OK, real talk: with the exception of a tiny percentage of masochists who think it’s fun to interview “just for practice,” no one wants to job hunt. And now, with “the new normal,” what does work — and for that matter, work culture — even look like anymore? At Intouch, along with pivoting to a pandemic-enforced virtual environment, we’ve spent the past year fine-tuning existing employee support programs and benefits, and adding new ones. Our goal has been to make virtual work less challenging, help Intouchers feel truly valued, and inspire them to stay for the long term. It sounds cheesy, but when it comes to our love for our employees, we’re proud fromagers (a.k.a., cheesemakers, for those who don’t speak French).
As of this writing, there are 128 open positions at Intouch, so we thought it would be a great time to check in with talent acquisition manager Ariana Higgins, who says she’s been getting a lot of “ooohhhs” and “ahhhs” when candidate conversations turn to what differentiates Intouch from other companies.
“In speaking with candidates in the new normal we find ourselves in,” says Ariana, “I’ve received very positive feedback regarding the additional support/benefits Intouchers are receiving in 2021.”
Some people find it difficult to step away from their desks when working remotely. How is Intouch encouraging employees to avoid burnout?
Meeting-Free Zones – Intouch has carved out time for us to focus on ourselves, projects, or lunch for an hour every day. Many candidates are surprised that this comes directly from our CEO and is an agency-wide mandate. Chatting about virtual work, everyone has commented about Zoom burnout, and I find that candidates are very appreciative that we are taking time to ensure everyone has a mental break from video conferencing.
Early-Out Fridays – This has always been a big perk for candidates. Giving people the option of starting their weekend early — especially knowing that many of us are working more than 40 hours a week — is a big draw for candidates.
Sometimes working from home means making do with outdated tech, sub-par wifi, or less-than-ergonomic desks/chairs. How is Intouch helping offset costs to make sure employees can work at home efficiently and comfortably?
Tech Stipends – This has been a BIG win for candidates. Knowing there is extra support financially to get them set up for remote work has put Intouch a cut above the rest. I now have a standing desk, thanks in part to our tech stipends.
Intouch has a generous vacation policy — three weeks in the first year of employment — but what about non-vacation time off for personal emergencies or unexpected issues that can’t wait?
Flexible Sick/Personal Time – Although not officially “unlimited,” many candidates are happy to hear that Intouch does not define thresholds for sick/personal time. Intouchers say this has relieved a lot of stress (especially in the past year) when they or their loved get sick, or when they need to take time to address situations that arise with little notice. They know it’s tracked — and they understand that abusing the policy has consequences — but not having the accompanying fear of taking a few hours off work and running out of time is a relief.
Even with Intouch’s competitive salaries, student loans are often still a burden for people just starting their careers — or even for those who’ve been in the work world but have gone back to school. Does Intouch have any options available to help take some of the burden off?
Student Loan Repayment Program – Since rolling out our student loan repayment assistance plan in 2019, I’ve gotten great reactions when bringing up this benefit during offers. With my seven years of HR/talent experience, I’ve never encountered a company that offered anything like this, and it speaks volumes about the lengths to which Intouch has gone to ensure its employees are not just surviving; they are thriving! For this and many other reasons, it’s really no surprise that we’ve been named a Best Place to Work.
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