Working to Live: Aboard the SmartRecruiters X40 at the World Series

“No company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.” – Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric from 1981-2001.

Great business leaders understand the impact a company’s culture can have on the success or failure of an organization. Few employers truly have the ability to steer the company’s culture in the right direction. Even fewer ask their employees to help shape the culture on their own. I believe that the best companies find a way to blur the lines between living to work and working to live. Following a recent SmartRecruiters company outing, I felt compelled to share my experience and describe what these types of moments do for companies.

SmartRecruiters created an opportunity for their team to enjoy a boat trip in San Francisco Bay and McCovey Cove and celebrate the SF Giants in the 2014 World Series. Without hesitation, I signed up to pilot the safety boat. After meeting the skipper at the marina, and attempting to help prepare for the trip, I felt a little overwhelmed, being an amateur boatsman at best. Nevertheless, like several of my coworkers, I was ready for the challenge. I had my thoughts focused on experiencing the electricity of McCovey Cove during a San Francisco World Series game as a strong motivator.

This was not just any boat ride. The SmartRecruiters X40 was extremely smooth, dangerously powerful, and exceptionally agile as we performed several sail-bys. In the middle of a turn, we slowed for a moment, the wind died down, and two fighter jets flew overhead at the end of the National Anthem. The SmartRecruiters team looked at each other with delight and joined in as AT&T Park erupted into cheers. At that moment, I felt closer to my coworkers than I ever have in the office, or at a planned company lunch, or at a conference. I looked up as the sun started to set and gleamed on the main sails and the waving SF Giants flags. Nothing but smiles on every one of my coworkers’ faces. My immediate thought: THIS is a group of energized employees who probably could and would run through walls to sustain this feeling of camaraderie.

We took another step forward that night into shaping the culture of our company. A mold that is never perfected but only created in the moment – and very much in tune with how the San Francisco Giants baseball team attacks the month of October:

  • We rally as a team to overcome challenges (which is sometimes an amateur boatsman at the helm)
  • We experience the reward of our hard work together (cheering on the Giants with the infamous McCovey Cove kayakers)
  • We elevate the performance of each other to excel and achieve lofty goals (hoisting some unbelievably heavy sails)

And most importantly, we created real value that night for our company as well. Our employees were diligently tweeting, posting to Instagram, and building brand awareness amongst their social networks and the trending SF Giants posts. The SmartRecruiters catamaran was picked up on national television and syndicated across multiple networks. And an industry expert attending the game emailed us to share that our exposure that night was worth $200K in free advertising. Every one of my coworkers that night was a part of that success.

Now, obviously not every company is fortunate to be led by a CEO & founder who is an avid sailor and just happens to own one of the fastest racing catamarans in San Francisco, with sails and hulls that display their company’s branding. However, every company has the ability to leverage their exceptional employees and offer them the helm to navigate the path to a company culture that not only works, but exceeds expectations.

After dropping my teammates, and now fellow sailors, back on land, it was time to navigate back around the bay to the marina. The fog was rolling in as temperatures dropped in the last half hour of twilight. The skipper yelled to me across the wind as I steered us back safely, “Blake! How we doing!?” And the only response that could describe my feelings: “I live for moments like this!!”

On this night, SmartRecruiters successfully blurred the lines between living to work and working to live.


blake owen

Blake Owen ( is an ambitious Account Executive at SmartRecruiters. He’d be happy to give you a demo.

Watch the product tour to see how our enterprise recruiting software can empower you to find, engage and hire great talent.
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+
Blake Owen Account Executive , SmartRecruiters Ambitious young sales person.
More posts

The 4 Best Rejection Strategies to Improve Your Company’s Brand

Ahh rejection: it’s the bane of recruitment. No matter the situation, rejection hurts, and we’ve all faced it. But being rejected is just as hard as delivering a rejection.

Even if you have to pare down the applicant pool, we’re not expecting you to reject every single applicant who has applied for your job. Yet, any applicant that progresses in your hiring process, even just to stage one, wants to be informed of their position – or lack thereof. You wouldn’t want a candidate to not turn up to an interview without letting you know, so why do the same to them? Communicating a candidate’s status is essential to your employer brand, and will help you get more qualified candidates in the long run.

But when you’re ready to actually reject a candidate, here are some tips to make sure you do it in a way that keeps the door open for future candidates, or when that candidate shows up later with the resume you actually want. Lizzi Hart of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau explains all: read more…

Maximizing LinkedIn’s Blogging Feature For Branding

When LinkedIn added a blogging platform (a.k.a. long-form posting) as a way to keep members coming back – they changed the mindset of those who only visit LinkedIn when something major happens in their professional lives. Influencers, who were selected by LinkedIn, published thousands of posts that were viewed millions of times. These days, you no longer need to be an official Influencer to make your content visible via this platform. LinkedIn has made long form publishing available to all members. It is a significant step in transforming the profile from an online resume into a comprehensive personal branding platform. read more…