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Online Employer Reviews – Listen, Evaluate, Improve

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In today’s transparent and social-media driven culture, employers have to remember that they no longer control the narrative about what their company is like. Impressions and experience by job seekers and employees matter and are shared and consumed with greater and greater frequency– and at the speed of a finger tap and click.

Employer reviews are increasingly relevant throughout the employment journey, as both candidates and employees post their experiences online, or consider the opinions of others in their employment decisions. In our most recent research of the job market, 66% of employees have used sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Google, Yelp and others to either rate or research employers. When we asked hiring managers about their recruiting hurdles, they admitted that the company’s reputation as an employer was among the top ten negative impacts on their ability to win the war for talent in today’s cutthroat hiring market.

Companies looking to manage their employer brand better online should look no further than their marketing team for guidance. Chances are they’ll say it begins with social listening – the formalized process of monitoring, analyzing, and reacting to what 'customers' are saying about the company online and using these insights to improve the experience. When it comes to employer brand, the ‘customers’ are job candidates and employees.

Ear to the Web

Large consumer brands have entire teams dedicated to social listening. But even the smallest company can effectively monitor what’s being said about the candidate and employee experience online by simply setting alerts on social monitoring tools, or regularly reviewing social channels with manual searches. Hootsuite, Mention, Keyhole and Sprout Social are just a few tools to consider. What’s critical is to listen in regularly and have an action plan for what you hear.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Reviews are the new standard and ignoring them is futile. Our best advice is to address them head-on with these basic guidelines. Good or bad, thank the reviewer for taking the time to share their experience. Promptness, transparency, politeness, and authenticity go a long way. Keep responses simple, concise and objective. Acknowledge the identification of an issue and any action steps the company intends to take. And remember, like former first lady Michele Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.” Potential employees will consider the company's response as they decide whether to pursue employment with the organization or not.

Evaluate & Improve

Reviews are opportunities to celebrate or level up. They shine a spotlight on things that are going well and throw a red flag on areas that need to be fixed fast. Be open-minded about what’s being said so that you’re able to spot trends around common themes or complaints. Consider this feedback as a crowdsourcing tactic for making employer branding, candidate experience, and workplace happiness decisions based on qualitative insights, not assumptions.

Enlist Influencer Employees

Establish a formalized process for employee reviews on social channels. Anniversaries and exit interviews are logical times to ask employees to wax poetic about their experience. New employees can be targeted a few months after on-boarding or training. Asking for feedback increases employee morale and loyalty – it gives them a voice and recognition as stakeholders in the workplace experience. It’s an opportunity for them to express appreciation or concerns. When it comes to online reviews, the employers winning at the talent game understand that an open, transparent approach can only improve their employee engagement, retention, and recruiting.