Focus Job Search on ‘Top of Form’ Firms

  George Aguel, SVP, Disney Institute 

Disney Institute’s George Aguel discussed expectations of Millennials (a.k.a. Gen Y) during yesterday’s Arthur W. Page Society conference in southern California.  He also described the three types of companies where most people work:  Desperate, Cruising Along and Top of Form.  Needless to say, job seekers should focus on the third type of organization.
Arguably one of the best Top of Form companies in the world, it’s no surprise that Aguel said Disney leaders focus on hiring Top of Form talent.  Disney has an eye on the future, realizing that within four years 47% of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of Gen Y adults.  Disney’s human resources department is called “Casting.”  The company engages top performing “cast members” (i.e. employees) in ad hoc task forces, community service, professional networks, international assignments and a variety of different jobs. 

As I listened to the Disney discussion, I realized there are numerous other Top of Form companies and agencies.  However, too many job seekers end up at lesser companies.  It’s important to check out the reputation and future business potential of prospective employers.  Here are a few places to look for help:

1.  For a public corporation, seek out financial analyst reports that discuss the business prospects for the firm.  These reports often discuss management vision.  Many large agencies are owned by huge parent companies like WPP, IPG and Omnicom.  Analyst reports covering those companies discuss the overall health of their agency sectors. 

2.  PR Week, the Holmes Report and other trade publications carry annual assessments of individual agencies. 

3.  Business publications in most major cities carry annual “Best Places to Work” listings. 

4.  Finally, don’t be afraid to ask prospective employers how their companies or agencies scored on employee satisfaction surveys that are an annual ritual in most quality organizations.  These surveys and discussions with current and former staff members provide valuable insights into which type of company you’re possibly joining.

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