How do government-sponsored enterprises like the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), commonly known as Fannie Mae, stand out to potential job candidates and in the eyes of employees? We examine what this Fortune 500 company does to promote its employer brand and compare it to what employees really think.
Employer Brand vs. Employee Sentiment
As you soon as you visit the Fannie Mae career page, job seekers are immediately pointed to the company’s focus: “We’re a company on a mission. It’s our job to strengthen the nation’s housing finance system, bring stability to families and communities, and help make homeownership affordable and sustainable. We’re looking for the right people to help us do it.” The company’s message continues to permeate through its Glassdoor profile and other social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Overall the company strongly reminds candidates that a job at Fannie Mae is about helping the greater good when it comes to home ownership and affordable housing.
While there are many other attributes Fannie Mae promotes besides it mission, it is definitely a dominant theme. So does this sense of pride in helping U.S. homeowners cross over as one of the best reasons to work at Fannie Mae?
We dug into the Fannie Mae company reviews to uncover some of the pros (the upsides of working at Fannie Mae) and cons (any downsides of working at Fannie Mae) according to employees. Here are some of the highlights we noticed in the reviews:
“This company is really into work life balance. When I was there, they offered childcare, lactation rooms, health facility, elder care, meals to go, bonded house sitters, etc. Your life could be balanced from birth to death; thus allowing you to work with fewer life stressors.” – Fannie Mae Methodologists (Washington, D.C.)
“Excellent benefits. Truly outstanding. Decent pay. Opportunity to set own work hrs. Not typically micro-managed. Occasional opportunities to work overtime, and earn some extra pay….Can wear jeans all through the summer months, and business casual at other times.” – Fannie Mae employee (Addison, TX)
“Future uncertainty regarding policy and legislation. Sometimes can be very political regarding promotions.” – Fannie Mae employee (location n/a)
“Fannie Mae is currently in receivership so it’s currently managed by the federal government or FHFA. The company is profitable and going through a revamp no one knows what to expect once the dust settles in a few years.” – Fannie Mae Employee (location n/a)
A Fannie Mae Senior Database Administrator (Herndon, VA) who had been with the company for more than 10 years also added this advice to senior management:
“Don’t set direction without knowing where you want to go.”
How Can Fannie Mae Do More With Its Employer Brand?
The quick answer to the question is: promote the good and work on fixing the bad.
Over and over, employees comment favorably about the work-life balance and flexibility that Fannie Mae offers. However on the flip side, given the state of the economy and the housing market, reviews also show that some employees are unsure of what will happen next. So what could Fannie Mae do to build up its brand? Some quick tips include:
- Ensure your online presence captures what employees appreciate: For example, share and link to company reviews from employees that tell more of your story. For Fannie Mae, that can mean sharing reviews that point to the flexible work arrangements. Include quotes from review on your careers site, and on Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember candidates want to know not only what type of work they’ll be doing but they also want to know what the work environment and culture is like.
- Know the plan forward and communicate: Companies often get high marks from employees when the feel connected to the direction the company is headed. In other words, they like to hear from senior leadership and understand what the biggest priorities and challenges are as well as the plan for how they will be tackled. The important reminder is to not forget to have regular communication on the milestones the company should achieve in the short term in order to work toward that longer-term mission.
- Stay true to your mission: When you do something right, keep doing it. If you do a good job of sharing your mission, shout it from the virtual rooftops. Feeling connected to what a company is about can go a long way with both candidates and employees.