How Flipp attracts top talent with a good employer brand

Employer brand

Want to hire the best of the best? You need to have a good reputation as an employer. And that’s something that Flipp knows a thing or two about. In fact, the Toronto-based retail technology company has a shelf full of awards to prove it. In 2014, it was deemed to have one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate cultures. In 2015, Deloitte named it one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies,  and it has been on the Best Workplaces in Canada list for the last three years.

Flipp employer brandWe spoke with David Au-Yeung, Flipp’s co-founder and chief people officer, about employer branding, culture, employee perks, and more.

Workopolis: Can you tell me a bit about Flipp’s growth as a team since it was founded? Has it been a fairly steady growth since it started, as Wishabi, in 2007?

DA: Flipp has achieved exponential growth since 2007 both on the business and team expansion sides. In early 2014, Flipp complemented its business offering with the launch of a consumer app. The company has now grown to more than 300 team members and we are continuing to hire this year.

Speaking of which, our Toronto readers have likely seen Flipp’s hiring ads on the subway. Is your team in a period of growth at the moment?

We are one of the top high growth tech companies in Canada and that means we are continually adding top talent to our team. We are aggressively hiring in 2017 with more than 50 current job postings across all business functions.

Employer brandThe ad campaign offered a lot of great reasons to work at Flipp, like free food. What led you to disseminate your employer brand this way?

So many Canadians know and love our app, but don’t know that we are a team of more than 300 people located in Toronto. We want people to know that we have such a unique culture and we are hiring now.

Our campaign showcases why we are different. Our team members love coming to work every day and that’s not typical. At Flipp, we have an amazing opportunity to solve the hardest problems in the retail industry and enjoy doing it with folks that are just like family.

Clearly, employer branding plays an important role in Flipp’s growth.

An employer brand is integral to a company’s growth. It’s our culture that is the essence of how we operate and succeed. The principles of our culture are at the foundation of everything we do. As a high growth company, it’s this blueprint that gels us together and creates trust, efficiencies, and a powerful unity as we scale.

Have there been any recruiting or hiring challenges over the years?

Culture is at the core of everything we do. When recruiting, cultural fit is of utmost importance. This, coupled with our mission to hire the top percentile of talent in Canada, means a thorough and extremely selective interview process. It is this approach that has allowed us to really hold true to our principles and not only maintain but also foster our culture as we scale our business.

Flipp offers a lot of employee perks and benefits. How important are these offerings in the modern workplace?

To attract top talent, you need to be competitive. We take a people-first approach to our benefits and perks, which means we look at what’s important to our specific teams based on their life-stage, priorities, and preferences. We want our team members to enjoy all aspects of their life.

What’s most important is the freedom and responsibility that we give our team members. This means unlimited vacation (minimum three weeks), the option to work from home, and flex hours. We also promote a healthy lifestyle with a complimentary Goodlife membership as an example. Our team members enjoy family-style Friday lunches, a leading benefits package, including a competitive parental leave top-up, complimentary transportation, whether it’s TTC passes or parking, and much more.

With all these perks in mind, what would you say is the biggest thing that attracts new talent to Flipp?

Flipp is at the forefront of the retail industry. Reinvention is part of everything we do, which drives innovation in all aspects of our company. Our team members get to solve difficult problems in unchartered territory with like-minded people. They love the high growth potential at Flipp and the team-centric approach we take in everything we do.

For a lot of small and medium businesses, the biggest challenge they face is finding and retaining the top talent they need to grow their business. What would be your biggest piece of advice for them? 

Never compromise on culture.  Invest the time to define your core principles and ensure that your entire team understands the fabric of who you are and how it drives your success. When you recruit, hiring for cultural fit is just as important as skill set. Finally, keep a constant pulse on your teams – always listen and continue to evolve.

See also:
How Shopify finds and fosters talent
Building an employer branding campaign


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