How Greenhouse Became the #1 best place to work on glassdoor

Two coworkers catching up over coffee

4 mins, 16 secs read time

Being recognized as one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work means you’re doing something right, since this award is based entirely on employee feedback! That's why we were thrilled to be named a Best Place to Work in the small business category in 2017.

In our latest Hiring Hacks webinar, we wanted to share what goes into making a best-in-class employee experience. Melanie Oberman, Director of Employee Experience breaks down what a successful employee experience program looks like and the strategies to improve employee retention. To get even more granular, we asked a fellow Greenie (Greenhouse employee) to share his experiences on the receiving end of employee experience. What exactly do employees look for in a company?

Read on to find out!

How Greenhouse created a best-in-class employee experience


For people teams out there, Melanie shares it’s not just on your department to make an exceptional employee experience, it’s actually an all-company effort and begins with hiring. At Greenhouse we don’t assess for culture fit, but rather “culture add.” Throughout our structured hiring process we assess for traits and skills that will make the candidate successful and evaluate candidates based on the specific criteria the recruiter and hiring manager decide upon.


Once you have people hired, that’s when it’s time to actively listen. Asking for feedback and creating engagement surveys are key. At Greenhouse we send out an engagement survey to the entire company twice a year. We also host a monthly Ask Me Anything “AMA” with our CEO and Co-Founder where, like it says in the title, employees can ask anything! Another big component of creating a best-in-class employee experience is education. At Greenhouse we make sure all Managers are taught the technique of “radical candor” (challenging directly but showing you care personally). This is something they are encouraged to practice when working with their direct reports.

Strategies to improve employee retention

When you invest in employee experience, you get more engaged employees, which leads to longer retention. Employees who find meaning in their work are 3X more likely to stay. At Greenhouse, Melanie says engagement is tied directly to motivation and commitment within the company. Employee-run committees help improve employee retention. The type of committees include:

  • Culture Committee: To get a better understanding of what each department is going through, we ask representatives of each department to provide feedback and develop strategies to enhance the Greenhouse employee experience. The ideas then get passed on directly to leadership.

  • GH Fun Days: A few times throughout the year the Fun Committees in both the NY and SF offices plan an activity (think bubble soccer, cooking classes, learning to DJ). This is a time to encourage team bonding, strengthen cross-departmental relationships, and partake in activities that are not typically done inside the workplace.

For companies that are looking to create initiatives like these, Melanie suggests first assessing where you currently are. To do this, measure your employee engagement with a survey. Also, throughout this process make sure that you partner with leadership and showcase the value of employee engagement. Get that buy-in!

greenhouse glassdoor best place to work

What Greenhouse employees look for in an organization

Your job is where you spend the majority of your time, and it should be a place where you can be yourself. Will Kivinsky, a Team Lead on our Customer Support team, shares that he looks for a company where he can bring his whole self to work. At Greenhouse, Will says, "We’re not clones of each other," everyone is different, and these differences allow for deeper connections. For example, Will shares the various Slack channels we have within Greenhouse and how these groups allow for employees in both offices to be part of a dialogue where voices are heard and activities are planned.

greenhouse best place to work

Another quality that’s important to employees is the idea of being challenged. Will goes on to say that the skills you learn shouldn’t reflect just your role. At Greenhouse you have the opportunity to learn how different teams operate. Will recently moved from an Account Manager role to a Team Lead in Customer Success. He saw ways the CS team could learn and worked with them day-to-day, which created an opportunity for him to move into his current role.

How we help Greenies grow

At Greenhouse, cross-team collaboration is encouraged and continuous learning is key. That’s why Greenhouse created a Learning and Development budget. Each employee has money to spend on classes, books, or events—any form of learning that will enhance their professional life.

When it comes down to it, having fun along the way is essential. Companies can create opportunities for their employees to spend time together outside of their day-to-day jobs and enjoy themselves. Creating those opportunities or providing resources to encourage those types of events to take place boosts morale and makes employees more engaged!