The Motley Fool, for those who don’t know, is essentially a news site dedicated to covering finance and the stock market, with the company also launching a mutual fund in 2009. They’ve been around since 1993, have about 300 employees and are based in Virginia.
It is a successful company, becoming an influential voice in an increasingly-crowded market. But what really makes it unique is the amazing amount of energy and web space it spends marketing its employer brand.
It isn’t wasted, either. Quite frankly, The Motley Fool’s recruiting team has the best presence on the web of any company out there – period.
The Web Presence
The Motley Fool really cares about having a strong employer brand. Really, really cares. Just look at the homepage, and notice the giant green banner on top:
What other company would put “best medium-sized companies to work for” above even the front-page article of their site? A company that cares a lot about its employer brand.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Next, look what pops up when you search “Motley Fool Jobs”:
Three of the top four responses say “best places to work,” including their main career site, which is the top result. Clearly, their HR team is using some SEO and marketing techniques to sell applying to their company to potential job applicants.
But wait, there’s more. The actual Motley Fool career site is actually a blog, featuring headlines like “Why Companies Shouldn’t Limit Sick Days” and “Take Leave For Your Lunch,” i.e. pro-employee pieces.
At the top of the blog, there is a link that says “Isn’t This Blog Just Bragging?”. That link takes you to a short post that basically says we really value our employees and we think we have great programs, so we hope other companies can learn and incorporate them as well.
Next come the job postings, which are in the exact same mood as everything else: off-beat, irreverent, hilarious and, ultimately, memorable. Just look at the first few sentences in The Motley Fool’s job posting for financial advisor:
“Do you wake up every morning and check your favorite financial blogs before checking if the kids ate all the Fruit Loops? Does your heartbeat quicken when you see that your issue of the Journal of Financial Planning has arrived in the mail?… Do friends and family come to you for financial advice, and then afterward say, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard that explained so well. I finally understand what I should do. Here, take this pie I baked in your honor’.”
Even the parts other companies wouldn’t ever think to customize, The Fool makes hilarious. At the bottom of every job description, we are all used to reading the part where it says “so and so company is an equal opportunity employer (blah blah blah)”….
The Fool has that at well, but then adds on this paragraph:
“We should, however, make you aware that there is one notable exception to this policy. It is our strict and earnest intention — and the company’s historical record will bear this out — we will never hire any of the following: robots, replicants, or morlocks. Now keep in mind we are well aware that all of the aforementioned have intentions of world domination in the future, but as of now we have no place for them at The Motley Fool … unless the year is 2122 and the revolution has already occurred. If that is the case we welcome our new robot, replicant, or morlock rulers!!! Perhaps we have said too much?”
So Why Does The Motley Fool Do This?
I absolutely love everything that The Motley Fool is doing here. Why? Two reasons: it fits their corporate culture perfectly and it is going to help attract great talent.
Would I recommend this approach for an IBM or a Morgan Stanley, aka conservative companies that have conservative cultures? No. But for a company that’s called The Motley Fool, and really embodies that namesake, it makes a lot of sense.
Second, and more importantly, The Fool is smart enough to know that the secret to building a great company is having great people. And by having a perhaps-ridiculous but definitely-memorable career section that advertisesits actual, amazing benefits, it knows that will help them get those great people – the key to building a great company.
Only a fool would dispute that.
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