Why You Need to Start Taking Company Reviews Seriously
Hands up who reads product reviews before making a significant purchase? Or even a not so significant one - say a couple of dollars on Amazon for example. After all, we all like to know that we’re going to get value for our hard earned money.
But how many of us also look at company reviews when we’re applying for a new position in a company we don’t know much about?
If you never, or rarely, read company reviews, it may surprise you to know that four out of five people who are looking for a new job check out reviews of the companies they’re thinking of applying to.
Probably the best known of these review websites is Glassdoor. And it is reviews on websites like Glassdoor that can be a prospective new hire’s first introduction to your company. It goes without saying that great reviews will help you attract the higher caliber of client that you’re looking for.
In addition to this, the honest feedback left by current and former employees can help you improve the way you work and your employee and candidate experience.
And that will help you to retain the employees you already know and love as well as attract future applicants for your vacancies.
Why you need to start taking company reviews seriously
There are a number of company review / employee experience websites out there. For example, job website Indeed also invites and posts reviews of companies online. But for the purposes of this blog post we’ll be focusing on Glassdoor to keep things simple.
Glassdoor allows its users to review a number of different things:
- Reviews about the company overall
- Reviews about a company’s benefits
- Reviews about an interview and the questions asked
With that in mind, what can you do as a company to make sure you’re benefiting from this very public exposure - as opposed to suffering from a poor or vitriolic review from one or two disgruntled former (or even current) employees?
Read more: 10 Ways to Motivate Disengaged Employees
Proactively ask your employees to review your company
Glassdoor actually encourages companies to ask for reviews. After all, that’s what enables their platform to stay relevant.
There are a number of ways you can do this ethically and without coming across as some kind of overbearing employer who is coercing your people into saying nice stuff about you online.
(Of course, if you’re the great employer we know you are, this won’t be an issue!)
So when can you acceptably ask employees - and candidates - for feedback?
- Before you start a serious bout of hiring. Need temporary people for a seasonal rush? Opening a new office? Taking on a new sales team? Now is a great time to ask your existing employees to write you an honest (and hopefully glowing) review on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. This could definitely help attract top talent.
- During your onboarding process. Asking for a review is something you might want to consider adding to your new hire checklist. If a new employee is a month or two into their employment with you and you can see that they’re already highly engaged then you might want to ask them for a review.
- When you announce a new benefit or perk. Okay, okay, this might sound a little like blackmail but it doesn’t have to be - just word your request carefully and be transparent. As mentioned, Glassdoor allows reviews of company benefits, so this is a perfect time to let employees know that you’d love them to make their (hopefully positive!) feedback public.
- During a stay interview. Stay interviews are an incredibly useful way of checking in with employees and knowing why people choose to stay with your company is often just as valuable as knowing why they leave. If your employee is happy, productive and engaged, this is the perfect moment to drop a request for an online company review into the conversation.
- During an exit interview. Offboarding your employees is just as important as onboarding them. After all, you want them to leave on a positive note - and spread the word about how awesome it was working for you, despite the fact they’re making a change. Obviously you might not want to ask employees who are leaving on a decidedly sour note for a review…use your discretion!
You’ve got some great reviews on Glassdoor - now what?
While having shining reviews on Glassdoor and similar sites is all good, the fact is they’re still only going to be read by people who are considering applying to your vacancies and who are actively doing their research.
If only there was a way you could proactively promote all of these glowing reviews that tell people how great you are to work for? The good news is - there is a way to make sure more people see them.
And by more people we mean top tier candidates who, for whatever reason, haven’t yet realized how awesome you are!
How to promote your positive Glassdoor reviews
- Add a particularly great review to your job adverts
- Create social media posts that showcase reviews
- Include reviews on your website’s ‘work for us’ or ‘careers’ page
- Strategically place a review at the footer of candidate cold outreach emails
- Feature a review in your Glassdoor profile (if you pay for an Enhanced Profile.)
Ask for feedback - but respond to it too
The crucial thing about asking for feedback is that you need to be seen to be acting upon it. Actually, scratch that - you actually need to act upon it!
Asking for, and not doing anything about, feedback is going to come across as shallow and a mere ploy to appear interested. It’s paying lip service, if you will.
Indeed, Glassdoor found that 65% of people who are looking for jobs and reading online company reviews view a company in a more favorable light if they respond to reviews.
Hint: Set your notifications to let you know when new reviews are posted so that you can respond in a timely fashion.
And don’t fall into the trap of wimping out and only responding to positive feedback. That’s easy!
We all know how to say thank you. It’s addressing the negatives that will make you stand out as an employer who takes responsibility, apologizes and who shares a plan of how you’re going to do better. (Or to stand up for yourself if needs be!)
It’s all about enhancing your employer brand.
If things have taken a negative turn, it might be useful to provide a way for the reviewer to contact you, or one of your HR coworkers, so that any issues can be ironed out. It’s worth bearing in mind that Glassdoor doesn’t allow a reviewer to reply to your response, but they are able to write a new review in the original’s place.
Why you need to start taking company reviews seriously: conclusion
Feedback can certainly be garnered through in-house online reviews, stay interviews and even suggestion boxes, but by embracing your public review persona you’re telling the world that you’re a great company to work for - and you’re quite rightly proud of that.
It’s also another way to really hone your candidate and employer experience and increase your recruitment successes and your employee retention rates.
This experience starts from the very first moment someone interacts with your organization. And if positive Glassdoor reviews can get that relationship off to a great start, then the only way from there is up!
I'm a UK-based content writer here at Hezum. I've an interest in all things HR and company culture.