Here's how cool the company I work for is. Each year we do a customer conference called "Reach", where we bring in our customers and provide sessions not only on how to get more out of our software, but we also expose them to other things that will help them run their organizations better - including the people side of the business. Last year, that included a panel on hiring better that included representatives from Whole Foods, Southwest Airlines and Chick-fil-A.
This year, we delivered the same bang on the people side, bringing in Jamie Naughton, Cruise Ship Director at Zappos, to talk about the best ways for our customers to define, install and maximize their culture.
I had a chance to spend a lot of time with Jamie and learned a lot. So you could get a flavor, I grabbed three short interviews with Jamie (max running time on all three - 3 minutes or under) to hit some of the highlights.
Here's the first one, where Jamie breaks down how committed Zappos is to their cultural values - so committed that they're front and center in the hiring and performance management process. That may seem pedestrian to you, but listen closely, then we'll talk about why they're unique after the video.
If you listened closely to that, you heard something truly unique. Sure, the company says they take the cultural values seriously - so do you, right? But the truth is, ZAPPOS lives it in a way that most of us don't - they actually provide their HR team with the ability to flat out VETO A CANDIDATE on the cultural fit side, REGARDLESS OF THE HIRING MANAGER'S OPINION OF THE CANDIDATE'S ABILITY TO DO THE JOB.
You should think about that for a second. Assuming their HR folks are good recruiters and interviewers, that's huge. Zappos is so committed to the cultural fit they'll walk away from skills that could help them from a business perspective.
Which brings to question another issue - lots of HR pros say that they want that responsibility, but how many REALLY want that burden?
That's called living the culture. The veto power is probably the best example I could find (from a HR pro's perspective) of how Zappos is truly different.