12 Jul

Employee Reviews – the good, the bad and the ugly

Employee reviews are on the rise. Do you know what your employees are saying about you and what impact it's having on your recruitment?

Reviews have always been a powerful part of any company’s brand.  As consumers, reviews drive our decisions around items to purchase, places to visit, service providers to choose, the list goes on. With the proliferation of review sites these days, it’s uncommon to make a decision as simple as where to eat dinner without reading at least one review. So, it’s no surprise that job seekers are also turning to company reviews in an effort to get more insight into their potential future workplace before applying.

According to Indeed 83% of job seekers say company reviews impact where they apply.

Sites like Glassdoor have been around for years, encouraging people to share their honest opinions of what a company is like to work for, as well as information on things like salary and interview questions. Job sites Indeed and Seek have now jumped on the bandwagon, enabling users to leave reviews of companies they have worked for, leading to the growth of employee reviews over the last few years.

Whereas previously, employee feedback was limited to internal communication via a formalised procedure, now every employee has the ability to contribute to conversations around a company's culture, policies and benefits and be heard by the whole world. If you have a positive culture your employees want to sing about, this is great news! If your culture is still a work in progress, then that’s something that will be made apparent to potential employees quickly.

The good:

Employee reviews are an excellent tool for building your employer brand. Positive reviews that give an honest evaluation of what your organisation is like to work for will help motivate job seekers to apply for your roles, and to accept your job offer. Recruitment is the only factor affected by good reviews. A positive employer brand can also help grow your organisation – after all, potential employees are also often potential customers.  

The bad:

Company reviews can be a fantastic weapon in the war for talent, but they can also be a minefield.  Reviews are anonymous, and these sites don’t authenticate whether or not someone has actually worked at the company they are reviewing. The anonymity of the forum is perfect for a disgruntled current or ex-employee to vent their dissatisfaction, potentially at the risk of your employer brand. 

The ugly:

A negative employee review can be truly ugly. With anonymity to protect them, people don’t hold back, and can make some truly vile comments. The good news is, one or two bad reviews won’t necessarily damage your employer brand. Most people are objective, and a poorly written obviously unbalanced review won’t discount the other good reviews. In fact, on average Glassdoor states that job seekers read at least 7 reviews before forming an opinion about the company. 

The key thing with negative reviews is to ensure that you respond to them, with a considered, professional response. In fact, it’s best practice to respond to ALL reviews, good or bad. In order to respond to reviews, you need to claim your company page on the relevant site.

Owning the conversation

Claiming your company page allows you to respond to reviews directly, but also allows you to leverage the platform to build your employer brand. Including your branding, benefits and links to your roles helps to build your profile, and will drive more applications for your roles. You should also encourage your employees to leave reviews – all employees at all levels!

Good, bad or ugly, reviews are here to stay. As always, we are here to help if you need it!

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