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How to Attract Top Talent: 10 Companies Job Seekers are Dying to Work For

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Business that changes the world

Feeling blah might not sound like a big deal, but when it comes to American business, workplace disengagement has huge consequences. Recent research has found that less than one-in-three American workers is actively engaged in their jobs, a fact that Gallup estimates costs the economy $450 to $550 billion per year.

But not every company suffers from an epidemic of employee disengagement. A handful of top companies really do get it — engaged workers aren’t just happier and more productive, but also the source of the vast majority of breakthrough ideas. (Click here to tweet this thought.) In addition to being great places to work if you happen to be looking for a job, these best-of-class companies can serve as inspiration for managers hoping to better inspire their teams.

So who exactly are these much desired organizations, and how do they attract top talent?

Every year LinkedIn aims to find out with its annual ranking of InDemand Employers, compiled by sorting through reams of data from the website. The latest edition is now out, so who made the list of America’s dream employers? Here are the top ten:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Amazon
  4. Facebook
  5. salesforce.com
  6. The Walt Disney Company
  7. Nike
  8. McKinsey & Company
  9. PepsiCo

There’s no shock at the top of the list as Google and Apple retain their (unsurprising) position at the top of the heap from last year. Nor were there any huge movers, but Amazon, with its bold and much chattered-about initiatives including drone delivery and controversial hardball tactics with publishers, did climb a couple of spots from number five to number three. Walt Disney, however, was two slots less magical this year.

So what makes a company such a dream employer? LinkedIn suggests five factors that these firms emphasize when hiring that keep them so demand among talent and so deeply engaging once they hire.

Authenticity

The best companies for employee engagement, unsurprisingly, encourage team members to bring their whole selves to work. “The culture at NBCUniversal is not a faceless corporate culture, it’s a culture that allows people to have a personality. Being true to your personality while maintaining professionalism is the key to success with landing your dream job here,” says NBCUniversal (ranked #15) VP of Talent Acquisition James Ryding, for instance.

Sociability

Top employers engage deeply with candidates on social media and encourage potential hires to have deeper connections to the company than a simple scan of the webpage.

Team orientation

The firms that topped the list don’t hire many lone wolves. Adobe (ranked #24) VP of Global Talent Selection and Development Jeff Vijungco says: “We want individuals with a unique skillset that complements the team, a sense of urgency to deliver beyond what’s possible and ‘we’ rather than ‘me’ team players.”

Ambition

Top workers don’t just work — they also dream big. “When you interview, show us your passion, your innovative mind, and intrigue us with your big ideas on the impact you could have on our company, customers and our community,” says salesforce.com SVP of Global Employee Success Monika Fahlbusch.

Adaptability

If you want to hire top employees, don’t expect them to do the same thing day in and day out. One of the keys to being engaging and in demand is routinely shaking things up and encouraging employees to follow their passions. “Prospects should be open and determined about pursuing passions yet flexible enough to jump in to anything,” says VMware (ranked #19) Director of Executive Staffing Anu Datta.

Employers: How could you emphasize these five factors to bring in more top recruits?

Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London. She writes a daily column for Inc.com, contributes regularly to Forbes and Women 2.0 and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch and GigaOM, among others.

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