Human Resources News & Insights

Candidate posts job offer online, and here’s how the employer responded …

Put yourself in this employer’s shoes: You’re searching the Web to see what people are saying about your company and you come across this … 

… a post on the question-and-answer site Quora in which a candidate you recently offered a job to is asking whether or not he should accept the position.

In the post, the candidate compares your firm to another, stating the biggest reason he’s hesitant to accept the position at your company is that it wouldn’t generate as much “buzz” on his resume as the other firm competing for his services.

What would you do?

CEO wasn’t happy

Here’s what Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad did when he saw the post: He withdrew his company’s job offer in a reply to the question.

On Quora, members can post questions and have them answered by other site members.

Here’s what the unnamed prospective engineer posted:

“What is the best way to start my career: Uber or Zenefits?”

The candidate then listed some of the pros of each position he was offered, for example:

  • Uber “has people with amazing credentials … “
  • At Zenefits, “I really enjoyed talking to the people. They are people I think I would be more happy to work with”.
  • “Uber has a really good reputation. I think that working at Uber will really help me move to companies like Google and Apple, which is something that I want to do in the distant future.”
  • “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)”.

Now onto the cons the candidate posted, which included:

  • Uber’s attitude towards him so far has been “we don’t really need you. but here is your offer”.
  • Zenefits 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.”

Hesitation was a deal breaker

As you can see, it’s not like the candidate was badmouthing Zenefits. His reluctance to take the job seemed to stem from the fact that it may not propel him to his dream job as quickly as working at Uber would.

But therein lies the problem for the Zenefits CEO.

Parker said he rescinded the job offer for two reasons:

  • “We really value people who ‘get’ what we do and who *want* to work here, specifically. … 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.”
  • “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 … “

Parker did, however, offer one piece of advice to the candidate in his reply: Apply to Google.

He said if that candidate could pass Zenefits’ engineering interview, he should be able to do the same at Google.

No word yet on whether the candidate’s taken that advice.

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  1. whereisreason says:

    It is worth noting in your article (and you did not) that the CEO of Zenefits received a great deal of negative feedback for his remarks, and ultimately ended up deleting many of them. While I do not agree with the young man’s actions (if he had to ask a bunch of strangers for advice on such a thing, perhaps he is not a good candidate after all), your article is not telling the whole story. There is also the element of dynamics with the younger generation and those older than Millennials. Millennials were raised with an “everyone is special” mentality, and expect the world to cater to them – which largely, it does, I am sad to say. I was an entry-level employee in an age where I understood that I essentially knew nothing, and had much to learn. Twenty years later, I still learn something every day. These kids coming in think they know everything and have nothing to learn from those of us who are older, better educated, and who have far more experience. You could have done a really interesting examination of the dynamics here, and you did not.

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