HR Pros Gather in CT to Talk Branding and Benefits

Last week the Connecticut Technology Council held one of its HR Forum Series panels on the forested grounds of the University of New Haven’s Orange campus. Since there aren’t many HR events on CT anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to this blogger and a chance to leave the confines of my home office on a Thursday afternoon.

Moderated by Mary Gambardella, Labor & Employment Practice Group Chair, Wiggin and Dana LLP, the panel featured experts from these notable Connecticut companies:

-Natalie McLean, Director, Global Sales Training, Indeed

-Li Hayes, Director of Employee Success, Core Informatics, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific

-Stefanie Marro, HR Associate from Owl Cyber Defense

Topics of the talent acquisition panel included;

  • Being more thoughtful about the employee on-boarding experience
  • Employer Branding – how your business represents itself inside and out can deeply affect employee attraction and retention!
  • Compensation & Benefits – Beyond health coverage – discover how “extras” can make the difference for your workforce.

The first question centered around how each of them think about employer branding.

Core Informatics said they try to promote a “cutting edge” environment since most of their workers are scientists and engineers.

Indeed‘s rep said they focus messaging to candidates through their mission of “helping people get jobs”. In fact they are well known for their t-shirts that say the same and they use a lot of swag throughout the company especially for on-boarding new employees. They buy everything from sneakers to shirts to water bottles with the indeed brand emblazoned on it. In short, they love swag.

Owl Cyberdefense is a smaller company (60+ employees) so they focus on their core mission of protecting people’s data with a ‘what more can you do for the world” proposition.

Which benefits have you added to attract talent?

Indeed: They offer Unlimited PTO, happy hours, casual dress and free breakfast in every office around the world. They also let employees work from home (at managers discretion) and all employees get a Mackbook to stay mobile.

Other notable things about working at Indeed: 40% of hires come from referrals. There is an “instant feedback” portal where any employee can give feedback to any other. That feedback can be private or public info.

At Core Informatics they also have unlimited PTO and only 2 people have ever abused it. They also offer flexible work hours and offer all employees an “ergonomic” friendly workspace. Employees can choose any chair or desk that they want. HR doesn’t want people to feel uncomfortable at work.

Owl Cyberdefense offers flex hours, employees can come in as early as 7am and leave early. They also mentor younger employees and pride themselves on a “family friendly” culture. Being a smaller company they tend to do the smaller things to make work fun such as hiring pizza trucks, doing ice cream socials. Recently a ‘Cornhole’ tournament broke out among employees.

What benefits will employers need to offer in the future to attract and retain employees?

Answers to this question ranged from defining better career paths to paying off student loans for new grads to paid volunteer days and even housing benefits. One person from Yale University said their housing benefits helped them buy a home.

Other events from the CT Tech council can be found here.

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