One of the not-so-secret secrets of Becoming a Best Place to Work? It’s all about having great people — after all, it’s ultimately employees themselves that drive culture. And in order to ensure that your company is always filled with great people, you need to both bring in a steady stream of quality candidates and keep your existing rockstars around for the long haul.
While that’s easier said than done, there are a number of employers on the Best Places to Work list who have gotten the practice down to a science. In our new Best Places to Work Success Stories eBook, we chatted with top employers to learn their strategies. Here are a few highlights — make sure to download the full eBook to learn more!
1. Get Choosy
When you’re hiring for an urgent position, it makes sense to move quickly (especially when you have leadership and hiring managers breathing down your neck). But even though you want to be nimble, make sure you’re not doing this at the expense of candidate quality. Not only will higher quality candidates be more effective in their job — they’ll also drive a more positive company culture once they’re in the door.
“We’re looking for people who live and work the Southwest way. We’ve clearly defined these expectations, and build our interviewing methodology around them,” says Shari Conaway, Senior Director People at Southwest Airlines. Among the characteristics they look for are:
- Warrior Spirit — striving to be the best, displaying a sense of urgency and never giving up.
- Servant’s Heart — an employee will follow the Golden Rule, treating others with respect, and embracing our Southwest family.
- Fun-LUVing attitude — includes being a passionate team player, not taking oneself too seriously and celebrating successes.
- Work the Southwest Way — wowing our customers by delivering world-class hospitality, creating memorable connections and being famous for friendly service. We expect employees to show up and work hard.
“We like to say we hire for attitude and skill, but we will never put skill over attitude,” Conaway adds.
2. Keep Up With the Times
Once you develop a successful recruiting or retention playbook, it’s natural to want to refer back to it time and time again. But if you haven’t updated your processes and policies in a while, it’s high time you do — otherwise, you might get left behind while other companies around you innovate. Few employers know this better than Nestlé Purina, who has earned a spot on the Best Places to Work list for the past five years in a row.
“Our plans are best represented by a quote from our Founder, William H. Danforth. ‘Never be satisfied that what has been achieved is sufficient. Smugness and complacency do not promote progress,’” the company said. “Our focus for 2018 is becoming a more agile business — keeping us competitive in the marketplace and a ‘Best Place to Work.’ We’ll continue to seek feedback from our associates and act quickly to maintain or improve their employee experience.”
Improving your company’s culture and employer value proposition requires continuous monitoring of feedback, and then taking action. Keep this in mind when assessing policy changes, considering new benefits and updating your employer branding messaging.
3. Don't Mistake Homogeneity for Capability
Many employers talk about wanting to hire candidates who are a “culture fit,” but too often that vague definition leads to a skewed interpretation of what it really intends. If you tell your team to hire based on culture fit, especially without defining what your culture is, they may very well misinterpret that as being encouraged to hire folks who are similar to existing team members. To combat this, Adobe prefers not to use the term culture fit at all.
“Right off the bat our talent team looks to see if a candidate shares the same values and if they are a ‘culture complement’ versus a ‘culture fit.’ This means someone who adds to the team culture rather than one who brings more of the same,” shares Jeff Vijungco, VP of Employee Experience & Global Talent at Adobe. “Finding that complement plays a huge role in the hiring decision. Do candidates seem excited when they envision what they can accomplish at Adobe? Do they share the same passion for the company mission? Do they showcase the leadership capabilities we look for? Our goal is to build a strong relationship from the start.”