Akin to relationships between two friends or loved ones, the relationship between an employee and their employer can include genuine care and desire to help one another improve and grow, while also fulfilling passions and goals.
For example, the employer Facebook defines themselves by their “unique culture – one that rewards impact.” They openly “encourage people to be bold and solve the problems they care most about.” Moreover, Facebook’s careers page promises that “taking care of our people is how we attract and retain the best.”
So, how does one go about identifying and then getting hired by a Best Places to Work company?
Identify Your Target Companies
First, visit Glassdoor’s latest Best Places to Work list, read through the various company descriptions and make a short list of organizations that align with the culture fit you desire. From there, dive deeper, to get an understanding of their particular needs and map out a plan proving you are their “need fulfiller” and long-term solutions builder.
[Related: 5 Things Not To Do During Your Job Search]
Map Your Past With Their Present
Private entity, Bain & Company—this year’s #1 Best Places to Work winner and one of the world’s leading consulting firms operating globally in 51 cities—touts how they work with “top executives – across all industries and geographies – to analyze, create and deliver sustainable solutions that help shape the world we live in.”
In that one brief description alone, job seekers can map past experiences and achievements to specific areas of obvious need. For example, if your work entails regular collaboration with the C-Suite; i.e., chief-executive-level officers and/or other very senior-level leaders such as board members, vice presidents, general managers and such, you want to underscore that in your resume and other communications (cover letters, biographies, LinkedIn and interview conversations).
Has your work involved travel and interface across multinational borders and industries? Then you must bring that up when espousing your value to Bain & Company. For example, you could say that you have “partnered with executive leadership to orchestrate solutions to the most pressing challenges,” and further that you have “managed complex business processes across multiple countries and industries, adapting to diverse cultures and operational requirements + expectations.”
Dive Deeper to Understand Company Needs
Google, another Best Places to Work winner is not only a common household and office name, but also has a plethora of articles written about its interviewing processes. In fact, just Googling the phrase, “How to Get Hired at Google” delivers more than 46,000 results. Assuming that you know how to get the recruiter’s attention by mirroring tips from articles may be a little presumptuous, however. Instead, dig a little deeper into on Glassdoor, and search out less easily found information which may set you apart from the pack.
Unearth Employee Insights
Review the ‘reviews’ of other employees who have worked there as well as information in business journals and other financial and economic reports and news media that may hint at Google’s current and impending needs. From there, plot a story, based on your real experiences and accrued talent that will resonate with their needs.
Alluding, through tangible stories, that you have the ability to envision future needs, plan a strategy, and as importantly, implement that strategy will increase the odds that the recruiter or other hiring decision maker will stop and read further when receiving your job application and resume story.
Don’t Let Lack of a Degree Hold You Back
For example, Google explicitly states in its FAQs that “a CS degree isn’t required for our software engineering or product manager roles.”
Research Interview Questions + Techniques
You also will want to research what type of interviewing questions the target company focuses on so that you can appropriately prepare.
A common technique is behavioral interviewing, described by BusinessDictionary.com as, “A job interviewing technique whereby the applicant is asked to describe past behavior in order to determine whether she is suitable for a position. For example, an interviewer may ask ‘Tell me about a time when you dealt with a disruptive customer.’”
Other interview strategies such as brainteaser-type questions also are common. However, if you spend a considerable amount of time preparing for brainteaser questions for a Google interview, then you may be wasting your energy. Google clearly asserts that they do not ask brainteaser questions but instead they do “work sample tests and ask structured interview questions.”
As well, check out the Interview reviews for specific companies via Glassdoor. For example, candidates for In & Out Burgers jobs spell out specific questions they were asked, such as, “What is ‘Customer Service’ to you?”, “What was the most recent job you had?”, and yes, behavioral interview questions like, “Tell me about a time when your honesty was questioned. Give me a time when you worked in a group and it didn’t go well.”
In many instances, you will find a theme, such as the employer’s focus on customer service or the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and their interest in employees who are positive and upbeat, for example.
Research the Interview Process
Google has an entire page on their website devoted to their specific Interview process.
If you check out Airbnb’s interviews section on Glassdoor, the candidates’ responses to the actual process of interviewing go deep. They speak to specifics such as who initially contacted them, the email process, the tone of the conversations, the number of days or weeks in the actual process, and much more.
Become Intimate With Their Mission
Moreover, read and digest the company’s mission and prove, through your words and illustrations of past actions, that this is the type of mission you also embrace. For example, Best Places to Work Company, FAST Enterprises’ mission is “to be the premier provider of software and consulting services to government agencies.”
They are “committed to on-time delivery of quality products and services that provide excellent value to our customers.” As such, your communications, starting with your resume and cover letter and going through to the interview exchanges, should weave in not only your enthusiasm but any specific experience that proves you are a key driver for providing value through quality products and services.
Get to Know Current Employees
Studying individual profiles of employees currently working at your target Best Places to Work Company(ies) may also provide insight into the traits and experiences, as well as culture of the candidates.
Genuinely aligning your story with theirs can further advance your cause. This can include communicating directly with current employees who could be a referral link to your next role or simply taking your learnings and applying to your communications through corporate hiring channels.
Pitch Your Value to Key Leaders
Moreover, in some instances, locate the email address associated with a specific manager or executive in the division you seek to work. Assuming you have properly researched that individual and their company, write a personal and concise email introducing a preview of your talent and why you would be passionate about interviewing to peak interest. This is true even if a role isn’t currently being advertised.
Remember, akin to courting another person in a relationship, hiring decision makers also value being wooed and courted, as long as your intentions are genuine and professional. Best Places to Work companies likely are highly sought after work homes, but that doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands at the possibility of being considered.
Instead, strategize your best plan of action and get in the game!