HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WINNERS

Best Places to Work Success Stories for Small Businesses

Introduction

Winning a Glassdoor Best Places to Work award is an esteemed honor. It’s given to employers offering their employees an amazing experience day in and day out, and as such, keeping them engaged and satisfied while at work. As a result, they’ve been recognized as a Glassdoor Best Place to Work, which can act as an advantageous recruiting tool to help them hire quality talent.

While the award is given to a very small percentage of all employers, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot at winning. In fact, 50 small and medium-sized businesses (less than 1,000 employees) are recognized as a Glassdoor Best Place to Work every year, and six of this year’s winners are here to tell you how they did it.

What makes these winners special is that they are all first-time winners. Another thing they have in common is that they’ve all put initiatives in place that are specific to their workforce to better engage employees, including listening to feedback, making improvements and keeping this ongoing as they constantly strive to be a better employer. They realize no place is perfect, but improvements can be made.

And as a result, they’ve all made the Glassdoor list for the first time. How exactly did they do it? Take inspiration from these top employers and learn what they did to become a place where employees love to work, and in turn, how it helps them recruit top talent.

New Home Star – U.S. Small & Medium-Size Companies Best Places to Work: 2018 (#2)

New Home Star became the largest privately owned seller of new homes in the country. This feat, along with becoming a Best Place to Work, has so much to do with the way they recruit a highly talented sales team. Using targeted content on their Glassdoor profile and leveraging their Glassdoor analytics, New Home Star has attracted their ideal sales candidates to fulfill their mission, “Lead the best sales team in the world to help builders sell more homes profitably.”

What kinds of content do you share on your Glassdoor profile?

At New Home Star, one of our top priorities is our people. We are fully bought into taking care of our people and giving them a career path and the necessary tools for them to create their own success. This is built heavily into our Glassdoor page as well. We want to attract highly ambitious talent with a desire to advance their career quickly. It is for that reason that our content is divided into three major sections:

  1. CAREER PATH: We want to clearly signal that New Home Star offers a defined path to success. Instead of ambiguity surrounding the future, we can tell new hires where they will be and when they will be there if they put in the necessary effort. This is huge in attracting the type of talent that we desire to have on our team.
  2. TOOLS AND SUPPORT: We don’t simply stick the career path in front of our team members and expect them to pave their own way to success. We are very clear in conveying the fact that anybody joining our team will be given ample tools and support to get them to where they want to be. Talent development is huge in our company, and we try to make this clear through our Glassdoor page.
  3. CULTURE: The last differentiator we share on our Glassdoor page is content that supports and symbolizes the type of culture we promote. Although New Home Star operates in 22 different states across the nation, we like to behave like we are one close-knit family. A simple view of our page reveals that culture is key for our company. We don’t just want to provide a place where people can work and advance quickly, we want to provide a home where our team members feel like they will never need to interview with another company again.
What metrics do you track in your Glassdoor Employer Center?

The first metric that is very important to our success is our company and CEO rating. We know that current people with our company and future new hires look at this rating to get an idea of what New Home Star is all about. We feel that the higher these ratings are, the more we know as a team that we are providing the right support to our people.

Secondly, we love to use the company updates and demographic analytic metrics. We want to make sure that our page is targeting qualified people who are looking to have a great career in our industry and aspire to be in leadership. When we update our company page, we want to make sure that we have content that is appealing to those candidates.

Finally, we use all the metrics made available by Glassdoor. We use and study the application rate of candidates visiting our page. We are fortunate to have a high apply rate which means that we are showing the right content about our culture and workplace to interest potential candidates to apply.

PRO TIP

Use the Glassdoor Employer Center to your advantage. This is where you can track how many applicants your jobs are receiving and how many potential candidates are following your profile. To better reach the candidates who are going to add to your culture, we recommend sharing company updates or customizing your “Why Work For Us” section.

Glint – U.S. Small & Medium-Size Companies Best Places to Work: 2018 (#7)

Glint provides a platform that allows companies to invest in the satisfaction of their employees using survey tools and deep insights on those survey results. With the mission, “Help people be happier and more successful at work. It’s that simple,” it makes sense why Glint is working hard to make their own employees happy.

How do you recruit talent – what are some of your best practices?

We run different referral campaigns like our Premier League Roster. We ask people to think about the best person they’ve ever worked with who they’d love to work with again. Then we start to cultivate relationships with those people so when there’s an appropriate role, we already have a pipeline of awesome candidates.

And truthfully, Glassdoor has been wonderful for us. We were founded on the importance of authentic feedback, and we’re lucky enough that our team has been able to paint a real picture of what it’s like to work at Glint. That’s helped us attract talent that is aligned with our culture, which supports our entire recruiting process.

What interview questions do you ask to ensure your companies recruit great employees?

My favorite question to ask is, “What are you passionate about?” I don’t care if their response is work-related or personal, I just want to understand what gets someone up in the morning and brings them happiness. People are often thrown by that question because they’re expecting us to start out of the gate asking about their work history. We can read that online. But if we can get you excited in an interview, teaching us about something you love, it helps us support you as an employee at Glint because we can figure out how to tap into similar experiences that drive you and bring you joy.

PRO TIP

Be transparent during the recruiting process. The way you will find the best talent that will thrive in your culture and stay with your company is being upfront about what your company is all about. This way you can hire people who align with your company on a deep level.

eXp Realty – U.S. Small & Medium-Size Companies Best Places to Work: 2018 (#12)

eXp Realty is one of the fastest-growing real estate brands in North America. Hiring and engaging a workforce that spans across the United States and Canada is no easy task. eXp Realty built an online portal for their employees to help grow a culture that would attract top talent in the real estate industry.

How do you engage your employees?

With thousands of agents and staff across North America, eXp Realty engages through its one-of-a-kind virtual office environment called eXp World. In eXp World, everyone can collaborate and interact no matter where they might be located.

How do you screen candidates to ensure they’ll be engaged and thrive in your culture?

One of the best ways to test culture fit is to meet candidates in eXp World. It gives candidates a feel for a day in the life and exemplifies how eXp World defies distance and makes people and processes more efficient.

PRO TIP

Customize the way you hire and engage employees to your unique organization. eXp Realty used the power of technology. Connecting employees can be as easy as facilitating a communal place to have lunch on site or using tools like Slack to promote cross-functional relationships. Allowing candidates to experience some of these engagement strategies firsthand gives them an opportunity to visualize their day to day within your organization.

FieldEdge – U.S. Small & Medium-Size Companies Best Places to Work: 2018 (#14)

FieldEdge is the leading provider of field service management software to the mechanical contractor market in North America. They pride themselves on their family-oriented culture where no one takes themselves too seriously. One thing they do take seriously, however, is feedback. They’ve implemented programs for encouraging reviews, and have a strategy in place for responding to them.

How did you get employees to leave reviews?

Employees at FieldEdge are asked to leave a Glassdoor review at a particular milestone — such as the end of their first three months, their birthday or 10-year work anniversary. Not only is this method successful for getting feedback, but it encourages representation from employees with a wide range of tenure. When asking employees to submit a review, we stress that the feedback is anonymous and voluntary, and should be their honest opinion of who we are as a company.

What is your strategy behind responding to your Glassdoor reviews?

The team at FieldEdge tries to respond to as many reviews as possible because we appreciate the time that people have taken to share their feedback. Generally, we prioritize responses to reviews that offer helpful “Advice to Management,” as we want our employees to know that their feedback has been heard and will be used toward future improvements. Our CEOs and the HR department are involved in most responses, but department heads are asked to respond if the feedback is specific to their team.

What are your plans in 2018 to maintain a spot on the Best Places to Work list?

FieldEdge will continue to consistently ask for feedback from employees and raise awareness about Glassdoor’s benefits. The feedback from employees has been insightful and used to make improvements to our employee engagement efforts and hiring process, and we will continue to leverage Glassdoor’s platform for insights on the employee experience at FieldEdge.

A new initiative we would like to explore in 2018 is requesting Glassdoor reviews from all candidates after the recruitment process so we have more interview data to review for the new year.

PRO TIP

Collecting feedback is the best way to understand how to make your employees, both present and future, happy. Responding to and acting on reviews not only makes your employees feel heard, but it also shows prospective candidates that you’re a transparent company that cares about its workforce.

Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers – U.S. Small & Medium-Size Companies Best Places to Work: 2018 (#17)

Meadowbrook provides loan options and servicing for purchase, refinance, renovation or reverse mortgages. They pride themselves on their culture that has grown on a foundation of passion for customer satisfaction. They’ve been able to scale that culture by hiring the type of candidates who will add to it. And they’re retaining employees by putting emphasis on employee satisfaction.

How do you engage your employees?

We make sure our team members know that their contributions are highly valued, and we make an effort to show our appreciation everywhere from large events to the smallest of gestures. Throughout the year we coordinate team building, fundraising, and social events to help engage our employees and give them the opportunity to make a difference in our local community while socializing with each other.

For example, we hosted a team building charity bike event, coordinated efforts to donate for the life-changing hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico, held several summer and holiday parties throughout the year, gathered for happy hour events, and closed the office early a few summer Fridays as a surprise. We also helped support an employee-initiated fundraiser, which raised over $10,000 for another employee who was in a tragic car accident.

Our leadership team is also heavily invested in retaining our people. Our EVP goes around the office every single day and says hello to each and every one of our employees. He is consistently positive, motivating, encouraging and funny! He not only makes our employees laugh, he continuously acknowledges their efforts and ends all of his emails with #WINTHEDAY; it’s fun and inspiring seeing that kind of genuineness come from the top.

What internal changes have you made that you feel contributed to your Best Places to Work win?

We treat every one of our team members fairly and with respect. Additionally, we understand that communication is key and vital in every relationship, from personal to professional — we make it our business to be transparent and discuss any and all topics.

Team building and social events further expand the relationship our employees have with each other and strengthen the already natural family environment. We also promote an open-door policy everywhere from management and senior management to executives and the CEO. There is always someone to sit down with, whether it’s to voice a concern, feedback or suggestion — or just to say “Hi!”

PRO TIP

Get leadership invested in your recruiting process. Just like employees value facetime with your leadership team, candidates will be looking for the same thing. Try to include senior team members in interview loops and during your onboarding. That kind of recognition can be the difference in making a hire.

Upside Business Travel – U.S. Small & Medium-Size Companies Best Places to Work: 2018 (#27)

Upside Business Travel has created a product that aims to turn business travel from mundane to magical. To build this platform, specifically designed to make business travel better from start to finish, they seek out passionate individuals and employ a strict “no jerk policy.”

How do you screen candidates to ensure they’ll be engaged and thrive within your culture?

The key for us is screening for candidates who we deem “culture adds” (as opposed to “culture fit” which can often hinder hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds). Some questions we ask through the interview process are:

  • “If you came with a warning label, what would it say?”
  • “On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being glass empty and 10 being glass full), how do you look at the world?”

These questions give us more insight into each personality and allow us to effectively assess fit within our existing teams. We also screen on candidates’ views on collaboration as the ability to thrive in a team environment is crucial for anyone joining Upside. Diversity and our firm “no jerk policy” are also priorities for us as we value bringing on individuals who will not only respect our customers but will also respect their fellow Upsiders.

What internal changes have you made that you feel contributed to your Best Places to Work win?

Transparency is key for our organization, and the more open we are, the more prospective candidates and our employees see that we care about what they have to say. We’ve taken employee feedback into consideration when making changes to both how and how often we communicate, along with prioritizing certain initiatives (diversity and culture) that go hand in hand with ensuring we are a Best Place to Work.

What are your plans in 2018 to maintain a spot on the Best Places to Work list?

We’re just getting started! Our product launched just about one year ago, and we have an amazing opportunity to enhance our initiatives and activities as we scale as an organization. It’s more important than ever to work hard to maintain this culture that we’ve worked hard to build, so we’re constantly fine-tuning our recruitment strategies, professional development opportunities and initiatives both internally and externally.

PRO TIP

You don’t have to have everything figured out to be a Best Place to Work. Upside is constantly iterating on their strategy to ensure they’re finding the best talent and keeping their employees happy. They’ve already made great strides, implementing a “no jerk policy” to maintain their great culture.

Conclusion

To summarize, here are all the takeaway tips that you can implement at your own company. Done right, your company could be awarded Best Places to Work.

  1. Use the Glassdoor Employer Center to your advantage.
  2. Be transparent during the recruiting process.
  3. Create opportunities for your employees to connect and your candidates to experience those connections.
  4. Collecting feedback is the best way to understand how to make your employees, both present and future, happy.
  5. Get leadership invested in your recruiting process.
  6. You don’t have to have everything figured out to be a Best Place to Work.

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