What can you learn from Netflix’s employer branding? 

“High standards are contagious,” says Jeff Bezos of Amazon. If this doesn’t explain the multiplier effect of Netflix’s employer branding strategies, we don’t know what does. 

In the last decade, Netflix has redefined human resources and developed a system that attracts, retains, and manages top talent. Their culture-forward efforts became the industry standard to hire and acquire the best there is. The company’s HR manifesto is a treat if not a drawl. With its unique branding as a workplace of “freedom and responsibility,” the company developed culture that bred a sense of ownership and accountability amongst employees. 

That said, here are some key takeaways from Netflix’s unique employer branding strategy that makes them a preferred employer.

Leading by example

Netflix pioneered in reinventing the rules of hiring and aced these factors by giving their employees a concept called Netflix’s Culture Deck that has set a new precedence for others in the business to follow. From offering huge severance packages to skills that no longer fit into the company ethos to a generous parental leave policy, the company has struck the perfect balance for its employees by giving them enough leverage to act responsibly and in the company’s best interest. 

According to a report by Hired, Netflix is the company that most tech workers choose amongst other other top players including Tesla, Google, SpaceX, and Airbnb. The report highlights that during their job hunt, the leading factors that influenced employee’s decision to join an organization was compensation and benefits, followed by company culture, with a narrow margin. At the same time, negative culture and poor company reputation were the biggest reasons why top applicants turned away. 

One Size Does Not Fit All

Netflix is a leading employer because they know what their employees want in exchange for what they want from them. Their collaborative work environment is designed in such a way that it delivers according to their employees’ specific needs. Netflix did not mimic a successful company’s corporate culture; they home-grew their own based on company’s demographics. Netflix hires fresh and vibrant talent and hence understands the importance of extended maternity leave benefits. Their company culture is built to support everyone in the fold. Not a penny or effort is wasted on expensive perks that will either go unacknowledged or underused. 

Talent recruitment practices that breed loyal employees

According to a LinkedIn study, robust talent brand can reduce hiring costs by up to 50% and increase the revenue by 28%. Companies like Netflix do not underestimate these figures and put every effort to gain and retain their top talent. But you don’t have to be a leading media house to develop conducive talent recruitment policies. Netflix understood the importance of creating a high-performance ethos by articulating values by rewarding and recognising employee behaviours that aligned with company goals. In absence of proper plan and accountability, many companies that take the path of employer branding end up being an open-floor office with a foosball table in the corner. The idea is to create a culture of like-minded employees who work synergistically. 

Businesses these days underestimate the importance of creating an ambience that attracts genuine talent. The key to developing solid corporate culture lies in being distinctive and taking pride in standing out. Netflix not only defined that culture but honed it over the years to attain an auto-pilot mode that now attracts employees of similar ilk who become a cog in the company’s wheel organically, ensuring its seamless growth and progression.

Building employee relationship with trust

According to a report by Inc., employees that work autonomously are the ones who are most productive. In case of Netflix, their 5-word expense policy speaks volumes about employee sovereignty – “act in Netflix’s best interest.” The company’s tough recruitment policies ensure that they only hire people they can trust and make them believe that they play a significant role in Netflix’s growth story. A sense of ownership and accountability goes a long way in building genuine workforce. The employees get to choose what’s best for them and the company. By giving them this level of autonomy, Netflix has created a pool of employees that are loyal, motivated, and engaged. 

What makes Netflix a leading employer is their straightforward managerial style. A quick look at their Culture Deck slide will reveal that all employees have to pass the ‘Keeper test.’ Managers are asked if they will fight hard to retain a certain worker who is leaving to join their competitor. If the answer is no, then this employee does not meet Netflix standards. It’s really as simple as that! 

Netflix’s approach to HR is candid as well as modern. The company is open to embracing change and does not keep pushing outdated ideas down their employees’ throat. The synergistic work culture and focus on problem-solving skills is what makes top talent naturally gravitate towards Netflix.