It’s Not a Great Resignation. It’s a Great Migration.

Seattle’s RealSelf discusses how they retain — and attract — top talent.
Written by Avery Komlofske
November 16, 2021Updated: November 16, 2021

The Great Resignation might be a misnomer.

People are quitting their jobs at unprecedented rates — in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over four million resignations. However, while people are leaving their jobs, they’re not leaving work — overall unemployment is the lowest it’s been since before the pandemic. So if employees are migrating, where are they going and how are they choosing their new companies?

It’s not just about money — some people are even taking steps down the career ladder. Instead, there’s been a shift in employee priorities. According to Harvard Business Review, job candidates are looking primarily for flexibility in how and where they work, respect from their managers and diversity in the workforce. It takes more than good wages to draw in top talent now; it takes empathetic, thoughtful values that are reflected in every part of a business.

“We fully support our employees and the various changes life brings,” said RealSelf’s Human Resources Manager Dani Barnes. For RealSelf, that means offering valuable perks and benefits — including paid family leave and remote work — along with maintaining a commitment to a positive company culture.

“We pride ourselves on our highly diverse and open company culture,” said Barnes. “Celebrating our differences, embracing progressive values and ideas and constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves and the organization.” In her conversation with Built In Seattle, Barnes shared further about how RealSelf’s employee-focused priorities have allowed the company to thrive during the Great Resignation.

 

Dani Barnes
Human Resources Manager

 

What are some things you and your team do to attract great talent and stand out from other potential employers?

Though RealSelf has been in the business for over 15 years, we are still a startup. We work hard, smart and fast, offering employees a wealth of knowledge and experience they may not be exposed to elsewhere. RealSelf provides employees with a sense of ownership in their work and the ability to truly impact the organization. We aim to attract talent that is hungry and driven through several avenues.

First, we offer competitive benefits at a low cost to our employees, a generous PTO policy, 100 percent paid family leave for all new parents and a pet-friendly office, along with employee-friendly policies, bonuses, stock options, 401(k) match, cosmetic treatment reimbursement and other great perks.

Second, we are a remote-first organization. With employees located in 26 states and abroad, we have a fully remote workforce and promote flexible work arrangements across all levels. We realize that some people prefer working in an office, whether it’s full time or every now and then, so we keep the doors wide open at our Seattle HQ for any employee to use as they see fit.

Finally, like we do for our customers, we empower our people to make the best decisions for themselves and provide the tools to do so.

 

What are a couple of your key strategies or offerings that help you retain talent?

At RealSelf, we are always seeking opportunities to grow our people. We offer several learning and development perks, including an annual development grant for every employee to use for learning opportunities like conferences, educational materials, courses and certifications. We offer semiannual shadowing and mentorship programs, along with career pathing for every position and a learning, training and development website with new and exciting opportunities and resources. We promote the company value of “stay curious,” inspiring our employees to ask questions and seek new knowledge and growth opportunities. We also pride ourselves on our highly diverse and open company culture — celebrating our differences, embracing progressive values and ideas and constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves and the organization.

Like we do for our customers, we empower our people to make the best decisions for themselves and provide the tools to do so.”

 

How has your company adapted to the shifting wants and needs of your employees over the last year, and what steps have you taken to create a workplace that meets those needs?

RealSelf has always promoted flexible work schedules and opportunities to work remotely, but the pandemic drove us to expand our reach in this and other areas. We are now a remote-first workplace, meaning all of our employees can work remotely 100 percent of the time. 

We offer a technology benefit to every employee, providing an automatic monthly stipend to use for various tech and work from home expenses. We also still have our Seattle-based office up and running for anyone who wants to work in the office, whether it’s full time, a day or two here and there or to just stop by for a few hours to take advantage of some office luxuries — or free snacks.

We fully support our employees and the various changes life brings. If that means spending more time focusing on family or growing their family, we offer all new parents 100 percent paid family leave. For those moving to another state to be closer to family, we can support most employees who decide to relocate. For those adding a new fur baby to their home, we have pet-friendly policies, bereavement leave and pet insurance, and we really love to see pets on Zoom.

 

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