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UP YOURS: Zeneifits CEO Says "Move Along" to Candidate Who Dares Compare Zenefits and Uber Job Offers...

I've got a tasty one for you today.  Do you know what Quora is?  It's a marketplace where people can ask questions and crowdsource answers.  

I somehow stumbled upon a great one, which is a bay area software developer asking the crowd whether he should accept an offer from Uber or Zenefits.  Uber is the ride sharing service that's red hot, Zenefits offers small businesses a free HRMS and makes money off of selling you benefits off that backbone.  They are red hot in our space, so check them out.

Anyway, the developer was looking to brag about his offers and do some fake hand-wringing about which way to go.  Then, the s##t got real.  See the link below to get the whole thing.  

What is the best way to start my career: Uber or Zenefits?  Parker conrad

(here's what the developer listed about Zenfits...)



  1. Zenefits has a great team. I really enjoyed talking to the people. They are people I think I would be more happy to work with
  2. I definitely think I can add more value to Zenefits. I have some great ideas that I will hopefully be able to pitch to upper management.
  3. Upper management is accessible. I can speak to top people (CEO, CTO) which is really nice.
  4. The job itself allows for more creative freedom, and with it more responsibility. However, it isn't as technically challenging. At Zenefits, I will be more of a developer than an engineer (thats what I think at-least).
  5. Zenefits seems to be really aggressive in trying to keep me. They have tried really hard to make me choose them over Uber. And they are paying me a better salary by about 15k (where Uber completely refused to negotiate).
  6. They also have an office in Canada, and they have promised to relocate me there if I don't get the H1B visa. When I asked Uber about this, I was told that it depends entirely on the performance review and manager (basically whether I am worth the trouble of relocating). Zenefits seems to be claiming that if I am an employee there, they will help me out and get my back. 


  1. My biggest problem with Zenefits is that it isn't a buzzword like Uber. Most people won't know what Zenefits is (or so I think). I think that this isn't as exciting a brand name to have on your resume when applying to the likes of Google.

So... That list of pros and cons seems pretty positive for Zenefits, right?  Well, Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad came into the discussion online and told him to get the hell away from Zenefits.  Here's his ballsy response:

Definitely not Zenefits.

Mostly, it seems like where you really want to work is Google ("I think that [Zenefits] isn't as exciting a brand name to have on your resume when applying to the likes of Google."). You should just apply there. If you're able to pass our engineering interview, I'm pretty sure you could get a job there.

There are two things about this answer that make me think you wouldn't be a great fit here....

1) We really value people who "get" what we do and who *want* to work here, specifically. It's not for everyone, but there are enough ppl out there who do want to work here that we can afford to be selective. One of our company values is to have a bias towards action -- which means that when people are hesitating / going back and forth about whether they want to work here, we usually view that as a bad sign.

2) We don't have terribly high regard for ppl who would choose where to work based on "buzzwords" and how big a brand it is (or simply to position themselves for later in their career) instead of something more foundational about the opportunity, the challenge, etc.

Separately, I do think we have some enormous technical challenges at the company -- most things done at scale, growing quickly, present large technical challenges sooner rather than later (for example -- Uber is just a taxi-hailing company, right? What's the big technical challenge there? Of course, if you're the *biggest* transportation / taxi company in the world, suddenly these challenges reveal themselves....)

It's us against the world, Ricky, and your question indicates you aren't up for the fight. Please step away from our offer letter...

Click here to see the entire question and all responses, which are pretty damn thoughtful.  Deep, good stuff from a source that's usually people asking how to make guacamole.  


Josh W.

Kris this is a good stuff! I wonder if what I'm about to say will ever be held against me if I ever apply for Zenefits? Who cares. If he can be totally blunt and honest out in the open, then why can't I...

I think Parker took the whole thing a little too far. This would've been a great discussion to have with his HR and communications team before responding. My take is that based on Parker's response I'm not sure the software engineer would want to work there. Here' why:

- Laying out the pros and cons of 2 offers is not exactly anti-action bias. It means you have options and you think things through before making a decision.

- I agree with Parker on the brand name. Uber is more recognizable, but not necessarily for the right things. The candidate should've known that.

- Uber has enormous technical challenges! I think he means that Uber's technical challenges are less complext, but that's because there business model and value prop is simpler than Zenefits. No fault of Uber...

Parker seemed to want to take the opportunity to trash Uber and Google a little.


Ballsy response, yes, and I don't think he crossed the line. My opinion is it would have been better handled less publicly. It's rare that there are winners in any internet comments war.

Exception: you want to generate some buzz about your company.

If they really have enough candidates that want to work there, do you need the Buzz? Do you want your CEO getting his hands dirty like this?

Tough call. Maybe you do want to scare off folks like this from applying. If so, fix your job posting and your interview process (recent post on this, right?)

Lastly, didn't that dude have any friends he could talk to about the offers over a beer? Ion't feel too sorry for him getting publicly roasted. I think this was attention seeking.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Dennis M (aka Matt L)

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