By Lizz Pellet

I’m getting into the holiday spirit, so I’ve decided not to thrash anyone this week. In our quest to uncover the good, the bad and the ugly of company culture and employment brands from A to Z, I’ve picked my “C” company…and this time, it’s a good one. In the spirit of the holidays and all the presents crisscrossing the country, my hat goes off to transportation company, Con-way.

Con-way Inc., is a $4.3 billion (or $4.7 billion, depending on which page you look at. But really…what’s a few million among friends?) freight transportation and logistics services company headquartered in San Mateo, CA. Founded in 1929, Con-way is an industry leader in the transportation and logistics industry with over 30,000 employees. I have used Con-way’s corporate culture as a stellar example for the past couple of years, so while many of their employees will be working and hauling stuff over the holidays, I’d like to talk about some very positive things Con-way has done to leverage their true organizational culture into a great employment brand.

The first thing you notice on their consumer-driven home page is that the “Careers” link is front and center (not like those tool companies we talked about last time). It’s right there at the top with all the other important buttons, even before “About Con-way”. It’s almost as if they actually want people to apply….imagine! The first click takes you to an opening page that talks about who they are. The navigation is easy and the “Search Con-way Careers” stands out. I like the ATS because it gives the candidate a number of ways to search jobs and they can create a profile to be notified when jobs they’re interested in come available. Again, they make it easy. Talk about knowing your candidate pool. The majority of their employees are truckers, who don’t have a lot of time to sit in front of a computer (because they’re hauling all the things we need at all hours of the day and night) and they’re probably a lot less technology savvy than the average job seeker. I get the feeling that Con-way is well organized and knows that an easy candidate experience makes a great impression.

Another thing I like? On the “Careers” page, they have a tab for “Separating Military”. They’re actively reaching out for and embracing those who served our country. In fact, in 2007, Con-way received one of only fifteen “Freedom Awards” for supporting National Guard and Reservists. They were featured on 60 Minutes and told the story of one of their drivers in the Reserves who was deployed to Iraq for a year. Not only did Con-way continue to pay for his family’s medical benefits, but also made up the $10,000 in salary he lost. The broadcast goes on to say that Con-way spends $500,000 supporting their National Guard and Reservists. WOW.

The other smart thing they’ve done on the career page is created a stand alone box that invites the candidate to watch a video about them winning the “best places to work” award. Within the first minute you have seen the President and CEO out on the floor and he has conveyed that the employees are the enablers to allow them to compete with high service levels. The remainder of the video is a trip around Con-way and does a great job of showing you real employees, doing real work. It’s not a sexy video, not one to win an Emmy, but a simple way to get the message across that they are real.

Speaking of videos, they also use Youtube very effectively for external and internal employees. They have a video targeted to current drivers that entices them to enter the Freight National Truck Driving Championship. Well, that’s just smart consumer branding right there. Who wouldn’t want their logistics company to win a driving competition? It’s also a brilliant way to create better drivers. Your employees have to study for the competition, drive like Jimmy Johnson in an 18 wheeler, and back up using only their mirrors while avoiding a little yellow rubber ducky in their path. (I wonder if they use the Aflac duck? Won’t mind an 18 wheeler running over that one.)

Digging deeper to look at their culture, they have a great outline of their corporate social responsibility – which for a freight company is impressive and shows that they are trying to do their part. Their values are simply stated. The Con-way core values are INTEGRITY, COMMITMENT and EXCELLENCE. They go on to explain what they mean, but the feeling I get on this site, by watching the videos and seeing so many real employee pictures and involvement is that this is a company committed to its values. Just like it says on the website – it’s either there, or it’s not.

One of the best indicators for me that a company is living its values is through any kind of outreach or commitment to the community. When organizations are open and transparent to the people they serve and where they live, it shows a concrete statement of caring. Not just some “adopt a highway” sign that says you pay to have this mile cleaned up once a month, but a true effort to integrate. That is one thing Con-way does very well.

Front and center on their rolling “In the News” section is a press release that shows they care about their community. This holiday season, Con-way announced that its employees in Joplin, MO raised $79,600 in the company’s annual Truckloads of Treasures holiday giving campaign - beating last year’s total by more than $18,000. In this current economy, I wouldn’t have thought that fund raising events would increase over last year. Amazing.

So put Con-way in the “good” category. No bad or ugly here. It’s not just for their “Careers” button placement, the holiday fund-raising efforts or their simply stated organization. If you worked at Con-way, you’d feel connected and proud. Shoot, I don’t work for Con-way and I’m proud of them! Here’s to you, Con-way.

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