HR Strange But True!
May 22, 2008

Zappos, a company that sells shoes over the Internet, has a strange but true way of gauging new employees' commitment: The company offers them $1,000 to quit after 1 week, according to a report from the Harvard Business School.

Recently, Bill Taylor, a discussion leader for Harvard Business School Publishing, visited Zappos and learned about what the company calls "the offer."

The offer comes during the company's 4-week training and orientation program. About a week into the program, the company will offer new hires $1,000 (in addition to their pay for the hours they've worked) in exchange for quitting immediately, Taylor reports.

Why? The company prides itself on its customer service and is seeking employees who fit a job that the company acknowledges isn't for everyone. Therefore, if new employees get a glimpse of the requirements of the job during the first week and decide that the offer is one that they cannot refuse, the company figures the money is well spent in maintaining an engaged workforce and a list of satisfied customers, Taylor reports.

He notes that the company told him that about 10 percent of new call-center employees accept the offer. As the company has grown, so has the offer. At first, the offer was $100 before increasing to $500 and now $1,000, Taylor reports.

Source: Harvard Business School Publishing

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