Only 1 (Unexpected) Company Earns a Spot in 3 Lists: Top Hybrid, Top Remote and Top Brand Strategy
The 18 strong employer brand strategy examples in this article show tangible benefits in employee engagement, morale, and decreased recruiting costs. For companies with a favorable employer brand, one study found 43% lower recruiting costs and increased retention.
Work environments are still changing. Some have always been 100% remote. Others require 100% on-site work and remain essential. And, in the past three years with COVID, many employers shifted to a remote or hybrid model.
Today, an estimated 81% of US organizations are planning for hybrid as the dominant model going forward, and 72% lacked a clear employer brand strategy for the hybrid workforce.
This suggests that many employers need to develop an updated approach aligned with the hybrid environment. As inspiration, some employer brand strategists may elect a trip to Lisbon to participate in the World Employer Branding Day conference in October. Also, check out our article “Brand Strategy Template for Employers.”
7 Top Employer Brand Strategy Examples
Seven large employers are recognized by two or more experts for top employer brand strategies. Each of these employer examples provides a different employee brand value proposition (EVP), with considerable variation in focus on job vs. career, culture and values, vacation policies and policies for remote, hybrid and on-site work.
The sources for the top employer brand strategy examples are AIHR, BuiltIn, Everyone Social, 6Connex, Harver and Uncubed Studios. These sources were the starting point to identify the seven top employer brand strategy examples.
These organizations in alphabetical order are:
After identifying the organizations, we examined each employer example to understand:
- Rationale: Why was this selected by the sources as a top employer brand strategy?
- Career or job page: How does this deliver the brand strategy?
- Mission and Values: What is the employer’s stated mission and values? These both drive the employer brand strategy.
- Employee Value Proposition (EVP): What are some important parts of this employer’s employee value proposition?
- Evidence of Results: Does the employer brand strategy appear to yield results based on publicly available data on employee engagement and awards?
- Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees: What is the most recent business performance of the employer? The suggestion is that it will be more likely for an employer who is delivering solid performance to consistently execute against their employer brand strategy. Delivering the brand strategy over time and with increasing number of employees is also more challenging.
1. Eventbrite Employer Brand Strategy Example
Rationale: Eventbrite was recognized by AIHR and Uncubed Studios for its employer brand strategy.
AIHR (Academy to Innovate HR) called Eventbrite “a great example of a company that does what it promises in its EVP (Employee Value Proposition).” Specifically, Eventbrite markets its workplace as “Briteland…isn’t just an office space, it’s a community of our in-person and virtual worlds.” Britelings, also known as employees, can choose their work approach, “Our employees can choose what works best for them: work in one of our offices, be fully remote or the best of both worlds.”
When Eventbrite offices reopen choices include:
- Hub: for those who prefer to work in an Eventbrite office 4-5 days a week
- Flex: for those who elect 1-3 days a week in the office
- Remote: for those who want fully remote “Your role doesn’t require you to be in the office and you work the majority of your time from home, where Eventbrite has an entity”
While the page no longer exists, Uncubed liked how Eventbrite introduced the company’s recruiting team of “high-fiving, ever smiling, bada.”
Career or job page: Eventbrite’s career page briefly describes the company’s purpose “building the future of events,” and also provides easy access to open positions. It also touts the company’s Great Places to Work certification, with 93% of employees saying Eventbrite is a great place to work.
Eventbrite’s 2019 Briteling employee blogs showcase various employees and their Barkling dogs in pet-friendly offices. However, employee blogs don’t appear to be a recent focus, with no recent entries on the website.
Mission and Values: Eventbrite’s mission “is to bring the world together through live experiences. We believe live experiences are fundamental to fulfilling a human desire to connect.” The company exists to serve event creators.
Eventbrite has seven values: “Accessible, Empowering, Delightful, Dedicated, Innovative, and Genuine”
Employee Value Proposition (EVP): Eventbrite’s visible employee value proposition EVP includes:
- Flexible working environment with a choice of workplace “that best suits productivity and wellbeing,” i.e., hub, flex, remote
- Competitive benefits and perks, including financial and wellness options
- Supportive working environment with managers trained
- Commitment to an equitable and balanced culture and hiring and retaining a more diverse team
Evidence of Results: The brand strategy appears to be succeeding with employees, as Eventbrite’s most recent 10Q touts the company’s 20 point increase in employee engagement in 2021.
“Eventbrite is committed to bringing the world together through live experiences, and we like to think about working at Eventbrite as the ultimate live experience. In order to continue building on our innovative self-service ticketing and experience technology platform, it is important that we attract, engage and retain talented employees. We have made great strides in strengthening our employee experience as illustrated by a 20 point increase in engagement over the last year. We attribute this gain to our rigorous focus on setting and delivering our company strategy, compensation and performance management, and empowering our Britelings to learn and grow. As part of these efforts, we strive to offer a competitive compensation and benefits program tailored to our employees’ needs across our global locations. We also provide meaningful perks, work to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and connect our employees with opportunities to make an impact in their communities.”
Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees: Founded in 2006, Founded in 2006, Eventbrite is now 16 years old. As of December 31, 2021, Eventbrite reported 707 employees, with 56% in the United States.
Eventbrite’s business performance has suffered from COVID impact on in-person events. Eventbrite reported net revenue of $117 million in 2021, compared with 2019 revenue of $198 million. Adjusted EBITDA was $1 million in 2021 and -$6 million in 2019. First quarter 2022 revenues were $36 million and adjusted EBITDA was $2 million. 76% of Eventbrite 1st quarter 2022 revenues come from the US.
2. General Electric (GE) Employer Brand Strategy Example
Rationale: General Electric’s employer brand strategy is well regarded by Everyone Social, 6Connex and Uncubed Studios. Brand messaging through videos and films in social media and other channels brought GE recognition from these sources.
Everyone Social identifies General Electric as one of the five best employer brand examples on social media. They express admiration for GE’s emphasis on the “cool things their employees all over the world are working on.” In their view, heavy use of video to drive the General Electric employer brand is working, with considerable engagement on GE’s corporate social media outlets. Specific employee stories are highlighted.
Uncubed Studios and 6Connex both recognize General Electric for the brand’s ability to deliver a light, contemporary messaging approach to young engineers, despite being founded in 1892.
Their reviews find that the “What’s the Matter with Owen” 2018 films helps explain how GE is “The digital company. That’s also an industrial company.” In this example, Owen tries to explain to both his friends and his parents the important work that he’ll be doing. The intent is to address younger job seekers in a humorous way in order to change the perception of the type of career that’s possible at General Electric.
General Electric’s short films are regularly nominated for Shorty Awards specific to the different social media channels. For employer brand strategy, General Electric’s employee profile films received gold distinction in LinkedIn from the 12th Shorty Awards year.
Career or job page: General Electric’s blog tab on the career page prominently features examples of the impact of GE’s employees’ work and employee blog articles, e.g., Gaby, Biomedical Technician in Atlanta. The website also offers instructional videos on the candidate journey, such as mastering an interview and developing a winning CV.
In addition to the blog articles and videos in the blog tab, GE’s career site also provides easy access to information on careers, how to search and apply, and much more.
Mission and Values: General Electric’s purposeis “We rise to the challenge of building a world that works.”
General Electric expresses values as leadership behaviors: “Act with Humility, Lead with Transparency, and Deliver with Focus.” General Electric offers well-developed leadership development programs.
Employee Value Proposition (EVP): General Electric’s Employee Value Proposition includes:
- Rigorous performance development backed by coaching and mentorship
- Presenting great career opportunities
- Offering unlimited PTO
- Promoting flexibility with options such as flex time, part-time opportunities, job sharing, reduced hours, telecommuting, and remote work
- Providing great benefits
- Diverse and inclusive workplace. “At GE, we are committed to building a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive workplace by focusing on transparency, accountability, and community.”
Evidence of Results: General Electric is certified among the Great Places to Work with 88% of employees stating that GE is a great place to work.
Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees: Business performance is challenging, with GE making progress on transformation and paying down debt. GE reported 168,000 employees in 170 countries in 2021, with total revenues of $74 billion, down from $90 billion in 2019. Founded in 1892, General Electric also recently announced plans to create separate industry-leading companies in energy, aviation and healthcare.
Most likely, this disruption creates a bumpy working experience. Among this group of firms, General Electric stands out for its social media and film employer branding, its focus on leadership development and career paths, and the unlimited PTO.
3. Google Employer Brand Strategy Example
Rationale: Google made the top employer brand strategy short list with designations from Built In, 6Connex and Uncubed Studios.
Built In “loves” Google’s employer branding videos on Youtube because they “feature multiple viewpoints” and “focus on a single audience.” One video example that Built In highlights is the intern’s perspective.
Google famously is very selective in its hiring– according to one source, more selective than getting admitted into Harvard. 6Connex ranks Google as the #1 employer “rockstar,” highlighting selectivity (“3 million resumes, of which they pick only 7,000 new employees,” benefits, a campus-style workplace and “swift leaders.”
6Connex also recognizes how the 2013 movie “The Internship” prominently showcased Google’s campus and culture with comedians Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson going “on the line” to win a spot as older interns.
The campus was a draw to our household, as in 2017, my boyfriend and I enjoyed touring and visiting friends and the various on-site cafeterias at Google’s Mountain View campus.
Other well known aspects of Google’s employee value proposition identified by Uncubed Studios are “commitment to company culture, whether through their much-vaunted 20% time or their plans to track 4,000 Googlers for the next 100 years in order to understand work-life balance.” Uncubed also notes how Google’s employer branding career page is “for everyone.”
Career or job page: The Google career page invites you to find your next job at Google under the headings of “create for everyone, design for everyone, code for everyone, build for everyone.” The top focus is job search, consistent with its search engine heritage. Search “Spotlights” are broken out for:
- cloud engineering
- executive leadership
- remote-eligible roles
- data-center roles
- staff software engineer
- computer hardware
Since navigating a large organization like Google is challenging for a job seeker, the website also suggests you can “find your team” in four featured categories: engineering & tech, people, consumer hardware and sales, and service & support. Additional teams one click deeper in search include finance, business strategy, legal, marketing & communication, design and facilities. Opening up these pages reveals employee profiles of Googlers.
Mission and Values: Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Aligned with this this user-first philosophy that the company also is:
- “Committed to significantly improving the lives of as many people as possible,
- People using technology to benefit others and
- Make life easier with a little help from our products.”
Google expresses its values as the 10 things we know to be true.
- “Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.”
Employee Value Proposition (EVP): Google’s employee value proposition EVP elements include caring for Googlers:
- Selectivity in hiring.
- Celebrating individuality and innovation. “there’s no one kind of Googler, so we’re always looking for people who can bring new perspectives and life experiences to our teams. If you’re looking for a place that values your curiosity, passion, and desire to learn, if you’re seeking colleagues who are big thinkers eager to take on fresh challenges as a team, then you’re a future Googler.”
- Connection and belonging. “Building belonging…working to expand what’s possible for everyone by building belonging in our workplace, products, and society.”
- Primarily a hybrid work model. (3 days in office, 2 days remote) despite a lack of popularity with 2/3 of employees, Google leaders feel that in-person work is critical to preserving employee engagement.
- Competitive pay and benefits. Google claims top-of-the-market pay, but has also declined to take inflation increases and chosen to pay less for employees who live in less expensive markets such as Durham, North Carolina; Des Moines, Iowa; and Houston, Texas.
Another take on Google’s EVP comes from Ongig and focuses on how Google cares for its employees: supporting families, access to a healthy lifestyle (e.g., on-site doctors and fitness centers), access to quality time off, financial support and investing in employee growth).
Evidence of Results: Google is recognized as a top performer in employee engagement, winning 8 awards from Comparably in 2022. Google also ranked well in Glassdoor’s top 10 large employer list for 2022.
Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees:
With over 156,000 employees in 2021, Google is subject to the same dynamics all large organizations face, which is that the employee experience can vary greatly by work group, location and leader. The company is more than 20 years old, as it was founded in 1998, and is no longer a brash tech upstart. Some former employees have pegged the company as intolerant of different viewpoints.
Recently in 2022, 10 Google Fiber contractors in Kansas City recently voted to unionize, and there are 800 members in the Alphabet Workers Union.
Google’s business performance is robust, with revenues of $258 billion in 2021, led by Google Search at $149 billion, Youtube at $29 billion, Google Network at $32 billion and Google Cloud at $19 billion. 46% of revenues came from the US, and net income was reported at $76 billion.
4. Microsoft Employer Brand Strategy Example
Rationale: BuiltIn, Uncubed Studios, and 6Connex all ranked Microsoft highly for its employer brand strategy. Microsoft’s Jobs Blog stands out for BuiltIn.
“Microsoft’s Jobs Blog tells the unique stories of the organization’s most valuable asset: its people. Microsoft’s editorial staff has done its homework, conducting the sort of in-depth interviews necessary to tell a compelling story. The result is a series of mini-biographies that illustrate the amazing diversity of Microsoft’s team while showcasing the organization’s appreciation of everything they do.”
The blogs are deep, very well executed and highly appealing. It’s easy to scan through and find a story in the Microsoft Life area to review in depth. Back in 2006, author Mary Jo Foley identified the 10 Microsoft employee blogs out of the 3000 available at the time.
Uncubed Studios recognizes Microsoft for presenting a contemporary, diverse image that successfully combats their stuffed-shirt heritage,
“from their beautifully curated Microsoft’s Career Instagram feed to an informative and truly helpful Recruiter Insights pages.”
Commitment to gender diversity stands out for 6Connex, in their selection of Microsoft as a top employer brand strategy example. Specifics include CFO Amy Hood’s selection as one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in the World in 2018 and ongoing support and success of female coworkers.
Bluivy recognizes Microsoft for its “strong and authentic employer brand” that uses multiple social media channels (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube) with content that is updated daily.
Career or job page: Microsoft’s career page opens with the message to “Do what you love and create the future you want,” and the invitation to enter directly into searching for a job.
Within the search, professions are listed by:
- functional discipline (e.g., engineering, 5000+ jobs)
- business operations
- product management
- consulting services
- customer success
- program management
- technical support
- hardware engineering and more
Navigation makes it easy to find information for experienced professionals or students and graduates to find relevant information.
Employee quotes, photos, and blogs are prominently featured on the career home page, offering the choice to “hear” from different employees, e.g., Vidya, Lauren, Nitish, Kiki, Jennifer and Chris. An example is Kiki’s quote:
“I want to transform how people experience ‘Halo’ in their living rooms and on their PCs. We will never do anything that doesn’t move the universe forward.”
Numerous employee blogs are showcased on the career page, with “stories of the people of Microsoft.” Often, these blogs may include a video. For example, Sophia’s story is categorized under “Microsoft is welcoming to everyone.”
Mission and Values: Microsoft’s mission is “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” The corporate values are:
- Respect: We recognize that the thoughts, feelings, and backgrounds of others are as important as our own,
- Integrity: We are honest, ethical and trustworthy and
- Accountability: We accept full responsibility for our decisions, actions and results.
Employee Value Proposition (EVP): Microsoft Employee Value Proposition includes the following:
- Community that’s supportive of the individual. “seek to create an environment where people can do their best work – a place where they can proudly be their authentic selves, guided by our values, and where they know their needs can be met.”
- Flexibility. According to Bloomberg News reports., “Employees who want to work remotely more than 50 percent of the time must have their schedules approved by managers”
- Growth Mindset both personally and professionally. “This means everyone is on a continuous journey to learn and grow.”
- World class healthcare and well-being benefits
Evidence of Results: Microsoft’s employer brand strategy is delivering results with employees. Comparably named Microsoft as the world’s best employer to work for in 2022. Employees rated Microsoft’s culture higher than any other large company with 500 employees. In comparison, Google’s culture ranked third. For job seekers, Microsoft also features a Glassdoor overall score of 4.4, CEO approval of 96% and positive interview experience of 65% on the career page.
Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees: Founded in 1975, Microsoft’s business is healthy. As of the 2021 annual report (6/30/21), Microsoft employed 181,000 people on a full-time basis, 57% were in the US. Microsoft reported revenues of $168 billion, up from $125 billion in 2019, and 2021 net income of $61 billion.
5. Netflix Employer Brand Strategy Example
Rationale: Netflix was nominated for its employer brand strategy by 6Connex, and AIHR. AIHR selected Netflix employer branding for “its simplicity and (brutal) honesty.”
As an example, AIHR points to CEO Reed Hastings’ 2020 video that provides perspective on the philosophies guiding the Netflix working environment. Principles include: “No Rules Rules” e.g., take the vacation you want, “Farming for Dissent: culture where people can disagree openly,” and “Inspire. Don’t Manage.” Employees are directed to “Act in Netflix’s Best Interest.”
6Connex identifies top ratings on Glassdoor for Netflix as evidence of its stronger brand strategy. They also cite Netflix’s ground-breaking parental leave policy, allowing new parents to take as many days off as needed during the child’s first year.
Career or job page: Netflix jobs’ page (not career page) starts with a job search function, followed by a lengthy explanation of the culture. As AIHR summarizes:
“The company’s culture is described pretty extensively and doesn’t make things seem prettier than they are. For instance, it talks about what Netflix means by a dream team, how they believe a team should function, and how not everybody may remain on the team if they don’t pass the so-called keepers test (meaning their manager would not fight to keep them if they were to leave). They’re also very candid about their compensation policy, which is to pay employees top of their personal market (instead of a 2% raise for adequate and a 4% raise for great, as they put it). This also means that some employees will be paid more faster than others if their market value goes up.”
In ample detail, Netflix summarizes the definition of “Seeking Excellence” culture:
- “Encourage decision-making by employees.
- Share information openly, broadly, and deliberately.
- Communicate candidly and directly.
- Keep only our highly effective people.
- Avoid rules.”
Consistent with the straight talk culture, in September 2020 CEO Reed Hastings called remote work “A Pure Negative” and anticipated,
“If I had to guess, the five-day workweek will become four days in the office while one day is virtual from home. I’d bet that’s where a lot of companies end up.”
As of November 2021, employees claimed that Netflix is remote friendly of necessity due to COVID concerns, despite the CEO’s perspective. Home Office Lovin’ says,
“Unlike other technology companies, though, Netflix has not made strides towards enabling more flexibility in terms of working from home or in remote locations.”
Mission and Values: Netflix’s mission:
“We want to entertain the world. Whatever your taste, and no matter where you live, we give you access to best-in-class TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games. Our members control what they want to watch, when they want it, with no ads, in one simple subscription. We’re streaming in more than 30 languages and 190 countries, because great stories can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere. We are the world’s biggest fans of entertainment, and we’re always looking to help you find your next favorite story.”
Netflix identifies valued behaviors: “Judgment, Selflesness, Courage, Communication, Inclusion, Integrity, Passion and Innovation.”
Employee Value Proposition (EVP): Netflix Employee value proposition includes:
- Unlimited Paid Time Off
- Focus on Keepers & Excellence, i.e., an up or out approach
- Preference for On Site Work
- Pay Aligned with Performance
Evidence of Results: Employer awards that Neflix has received include: “Best Company Compensation and Best Leadership Teams 2020” by Comparably, 4th on Forbes’s list of “Top Regarded Companies 2019.”
Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees: With a slowdown in growth, the belt is tightening at Netflix. Netflix reported revenues of $7.9 billion for 1st quarter 2022, up from $7.2 billion in 1st quarter 2021. Net income was $1.6 billion, down from $1.7 billion in 2021. Operating income was flat.
Founded in 1997, Netflix claimed 11,300 full-time employees at year end 2021, with 76% in the US and Canada. The firm cut 150 mainly US-based, full-time jobs in 2022 as well as an unspecified number of contractors. The LA Times sees this as just the beginning of a contraction “in reaction to slowing revenue growth and the loss of 200,000 subscribers.”
6. Salesforce Employer Brand Strategy Example
Rationale: Harver, Uncubed Studios and 6Connex ranked Salesforce as a top employer brand strategy example. Founded in 1999, Salesforce is also ranked as one of the very best large employers by Glassdoor, Fortune and Forbes.
6Connex recognizes Salesforce for treating employees and clients like family and states that:
“Salesforce refers to their team members and clients as ‘Ohana’ – the Hawaiian word for family…A vital part of the Salesforce employer branding activities is organizing Ohana family reunions, i.e., internal employer branding events where employees can unwind and meet in a semi-formal atmosphere.”
Uncubed Studios recognizes the Instagram feed for Salesforce careers. Harver liked how Salesforce handled the rapidly changing COVID times with a live Q&A session and transparency.
Salesforce’s career page invites you to “Join us at Salesforce” where together, “we can improve the state of the world.” A choice of “Search for Jobs” or “Join Our Network” allows the user to actively search or to register for future opportunities.
Career or job page: The Success from Anywhere culture is prominent on the career page. Based on their survey that found 80% of employees wanted to “maintain a connection to the physical space,” Salesforce is offering:
- “Flex – Most of our employees will work flex. This means they’ll be in the office 1-3 days per week for team collaboration, customer meetings, and presentations.
- Fully Remote – For employees who don’t live near an office or have roles that don’t require an office, they will work remotely full-time.
- Office-based – The smallest population of our workforce will work from an office location 4-5 days per week if they’re in roles that require it.”
Since flex will be the majority, Salesforce states “we’ll be redesigning our workspaces over time as community hubs to accommodate a more hybrid workstyle.” An upbeat Salesforce video portrays working remotely and how this has transformed work.
Salesforce awards as one of the world’s best workplaces is also featured, along with invitations to get to know the organization’s teams: Sales, Technology and Product, Customer Success, Marketing and Communications, Real Estate and Workplace Services, Employee Success, Finance, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Salesforce Research, Business Technology, University, MuteSoft, Datorama, Tableau, and Slack.
Mission and Values:
“Salesforce.org powers the purpose of people dedicated to solving our world’s biggest problems. A global community of nonprofits and educational institutions relies on our technology to help them operate effectively, raise funds, and build more meaningful relationships with those they serve.”
Salesforce has five core values: Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Equality and Sustainability.
Employee Value Proposition (EVP): Salesforce Employee Value Proposition Includes:
- Flex Work Model “Success from Anywhere”, but mainly from flex work
- Celebrating accomplishments
- Success mindset and focus, especially customer
- Wellbeing Support
Evidence of Results: Comparably has recognized Salesforce as a top company to work for. Great Places to Work certifies that 90% of employees give Salesforce two thumbs up.
Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees: Business performance has been solid for Salesforce. With approximately 73,000 employees globally, Salesforce reported first quarter 2022 revenue of $6 billion, net income of $469 million, stating “we had the best first quarter in our company’s history.” Year end 2021 revenues were $25 billion.
7. Starbucks Employer Brand Strategy Example
Rationale: Despite the recent unionization of more than 50 stores, Starbucks is known for offering benefits to part-time workers. Starbucks made the employer brand strategy example short list with acclaim from 6Connex and Uncubed Studios.
Both 6Connex and Uncubed Studios gave kudos to Starbucks for its use of social media in hiring, allowing prospective hires to interact with recruiters on Twitter and Instagram with their #sbuxjobschat hashtag.
“Starbucks uses platforms solely to communicate with current and future employees. They also update followers with the newest job opportunities.”
Uncubed Studios also applauded Starbucks’ “front-and-center” visible commitment to diversity and inclusion, while 6Connex liked the fact that Starbucks refers to its employees as Partners.
Hireology noted Starbucks’ use of social media to share employee success stories, including a dedicated YouTube channel.
Career or job page: Starbucks’ career page starts with “Hi there, what’s your name?” in a reference to how a barista will ask for your name for a drink.
Search is prominently featured. Employees are referred to as partners. Jobs can be searched by retail, retail leadership, manufacturing and distribution and corporate.
Mission and Values: Starbucks mission:
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
- “Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
- Delivering our best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
- Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
- Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.”
Employee Value Proposition (EVP): Starbucks Employee Value Proposition includes:
- You are a partner and can “expect more than coffee”
- Fast-paced and energizing place to work
- Rewarding full- and part-time “partners” with a special blend of benefits including healthcare, 401K and stock equity rewards. “Starbucks continues to be one of the only retailers to offer a stock program that includes part-time retail employees.”
Evidence of Results: While today’s Starbucks’ working environment has been described as super stressful, Starbucks is identified as a good place to work over time.
Comparably recognized Starbucks as a best place to work in Seattle in 2022 and 2021. Starbucks was also recognized by Glassdoor as a top place to work in 2018. Fortune identified Starbucks as one of the 100 best companies to work for from 1998 to 2000 and also 2002 to 2012. Back in 2007, Starbucks outranked Yahoo! and Microsoft on the Fortune list of 100 best companies to work for.
Recent Business Performance, Year Founded and Number of Employees: Founded in 1971, Starbucks reported strong recent financial results of $7.6 billion in second quarter 2022 revenues and $675 million in net earnings. Comparable store sales grew 7% vs. the prior year. In North America, store count increased 1%, while revenues grew 17%.
As of October 3, 2021 Starbucks had approximately 383,000 employees worldwide with 74% located in the US. 96% of US employees work in company-owned stores.
Common Themes across Employer Brand Strategy Examples
Specific branding tactics that led to recognition include:
- employer branding videos
- blogging for the employer brand
- employer branding with career pages,
- social media for the employer brand, e.g., Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- jobs or career page on the company website
The organization’s jobs or career page on the website provides a first information source for candidates. Recognized ways to deliver the brand strategy to employees include:
- providing testimonials
- showcasing the organization’s products
- highlighting open positions
- explaining the job application process
- demonstrating career growth opportunities
- spotlighting mission, values and personality
Top Remote Employer Brand Strategy Leaders
In addition to employer brand strategies, there are organizations that are recognized as top remote places to work by sources including Indeed, MakeMyMove, Owl Labs, TopWorkSpaces and BuiltIn.
At the promising intersection of the top brand strategy employers recognized by several sources that are also identified as a top remote employer, there is one firm:
From this intersection, it’s evident that Microsoft is ahead of the competition on remote flexibility with its approach to require employees who want to work more than 50% remote to receive manager approval.
Additionally, when considering the top remote employers also identified by at least one source as having a strong employer brand strategy, two additional organizations emerge.
8. Dell Employer Brand Strategy Example Rationale
Builtin ranked Dell for its use of employer social media, saying,
“With 600,000+ followers, the Careers at Dell Facebook page may be the world’s largest talent pipeline. It takes great content to capture the attention of so many people, and even better content to keep it. Dell doesn’t cut any corners, investing in photography, video production, copywriting and just about every other format to appeal to job seekers. By connecting all of its social media profiles (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, et al) with its Facebook page, Dell never has to worry about a shortage of material.”
LinkHumans interviewed Dell’sDalhia Rodriguez, Dell’s employment brand lead for the Americas who positions Dell as an employer of choice with social media. She describes a fully-remote-friendly working environment that delivers flexibility, inclusiveness and acceptance and entrepreneurialism.
Dell Remote Employer Recognition
Indeed ranked Dell as #11 in the top 20 companies to work with remotely based on an overall Indeed rating of 4.0, a work happiness score of 72, and flexibility score of 80.
Specific callouts went to Dell’s career development programs and its Connected Workplace program which:
“offers flexible and remote work opportunities in various departments like accounting, cybersecurity, corporate development, information technology and sales.”
Dell’s expectation is that 60% of team members will work remotely on any given day, and Dell has been committed to remote work excellence since 2009. In an interview, Dell HR director Mohammed Chahdi describes some of the challenges Dell has faced in implementing the Connected Workplace program:
- “Overall adoption of the practice and any barriers to entry, for example, how widespread will adoption be, who will be early adopters, which employee groups will be unable to participate and/or won’t want to, etc.
- Leadership perceptions and recognizing a remote employee can be just as productive (if not more so) as an office employee
- Providing leadership with training and tools to ensure success within their teams
- Ensuring seamless technology access across any geography/country”
9. Verizon Brand Strategy Example Rationale
Harver recognized Verizon’s employer brand strategy for offering resources and keeping employees engaged when they needed to work remotely due to COVID.
“By embracing change, Verizon has positioned itself as an agile company dedicated to adapting and innovating during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Verizon also partnered with Accenture to use People + Work Connect, an employer-to-employer platform designed to help furloughed workers find new jobs at a faster rate.
Verizon Remote Employer Recognition
Indeed identified Verizon as number 76 on the list of top 100 remote employers. Verizon was rated above average for:
- learning (75%)
- support (72%)
- achievement (75%)
- appreciation (73%)
- compensation (75%)
Flexibility was 70% (average).
Verizon has thousands of remote workers in customer support and telesales.
Based on this information, it appears that Dell, Verizon and Microsoft are already remote employer brand strategy leaders, and are well positioned as hybrid employer brand strategy leaders.
9 More Top Remote Employers
Another nine companies are identified as a good place to work remotely by two or more sources including Indeed, MakeMyMove, Owl Labs, TopWorkSpaces and BuiltIn. This means these remote employers are building strong remote brands. These remote workplace leaders are:
- 10. Automattic
- 11. Doist
- 12. Frontastic
- 13. Ghost
- 14. Hubstaff
- 15. Shopify
- 16. Toptal
- 17. VMWare
- 18. Zapier
Looking across the 100 top remote employers that are covered in BuiltIn, unlimited paid time off (PTO) is the #1 favorite perk. Other top tier favorites are generous parental leave (#2), tuition reimbursement and development (#3) and company equity or stock options (#4). Adoption assistance, monthly wellness stipends, 100% paid insurance, home office stipends are also mentioned regularly. Also popular are mental health days, half-day Fridays/every other Friday off, and four-day work weeks for some.
Top Employers for Hybrid Work
We found relatively few sources of best places for hybrid work.
Given that the large majority of firms expect this to be the dominant model, more rankings will emerge in the future. Three employers cited for hybrid work leadership that are also on any of the remote work leader lists are:
- Google (Alphabet)
- 19. Slack
Again, Microsoft stands out as the one company who was recognized for excellence in employer brand strategy, remote work and hybrid work.
On-Premise Top Employer Brand Strategies
There are also top employers that are fully in-person or on-site environments. Employers such as restaurant chains, hospitals and other health care providers, grocery and other retail stores, manufacturers, agriculture, and many others need a majority of their employees to work on-premise or on-site.
Outside of top employers overall, we didn’t notice specific recognition of top on-premise or on-site employers. However, we did see a good example of strong employee messaging at sweetgreen with postcards at the cash register. Sweetgreen careers appeals to entry level workers with messages such as:
“Grow to GM in 36 months” and “Get your first raise in 90 days,” both paying off in “A healthier future starts with you.” Specific points include:
- “Competitive wages & holiday pay,
- Free, healthy meals,
- Flexible schedules,
- Healthcare & commuter benefits,
- Paid parental leave and
- Paid volunteer time”
Overall Top Employers
There are many rankings of top employers, including:
- Great Places to Work who partners with Fortune on the Top 100 list
- Top Work Places
While these overall rankings are interesting, given the differences between remote, hybrid and on-site work, there is a need to go a level deeper to deliver a compelling employer brand.
A comparison chart of the first seven brands is available for download here.
Out of the thousands of companies identified by these lists as top employers, it will be interesting to see which rise to the challenge to deliver a compelling brand strategy for a hybrid workforce. Today, Microsoft stands out as the strongest employer brand strategy performer that meets the needs of hybrid and remote workers.
For more brand strategy examples, visit the brand strategy resources page. Or join us at an upcoming office hours.