All Work and No Play? AT&T Says No Way
As a massive global company, AT&T knows a thing or two about successful business models. Adapting to the times, the company has evolved its corporate culture and business model to suit the needs of modern workers.
While you might expect things to be pretty serious inside the walls of a multinational telecommunications firm, that isn’t always the case, according to Stephanie Boyce, associate director and communications lead of global talent attraction at AT&T.
“We’re always focused on innovation and what’s next,” Boyce says. “We believe collaboration is a key part of making innovation happen, so as an organization we encourage collaboration within and across teams. This should be fun! Don’t misunderstand, our employees work hard, but they are encouraged to have fun while doing it.”
AT&T holds frequent, fun-filled team-building exercises for employees in order to strengthen workforce cohesion and raise employee satisfaction levels.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games. As part of AT&T’s culture, even the lowest entry-level worker is invited to have an impact on the company, Boyce says.
For example, there’s AT&T’s Innovation Pipeline, which Boyce describes as “a dynamic online crowd-sourcing platform with over 37,000 ideas submitted since its inception and over 130,000 employees engaged from across the globe.”
Boyce says that the pipeline has helped AT&T create new products, processes, and improvements within the company.
“We recognize the benefit of unleashing the talent within our organization and the incredible end-products our teams can produce,” Boyce says.
How to Attract the Best Talent
Becoming a Fortune 10 company doesn’t happen overnight. No, that sort of success only happens if you can recruit the best of the best.
“It starts with doing everything we can to show the world what it’s really like to work at AT&T and what we have to offer the talent of today and tomorrow,” says Boyce. “To accomplish this, we invested in developing a recognized employer brand, as well as an extensive and innovative recruitment marketing strategy.”
Like most companies, AT&T advertises its openings via traditional channels like job boards and aggregators. Recently, however, the company has also started to focus on creating authentic employee content.
“This is heavily evangelized internally through the #LifeAtATT initiative, where we encourage our employees to share their experiences working for AT&T,” Boyce explains. “The groundswell of activity within social media over the past couple of years has proven to be a truly effective way to mobilize our employee base to help recruit like-minded people.”
AT&T brings all its recruiting and employer branding efforts together in the form of att.jobs, a career site meant to serve as a central destination for the organization’s recruitment marketing initiatives.
“We realize that inspiring interest in our company is only half the battle,” Boyce adds. “Over the past few years, we’ve dedicated a lot of attention to candidate experience. This has ranged from significantly shortening our application to implementing an online chat feature and introducing enhancements to our hiring processes.”
How to Be the Best Talent
The traditional work model is falling away, and companies like AT&T are leading the way forward with innovative work practices and corporate cultures. Applicants who want to get in on the ground floor of AT&T and similar companies will need to be ahead of the game.
“A good place for candidates to start is ensuring that keywords and required skills for the type of work being sought are visible in their resume or online profile,” Boyce says. “After all, showing what a good match they are for the job up front rather than hoping for the opportunity to tell a potential employer later may give them that extra edge they’re seeking.”
Job seekers who need a little help with their keywords should check the profiles of people in their industry whom they admire, Boyce says.
“Also, in today’s job market, candidates have more opportunity to engage with organizations beyond just the application process,” she adds. “They should follow AT&T social channels and not be afraid of networking and making themselves known by others within the AT&T family, especially those with similar education and/or experience.”
The same can be said for job seekers looking for work at any organization: Start engaging with target companies and their employees via social networking. This is a great way to raise your profile and catch the attention of the right people.
When applying to global companies at the size of AT&T, applicants need to do everything they can to stand out. They may literally be competing with hundreds or even thousands of other candidates.
“Everyone applying may say they want to work for AT&T, so standing out from the crowd is a good thing,” Boyce says. “Following us over a variety of social channels and joining our Talent Network will not only provide a unique look into what our company is really like, but will give the inside scoop that they’ll be able to share with the recruiter and hiring manager. Doing research about a company will allow candidates to provide informative responses letting us know that not only are they following us in the news and social media, but they know their stuff and are truly committed to [the company].”
The same goes for any other company – or job seeker – that wants to operate on the leading edge. To be a pioneer, you have to be ready to break the mold.