“Go Out and Give”—An Interview with Ana Recio, Salesforce’s SVP of Global Recruiting

For two years running, Salesforce has claimed the number one spot on Indeed’s Best Places to Work list of Fortune 500 companies.

The enterprise software giant, founded in 1999 by CEO Marc Benioff and a group of fellow former Oracle executives, secured its top ranking by earning stellar reviews on Indeed’s Company Pages. Here, employees praise the company’s culture, rave about “off the charts” holiday parties and are also pretty enthusiastic about a little something called “Ohana.”

Clearly Salesforce is doing something right. But what? And what can other employers learn from their example? We spoke with Ana Recio, Salesforce’s SVP of Global Recruiting to find out more about why the company keeps rising to the top.

“Giving back” since day one

Today every large company makes an effort to “give back” to the community (as do many smaller ones). But at Salesforce the culture of philanthropy dates to the company’s origins: the firm’s “1-1-1 model” was established “before the company even had a dollar in revenue,” says Recio.

What is it? Recio explains that the 1-1-1 model means that the company donates 1% of its technology to nonprofits, commits 1% of employees’ time to community service and gives 1% of its equity to nonprofits.

Employees are exposed to Salesforce’s philosophy of philanthropy from the start—or even earlier.

“We look for it in an interview,” says Recio. “We encourage candidates to talk about where they would aspire to give back if they had the time and flexibility. Because maybe in their prior environment they never had an opportunity to give back the way we are going to encourage them to do so.”

The company takes new employees on a volunteer event on their very first day of work. Salesforce also offers an unusual perk: seven full days of VTO (volunteer time off), during which employees can work for the causes they support.

But that’s just for starters, says Recio.

“There are people who have volunteered over 200 hours. People sit on boards, or they volunteer their time and their professional expertise. Sometimes they will give back to their church or to their community, or to little leagues.”

“Go out and give back. We want you to do that. We want you to represent Salesforce. We want you to feel connected to your community,” Recio adds.

How a culture of service attracts talent  

This commitment to service acts as a “huge magnet” when it comes to talent attraction. 

As Recio puts it:

“Not only can you be best of class in the industry, but we really facilitate an environment where you can be best of class as an individual.”

This message resonates particularly strongly with millennials, says Recio. For this generation it’s “a big differentiator” for Salesforce as part of the firm’s value proposition.

“When we go to campuses and we talk to millennials, they want to give back to their communities and where they work. They want to be part of something bigger.”

Ohana and the family principle

If the #SalesforceOhana hashtag is any indication, “Ohana” is an idea that Saleforce employees and…

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