SmartRecruiters Blog

How to Answer, “What’s It Like to Work Here?”

One of the biggest draws for potential clients is the culture and personality of a potential workplace, but for many employers and recruiters, it’s one of the most difficult things to communicate to the outside world.

When you think about it, it’s no huge surprise. So much of what makes a company’s culture what it is, well it’s intangible. It can’t be converted into stats that can be analysed, it can’t be assessed against a tick list of right and wrong. It is what it is and you’ll either like it or not. But when it’s such an important part of attracting your ideal candidate, you have to try.

So, Where to Start?

There is one main principle you need to keep at the forefront of all your activities but the good news is it’s pretty simple – don’t tell people how great your company is, show them.

No one cares what you think of your company because let’s be honest, it’s your company, you’re going to be slightly biased. They want to see for themselves. They want to hear from people who aren’t under pressure to say the right thing, they don’t want scripted messages – they want an honest insight into your company.

So, now we’ve got that straight – let’s look at some of the practical ways to make that happen.


Your Existing Staff Are One of Your Biggest Assets

“Word of Mouth” can be an incredibly effective marketing tool but remember, it’s not just your customers who talk to each other, your staff do too. It’s important to remember your staff are integral to your brand at every stage of their time with you – from a new candidate to those moving on to pastures new. If they feel valued, challenged and engaged with your company it will come across in everything they do. They won’t have to tell people you’re a great company to work for, it will be obvious and if they do say something great, people will believe them.


Use the Power of Video

Of all the communication channels, video is one of the most powerful in managing to portray feelings as well as information, to challenge perceptions as well as promote an image but to be truly effective, we’re not just talking about putting the CEO in front of a camera with some spiel about how brilliant the company is. We’re talking about showing candidates what life is really like at your organization, highlighting the corporate culture and giving candidates a glimpse “behind the scenes.”

Take Starbucks – they go straight for the warm and fuzzies. The first thing you see on their career site is a video about their employees and how Starbucks has enhanced their lives. Here in the UK, some are taking the idea a bit more literally with T-Mobile letting prospective candidates have a “cheeky peek” directly into their offices.


Get Social

There’s no getting away from it, it’s here to stay and pretty much everyone is on at least one of the different platforms so it’s a great opportunity to communicate your brand but don’t just jump in all guns blazing!

There’s lot’s to think about. Which channels will work best for you, where does your target market hang out, how will you manage your personal brand (because you do need an identifiable person behind your social chatter), how will that fit with your employer brand, what happens if something goes wrong, the list could go on. But sit down and figure it out because when all that’s decided, then comes the fun bit.

And the fun bit is just as important as the rest. You need to enjoy it, have enthusiasm for it, have a strong willingness for it to work. Because you’re not going to get any short term rewards from it. You’re starting this because you want to do some good for the community but it’s a job and like all jobs, the ones you enjoy are the ones you do well at.


And a Final Reminder?

You need to do all this, put time into building those relationships and learning how best to communicate your brand well before you need to use it to find a new recruit. If you treat your activity like a sales tool candidates will sniff it out in an instant and already you’ve damaged your chances of building any trust. Be genuine, be interesting and be part of your own activity and you’ll find the people you need are drawn to you naturally.


Mark BevansMark Bevans: Entrepreneur & Founder of “We Love 9am” Employer Branding Agency. Helping  Recruiters around the world give an amazing candidate journey. Blogger & Speaker. Connect on LinkedIn , Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Photo Credit Yacine Baroudi,

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform with everything you need to source talent, manage candidates and make the right hires.


Mark Bevans

Mark Bevans is an Entrepreneur & Founder of “We Love 9am” Employer Branding Agency. He helps recruiters around the world give an amazing candidate journey. Blogger & Speaker.