Seeking, recruiting and retaining top talent should be a primary focus of any employer. Your staff are the lifeblood of your company–the folks who understand what you do, why it’s essential, and how to get it done. Ensuring you have the right people on the job is paramount, but beyond that, ensuring their happiness goes a long way to a consistently strong bottom line.
A company’s employer brand is the embodiment of this idea. A strong employer brand exemplifies how a company’s employees come first. It begins with HR policies that guarantee not just employee satisfaction but also that the values espoused by the company are being fully expressed in how they treat their staff. In turn, those employees are incentivized to live the values in everything they do–from their dealings with colleagues, managers and clients, and even to relationships in their personal lives.
We believe that the best way to communicate your employer brand to potential hires and your existing staff is through story.
After all, when we hear a concrete example of how a life at work was improved or a challenge was overcome through channeling a company’s core values, we’re more likely to “get” what that company is about. And this is the first rule of business for onboarding any new talent: new employees ought to know who you are and what you stand for so they can give you their best possible professional selves.
We’ve identified these five standout companies that really do have killer employer brands.
This hugely popular company builds software designed to organize community activists around a given cause. And it shares a belief with many of the organizations who use its technology: that when people are connected and engaged, they can change the world.
To get people on board with this big idea, NationBuilder founder Jim Gillian brought filmmaker, writer and social good ambassador Lea Enders in to coach his team on how to uncover their own personal stories and how those stories informed their decision to work at NationBuilder and informed the work itself.
The process was intensive–interviews, writing, honing the narrative, feedback, and eventually a year-end gathering where employees broke into small groups to share the stories they’d been working on. The result? A deep connection among colleagues and even greater clarity on why people worked there. There is now a dedicated storytelling department, and every new hire is onboarded through this process. As one of the faster growing and economically successful start-ups, their tactics for keeping their staff engaged and committed seem to be working well.
You might not think that a money transfer business would have much of an internal culture. But at the rapidly growing TransferWise, they keep things real with deeply embedded values, at the core of which is storytelling.
Take their onboarding process, for example. Lasting three full days at their main headquarters in Estonia, new employees are not only given the logistical training they need to perform their jobs, they’re also given a window into the company’s values, mission and purpose and introduced to a number of long-time employees who share stories about what it’s like to work there, how to help clients, and why they love what they do.
Speaking directly to the soul of ECHO, they also produce a year-end book that captures employee and company stories. The finished product is unwrapped and passed around like a Christmas gift and goes a long way to acknowledging employees in a very tangible way.
This once-scrappy little crafts market site has grown to be one of the biggest e-commerce sites on the ol’ World Wide Web. And that means that in addition to its massive network of sellers and artisans, it also has a large employee bank.
When the company introduced six months of paid leave for any new parent–not just moms–it won the loyalty of so many employees who previously struggled with that difficult decision so many parents must make: family or career? This tear-jerker of a video sums it up beautifully. And in the words of their CEO, “it’s not just about families, it’s good for business.” Fellow American companies, take note.
Being voted #1 best place to work in Canada by Glassdoor is a pretty big indicator that you’re doing something right with your employer brand. Shopify’s careers page is a stellar example of how to talk to your potential talent pool.
After setting up the company as a global player in the world of online retail, a sector of major opportunity, and then alluding to an ambitious vision, Shopify quickly call out their employees as the people who will help them attain their goals. Then they immediately speak directly to YOU, the candidate. They’re driven to help their people thrive, through professional development and mentorship, while encouraging autonomy and paths to growth. Each of their five massive offices is unique, speaking to the vibe of the city it’s located in, and physically embodying the beautiful/cool/modern workspace they hope makes their employees excited to come to–and stay at–work.
This tech giant has perhaps always played second fiddle when it comes to the cool factor in the computer wars (no thanks in part to those Apple commercials of a few years ago that personified PCs as nerdy bumblers and Apples as slick hipsters). But over the past few years they’ve shed that reputation and have amped up their sleekness and their relevance, particularly when it comes to HR and recruitment.
The company has a dedicated and dynamic Instagram feed for careers and also shares tips from their top recruiters on how to land a job at Microsoft, appearing more like an HR firm that the multi-billion-dollar computer business they are. As Microsoft is a recent client of ECHO, we’re excited to see how their storytelling for onboarding evolves.
To Sum Up: Love What You Do—And Where You Do It
The shared wisdom of the past decade when it comes to career advice has been “love what you do.” A major factor in this equation–beyond just the work–is how a company treats its employees and speaks to potential hires; if you’re happy at work, you’re going to love what you do even more. Having a strong and positive employer brand encourages this love and loyalty and will help you retain the talent you need to continue being the successful company you strive to be.
Have more questions about Employer Brand? We have answers. Give us a call any time.