Years ago, companies could hide behind their impressive buildings and stock earnings, leaving potential employees wishing for a glimpse behind the marble-tiled foyer to find out how it might feel to be one of “them”. Knowing someone who worked there might be the lucky break that could give them the inside scoop they needed to find out bits of knowledge regarding salaries, corporate culture, and advancement opportunities. This would sometimes be all the first-hand information available to a job-seeker before deciding to interview with a company they admired from afar.
Those days are over.
Not only are companies more purposely transparent through the use of websites and a heavy social media presence, but because of sites like Glassdoor, a TAM Integration Partner, their current and past employees have the opportunity to share anything they care to about things like pay, benefits, working conditions, hours, growth potential, and leadership. (see below information on the upcoming Glassdoor webinar)
Ignoring Your Online Reputation
Not only is it a mistake for companies to ignore what’s being said about them on social media platforms, but they’re missing out on some great opportunities. Paying attention to what is being said about them, both good and bad, provides candid information they may not otherwise get. It’s also a mistake to pretend that no one is really paying attention to the data on sites like Glassdoor. Software Advice found that 48% of job seekers consult Glassdoor when looking for a new position.
Companies who choose to stay largely silent as it relates to their online presence are still creating a brand. They may be unwittingly branding themselves as disconnected from their audience and customer base. From an employer perspective, they aren’t sharing anything about their culture, which can come across as uninviting, or worse, like there are few qualities about that organization worth selling.
Glassdoor as Recruitment Marketing Tool
Rather than fear Glassdoor as a potential hub of negative reviews from frustrated current or former employees, consider using Glassdoor as a recruitment marketing tool. Encourage employee participation by asking them to leave reviews. Research shows that it can take as many as five positive comments to outweigh one negative comment. Asking employees to share what they feel about the organization opens transparent dialogue. Consider assigning the task of responding to reviews or comments as part of someone’s job assignment, so that it’s being handled in a timely manner.
All negative reviews aren’t necessarily a bad thing. People are generally skeptical about only glowing reviews, which suggests inauthenticity. The key to handling negative comments online is to address them directly. Openly acknowledging someone’s statements about how they feel they were or are being treated, shows that you are aware, that you are concerned, and how you plan to address it if you agree that it needs to be addressed. Minimally, it shows that you respect that person’s opinion, no matter how much you may disagree with them.
What Glassdoor is Not
Many people believe that Glassdoor is one of the first stops a disgruntled or recently fired employee makes on their social media rant expedition. This is a common misunderstanding, when in reality, the average company rating on Glassdoor is 3.3 on a scale of 1-5. Another common misunderstanding is that said disgruntled employees are posting angry vitriol without censorship. Glassdoor does have guidelines surrounding acceptable content that is monitored and reviewed both with technology and humans. Members of Glassdoor are also able to flag something and ask that it be further reviewed.
Glassdoor is also commonly assumed to be a platform used only by those looking for a new position. While it is a popular tool for that purpose, it’s just as advantageous for employers. Having an active Glassdoor profile allows organizations to have a pulse on their online reputation, and to find out the demographics of who is visiting their profile. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages is the opportunity to engage with potential candidates by selling them on the reasons they should want to work for the organization, what their benefits are, share recent changes and news updates, and share some idea of the corporate culture. Job seekers may be surprised at being engaged from this refreshing perspective.
There are some cynics who still believe Glassdoor is biased one way or another. The truth is that there is no way to manipulate Glassdoor reviews. Employers are not able to delete or change reviews. The only option they have is to respond, which is a great idea anyway. Additionally, they cannot buy their way on to the “Best Place to Work” list published by Glassdoor annually.
Lastly, another misperception is that Glassdoor could help an employer track down who left an anonymous review. This information is never shared, and employers will not be able to identify who left a comment or review, unless it was done with company equipment, which can then be tracked by the organization, but with no assistance from Glassdoor.
When it comes to a company’s online reputation, platforms like Glassdoor can be a great part of their recruitment and marketing strategies. Rather than shying away from negative reviews or comments, utilize those as opportunities to acknowledge and address the topics being brought up. Further, organizations can look at the data trending on Glassdoor, coupled with their own internal survey data, to identify inconsistencies and gaps, and then address them appropriately.
By being proactive with monitoring their online reputation, companies have the advantage of managing and building their brand, while being authentic and transparent both to consumers, employees and potential candidates.
FREE Glassdoor Power Panel, on Tuesday, June 7.
In just 90 minutes, our expert panel will reveal which channels can tell you most about your brand, how to shorten your time-to-hire and how to calculate (and lower!) your cost-per-hire.
Here’s the lineup:
- UBER: Andrew Levy, Global Careers Brand Lead
- CISCO: Macy Andrews, Global Director, People, Culture & Talent Brand
- THE MOTLEY FOOL: Nate McMahon, Senior Vice President, People and Technology
- HUBSPOT: Katie Burke, Vice President, Culture & Experience
- LASALLE NETWORK: Tom Gimbel, Chief Executive Officer
- GLASSDOOR: Kirsten Davidson, Senior Director, Employer Brand