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Day 1 of Glassdoor Summit— Here’s What You Missed

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Tuesday, we kicked off Day 1 of the 3rd annual Glassdoor Summit in San Francisco where we tackled the topic “Transforming Through Transparency.” Speaking to approximately 700 attendees and nearly 8,000 people live streaming from 13 countries, Glassdoor co-founder CEO Robert Hohman introduced the day with a rousing speech about the power of transparency, both in terms of attracting top talent and thriving as a company.

“Transparency is the ability to understand; it’s the ability to be open and honest about what we know and expect. Transparency is the new normal,” said Hohman. “With that transparency comes a tremendous responsibility, but with it also comes an enormous opportunity.” Transparency equals a creative and strategic opportunity to have more control over the growth of your business and the culture of your company.

And, he said, candidates are watch. According to Glassdoor research, 62 percent of candidates feel better about a company that responds to reviews on Glassdoor. 70% are more likely to apply when employer brand is managed and 90% find employer perspective useful in job search.

Furthermore, transparency and a positive company culture will improve your bottom line. Glassdoor research shows that it all starts with the company’s culture and work environment, as well as how managers engage staff and promote the corporate brand. Why? Because when staff is engaged and believes in their company’s vision, they perform better. Better performance results in higher earnings and profit margins, which boosts employee morale. It’s a win-win.

With the groundwork laid for creating a transparent company culture, a series of a dozen talent acquisition experts took the stage and spoke in breakout sessions about a variety of cutting-edge topics.

Feeling left out? Well, don’t. We’ve got a recap. Here’s what you missed on Day 1 of the Glassdoor Summit:

1. “Trust your people.”

Chief of HR Operations of Nestlé Purina Steve Degnan stepped in for president Nina Leigh Krueger who came down with a cold. Despite the last minute pitch hit, Degnan scored a home run as he discussed how Nestle Purina tackles prickly reviews from employees on Glassdoor and how the 100+ year-old company has embraced transparency. His advice to HR leaders? Trust. Trust your leader. Trust your people. Trust your teams.

2. “Don’t assume your C Suite has the best ideas on culture.”

Katie Burke, the VP of Culture and Experience at Hubspot turned up the energy to offer attendees 8 key ways to make culture a business priority. Instead of a top-down method of creating a viable company culture, Burke shared that the C Suite’s expertise only goes so far. With laughs from the audience, Burke cut to the point, “Executives don’t usually have the best ideas for what to do with culture.” She shared an example from HubSpot where a normal employee wanted to promote community at work so he started Waffle Wednesdays where he and a group of colleagues made waffles for coworkers to help them get over hump day. “Acting on employee-generated ideas is one of the greatest ways to scale culture.”

[Related: Tune in for Day 2 of the Glassdoor Summit by Streaming the Event Live! Click to Join]

3. Invite employees to participate and promote your brand their way.

Speaking on the topic of the “Role of Social Advocacy In Diversity and Inclusion Recruiting,” Lisa Smith-Strother, Global Head of Employer Branding & Diversity Talent Attraction at Ericsson, used tangible examples of how a brand crafted a strategic digital campaign “Ericsson Sees the Real You” to increase diversity, promote company culture, and redefine their brand. Her big takeaway? “Be innovative, take chances and allow employees to participate and promote your brand in their own voice”


4. #MyFirstJob

Who doesn’t love a career journey testimonial? Those of us at Glassdoor love hear about executives’ first jobs. Uber’s Head of Talent Brand Andrew Levy kicked off his working career at the age of 14 as a box breaker. Yep, he broke-down cardboard boxes to earn money as a teen. Nestle Purina’s Steve Degnan started his professional career as an ordinance officer in the U.S. Army, including 3 years in the Federal Republic of Germany in a Pershing II Missile Brigade. GD Summit host Lars Schmidt worked at Publix  Super Market in South Florida bagging groceries, where he started on his 14th birthday at the behest of his father. And Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman’s first job was baling hay. Cue Drake’s “Started From the Bottom.”

5.  Get crazy, creative and confident about company culture.

Industry know-it-all William Tincup did not disappoint as host of a crazy rapid fire Q&A around employer branding and recruiting. Macy Andrews, Director, Culture and Global Talent Brand at Cisco; Tom Gimbel, Founder and CEO at LaSalle Network; Ed Nathanson, Founder at Red Pill Talent; and Leela Srinivasan, CMO at Lever, all scrambled to answer questions on the fly. No prep, no corporate comms speak, just honest and hilarious insights. Our favorite question of the session? “What if my CEO is an asshole?” Tom Gimble’s response, “Leave.”


6. Ask the expert.

During the breakout sessions, attendees had the unique opportunity to get experts to weigh in on their biggest strategy and operations questions. For example, Seth Wear, Senior Manager Talent Acquisition at Rockwell Collins, fielded questions around recruitment metrics and how HR professionals should be using data analytics to get the most out of their hiring processes. Small business professionals and one-man HR teams posed over 20 questions to Wear as he pinpointed the best tools to use, how to calculate cost per hire and attract the best talent.

7. How Did Uber Built an EVP from Scratch? With Data, In-House, and A Whole Lot of Scrappiness

One of the most popular breakout sessions came from one of the most popular startups to hit the scene in years: Uber. Head of Talent Brand Andrew Levy invited hundreds of attendees to see the secret employee sauce of Uber, namely their employee value proposition. “We’re making cities safer, smarter and more connected. And we’re doing it on a global scale,” he said about one of Uber’s EVP pillar. But how do they do it? “We reject the status quo, and we’re relentless in our pursuit of the most creative solution. We’re breaking new ground. It takes both big swings and precise strokes, effort, and expertise.” Internal surveys of Uber corporate staffers revealed that employees are natural recruiters and brutally honest internally. So what? Levy says use insights from employees to create the employee value proposition. What you think is the reason behind why employees love your company may not be so. Ask them, listen to them, create a culture for them.

8. Listen up.

“The essence of a great recruiting conversation is listening,” said Lars Schmidt, co-founder HR Open Source and founder of Amplify Talent. While on a break from his hosting duties, Schmidt raved about the Ericsson presentation from Smith-Strother and Katie Burke’s prevention. However, he also wanted to drive home a key point off stage: Recruiters must listen to a candidate’s needs and wants before pitching them on the role.

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9. CHRO = The CMO of People

Will the CMO of People be the next role companies have to hire? According to Peter Navin, the former CHRO at DocuSign, it just might be. Talking about the “Future of HR Leaders” Navin offered insight into what the future of recruiting looks like and how the recruiting trends will affect the HR org chart. The goal of a CHRO is to build a high-performing, great place to work. How? Data-driven story telling. Navin’s takeaway: “When you build a great story you have an incredible advantage at the top of the funnel.”

[Related: Tune in for Day 2 of the Glassdoor Summit by Streaming the Event Live! Click to Join]

10. Find clarity in “Mutual Purpose”

Ask yourself and your team, “How are your recruiters measured? How is the employer branding function measured? Where do our goals overlap?” These are the first steps to creating a mutually beneficial EVP according to Brandy Ellis, Talent Marketing Strategist, MaxPoint. With a great illustration of fishing using a tackle box to land a big fish, or ideal candidate, Ellis did a fabulous job in her breakout session entitled “Teach Recruiters to Fish with an Employer Brand Tackle Box.” Attendees scored a great, free EVP template following the Q&A.

11. “Be you.”

“If you do what everyone else does, nobody cares,” said Ed Nathanson, founder of Red Pill Talent, on the employer branding panel. “Do something that will resonate with the audience you want to attract and do it in the way that is absolutely genuine. You have to be okay with people hating it, because some will. But be genuine.”


Tune in for Day 2 of the Glassdoor Summit by Streaming the Event Live! Click Here to Join.