Lists of the best places to work for are a dime-a-dozen, and usually, you’ll see the same places mentioned time and time again: Google. Big-budget finance companies, industry giants. Usually, these are the companies that can afford to shell out big when it comes to benefits, like free laundry services and college tuition reimbursement.
What makes “good places to work” seem to be the monetary value of their perks. Is there anything smaller companies can do to their talent management to be attractive to candidates?
Think Smaller, Work Better
It’s possible that people see these “best places” list, see the behemoths involved and begin thinking they can’t compete. But being a “best” place to work isn’t simply about having the best benefits and topping the charts. It’s about attracting and onboarding new employees with a great employer brand and solid candidate experience. The secret to being a great place to work has more to do with what you’re doing for your current employees. It’s about doing what you can for the people who already work for you.
At this year’s Social HR Camp, Alicia Elson, Vice President of HR at Quality Living, was on a panel discussing this very topic. In creating a more effective talent management system, she advises companies to do right by every employee under their wing, especially when it comes to matters outside of the work itself. “We’ve helped our 22-year-olds find houses,” she said. When companies help their employees, those employees will work harder, and better, in order to reciprocate the favors you’ve done them. "If we have the time and it doesn't cost us too much, we'll do it. We care."
Your People Are Your Brand
Of course you should care about the people you hire. They’re your lifeblood. But you can’t afford to invest so heavily in your employees when they can’t give back. This is why hiring is so important. Thomas Van Ahn, COO of Viral Solutions, stresses how important it is to get rid of people who are detrimental to the company immediately.
“An employee with a bad attitude who constantly complains or is rude to others can quickly sour the morale of other people that he or she works with. You need to deal with attitude problems as quickly as possible, whether that means rehabilitating or firing the employee.”
When you’re trying to build a company people want to work for, you have to take the risk of firing people who aren’t fit for your culture, even if they’re otherwise qualified.
Hiring is so important, in fact, that even big companies have this outlook. Valve, one of the most successful companies in video games, puts hiring as their first priority, incentivizing every employee who works at the company to focus their efforts on hiring whenever they can, as mentioned in their employee handbook:
"Hiring well is the most important thing in the universe. Nothing else comes close. It’s more important than breathing. So when you’re working on hiring—participating in an interview loop or innovating in the general area of recruiting—everything else you could be doing is stupid and should be ignored!"
Thomas Van Ahn with Viral Solutions says hiring well is more important than breathing. Can we agree?
Quality of Life Is Not a Number
Another reason not to get too hung up on Glassdoor and Fortune lists: often, the companies that top these list are also the ones most likely to have overworked employees, exhausting them and continuing to work them until they get burnt out. What smaller companies can still offer without spending big is a culture where everyone feels rested and excited to work. Without stakeholders having sway over directives and bureaucracy getting in the way of big changes, smaller companies can use better recruitment software to become better places to work, even if they’re not the “Best.”
Culture is also a big reason for someone to stay. Companies with high company culture have a 14% turnover rate, while those with low company culture have a 48% rate. This means a good culture, cultivated by a strict hiring process and going the extra mile for every employee, will mean more to your company than a number on a list ever will.
Companies with high company culture only experience a 14% turnover rate. How's your culture looking?
ClearCompany is better talent management for the on-the-move, paperless employee. Sign up for a demo today and see how we can improve every employee’s quality of work and life.
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent hundreds of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.