You may use a creative staffing agency to help you find qualified candidates for open positions at your company. However, that's not all you should be doing to ensure a qualified applicant pool. Sometimes, the best way to find great applicants outside of your company is to look at your employees inside. Improving the working conditions and creating a sense of community within your team strengthens the culture and, in turn, improves the professionals you bring in.
Your company's culture plays a major role in the type of candidate you attract. As a result, you're not only benefiting your employees by boosting team satisfaction – you're also bringing in the best of the best. Here's how some of the top brands in the business have used that to their advantage.
Since the basis for Airbnb's business calls for homeowners and renters to offer their living space to interested travelers, customer and client appreciation is at the top of their priorities list. That's why the company's Airbnb Open event was such an effective attempt at strengthening brand loyalty. The event brought together 1,500 of the most productive hosts from 40 different countries for an experience that would not only improve good will among the Airbnb community, but also promote the company's inventive, family-like culture. According to Joe Gebbia, Airbnb's co-founder and chief product officer, the company seeks employees who "align with our noble cause," he told Mashable.
"It's about more than making money; it's about connecting people in countries all around the world," he told the news source. "Our social mission is to get people meeting each other, and we need people who align with that purpose."
Meeting people was a main part of the event, and as such, was both a great marketing ploy and a strategic expression of company culture that helps attract quality employees.
"Get employees to stay for something more than their salary."
If you go to the "Culture" portion of the Southwest Airlines website, you'll notice a "Star of the Month," in which one employee's tale of going above and beyond for customers is highlighted monthly. One story discusses a flight attendant who, in her 21 years of service, never called in sick. Since the brand is known for its employees' friendliness and dedication to exceptional service, this strategy fits in well with its mission. Not only does this help promote the airline to customers and encourage brand loyalty, but it also boosts employee satisfaction and attracts top talent to the business.
These feel-good stories aren't just explained to the public – they're also shared internally to spread positivity and boost company culture. Forbes explained that in one video sent to employees, a customer service agent for Southwest allowed the family of a man going to Kuwait for deployment to wait with him in the gate, and another employee even let them on the plane to hug him one last time before he left for service. It's this type of company culture that helps employee retention and attracts quality employees that fit within the company's branding.
The Zappos brand places less of a focus on its product – shoes and clothing – and more of an emphasis on happiness. The company's website lists "weirdness," "family spirit," and "honest relationships" in its core values, encouraging employees to work there for something more than a paycheck. In fact, Fast Company magazine explained that the onboarding process for working at Zappos is anything but traditional, with all new employees required to answer customer calls for the first two weeks of employment. Following the first week, each employee is given the offer to take an additional $2,000 to leave the company, or continue on through the training process.
"Really, the goal of that originally was to weed out the people that are just there for a paycheck," Zappos' CEO, Tony Hsieh, told the news source.
One of the keys to attracting top talent is to get employees to stay for something more than their salary. By giving employees a choice right at the beginning, Zappos sets the stage for a self-motivated, positive company culture that brings in like-minded people.
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