Why should a candidate choose your company? Here’s how 10 of the world’s leading employer brands make it a no-brainer.
Terms like “candidate experience” and “employer branding” seem to be the HR buzzwords of the day — and for good reason. With 6 million open jobs in the US and employers taking longer than ever before to fill open positions, simple economics tell us demand is far outpacing supply.
As a company, exceeding the expectations of your candidates by showing you care about them as individuals gives you a much better chance of attracting the kind of talent you’ll definitely need if the goal is to be a frontrunner in today’s ultra competitive business world. With changes in work and in business now happening at lightning-quick speed, employers need to be prepared for tomorrow’s talent — like, now.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the brightest big-name employer brands that are so insanely good at what they do, they have top-notch talent practically banging down their doors.
“What’s special about our company: We give our people tremendous freedom. And we underpin our people practices with real science and data. We use science to figure out what makes teams work.”
— Laszlo Bock, former SVP People Operations, Google
You’re probably not surprised to see Google in the top spot.
The company has been all about its people from day 1 (just check out the founding team’s very first letter to investors). And as you may have heard, the company also aims high when it comes to creating a stellar working environment. Even a sneak-peak into the Googleplex Campus is enough to make you second guess your entire career. 🤦
With Google, it’s all about a “work hard, play hard” environment. From generous parental leave policies and retirement savings plans, to onsite wellness services (like yoga classes and therapeutic massages) and of course, three free gourmet meals a day, Google doesn’t just exceed expectations for workplace perks — it sets them. But it’s not the Michelin star-rated lunch candidates come for. The company’s commitment to autonomy, lifelong learning and growth are what keep the stellar talent coming in.
"To give you one everyday example of what makes the Starbucks culture such a powerful one, our more than 330,000 people globally are called “partners” — not employees — because there is a foundational belief in shared success. That small, but very important distinction is symbolic of Starbucks’ values.”
— Jeff Lam, Talent Development Director, Starbucks
In the world of employer brands, Starbucks has a damn fine resume.
In 2017, the coffee giant ranked in the top 3 on Fortune’s highly-revered ‘Most Admired Companies’ list. The Seattle-born coffee giant has long valued diversity and inclusion as part of its mission, and has been a an ongoing advocate for the LGBTQ community. No wonder it was named the Best Place to Work for LGBT community by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2016. 🏳️🌈👍🏾
Starbucks has a @StarbucksJobs Instagram and Twitter account where they actively promote their employer brand and interact with potential candidates. They encourage everybody to use the hashtag #sbuxjobschat to share feedback and they regularly post links to their LinkedIn and other social media pages for easy access to employee resources. The Starbucks Youtube Channel even has a Jobs Playlist where people can watch stories about real-life Starbucks employees.
“When you’re hiring the best way to ensure the best outcome you have to have an equal slate. So if I have a slate of 10 candidates I want five men and five women. And then you need to have an interview team that is diverse, and if you do that it increases your likelihood [of achieving balance].”
— Charles H. Robbins, CEO, Cisco
“Cisconians work hard — and we reward hard”.
With a motto like that, no wonder things are going great at Cisco. Balance and diversity are the keys to Cisco’s success, according to their CEO, Charles H. Robbins. The company is super active in the online world and candidates are encouraged to follow the #WeAreCisco convo on social media where the company shares inspiring employee photos and stories about what working at Cisco is really like.
Cool fact: Cisco recently launched a $50 million commitment to try to eradicate homelessness in Santa Clara, California. Now that’s a goal we can get behind!
“We have a lot of different people from a lot of different places, and we are accepting of people from everywhere. So we think we have something to offer talking about that kind of environment.”
— Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
At Apple, diversity is about new ways of thinking. When teams at Apple start a new project, they don’t begin by checking to see what everybody else is doing (a.k.a. “the best practices”). They try to discover the best approach they can come up with, and that’s what they do. Apple is always about pushing the envelope by doing the best thing possible and that’s exactly the kind of culture that puts them on an HR pedestal.
Looking for cracks when it comes to Apple’s employer brand is like searching for a honest person in Congress these days (sorry, we had to). 🤷
How Apple rocks its employee perks:
- Huge discounts on products and services. Every 3 years, workers get $250 off an iPad or $500 off a Mac and Apple software is always 50% off. They also get an annual 25% discount for Apple products purchases and other discounts for family and friends (depending on the product).
- They have solid policies for parental leave. Moms can take 4 weeks of paid leave before giving birth and 14 weeks after. Non-birth parents get 6 weeks of paid time off, according to TIME.
- Employees can join Apple’s beer bash — a regular event featuring snacks, free booze, and celebrity cameos (they even had Gwen Stefani swing by 🤩).
It goes without saying all these flashy perks reflect pretty highly on Apple’s brand image. But there’s also plenty of walk behind the talk. Apple CEO, Tim Cook has an astoundingly high 94% approval rating on Glassdoor, showing just how well-respected he is by employees.
“Hubspot was the kind a place I wanted to be a part of before I even joined when I met Brian Halligan and I could see just how passionate he was and that Hubspot’s mission was bigger than any sort of profit objective. To see the passion in that and to walk around Hubspot and see how much our employees care about that excited me everyday”
— JD Sherman, President & COO, Hubspot
Hubspot’s awesome perks and benefits include, unlimited vacation and a retirement savings plan matching program, to name a few. And due to their commitment to continuous education, the company provides a $5,000 benefit each year for employees who want to take a class on anything from Java to Japanese.
Not only that, Hubspot’s co-founder, Brian Halligan was named one of Glassdoor’s top 10 highest-rated CEOs for 2017. (If you’ve ever spent time in the Glassdoor rabbit hole, you know what a huge achievement that is!) The company also ranks #1 in GetApp’s Q3 2017 ranking of content marketing vendors #7 in the top 100 workplaces for millennials by Great Place to Work.
“Shopify taught me it’s never too late to take a leap. Every day, I’m learning more about myself and what else is possible.”
— Catherine Hughes, Director of Culture, Shopify
It seems like Shopify hit the jackpot this year when it comes to both business and HR awards. The e-commerce software company was ranked Top Canadian Company by GR Crowd in 2018 and won Glassdoor’s Best Place to Work Award for 2018. But Shopify really started setting the bar in 2017 when it ranked #1 in the Top 10 Canada-based Employer Brands.
Among its awesome employee perks, the company offers self-directed budgets to support learning and growth, daily catered meals and even housecleaning to save employees time. (Where can we sign up?!) 🙋
“Just as we’re continuously evolving to meet the changing expectations of our customers, we’re harnessing new technologies to do the same for job seekers.This consumer-like experience helps us hire the best talent to serve our customers.”
— Tim Hourigan, EVP HR, Home Depot
2015 was a great year for Home Depot. The nationwide home supply retailer won the IR Excellence Awards for Online Retailer of the year as well as EPI Awards Mobile Retailer of the year, both massive achievements for the company’s brand image. And it seems Glassdoors would agree. Home Depot is currently rank #9 on Glassdoor’s ‘Best Business Outlook’.
What makes this retail giant continue to stand out from the HR crowd is its strong commitment to simplifying its hiring practice. In February 2018, hiring teams at Home Depot started using a mobile tool to let candidates self-select in-person interview times for more than 80,000 open positions. (Because honestly, it all starts with a better interview process! 👌)
“The foundations of freedom, and responsibility — not having a lot of rules, not having policies, not using sort of bureaucracy or hierarchy to govern — but instead really providing context to folks and giving them all the freedom to do their job and all the responsibility…has increased over time instead of decreased, and continues to work.”
— Tawni Cranz, Chief Talent Officer, Netflix
Netflix is fond of saying it hires only “fully formed adults,” and that’s exactly how the company treats its employees. Netflix has pioneered the concept that workers should be allowed to take whatever vacation time they feel is appropriate, a move that only brought them higher on the employer brand ladder. On top of that, one of Netflix’s strongest leverage points is having a work environment where employees are happy with how much they earn.
Netflix’s parental leave policy is based on the idea that working parents should “take care of your baby and yourself.” That’s why in 2015, the company made many an HR headline when it introduced a new clause in its employee contracts which offering unlimited time off to new parents within the first year of the child’s birth or adoption. Parents can return on a full- or part-time basis, and even take subsequent time off later in the year if needed, without worrying they have to switch to disability leave.
(Treating working parents right shouldn’t be a newsworthy event, but we’re always happy to give props to employers who lead by example. 👍🏽)
“I want a company where people are excited to come to work every day, where they feel good when they get here, where it doesn’t take from them, but it’s giving to them, it’s giving to others.”
— Marc Benioff, Founder & CEO, Salesforce
Marc Benioff started Salesforce in 1999 with a whole new perspective on business. On their first day of work, employees are taken to do volunteer service. “They’ll go to a homeless shelter or they’ll go to the hospital or go to a public school. This is a very core part of our culture,” explains Marc.
For Salesforce, winning awards for doing good deeds is simply business as usual. The company is ranked as top #1 Best Workplace in Europe in 2018 by the Great Place to Work Awards. After Forbes, they rank number #1 for World’s Most Innovative Companies and Fortune names them the World’s Most Admired Company.
Salesforce’s UK employees seem to be the happiest, since the company is ranked 3rd in the Top Great Place to Work Awards in 2018. They also came in at number 4 on LinkedIn’s 2018 Top Companies list. Phew! With a ranking rap sheet like that, no wonder Salesforce is one of the most attractive working destinations for top talent!
“Just looking for a set schedule to spend more time with my kids and wife.This company gives us opportunity to work with others also be able to guide others in their careers. It gives us opportunity to train and gives us a reason to come back to work. We truly care about our associates and our customers.”
— LA-based Shift Manager, In-N-Out-Burger via Indeed
Fast food probably isn’t the first industry to come to mind when thinking about world-leading work environments. Not so for In-N-Out. The better burger joint is the only restaurant chain in the top 50 companies on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list. The fast food chain also ranks №4 on Glassdoor’s list of the best places to work in 2018, beating out Google (№5), Lululemon (№6), and Microsoft (№39). 😲
In-N-Out-Burger’s commitment to valuing their staff has brought them a sweet 4.5 star rating on Indeed.com, where employees praise it for its “fast-paced,” “rewarding,” and “challenging” career path and describe the company as taking “excellent care of employees.”
The company learned that paying employees well leads to better productivity, less employee turnover, and bigger profits. With a starting rate of $11 an hour it’s 17% higher than the average hourly wage for hospitality jobs ($8.94). And if we add in the paid vacations, free meals, comprehensive training and 401k plan — it’s safe to say they raised the bar.
In-N-Out-Burger has also made it clear their employer brand is not just for teenagers looking for a part-time job — the company is also a place for hospitality professionals looking for long-term growth.
See something here that inspires you? Remember, while it’s always great to take a page from someone else’s hiring handbook, the best employer branding strategy will always align with your unique kind of awesome.