12 Let People
Drum Up

FRAUKE V. POLIERSVP People & Organisation
You have been with the company since 2011. As SVP People & Organisation at Zalando, you have already conducted more than 1,000 job interviews. How has the recruiting strategy changed over the years?

V. POLIER: The first two years were dominated by the fact that we were still relatively unknown, but had to hire on an immense scale. At our peak, we were hiring 500 people a month, mostly through well-known networks and headhunters. Today, we are still growing strongly, with around 150 new hires a month. But instead of focusing on a process-oriented search, we are investing in talent communities and referrals.

What does that mean?

V. POLIER: Applicants no longer just look for job titles, salaries and career opportunities. First and foremost, they want to work with people of their choice and understand the environment and working culture they will be joining. The talent community builds on this foundation: Employees are our strongest multipliers and drum up interest for our company. If they like the company they are working for, they will immediately tell friends and acquaintances about Zalando. Other important channels to reach new talents are our social media feeds and recruiting trade fairs. We continue to use headhunters and career sites, but almost one quarter of our new hires come to us through the communities. And the strategy has proven successful: Over the past 18 months, we’ve seen the number of monthly applications double. In some areas, like our tech department, they’ve tripled. Tech talents, for example, are drawn by our philosophy of Radical Agility that builds on three pillars: Autonomy, Purpose and Mastery. Our employees simply know what they are talking about – and they have direct contact to the talents we want to have on board.

What qualities define a Zalando?

V. POLIER: A Zalando has an inner drive and ability to contribute actively. He or she loves to collaborate with others. That’s because we take an agile approach to how we work. We are looking for talents with a hands-on-mentality and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, even if we might only be the first step of a successful entrepreneurial career. We have built the creative environment where exceptional talent can grow and flourish.


Zalando can only grow if people grow: How we scout, attract and hire the best talents.

“Reimagine fashion for the good of all”: Our shared purpose shapes the way we work together and determines many of our decisions.

Day 1 matters: New employees are introduced to the company and given an introduction to Zalando’s culture and objectives on Welcome Day.


At Zalando, we love to reimagine things. Together, we reimagine the fashion industry, and every one of us can reimagine their contribution within the bigger picture. We believe purpose needs to be at the center of everything we do. It is at the heart of our business strategy, as important as our brand, culture and leadership.

Employees are given two days a year off to volunteer for social projects.

At Zalando, we work mainly in small teams, and each is built around a shared purpose. So purpose drives autonomous work and empowers our people to make their own decisions, contributing to achieving our objectives.

Talents look for more than just doing their job: The meaning of work and its impact beyond the company becomes increasingly important. We aim to create a talent-centric environment.


The following video provides a 360°-view of our tech and fashion locations in Berlin.