Recruit like a Marketer: How To Become a Top Employer on Glassdoor

Holland Dombeck McCue Candidate Pool, Culture, Employment Branding and Culture, Good HR, Holland Dombeck, HR & Marketing, in the news, Recruiting

Glassdoor released their seventh annual Employees’ Choice Awards, which honors the Best Places to Work across the U.S. and the UK last week. The report is compiled – and rankings are issued – from an aggregation of valid and approved company reviews submitted to Glassdoor over a 12-month period; for 2015’s list, reviews were aggregated between November 13, 2013 and November 2, 2014.

I love the lists Glassdoor releases for three reasons:

  1. Awards are given based on 100% user-generated content from those who know the company best– the employees. Employees must also leave a balanced review, listing both pros and cons of the employer, and Glassdoor uses an aggregate of the overall review to rank those companies appearing on their list(s).
  2. Employees are not incentivized to leave a review on Glassdoor. In fact, offering incentives for reviews is a practice prohibited by the site. To encourage reviews, Glassdoor instead makes all submissions 100% anonymous and only accepts one review per employee in an award period. Additionally, unlike some other “best places to work” lists, companies on Glassdoor’s list aren’t paying a hefty fee or schmoozing the right committee to receive a spot.
  3. With the right internal marketing campaign, your company can also land a spot on Glassdoor’s list. That’s right! Since Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award rankings are based on annual review submissions and not cumulative contributions, you too have a chance to earn a spot year-after-year!

So how do you get started on number three? Here are five steps to get you rolling in the right direction:

Step 1: Determine why you want to be a Best Places to Work according to Glassdoor (GD). Is GD a core piece of your social media or employment branding strategy? (Yes, GD is also a “social” site.) Do your website analytics show Glassdoor as a top referral source to your site (indicating  you should up your presence)? Or, do you just like winning things? Whatever your motive, you need to define it.

Step 2: Determine where you currently rank on Glassdoor’s list(s) and where you think you need to rank to earn a spot. The average company rating on GD is 3.2 out of 5, and #50 on the “Top 50 Large” is 3.5. If your company is currently sitting at 3.0, then you’re certainly in the ballpark to make the list the following year.

Step 3: Obtain an Executive Sponsor to help advance your “why” as identified in Step 1. Partner with your sponsor to drive awareness of your intent and begin socializing your plan to relevant stakeholders and obtain buy-in to move forward. From the CEO’s approval rating to transparent salary data, you have a number of angles to work to do this.

Step 4:  Embrace your inner marketer and develop a strategy to 1) drive traffic to your landing page, and 2) promote conversion in the form of a review. Using Glassdoor’s 2016 (or maybe 2017) aggregation dates, back in your marketing campaign so that you receive maximum traffic in the review period being measured to support your goal.

Step 5: Implement your tactics (email blasts, display ads on your intranet, social media promotion, etc.) and measure your success month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, and year-over-year.

I think it goes without saying – and before someone calls me out in the comments – you first need to believe and currently demonstrate that your company is a top really solid employer before pursuing a place on one of GD’s lists.  But that’s a blog post we’ll save for another day…

In the interim, I’ll leave you with some slides to keep building your plan to earn a spot on a future Best Places to Work list. Some of the content is mine, some it’s GD’s, all of it’s in draft and ready for you to make it your own 🙂

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For the 2015 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards, Glassdoor features three lists honoring Best Places to Work. Get the full rundown of winners here.