When All Things Are Equal, First Impressions Matter

I chose a career in sales straight out of college and it's been a great ride. I live and work in the Bay Area where the brightest and most progressive minds in technology converge to create the digital footprint for the future.

The war for talent is real here, and employers will go to great lengths to attract top talent. Examples include generous compensation plans, comprehensive benefits packages, catered lunches, and culture committees committed to your happiness. So when I went searching for my next employment adventure, I narrowed my choice down to two companies: “Company A” and Company Z- Zenefits!

Both companies had plenty to offer. My decision weighed heavily on me. Zenefits was a high-profile, high-growth startup. I would have a long 2.5 hour round trip commute, but the chance to help build something great might be worth it. Company A was a much larger, established technology company. They offered an exceptional compensation package and a wonderful 10-minute local commute. So which company should I choose if all things were equal? Maybe surprisingly and unfortunately for Company A, their antiquated HRIS system and paper offer letter package made the decision for me.

As a tech salesperson, I’m constantly seeking innovation. So when presented with Company A’s branded folder with approximately 50 pages consisting of an offer letter, benefits summary, and endless government documents, I was deflated, to be honest. Compare that feeling with my reaction to the seamless, simple 100% digital hiring package offered by Zenefits. I was able to review the information on my phone, easily compare and enroll in health plan options, and essentially onboard myself through self-service. I showed up day one ready to rock!

The perks of having an employee engagement system like Zenefits didn’t stop there. From my phone I can easily track my time, request PTO, have access to benefits and payroll information. The mobile app contains a company org chart where I can quickly call, text, or email colleagues whether they’re local or international – making me ultimately feel more connected to coworkers who aren’t based in the same office. The best part is that for the first time I no longer have to ask HR for access to my own information. I’m now in control and empowered through this technology.

I’m happy to say that my theory proved correct, as my Zenefits colleagues are the brightest minds I’ve ever worked with. We’re here to build something great. All companies regardless of size should realize how an exceptional candidate experience will provide a competitive advantage, to attract and retain your greatest assets: your people.

Consider this a public service announcement for any company that is struggling to attract great talent. First impressions are important, and the technologies being utilized are an indicator of whether a company is innovative, or not.