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The Fool Rules Rules: Employee Handbooks as Employer Branding and Recruitment Tools

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This week, we thought we’d take some time to tell you about a really exciting project we just wrapped up: The Fool Rules! The Motley Fool, a multimedia financial services and investment company based in Alexandria, VA, asked us to make their handbook interactive. They also happen to be Glassdoor’s #1 Medium-Sized Company to Work For — the Fools are pros at organizational culture. It was a pleasure to work with them and we’re really proud of the product we produced. The Fool Rules colorfully illustrates the organizational culture, policies, and traditions of The Motley Fool alongside employee stories turned into interactive media. We interviewed Fools, uncovered stories and different perspectives demonstrating the policies, and created interactive features like videos and comic strips highlighting various features of their famously innovative culture.

Publicly available, engaging employee handbooks could be a great new move in both employer branding and recruiting. Did you catch the Valve handbook when it went public — and viral — in April 2012? If so, did you immediately want to work there? They’ve posted it permanently on their jobs page and encouraged people (read: prospective talent) to read it through. It details their absolutely flat structure and employee empowerment — to them, “hiring is the most important thing in the world.” And with such a bold move and attractive style, who wouldn’t consider applying? There’s even a section to describe shortcomings and potential challenges of working at Valve — their openness is to be applauded.

And speaking of applauded, if you’ve read the Big Spaceship’s handbook, published this past December, you know the whole office sometimes spontaneously bursts into applause. At once heartfelt, irreverent, and hilarious, that handbook’s sections are “We Are Humans,” “We Work Together,” “We Change,” and “FAQ,” and one really, really wants to work there upon finishing reading the manual.

The Fool Rules takes the engaging employee handbook to the next level: We used employee stories to humanize necessary but often dry policies. We made these stories interactive and shareable on the web, building on the blueprints of innovators like Valve and Big Spaceship. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Pamela Kaye does PR and Communications for Stories Incorporated. Questions, comments, concerns, poetic insights? Let me know at; I’d love to hear from you!

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