By Angela Poh
Google has topped every conceivable best place to work list. Tech giants are successfully attracting talent with their cool brands, top of the range salaries and talk of town perks. Snazzy job descriptions play their part in getting talent gems through your application window. Free gourmet food, state of the art work spaces, in-house haircuts and childcare centres are all incredibly attractive. Fair compensation is of course, an absolute must. Every employee wants to place their confidence in a competent management team that’s honest, ethical and transparent with a clearly outlined direction of travel.
All that said, what makes a company great to work for?
Prospect speaks with candidates around the globe. We also examine what employees of Fortune’s Top 25 best companies value most about their firms. Interestingly, these common motivations take us back to the basics:
Candidates want a culture of positivity
Nothing drives people away quicker than a toxic company culture. A collaborative, inclusive, supportive environment spurs your employees on to put in that little bit extra. Candidates gravitate towards an open culture that recognises excellence at all levels, rewards achievements, celebrates success, embraces diversity and encourages the freedom to express. Is your company hiring the right people who exhibit these core values? What is your company doing about that high performing employee emanating toxicity counterproductive to the culture you’re trying to cultivate? Office politics and ‘every man for himself’ behaviour can put your company vision at risk.
They trust the authentic advice of internal influencers
Build a strong sense of company pride because your employees are your most powerful advocates. How positively engaged are your staff? What are they saying to their friends and family about the company? What could they be saying under the guise of anonymity? The best way to get a potential candidate excited about your company is to have them speak with fellow employees. Identify your most infectious and enthusiastic staff and involve them in your recruitment process – at interviews and employer branding videos.
Focus on the person. The results will come
Do your employees have time for themselves and their families? Make work-life balance a priority. Employees value the freedom, flexibility and trust in managing their responsibilities. How committed is your company to the personal wellbeing and professional development of the individual? Do your top performers know what their career development paths look like within the company? Take time to understand how your employees want to be recognised for their achievements, and what career progression means to each person. For one, progression could mean the opportunity to lead a team. Another employee may value the opportunity to broaden his experience and skills laterally through internal transfers and job rotation.
How much time has the company spent branding yourself as the employer of choice? Who are your target candidates and how are you reaching them? Do they know what your company stands for and the unique selling points that set your company apart?
If you work with recruiters, be sure they too, understand your company’s core values, culture, the roles you need them to refill, and the kind of candidates who would thrive in your company. Take time to offer as much context and information as you possibly can, knowing this information could serve as useful ammunition for your recruiters to correct misguided perceptions about your company, or educate the top calibre who may be fixated on wanting to work for no other company other than Facebook or Google.
While you may not be able to implement all of the above immediately, zero in on what’s most achievable. Keep building upon that, communicate and amplify. Then work at expanding the company’s capabilities to include the rest.