Tell Your Story

“We are a great place to work”

This is one of the most common things we hear when visiting companies throughout Iowa. Most of the time, they are right. Great culture, supportive leadership, strong pay and benefits—yet they still have trouble attracting employees.

Why? Every employer that is looking for people says, “We are a great place to work.” “We work long hours with a bad culture and no path for growth” doesn’t make a great advertisement. Here are some successful practices we’ve seen that help great places stand out:

  1. Let your employees do the talking. Encourage people on your team to write reviews on Google Maps, Facebook, Glassdoor, Indeed, and others. Have a contest for employees to make a short video on why they work at your business, and post the winners to your career webpage and social media.
  2. Build your digital presence. Your website and social media should treat potential employees like you treat customers. Use language that responds to what they want, add photos of real people working on your shop floor, and clearly identify the jobs available, pay scales, and benefits.
  3. Collect the badges. Use external standards to prove how great you are. Programs like Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Best Place for Working Parents, a nonprofit like Best Places to Work for, or the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Job Quality Framework show people that others objectively confirm that you do what you say.
  4. Show Off. In Iowa, we’re humble. But humble will not win the war for talent. If you are great, make sure everybody knows. Strong leaders? The Iowa Association of Business and Industry honors Manufacturing Legends. Great factory? Consider IndustryWeek Best Plants award. Forward-thinking technology? The Technology Association of Iowa honors leaders with their Prometheus Awards. People want to work for companies that others recognize.

Many of the above items will require you to step out of your comfort zone and take bold strategic steps. As the competition for people intensifies, leading companies will need to be different to win.

For more information, contact Brenda Martin at 515-570-5282 or