Gartner recently asked 410 CEOs and senior executives to rank their 2014 priorities. The top priority, “by far,” was growth. Hiring and retaining top talent are key to meeting growth objectives.

To do both, a company must establish a strong talent brand (aka, how external prospects perceive the company as an employer). Why? Because 56 percent of professionals say a company’s talent brand most influences whether or not they accept a job offer, and strong talent brands have been proven to reduce turnover by up to 28 percent.

That’s great news for North America’s Most InDemand Employers — aka, our annual rankings of the 50 companies our more than 109 million American and Canadian members most want to work for. We unveiled the rankings today at our InDemand 2014 event in New York. Here are the top 10 (click here to view the full list):

Most InDemand Employers North America

Calculating the InDemand rankings is no easy feat. It requires analyzing billions of interactions between companies and members on LinkedIn. It ultimately boils down to member awareness of a company on LinkedIn (e.g., how many members have viewed your employees’ profiles within the past year or connected with them) and member engagement with a company on LinkedIn (e.g., how many members follow your company’s Company Page or have viewed your Company Page or Career Page within the past year). Higher talent brand awareness and engagement among members on LinkedIn equals a more effective talent brand and a higher InDemand ranking.

So why are North America’s Most InDemand Employers so appealing to members? We wanted to find out. So we asked the experts at lululemon athletica, NBCUniversal, salesforce.com, and VMware. Here is what they said:

1. Be authentic.

“We focus our energy on being more human, more transparent and authentic,” says salesforce.com SVP of Global Employee Success Monika Fahlbusch. “Culture is how we connect with each other. Ours is built on innovation, customer success, radical trust and transparency, winning as a team and giving back. Each facet contributes to an experience so authentic and amazing that our employees can’t help but want to share it with their networks.”

2. Foster employee growth.

“Supporting employee referrals and internal growth are fundamental to our hiring practices,” says lululemon athletica Manager of Recruitment Isabella Egan. “If someone is a high performer at our company, they’re also likely to know other high performers within their professional networks. On the internal growth side, every person (no matter what their role) receives coaching on being a leader and an entrepreneur in their role, and a major part of this is finding and supporting their successor, should they move into a new position or team.”

3. Encourage employees to spread the word.

“Firstly, a strong talent brand starts with our people. It reflects the passion that they put into their work every day. That brand is then brought to life through living our shared values, architecting what’s next in IT to empower our customers, and giving back more than we take to our community. These are the core tenants of a strong talent brand,” says VMware Manager of Employment Brand Marketing Judy Phung. lululemon athletica’s Egan says, “The strength of our brand is truly rooted in our people. The person you are when you walk into work is also the person you are outside of work. Not only does this mean we have a lot of fun together, but it also creates a strong sense of support, trust and camaraderie between team members both inside and outside the workplace. This results in a team where each individual member is truly committed to the success of the brand and, most importantly, each other.”

4. Show and tell.

“Our refined and targeted content strategy has helped showcase and strengthen NBCUniversal’s talent brand by giving prospects and candidates easy access to information they want, when and where they need it,” says NBCUniversal VP of Talent Acquisition James Ryding. “Those who seek to be a part of a thriving, challenging and rewarding workplace like ours are the ones we want to develop and grow here. With that in mind, we share our stories online and empower our people with their authentic voices and perspectives through blogs, videos, and images.”

5. Socialize.

“Countless companies simply push out branding messages via social networks, like LinkedIn. But we engage in real dialogue with prospects and candidates via ‘talkbacks,’ where influential, senior members of our business teams discuss relevant issues with prospects and candidates. These ‘talkbacks’ help convert our employees to brand ambassadors, and give candidates a genuine look at what it’s like to work at NBCUniversal — everyone wins,” says NBCUniversal’s Ryding. VMware Social Media Manager, Employment Brand, Price Smith says, “And because we deeply value our talent communities, especially on LinkedIn, we nurture it daily by humanizing the online experience through active listening and engagement with job seekers. We add value by sharing stories, job opportunities, and sparking conversations which is a form of giving back to the talent community on LinkedIn in targeted and relevant ways.”

Congrats to North America’s Most InDemand Employers. And now that you’ve got their tips, good luck making next year’s rankings!

Talent Trends