Amassing nearly 50 million unique users, it’s no secret that Glassdoor is now a juggernaut in the recruiting and hiring world. Whether you think it’s a great new marketing tool, a place for aggrieved employees to air dirty laundry, or something in between—doesn’t exactly matter. With the hiring situation being a candidates’ market—and nearly one in three workers declining job offers due to negative online reviews—most companies can’t afford to just “wing it” when it comes to a Glassdoor strategy.
Just like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, Glassdoor is another arm of your overall brand strategy that requires attention and care from both your recruiting and marketing teams. Workers (especially younger ones) want to see transparency and authenticity from potential employers. Eager to pull back the curtain, they actually want to see bad reviews to get the real scoop on the company and identify potential deal breakers.
So, no matter how your teams feel about Glassdoor, it’s time to get over it and embrace it. In today’s recruiting landscape, you absolutely need to pay for a Glassdoor subscription. Without it, you won’t be able to respond to complaints levied against your company or access other important functions within the platform such as integrating your career website and more important brand features.
From a tactical standpoint, the companies with the best Glassdoor pages aren’t those devoid of criticism, but rather the ones who respond to reviews in an authentic and timely manner. Here are some best practices that can transform your Glassdoor from a liability to a potential asset:
1) Respond to complaints big and small.
Nearly everyone in hiring has heard of (or experienced firsthand) a Glassdoor horror story: the type of post that can cause real damage to your brand and even lower internal morale. The worst thing a company can do in the face of a difficult review (whether true, false or somewhere in-between) is leave it sitting on your Glassdoor page without an official response. Since you can’t delete reviews, it is uber important to acknowledge criticism (big and small) so those outside and inside your company can see you’re engaged in the issues and care about your current and past employees.
2) Be timely with responses.
When it comes to the negative posts, you have to respond ASAP. But before a code-red situation arises, sync with your teams to craft a standardized response that can be dispensed quickly and efficiently while you further investigate. For example, let the person know the company is following up on the claims, and that you take issues like this seriously. Then provide them a channel to connect directly with the leadership team to discuss their concerns further.
3) Always thank reviewers for their feedback.
Always be polite and professional online, and thank reviewers for taking the time to share their perspective and input. Occasionally, a simple acknowledgment can be enough for the person to edit or remove the post, and it’s so easy on your part to do it.
4) Keep your executives involved.
After you’ve posted an initial response, it can be helpful to have an executive leader provide a more tailored follow-up. A CEO response to a Glassdoor review demonstrates that from the very top, the company truly cares about its employees and creating a great work environment.
Some executives feel very comfortable going out into the public arena like this, but others might be more hesitant. It is important for you to explain why this matters to not just candidates, but also prospective customers or investors. Soon, Glassdoor will even be adding more options for people to evaluate individuals from the CEO and leadership team all the way to hiring managers and recruiters. So it’s time to start embracing the public-facing aspects of Glassdoor.
5) Take it out of the public forum.
While you should certainly respond to Glassdoor reviews, avoid engaging in an extended dialogue (aka argument) with the aggrieved person online. Doing so might play directly into their plans, allowing them to further air the company’s dirty laundry for all to see. To avoid this, provide the necessary channels to take the conversation offline. That will protect both the privacy of the reviewer and the company, and offer a real opportunity to address grievances presented in the post.
6) If you must defend your perspective, tread carefully.
Even though you should always look to take the conversation outside Glassdoor first, sometimes posts are so egregiously false or damaging that they must be refuted online. This should be a last resort saved for malicious, repeat posters or online trolls that are attempting to sabotage your company brand. As always, maintain a polite and professional tone, and tread carefully. Utilize statistics and data to corroborate your perspective when available, and continue to thank them for their input.
7) Provide alternative channels for criticism.
This is best kept secret Glassdoor probably doesn’t want you to know. By providing alternative options to Glassdoor, employees can voice their displeasure without needing to take their grievances online. Oftentimes, employees just want to feel heard and be allotted an opportunity to affect change inside the company. For example, monthly or quarterly anonymous surveys through a private channel like Survey Monkey can let employees voice their ideas in a way that makes it easier for the company to see their feedback and take potential action. You should also make sure that employees are aware of other internal resources—such as anonymous channels to report sexual harassment—and feel comfortable approaching HR with their problems.
The average Glassdoor rating is 3.4 out of a 5-star rating, but let’s be real here: we all know average isn’t enough to attract the talent we need in today’s recruiting environment. And if you don’t have a strategy for managing your Glassdoor reviews, one nasty comment can be all it takes to derail months of positive brand building.
In order to not be caught off-guard, you need to embrace the future of platforms like Glassdoor and understand how your teams should be creating an authentic brand experience. We’ve all experienced a bad review here or there, but the smartest companies should use that opportunity to showcase how it values candid feedback and truly cares about its employees—both present and past.
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