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“Best Place to Work Awards” Cultivate Employer Branding

An important component of any firm’s Employment Branding Strategy must include going after and winning various “Best Place to Work/Employer of Choice Awards.” I effectively incorporated this for the first time at Monsanto into my Employment Branding strategy; the ensuing Talent Acquisition and Branding results were dramatic (more on this later).
There are several types of these Awards and not all of these Awards are reflected of (confidential) employee opinion surveys. Some Awards are industry specific (no applications required) and are granted because of your firm’s reputation, like Science Magazine‘s Top Employers list and The Scientist Magazine‘s “Best Place to Work Award”—both past wins for Monsanto. In fact, Science magazine’s survey measures reputation as an employer with people across the scientific industry. And the Scientist Magazine also “polls the scientific community to find out which institutions and companies fostered the most innovative, rigorous, and supportive research environments.” Several top places to work make the list year after year, while each survey also highlights newcomers to the top institutions.
Others Awards require the completion of lengthy and detailed questionnaires. A prominent example in this category is DiversityInc’s Top 50 Award. It requires participant organizations with at least 1,000 employees to complete a detailed 300-question survey covering: Talent Pipeline, Equitable Talent Development, plus CEO/Upper-Management Commitment, and Supplier Diversity. And a CEO signoff on the survey is required. Another example is Working Mother 100 Best Companies which requires more than 500 questions on workforce representation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more.
Additionally, some prestigious examples of employee opinion driven surveys are Fortune Magazine “100 Best Companies to work for” ® (conducted and administered by the Great Place to Work Institute in San Francisco), under very tight deadlines and Glassdoor and several prestigious regional Awards like the St. Louis Business Journal’s Best Place to Work. At Monsanto, as the first Director of Employment Branding & Marketing in 2002, I went after as many local, regional, industry-specific, Diversity and national Awards as I could. In fact, Monsanto won (for the first time ever) Fortune Magazine’s Best Place to Work Award in consecutive years (another first) when I built and led the function. And, I found these Awards wins (and the publicizing of them) to be a necessary and effective component of an Employment Branding strategy.  
As I mentioned in “The Integrated Talent Acquisition Solution,” winning “Best Place to Work Awards” can lead to some impressive ROIs, such as: passive and diverse candidate attraction increases in total completed applications via the career website, increased positive press coverage–in industry publications, University and related organizations/associations, greater employee engagement as measured by internal surveys, more HR prestige, increased diversity in number of applicants, and single digit employee turnover.
In closing, many of these Awards allow the winners exclusive use of the logo (for Branded Recruiting materials, websites, etc.) for a specified time as well as the ability to purchase numerous giveaways, trinkets and items for Employees. So the value of incorporating the winning of numerous Best Place to Work Awards into your Employment Branding Program is critical if you want to drive an outstanding Talent Acquisition Strategy.

John Torrance-NesbittJohnny Torrance-Nesbitt
 MBA is an award-winning Global HR professional across several industries and with outstanding successes in Global University Relations, Employment Branding and Global Talent Acquisition, and Diversity Strategies. Photo Credit Don’tBitetheAppleDotNet.
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Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt

Johnny Torrance-Nesbitt, MBA is an award-winning Global HR professional across several industries and with outstanding successes in Global University Relations, Employment Branding and Global Talent Acquisition, and Diversity Strategies.