As one of the Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies for six years in a row, we’ve learned that the success of our company is heavily dependent on the quality of our employees. Do they believe in our mission and are they equally as invested in giving our customers the best experience possible? Do they have a heart for helping others both inside and outside the office?

As we continue to grow rapidly, it is important to us that new team members embody our values as a company. We do our part to attract these high caliber workers by providing a rewarding, open and enjoyable work environment.

Here are a few of the factors that help us attract the best of the best new hires.

Our Competitive Advantage

Nashville’s current unemployment rate is just 2.6 percent, a historic low for this region. The state as a whole has seen its lowest rate in seven years, at about three percent. As an employer looking to hire new team members, this presents a challenge. So how do we attract new team members? For one, our average starting hourly wage for front line jobs is nearly $16/hour, a very comfortable wage to grow from. In fact, as a result of President Trump’s tax reform plan, many large companies, including ours, announced plans to spend those reclaimed revenues on employees.

We increased our 401(k) match from three to five percent, increased the profit share potential for front-line retail employees from three to five percent and increased our community giving funds by 8%. These changes will result in an additional $500,000 to employees in 2018 and over $550,000 in total giving to our communities.

Today’s workforce should expect to find Advance Financial at the top of the market in health and wellness also. We work to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay healthy by offering a variety of wellness benefits, including regular on-site visits from a nurse practitioner and massage therapist to an on-site fitness facility, yoga classes, and Weight Watchers at Work at our Nashville headquarters. We have regional intramural sports teams and company-wide wellness programs. We also pay 100 percent of our employees’ health insurance premiums.

Great pay and incentives like these are certainly helpful in attracting talent. The next step is holding it all together with an unmatched culture.

Our Culture

At Advance Financial, top performers know they have found a place to succeed. We promote weekly team meetings and weekly one-on-ones between each team member and his supervisor. We believe that we can all reach our highest potential with regular coaching, training and fast feedback. Our 24/7 model creates a fast-paced work environment. We have the opportunity to WOW our customers at every turn. We ask our managers and leaders to look for those WOW moments with their teams too. If we treat our team members with the same respect and consideration that we ask them to show our customers, we all win.

Our teams work hard and play hard together, too, which helps keep this company feeling like one big family. We host Newbie Nights for our newest hires to get to know each other, “Fun Friday” activities and annual events like our Charity Talent Show, FAB Five Rafting Trips and Tenacious Ten Cruises.

Our culture description would not be complete without taking a look at how we work in the community. How we treat each other, how we treat our customers and how we treat our communities cannot be separated.

Our Connection to the Community

As a company, we care about our customers and care deeply about supporting organizations that work hard to improve the communities we serve. We lend a hand by organizing company-wide community service events throughout the state, offering 40 hours of paid time off to all employees specifically for volunteering and providing funds for scholarships, sponsorships, and grants through the Advance Financial Foundation. And with every new store we open in Tennessee, we host a grand opening event where we make a donation to a Boys & Girls Club, 4-H organization or similar program in that community.

With our continued growth, we will keep bringing in the best of the best to join our team. Through our competitive advantage, company culture and connection to our communities, we show our employees we are committed to their growth and prosperity and want to give them the opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.