Netflix leads the way

First we had unlimited holidays, now we have unlimited maternity leave.

But why would a company do that? Easy, creating a great employer brand!

Netflix, a leader in the on-demand Internet streaming industry, recently announced an unlimited parental leave policy for new mothers and fathers for a 12 month period on full pay.

As the stakes in talent attraction are continually raised, this is the latest in a bid to give employees great conditions. The hope of Netflix will, no doubt, be to attract the best talent in a tight market and retain employees in what seems to be a greater slant towards work / life balance.

Virgin announced not too long ago a trail of unlimited vacations for employees, putting the responsibility of how much time off was appropriate squarely in the hands of the employee.

There is certainly debate as to whether Virgin’s new policy was going to benefit employees. Some people saying that pressure to succeed at the workplace and competition against new ‘up-and-coming’ superstars may end in employees taking less than previously sanctioned holidays.

The new maternity leave policy from Netflix could be seen the same way. Parents who would previously just take the fully allocated company leave are now in the position to guess how much is appropriate for them to take over a 12 month period. Taking the entire 12-month entitlement would, no doubt, be rare. Surely?

With Netflix extending the unlimited parental leave to fathers, it could be argued that the media streaming giant is just trying to make Netflix a better place to work. A shift in priorities is common for new parents and work / life balance becomes a lot harder to juggle. This new policy is definitely a great incentive for talent to consider a career with Netflix. As opposed to vacation time, becoming a new parent is hardly considered a holiday so the feelings of guilt burdening your colleagues with your workload will be somewhat alleviated.

But here we are with another tech giant offering what seems to be unrealistic benefits for small business. How can SME compete with Virgin’s unlimited holidays, Netflix’ unlimited parental leave and Google’s sleep pods and free cafes? How can a small business create an employer brand to attract talent that is feasible?

Well, you have to be flexible. But, you don’t have to be big to be best.

Coleman Brands are a business under 100 employees and recently placed in the top 5 best companies to work in BRW’s annual survey. General Manager, Justin Casey argues a great workplace is created by having the right people. The organisation has an involved recruitment process, with recruiters spending up to a week in training just to participate. Then candidates must go through a 5 step process including a minimum 60 minute ‘on the job’ with the hiring manager and their potential co-workers.

It’s a process that is time-consuming and not as cheap, initially, says Casey: “But you pay twice as much if you get it wrong.” he says. “The more people are the right cultural fit, the more they enjoy themselves and the more discretionary effort they give you beyond the 9-to-5.”

This method means flexibility is granted more readily by managers, because you have the right staff driving your business forward who deserve the balance as best provided by the business.

Even the smallest of companies can use simple incentives and hiring techniques to create the best culture and increase employer brand. At McDougall HR we can create and manage that process for you. Get in touch with us TODAY!