- Spencer Rascoff is the CEO of real-estate website and app Zillow. He constantly asks himself the same question about every employee: “Is that the right person for the next two years in the role?” If the answer is “no,” he either changes the person’s perspective – or changes the person.
At Zillow, no one’s job is guaranteed. Every employee has to prove, every day, that they deserve to be there.
That’s according to Spencer Rascoff, CEO of the real-estate website and app. On an episode of Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It,” Rascoff told Business Insider US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell how he decides who to keep on:
“You have to take seriously this reflection that for every person at the company, you need to think about, ‘Is that the right person for the next two years in the role?’
“So if you’re a manager, you have 10 direct reports; those people, they show up for work today just because they had the job yesterday, but you as their manager need to think, ‘Is that the right person for the next two years?’ And if not, change that person or figure out to change their point of view.”
The idea that employees need to evolve with the organization isn’t unique to Rascoff or to Zillow. In 2016, Pat Wadors, the senior vice president of global talent organization at LinkedIn, wrote in the Harvard Business Review that leaders should look to hire lifelong learners. Wadors wrote:
“If they can’t show their ability to learn something new, they may not have the interest or desire, which means they might have the relevant skills today but won’t be able to acquire the skills they need tomorrow to stay relevant.”
All this talk of staying relevant might make employees nervous. A 2012 Fast Company article by Patty Azzarello, an adviser to CEOs, highlights multiple questions workers should be asking themselves to make sure they’re growing along with their organization.
- “What has changed in the market since I started this job? “What has changed in our customers’ business since I started this job? “What has changed in our competitors’ business since I started this job? “What has changed inside our company since I started this job? “Do these changes require a change in the way my job is done?”
Rascoff said he doesn’t let himself off the hook when it comes to keeping up with the times. He told Business Insider: “I also think about that for myself, and so I think, ‘OK, how do I set myself up for what the next two years look like, and what changes do I have to make?'”