The Great Rated! Interview: Employer Brand, Transparency and Job Candidates

I had the recent pleasure of speaking with Great Rated! CEO Kim Peters. Kim’s leadership at Great Rated! is evident in her desire to help job seekers and organizations to be better candidates and better employers.  Using proprietary survey and evaluation tools, Great Rated! can help employers identify strengths, thus reinforcing or forging the employer brand. For job seekers, Great Rated! helps them to compare and contrast the work cultures of different employers with the use of a “company compare” assessment tool. There’s also a short questionnaire that helps job seekers better identify what company culture is right for them by targeting the attributes that matter most to them individually and that are a good culture match based on their preferences.

Q1 – Cyndy: What types of attributes are job candidates and employees looking for when they say, “I want to work for a company that has a transparent culture?”

Kim: I think that they mean they want a workplace where there’s a free and open exchange of information. That starts with leadership—so there would be especially good communication and discussion about strategy, goals, financials, ideally at all levels—company-wide, departmental and for individuals—and it resonates—so things ring true and make sense.  In my opinion, in a transparent culture, the majority of people know what’s going on and how they fit into it.

Cyndy: Agree Kim. When too many conversations are taking place behind closed doors, transparency goes out the window.

Q2 – Cyndy: Great Rated! has a wealth of information from some of the best companies in existence. What are a few of the more common attributes that make a Great Rated! company stand out as an employer of choice?

Kim: There are great things about all workplaces. And any company can be Great Rated! There’s no threshold, or anything. The company just has to be willing to survey their employees using our Great Place to Work® Trust Index© employee survey so we can understand what they like about their workplace, and provide some information about their business including their programs and practices. Then our experts analyze the results and write a workplace review, highlighting the best practices and cultural strengths identified by the employees. Having a Great Rated! Review shows people that the organization is serious about creating a great workplace, comfortable with transparency, and that its employees treasure the unique aspects of their culture.

Because we include Reviews of our Great Place to Work Best Companies List winners—the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® and the Best Small & Medium Workplaces—we do many companies who score very high in ALL categories. But not all great workplaces appeal to everyone. Some people like small companies, some large, some thrive in an exuberant culture like Zappos, some want to be in a much quieter culture. Great Rated! reviews offer insight into what workplace cultures are all about, so that the job seeker can better understand if that culture is a fit for them.

Cyndy: Well said. Company culture is very important to candidates and employers, alike, and both want a good match so the fit feels right.

Q3 – Cyndy: Kim, why do some companies struggle with providing a great job candidate experience and where does transparency and employer branding come into play here?

Kim: Top talent has lots of choices, and they want a workplace where they’ll be comfortable. It’s the company’s willingness to be open about their workplace that lets people understand if they’ll be a fit, and ultimately decide to join the company. We all know people who thought they’d found the right fit, and then discovered the experience wasn’t what they thought.  Social media and the internet has given people the ability to research and find out before they buy…. and so they search to better understand the company’s workplace reputation and employee experience—and that is the employer brand.

Cyndy: Wonderful information Kim. Thank you for sharing your keen insight and experience with us.

Kim Peters-223 midsize (1)(About Kim Peters: Kim Peters is CEO of Great Rated!™, at Great Place to Work®, where she is focused on helping job seekers understand companies’ workplace cultures and find their best fit. Kim has over 15 years’ leadership experience in the online recruitment industry, and has launched and led a number of successful businesses including, Canada’s leading job board, where she was founder and President,  and Canwest Mediaworks where she served as Vice President Online Classifieds. Kim most recently was CEO of, a Canadian job search engine combining reviews and job listings.)

(About Cynthia TrivellaCyndy began her career in advertising and Human Resource Marketing Communications on Madison Avenue in New York City over 15 years ago. Prior to that, she worked in corporate human resources as a recruiter and as a training and development coordinator. In addition, Cyndy has multiple years of media planning, employment branding and human resource communications strategy experience at a management level from both the media and agency sides.

Cyndy maintains a strong presence in the digital space and has been awarded the distinction of being named to the lists: “Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting” and “HR Marketer Top 25 Digital Media Influencers.” In addition, she volunteers as co-host and moderator of the Twitter chat #OMCchat for assisting job hunters, and serves as #TChat events director for TalentCulture World of Work.