Good news for candidates: The job market is buoyant!
Bad news for employers: Attracting top talent is tough.
It’s therefore more important than ever to create, develop and maintain a good reputation as a top company to work for in order to attract the best for your business.
“Not too difficult” you might think: “We have full view of our marketing, website, and social media presence.”
Thumbs up to you: we know managing this stuff can feel like a full time job in itself.
Unfortunately, though, managing your online reputation isn’t entirely within your control. Employer review sites such as Glassdoor or Careerbliss have soared in popularity in the last few years – because, honestly, what disgruntled ex-employee wouldn’t jump at the chance to stick the boot in after they’ve left?
So, in the same way you might Google a candidate once their CV is on your desk; they are probably going through the same process in reverse. And what might they find? If you are currently recruiting and you have never searched for your business on one of these sites, now would be a good time to start. Don’t be nervous…
Here’s our guide to managing one element of your online reputation
that you have (almost) no control over :
1. Be a nice human.
The most obvious way to avoid negative reviews is not to give your employees reason to vent in the first place. Don’t avoid conflict or awkward conversations. Do be fair, transparent, and reasonable. Deal with gripes and grievances in person, as they arise. Conduct regular one to ones, and build a positive culture that welcomes feedback and suggestions.
2. Part ways well.
If someone has decided to leave, make sure you have a thorough exit interview process in place which offers them a chance to feedback to you, as well as the other way around. Giving someone the chance to air their views in person could quench the desire to do it online… to the world… where you have no control over what they say.
3. Use employer review sites to your advantage.
These sites aren’t just for unhappy exes. With an engaged and happy workforce, you should have a number of employees who will willingly post positive reviews for you and help to give a rounded view of your company. Without forcing it, pitch the idea as a way your existing employees can help create a crack-team of top professionals and ultimately grow the business. Any happy co-worker who is invested in the future of the company should be more than happy to oblige.
4. Don’t fudge it.
If you have a series of negative reviews, ignoring them or worse; frantically trying to counteract these with fake good ones is not the way to go. Your own version of fake news will stand out like a sore thumb, and potentially be a subject of further online ridicule. Instead:
5. Respond directly with humility.
Don’t be tempted to enter a bun-fight online. Instead, respectfully thank them for their feedback and assure anyone who might be reading the same review that you are working to address the issues raised. A mature response like this should impress prospective employees, despite the complaint.
6. Take it on the chin.
As objectively as you can, review what’s been written and discuss whether there is anything you can learn or change about the way you operate with your trusted team members. Simply dismissing the complaint as an employee’s scorn could mean you miss an opportunity to improve your operations, and continue to lose quality candidates to other businesses.
Taking review sites seriously and managing them well can have positive ramifications across all your business relationships. Not only will candidates want to work for you but clients, customers, and suppliers will want to align themselves with you too. Whether you are a B2B or a B2C company, a big bluechip company or an SME we suggest you grasp the nettle and Google yourself!