Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy workplaces - rated by Revyr

The Chief Happiness Officer today links to a new service called Revyr which has a nice little premise at the core of it’s offering. Essentially it allows employees to rate their workplaces based on 10 key factors. Then potential employees can go to the site and find out what a place is really like to work at before they even commit to applying for a job, never mind attending an interview.

Alex has a nice interview with Jake Taylor of Revyr that’s definitely worth a read. I’ve signed up to the site to try and get on the beta testing list too so I’ll post more as I get more detail for you.

As an initial comment though, I think it’s a fantastic idea. Ollie and I were just talking about it and were absolutely gutted that we hadn’t thought of it first in all honesty! The simplicity factor is really appealing; who wouldn’t want to know what a company is really like before applying for a job there? Without knowing loads about the different factors though I’d say additionally they seem to have gone to a lot of trouble to define what a ‘good’ workplace looks like, and that’s to be applauded. Had it just been based around pay, perks and parking spaces then it would have been a lot poorer for it. Including things like Corporate Social Responsibility and Autonomy really makes this work for me.

Commenting on this service, Paul over at Incentive Intelligence moots that a service like this could really impact on HR people. As he suggests:

All you HR folks out there now have to worry about your "product" (read company) just like all those marketing and product development folks do when they launch a new product/service. Marketing is now an HR function (or has been but not to the degree it will become.)

I agree entirely on this one. With some proper metrics in place it is totally feasible to imagine people ranking and scoring potential employers and focussing on landing a job only at those who have ‘4 star’ or above rating, for example. With citizen-created content growing in popularity and reliability these days it was only a matter of time before that extended to the working world. All of a sudden you need your employees to be evangelists for the organisation. So if someone wants a job in software development in Birmingham, they go to the site, they check out all the different companies with those types of positions then read the reviews, as if they were picking a seafood restaurant in Birmingham. If your employees aren’t evangelists and perhaps rate things a little on the low side then that software developer is going to look elsewhere for her next move. Scary stuff if you’re not big on employee engagement and happiness at the moment…

This is really positive to my mind. The more that companies are pushed to improve their employees’ experiences the better. Plus, this isn’t just a stick-to-beat-the-big-companies-with situation; the carrot for employers is that as they improve their working practices and environment they’ll improve their ability to hire top talent. All of a sudden the competitor down the street who pays the big bucks but burns people out doesn’t have the advantage.

It’s early days for Revyr obviously, but I really hope it works out well for them. I’ll be keeping a close eye and my fingers crossed.

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