As an entrepreneur, you're all too familiar with the challenges of hiring top-notch employees. Building a reputation as a company people want to work for can be one of the first steps to hiring great people.

So I took notice when I came across this list from online job network Working Not Working of companies for which creative freelancers would give up their solopreneuring to take a full-time job. Interestingly, this group of hot startups and small companies made the list, alongside Apple and Google and other bluechippers.

  • Barton F. Graf 9000--The ad agency launched in 2010 by advertising titan Gerry Graf was named Mid-Size Agency of the Year in 2014 by trade association the 4A's.
  • DONDA--The creative design and content entity started by Kanye West began with a footwear collaboration in 2009 with Louis Vuitton and earlier this year inked a deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation, which will manage all of DONDA's music.
  • Heydays--The Oslo, Norway-based design agency has been building identities and websites for companies large and small for five years and in 2012 took the Norwegian Design Council’s Award for Design Excellence.
  • Partners & Spade--The storefront studio founded in 2008 by Anthony Sperduti and Andy Spade produces everything from apparel to books and films from its headquarters in the NoHo neighborhood of lower Manhattan. Related article: How to Create a Cool Brand
  • Pereira & O'Dell--Based in San Francisco, the global ad agency founded in 2008 has clients including Fiat, Skype and Fox Sports and won a gold pencil and two bronze pencils earlier this year at the 41st Annual One Show Awards. 

What these companies have in common are standout reputations in their industries. Here are some other tips from for creating a great place to work.

1. Figure out the type of workplace you want to create. What is important to you as you build your business? Dedication from employees? An enjoyable place to work? A collaborative atmosphere? Whatever the case, create your blueprint of what you want always allowing for tweaks along the way as the business grows.
2. Hire the right people that have a similar vision for the workplace. Sure, competency is a given. But hiring people who are great at what they do but do not fit within your vision for your growing business will not serve your ultimate goal. Spend a little more time in the hiring process and bring on only those who are not only great at what they do but who also share your vision for the future of the business.
3. Plant the seeds of your vision within your workforce. If you are trying to create and fun atmosphere set up happy hours, friendly competitions, celebrations of accomplishments, whatever. Allow for others to bring forth similar ideas and act on those ideas. In short, enable the workplace to become the place you envisioned it to be.






Published on: Jun 2, 2014