Recruitment & Retention

Zillow’s VP of talent acquisition, engagement, and belonging says her work with the real estate app is a ‘beautiful intersection’

Roz Francuz-Harris leads the company’s recruiting efforts, which now includes a “CloudHQ.”
article cover

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

· 4 min read

Roz Francuz-Harris wakes up every morning excited to get to work, so much so she sometimes drives her wife crazy. But it’s important to her that everything she does, she does “cheerfully.”

The VP of talent acquisition, engagement, and belonging at Zillow said she fondly remembers the feeling of walking into the home that she and her wife share for the very first time, and is proud to work at a company helping to make homeownership a reality for more people. She finds joy in the “beautiful intersection” of her people-focused work and the company’s mission to help people “get home.”

“Zillow is the first place that I’ve worked where my personal passions and things that drive me in life and the company’s products and services just aligned,” she said. “The reality is, I could do this job and do well at it anywhere, and I’ve had a great opportunity working for some amazing brands, where we made an impact, but that didn’t always align to my personal values.”

Headshot of Roz Francuz-Harris


Francuz-Harris’s HR journey actually began when she was working in retail at Nordstrom. She was asked by a “repeat customer” who worked on the TA team at Microsoft if she’d ever considered a different role in a different industry: recruiting. She has since had TA stops at IBM, Sprint, Uber, Slack, and Warner Media, among others, before arriving at Zillow in 2021.

Francuz-Harris said her recruitment strategies “always had DE&I best practices integrated from the jump.” She sees recruiters as a company’s gatekeepers. Her efforts have always included a focus on representation, especially in tech, where white men still dominate in the US.

“This role as a recruiter, you really are that entry point for a lot of people,” she said. “Who are the people that struggle at this gate more than others? Who are the people that don’t get the chance to really compete in technology roles often? And how can we generate more access for those [people]?”

But the DE&I-forward TA pro said Zillow is helping some of those same underrepresented groups get access to something else they’ve been historically excluded from: housing.

“I, Roz, am a Black, woman lesbian,” she said. “That’s how I identify. When you look at housing historically, there have been time periods…where women couldn’t buy a home; if you were LGBTQ, you couldn’t buy in certain communities, and then if you’re Black, there was redlining.”

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.

Redlining, for instance, was made possible, in part, because of a lack of transparency in the housing sector, she said. Zillow, with its app listing information about home sales available for everyone, is more transparent.

Leading with her identity in mind. Francuz-Harris told HR Brew that Zillow’s “hiring process really allows for those core values to shine through.”

“It is not lost on me, as a vice president who identifies as a lesbian woman, who’s also Black, that there are many people who need that representation and visibility,” she said. ”My leadership style is one [that] always keeps my identity really at the center of the conversation and very visible, because I am super authentic in how I approach my work.”

She said she works hard to make others feel comfortable with who they are by being who she is and providing resources and training to address issues, like imposter syndrome, that might hinder people from being their authentic selves at work.

Her identity drives her hiring strategy. Some of the first people candidates meet at the company are on the recruiting team. Potential candidates see women in leadership positions and the diversity of talent.

Francuz-Harris took on an expanded role at Zillow in March, working on engagement and belonging, in addition to her work leading the company’s recruiting strategy. It made sense because company culture, which is impacted by both employee engagement and belonging, should be directly tied to its TA strategy, she said.

What does that look like at Zillow? Francuz-Harris is especially proud of CloudHQ, an effort to not limit the company’s recruiting efforts to specific locations near the company’s offices, including its Seattle headquarters. This, she contends, helps diversify applicants, workers (of which the company has nearly 6,500), and the ideas colleagues can dream up.

“We don’t ask talent to drop everything and to move states and to uproot families and to come to us,” she said. “We can hire faster [at] times because of that, but also we get access to talent that is really good, but they want to be in North Florida, and…we’re fine with that.”

It also opens Zillow to employing a workforce that looks like and lives where its clientbase is…which is everywhere. Francuz-Harris herself comes from a small town in rural Mississippi.

Recruiting this way is Zillow’s “competitive advantage,” she said.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.