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Where to Work?

Find me a company whose products or services you love and chances are they have happier employees. My children ask to fly JetBlue because they know they will get a screen, more comfortable seats and probably a direct flight. Whether in Maine or not, we think of LLBean first for many of our outdoor needs because their products last, they stand behind them and they have great customer support.  Not surprising, JetBlue and Beans have highly satisfied employees.

If you shop at Costco, I am willing to bet you know they have the best steaks, crowd pleasing birthday cakes and well-priced clothing. If you talk up the cashier, he might tell you why he has been with them for 15 years (hint: above average salaries and great benefits).

And if you bought peaches recently, you can add customer service to the list of reasons to be impressed by Costco. Last week, they called to say that the peaches we purchased might have Listeria, a bacteria that can cause food poisoning. They provided the lot number for checking the carton and offered to reimburse us whether we had the box or not. That was pretty impressive considering customer relationship management (CRM) software which tracks customer interactions has existed for decades, but is rarely experienced. Just think about the last time you had a problem with your cable company and the 10 people you had to repeat your problem to in order to (maybe) get it rectified.

What does this have to do with job searching? Companies that bring you back, whose employees have unusual longevity and whose customer service wows you as it did me last week, are all signs that they might be a good fit for you. Sometimes, you only have to see what is in front of you to find the best job opportunities if you are searching.

So I guess it is not surprising that Costco is more responsive to job applicants than other companies. A quick search on Glassdoor.com reveals a common pattern of people applying, hearing within two weeks from Costco and frequently hired within a month. Let’s compare that to a recent data point from CareerFuel’s blogger Deborah Brody Hamilton. A well known, public service company in Washington D.C. recently acknowledged her resume for a job posting–two years after it was submitted. This appalling turnaround time in an age of automation was their loss as Deborah was scooped up 18 months ago by another no-profit.

Companies would do well to remember that every touch point with their company is an opportunity to raise or lower their brand image. Job seekers are also potential customers in many cases. Why risk either when the alternative—promptly responding to job candidates—is relatively easy?

Listen for the signs of a great employer as you spend your money. The outpatient procedure at your local hospital which went well or the representative at your local bank who notarized your adoption papers in minutes, may just be the targeting you need to find your next great career opportunity.

photo credit: Glen_Wright via photopin cc