Better Hires: A Glassdoor Strategy In California

Patelco Credit Union shares how it uses Glassdoor reviews and ratings to shore up the organization’s HR efforts.

Top-Level Takeaways

  • Patelco Credit Union earned 2.4 out of five stars two years ago on Glassdoor. After implementing a review and rating strategy, Patelco now has a 3.9 rating.
  • 85% of reviewing employees would recommend the credit union to a friend.
  • The CEO approval rating is 93%.

Two years ago, Patelco Credit Union ($5.9B, Pleasanton, CA) garnered only 2.4 stars out of a possible five on social recruiting channel Glassdoor. To buck this inaccurate representation and better leverage Glassdoor’s tools, the credit union sharpened its social strategy and started more actively encouraging employees to rate and review the credit union, says Susan Makris, head of human resources.

Glassdoor is both a way to attract passive candidates and to reinforce with existing team members that this is a great place to work, Makris says.


Patelco Credit Union
Data as of 06.30.17

HQ: Pleasanton, CA
MEMBERS: 316,266
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 15.0%
ROA: 0.90%

In this Q&A, Makris talks about the value of Glassdoor, tracking responses, and the need for a solid social strategy.

Why do you focus on Glassdoor?

SM: Glassdoor gives us an additional channel to share Patelco’s mission, brand promise, and values to potential candidates. It’s a wonderful way for potential candidates to learn more about our culture and determine whether they’ll be a good fit.

We use Glassdoor the same way a consumer might look at Yelp.

Has Glassdoor proven to be influential in attracting and retaining talent?

SM: Yes. Glassdoor reflects what we are as an organization and the people who work here. We ask team members to help us identify talent like them. And today, 85% of our team members would recommend Patelco to a friend. (Editor’s Note: Patelco’s Glassdoor statistics are current through October 10, 2017).

We’re also finding the majority of our candidates have reviewed our company profile and have looked at reviews before they apply or interview. They use it as a source to learn more about the organization and prepare. ContentMiddleAd

How do you know potential employees are looking at Glassdoor?

SM: We have a partnership that includes formal access to tools within the Glassdoor platform.

Is there a cost? What else do you have access to?

SM: There is an expense, but we get additional data and insight to help us better respond to feedback.

In the past, most of the comments we received on Glassdoor were from employees who were leaving the company. We missed the opportunity to capture data like did they have the experience they thought they were seeking during the interview process? Did they progress in their career as they thought?

People want to understand how an opportunity is going to provide them ongoing career and skill development. Glassdoor requires us to think differently about this. It’s not only a recruiting tool but also a portal to capture feedback from Patelco’s team members.

Susan Makris, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Patelco Credit Union

Does Patelco require employees to fill out reviews? Does the credit union offer an incentive?

SM: We do ask employees to fill out reviews, but we do not incent them in any way.

We check in after a team member has been here 45 days to see how things are going. If they’ve had a great experience, our recruiter or HR person thanks the employee for their feedback and ask them if they would share that feedback on Glassdoor.

We do not push we gently ask. We’re clear that we’re interested in the feedback, both positive and where we could improve, because our intent is to learn and continue to improve our institution.

Do you ask for feedback from non-new hires?

SM: We would love to get more feedback. I think that’s a challenge many organizations share. But it’s important to get balanced feedback, which is why we like new hires. We also encourage team members who change roles to provide comments.

We also highlight on Glassdoor when team members are recognized for contributing to the credit union movement or to our members. We update our page daily, which helps inform folks who are following us. As we add jobs, people who follow our site can see the new jobs we post.

We use Glassdoor the same way a consumer might look at Yelp.

Susan Makris, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Patelco Credit Union

In terms of results, you boosted your overall rating and CEO favorability. To what?

SM: When we started this two years ago, our overall rating was only 2.4 stars. Today, we have 3.9 out of 5. Glassdoor tells us that puts us in the top 10% of all companies in the United States.

We’re also pleased that 85% of reviewing employees would recommend us to a friend because we value referrals. Approximately one-third of our hires come from internal referrals. That speaks to hiring good people and then attracting others who fit into our culture.

Our CEO approval rating is at 93%. And although I don’t think any CEO wants to be evaluated through this kind of tool, I have conversations with Erin [Erin Mendez, CEO of Patelco Credit Union] quarterly about the feedback and what we are doing about it.

What does the feedback say?

SM: On the positive side, employees like working here. They feel challenged, they like the people they work with, and they are pleased with Patelco’s benefits. We’ve received that feedback through our engagement surveys as well as Glassdoor. It’s great to see those two align.

In terms of where we need to improve, leadership could do a better job communicating with the front-line team members. Because of feedback, we’ve implemented formal training for our managers and leaders to improve their communication skills, specifically related to engaging as a leader.

Looking forward, how will Patelco’s social strategy evolve?

SM: We’re in Northern California where the labor market is tight it’s a war for talent. Glassdoor is a tool that helps us draw in passive talent. We need to continue to optimize social media channels to strengthen our brand and bring in those passive job seekers.

Then, using the different metrics and comparisons we have, we need to stay on top of how we compare to other organizations and ensure that we continue to share what we learn with leaders and act accordingly.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

August 2, 2018

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