How a unique approach helped Lever promote employee empowerment
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 2:12:19 PM

Established in 2012, Lever is a San Francisco-based, rapidly growing, and venture-funded recruiting software organization. To support its growth, the organization required to double its team rapidly. However, it wanted to achieve it in a different way, as it wanted to maintain its commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse workforce. By that time, its employees already created the organization’s first Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) task force backed by just 10 employees to strike a balance. Although the organization was looking at scaling its workforce, it aimed at carrying forward its D&I progress.

The main challenge faced by the organization was to draw the right talent because of

  • Fierce competition coming from well-known, local competitors (established as well as emerging).
  • Limited resources in respect of talent competitors, especially in terms of funding, time, and people.
  • Less awareness of the organization’s corporate and employer brand.
  • While looking at recruiting, the organization had to undergo internal pressure to make use of all available resources to support all go-to-the-market as well as all engineering efforts.

In spite of all these challenges, the organization had a team that was passionate, savvy, and articulate, who were taking pride in their work. However, most of the team members were introvert and not ready to share their individual employee experience with the public. The organization felt that by overcoming the nerdy culture and creating a strong and reliable employer brand, it would be able to enhance its ability to draw and engage the appropriate talent.


Earlier, the organization implemented various low-tech and high-touch methods like personal communications and training to engage its employees. Although these methods were rewarding, the organization wanted to reap the benefits provided by various high-end approaches, like capturing data, measuring results as well as scale. Given this, it selected a mixed approach combining the best offerings provided by high touch and high tech. For help, the organization opted for Brand Amper—the platform capturing employees’ stories for using in hiring and marketing drives. All employees were provided with an access to the Brand Amper tool and guided to create simple yet attractive stories about themselves. Besides, all employees were divided into two groups based on their roles—“go to market” and “technical”—and provided with a set of relevant brand statements. Besides, some statements were shared between both the groups.

A set of approaches scripted the success for the program:

  • The organization collaborated as well as championed all its efforts and activities at the executive level.
  • It incorporated all the elements related to employer and organizational/product brands.
  • It focused only on its employees.
  • It provided all tools and training required to ensure quality storytelling.
  • It encouraged its employees to share their stories in as many places as possible, including Glassdoor.
  • it started providing a personalized Lever welcome GIF with every offer letter sent to new Leveroo to generate awareness of its closely knitted team. This initiative was appreciated and featured in many other blogs and newsletters.


The employer branding efforts of the organization were leveraged and made more sustainable by:

  • Connecting employer branding to marketing.
  • Encouraging employees to become recruiters, storytellers, and ambassadors.
  • Showing its commitment to inclusion and diversity
  • Examining messages related to the employer brand with regard to two main employee segments
  • Establishing the foundations for a scalable and long-term solution


Following their personal storytelling exercises, 80 percent of the company’s employees updated their LinkedIn profiles. Of them, 70 percent was from the technical team and 90 percent from the go-to-market team. During the process, over 50 percent of employees of the organization came forward to become brand advocates, who lifted their hands and said they would share all organization-related content and participate in various events.

The organization received real-time data related to which of its brand messages capture the best with employees. For instance, the messages revolving around inclusion and diversity were over 4x more likely to capture its technical team, whereas messages pertaining to the industry effect were about 3x more likely to capture its go-to-market team. Such insights helped the organization come up with more targeted recruiting campaigns and decide the hiring experiences that could represent the trends the organization could build on.

During the nine-month period, starting from October 2015 to June 2016, its employee base increased to more than 90 from just 41 and its customer based increased to more than 1,000 from 600. Even, during the same period, the participation of female employees of the organization increased to 47 percent from 43 percent, mostly buoyed by the above-mentioned efforts.

Lever believes that putting its best foot forward on the platform like LinkedIn and various blogging platforms was the main reason that enabled it to enhance its profile as an employer and corporate/product, which ultimately led to an increase in its business and team while giving a boost to its gender diversity.