Autumn Olson is the HR Manager at Brandpoint and has been working in Human Resources since 2011. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Management from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
If you’re applying for a new job, but want to do a bit of research on the company first, where do you look?
Perhaps you check out their About Us page, where you can learn about the values and history of the company. Or you could peek at their social media accounts to see if there are any hints of the company culture.
But, where do you look if you want uncensored information on what it’s really like to work somewhere?
As an applicant, Glassdoor can offer a lot of candid feedback straight from the source: the employees. However, as an employer, Glassdoor can cause a few headaches.
The impact of negative employee reviews
Before we get to the tips, a bit on why these reviews are so important.
According to a 2017 U.S. Harris Poll, four out of five candidates are influenced by company reviews and ratings — and 55% of job seekers “report avoiding certain companies after reading negative online reviews.”
In a time where unemployment rates are historically low, your company needs to avoid any chance of perpetuating a negative employer brand image. You have the potential to not only lose out on applicants, but to lose current staff to different jobs due to decreased office morale.
Additionally, negative reviews won’t impress future clients. Just like job applicants, people who are deciding whether to do business with your company will do research. If a Google search shows bad reviews and unhappy employees, it’s possible they may have second thoughts on investing in your services.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Encouraging Employer Reviews
Whether you want to grow your base of employee reviews, offset any bad comments you’ve received or feature testimonials from an already happy staff, encouraging your team to submit Glassdoor reviews can be an effective tactic.
These best practices will help you make this initiative sincere and successful.
Do make sure that employees understand what Glassdoor is, how the review process works and the fact that it’s all anonymous.
Don’t make review writing mandatory. When requesting a review, be clear that it’s completely optional.
Do educate your staff on why reviews help the company, either during a training session, a one-on-one meeting or an informational email.
Don’t incentivize employees for writing reviews. This is unethical and can be illegal.
Do come up with a plan to ask for reviews. Some good times to ask are during the onboarding process, a 60- or 90-day check-in meeting, an exit interview or during annual performance reviews. Another example is when you’re recruiting for a certain department. You can ask employees in that team to add their reviews to support the hiring efforts.
Don’t ever insinuate that negative feedback will be punished.
Do enlist managers and leadership to write reviews to encourage their staff to follow their lead.
Don’t let the negative feedback fall between the cracks. Some comments might be out of your control to fix, but others might be underlying issues you need to address within your organization.
Do take the time to respond to all reviews, good or bad. Always thank the reviewer for taking the time to leave comments. Sixty-two percent of Glassdoor users say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review.
Don’t argue or act unprofessionally in any response to negative reviews. Come up with a plan beforehand and have your HR and marketing teams work together on wording and messaging to deal with unhappy comments.
Do flag any reviews that are libelous or defamatory for Glassdoor’s internal team to evaluate. You can’t delete comments, but you can flag ones that might violate their terms.
Don’t let any particularly bad reviews pick up steam. If your company is well-known, negative comments from former employees might make the news. React professionally and work with your public relations department to respond publicly.
How to invest in improving your employer brand
Being proactive and investing in your employer branding creates a stronger work culture for all levels of the company. After you have a good number of reviews built up, you can use them to improve your employer brand and business:
- Use the positive reviews on your careers site. Feature quotes in your on-page copy, on your benefits page, employee handbook and job postings. These reviews straight from the staff are advocating for your company.
- As mentioned above, start to solve any issues by acting on the feedback. Look for themes in negative reviews and take steps toward improving.
- Let your staff know of any changes implemented due to honest or negative feedback; be transparent as a leadership team. It will help you earn trust and improve communication.
- Look at where the reviews are coming from on a department basis. This will help identify which departments are happy or unhappy.
Improve your company’s reputation the right way
Need help starting this process? If you need assistance on strategy, reputation management or defining your brand with content marketing, Brandpoint would love to help. Contact us today so we can start working on a plan together to improve your employer brand.