidate Experience & Engagement Strategist, to get an insider’s perspective on the brand’s stellar social recruitment strategy. Let’s take a closer look at what Zappos is executing with its career site, LinkedIn and Twitter to ensure that the company is always putting its best foot forward in the social media for recruiting realm.

Zappos’ career site values transparency. After one visit to Zappos career site, candidates will know exactly what they’re stepping into – before the first interview. The site is information-rich, schooling interested applicants on everything from company benefits like free lunches, a 40% discount and no dress code policy on its homepage. The site also takes things a step further and lists its 10 Core Values, which applicants are highly encouraged to read through before even applying! Alongside witty recruitment messaging like, “Does the shoe fit?,” interested applicants are also supplied with a wealth of information on accolades that Zappos has earned over the years. Most recently, the company was recognized on Fortune 100’s prestigious Best Companies list.


LinkedIn supplies information – both corporate and culture-wise. Zappos’ LinkedIn account complements its career site nicely, with the same set of job listings available to job seekers that are listed on the company’s internal job site. The page itself is appropriately named “Zappos Family of Companies” and offers up opportunities within every facet of the company, consistently reminding visitors that the company is ever-evolving and in need of the best talent. The page’s newsfeed is perfectly balanced, with corporate news like this Business Week article on founder Tony Hsieh, as well as Zappos-branded social media graphics communicating their 10 Core Values. The page even lovingly refers to its current employees as “Zapponians,” further solidifying that Zappos’ company culture is strong and here to stay.

Zappar explains the brand’s unique social recruitment strategy, and why choosing transparency is always the best route.

“The whole idea behind Inside Zappos on social is to help people get an inside perspective on life at Zappos. A peek behind the curtain,” Zappar said. “Our goal is to paint an accurate picture so that candidates can see just how amazing our company culture is. We share tons of picture, videos and articles showcasing our employees, culture, work environment, events around campus and much more. My job is simply to shine a spotlight on the amazing culture we already have!”

Twitter is a venue to showcase Zapponians. Arguably the most unique social media channel of the bunch, Zappos’ career and recruitment-specific channel, the @InsideZappos Twitter handle, is solely dedicated to sharing and communicating the unique corporate culture that Zappos has grown and fostered over the last decade. It’s so dedicated to promoting its awesome people culture, in fact, that a single job posting has never been tweeted out. A recruitment-centric Twitter account that doesn’t tweet job opportunities? Now that’s something else.

Stumped? Zappar explains.

“For us, it’s all about getting to know each other, conversations, sharing information and painting that picture we talked about,” Zappar said. “If there’s a match, the rest will work itself out! They know where to find us and our job postings.”

The Twitter handle is also unique in that it offers three distinct engagement opportunities to its followers, which Zappar outlines for us here:

Rotational Social VIP program - Each week, a different recruiter is the voice of @InsideZappos and that recruiter also picks a partner from their business unit. Together, they tell their own personal stories, share insights about the company, engage with candidates, etc. It’s not just recruiters “selling” the company. It’s real employees telling how it really is.

Bi-weekly Tweetchat - Every other Thursday at 10am PT, we hold a 30-minute #InsideZappos tweetchat where REAL employees hop on Twitter to answer questions about life at Zappos and engage with candidates. We have had dozens of employees from around the company (again, not just recruiters) participate in these chats and the feedback and response has been phenomenal. It’s the fastest, most fun-filled 30 minutes of your week!

Weekly Blogs - Each week, the Social VIP writes a blog post about their personal journey and experience at Zappos. Not one of these recruiters has blogged before and each one has been uniquely reflective of that individual recruiter. It’s been so great getting so many voices coming together to share their stories.

The account also regularly posts shoutouts to its talented team as well as photos of its corporate campus and day-to-day happenings on the job. @InsideZappos recently tweeted out a photo of a camel visiting the office – just because it was humpday. What’s not to love about the quirky culture that has been embraced and promoted at the company?

Pinterest is a helpful, visual tool. Following in the footsteps of the @InsideZappos Twitter handle, the Zappos Pinterest account primarily exists to show outsiders just how fun it can be to work for the culture-heavy retailer. There are currently boards that introduce the team, showcase a day-in-the-life working at Zappos, advice for landing your dream job and more. It will certainly be interesting to see how this account flourishes in the future!

Instagram is sure to garner a large following. Although Zappos’ InsideZappos Instagram account is one of the brand’s newest social recruitment accounts, it is destined to get its follower count up quickly by posting eye-catching, fun images of employees on the job. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on this channel!

Hooked on Zappos’ creative social recruitment strategy? Be on the lookout for what’s next in May!

Stay tuned for our big May 12 announcement which is going to change the way Zappos recruits,” Zappar shared. “There are a number of other fun projects in the works that will be rolled out over the upcoming months, but our social engagement focus is - and will always be - about getting to know each other and keeping the focus on real people with real stories and real experiences.”

Keep up with Zappos on the following social media outlets:

- Career site
- LinkedIn
- Twitter
- Pinterest
- Instagram

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