A saying about Quora goes like this, “ Quora can answer what Google can’t.” Such is the notion of internet savvy people about Quora. The tagline of Quora reads, “ The best answer to any question.” I have been a mine worker when it comes to digging newsfeeds on Quora. This one incident that happened on this platform back in 2015 made me realize, not all questions can/should be asked on Quora, especially when your Boss is also in search of answers in Quora.
But sadly this Internet Savvy (Quora savvy ) Engineer didn’t know it, and he had to learn it the hardest possible way. This engineer was weighing his options with job offers from Uber and Zenefits, both startups in San Francisco. It was all fine till he had kept this confusion to himself. But when he decided to go for an opinion poll on Quora, things got a dramatic turnaround. Here is what happened.
In search of expert advice, this engineer posted about his confusion with pros and cons of working in these companies. He said the best reason to work at Uber was its reputation, which would according to him, “Really help me move to companies like Google and Apple, which is something that I want to do in the distant future.” The negatives were that Uber didn’t seem to need him all that much and wasn’t willing to negotiate on salary.
His take on Zenefits was that it had great people, accessible leadership. The company seemed to really desire the engineer and was offering more money. But it didn’t seem as compelling a “buzzword” to have on a résumé when applying to a company like Google in the future.
That reasoning didn’t sit well with Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad . The question on Quora was titled, “What is the best way to start my career: Uber or Zenefits?” Conrad began his reply, “Definitely not Zenefits.” He also said the company was revoking its job offer, though later removed that part, saying it “didn’t seem fair” to make that public.
A spokesman for Zenefits confirmed that the job offer was revoked and that the reply on Quora was from Conrad, the company’s CEO.
Here’s more from Conrad’s reply:
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.”
He also wrote:
“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 people 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.
The problem here wasn’t the ambitions of the engineer, but his post being visible to his employer and the latter not taking the things in a positive manner. All of us work early career jobs with a different destination or goal in mind. But if you admit that, you’ll never get past the first interview. What Zenefits did may seem a bit too harsh? Having said that we should remind ourselves the cardinal rule of the internet: Never post anything publicly that you wouldn’t want a current or future employer to see.
Uber, for its part, used the exchange for an extra bit of recruitment, with a company spokesman plugging the startup’s talent and mission. It’s not clear if the job candidate, who remains anonymous, has accepted Uber’s offer.