Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Looking to Google to Create a Strong Employer Brand


You might have heard that FORTUNE magazine ranks Google as the number 1 place to work.

Indeed, Google has put in a lot of effort and innovative ideas into creating a strong employer brand. And it's paid off for them, too.

The following is from an article called, How Google woos the best and brightest:
"I would argue that definitely they have the best talent," said Joe Kraus, a co-founder of the Web portal Excite Inc. and who currently leads a startup, JotSpot, in Palo Alto. "They invest so much because the more great talent you have, the easier it is to attract even more great talent."

What makes working at Google so attractive? Is it simply a good "brand"?

The answer is that its employer brand, like all brands, stems from the reality. People view Google as a great place to work because it obviously is a great place to work. The benefits they offer are innovative and they're concrete - they're benefits that any employee (or potential employee) would really enjoy.

Take a look at this blog post from a Google employee. Number 8 is particularly interesting, especially coming from the perspective of an insider:

# 8: A company that truly cares.

You sit on the outside and you read all the stories and your first thought was: “Yeah right! They do “all that”! Probably just to keep you at work and working like a dog.

To some extent I did too. I was wrong, and so are you.

For any company it is easy to provide you with free food, get you shuttles to commute, have beer parties on fridays, decorate the offices nice, and have free drinks and Naked Juices. If it wanted to.

Typically what happens is that you get bored of the “cafe food” and the rest pretty quickly because often companies pay lip service to things like that.

At Google the food never gets boring because each cafe has a executive / sous chef and when you eat they’ll come chat with you and ask you what you think of the food (to your utter shock the first few times). They actually care.

High praise. and there's nothing more convincing than an old-fashioned testimonial.

And there's other evidence that just keeps popping up - it's practically impossible to ignore. I came across a recent article about an actual zip line that Google built for its employees. Seriously. A zip line. Across a ravine.

How many other companies can claim something as neat as that? Not very many.

I always like to keep my eyes on the companies that do things best, and for employer branding, Google definitely ranks #1.