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Hiring In World of Reviews:

We now live in an era where people don’t even leave the house without first researching reviews for their destination. This is no different in the business world.

Review platforms such as Yelp and Google Reviews are now more popular amongst your candidates than ever, with Glassdoor now boasting annual traffic of around 200 million unique visitors and having already doubled their membership figures between 2012 and 2013.

Candidates now have an incredibly powerful tool at their fingertips – both in terms of their influencing power and their ability to gain insight into a company’s ‘real’ culture. It is now clear that review sites now play a fundamental part in the decision-making process for candidates:

  • 40% of respondents said they would apply if the company had a one-star rating
  • 15% would only apply if it had a two-star rating
  • 30% would only apply with a three-star rating
  • 15% would apply only if it had a four-star rating

So employee voice is very powerful, but is this a good thing or a bad thing for your business?

Of course, the answer is – it depends on who’s writing your reviews. People are very quick to warn others if they experienced a problem somewhere. However, for someone who is enjoying workplace, their first reaction probably wouldn’t be to think ‘Oh I must jump straight onto Glassdoor and tell everyone.’ So you’re faced with a situation where you can’t stop people writing negative reviews but you want your team to spread the good word about your company. How do you strike a balance between positive and negative reviews?

Well, we can tell you what NOT to do – don’t follow in the footsteps of companies who find it difficult to draw the line between ‘encouraging’ honest feedback and ‘forcing’ their employees to leave positive feedback. Believe it or not, some companies make this is part of their promotion criteria! In fact, if you leave a positive review and they don’t like it…you’ll be told to take it down and write another one until they’re happy with it – bonkers!

Now of course, that is at one end of the extreme and no company wants to put themselves in a position where they’re having to beg and force employees to leave a positive review in order to build their brand reputation. On the other hand, some companies do not actively encourage reviews and deserve for their hard work to look after their employees to be shared! We want to help you build a credible review portfolio to help your prospective employees feel closer to your brand and your workforce. So here’s what we recommend for people at either end of the spectrum:

If you don’t have many reviews:

The value in leaving a review lies in an individual’s voice being heard and the influencing power of this from both an office floor and external recruitment perspective. Demonstrate to your employees that you’re interested in hearing their thoughts, and politely request feedback from them if they have had a positive experience that you think is worth sharing.

If you already have positive reviews:

If you already have a positive review portfolio then online platforms such as Glassdoor can be an incredibly useful tool. It’s all very well having positive reviews sitting in a website where only prospective employees will use them to gain behind the scenes insight into your company, but how can you maximise these for YOUR benefit? The trick is to incorporate them into as many areas of your recruitment process as possible – the more familiar an individual is with a company, the better they can see themselves at your company:

  • Include a link to your Glassdoor reviews in your email footers
  • Quote these reviews in your brochures as testimonials (with their permission)
  • Refer your prospective employees to them prior to their interview and offer them the chance to read a little bit about people’s experiences at the company
  • After someone has left a positive review – thank them! Show them that it means a lot for people to leave their honest feedback and that leaving reviews is positive and judgment-free. Everyone should be entitled to share their voice and experiences!

How to deal with negative reviews:

If you are receiving the odd one-off negative review, then this isn’t anything to worry about – you can’t please everyone! The most important thing is for you to politely respond in the comments, apologising for their negative experience and ask them to email you privately to discuss the problem in more detail. This not only helps you address the problem but also shows readers that you take negative feedback seriously.

However, if you have begun to notice a pattern of negative online feedback, then the best thing to do is to view this as an opportunity to improve:

  • RESPOND as above and discuss the issues raised with the reviewee to get first-hand, honest feedback.
  • REVIEW feedback by collating all the negative reviews onto a document and sit down with your management team to discuss trends in complaints, with the goal of pinpointing a few common issues to resolve.
  • Where do problems keeping cropping up? Are you listening to your employee voice? Do you provide anonymous surveys on a regular basis to gauge how your employees are feeling in their job? If so, are you acting on them?

If you do not implement any or only some of the above, then these are definitely ideas worth considering as they will help people feel more comfortable talking openly about their issues and ideas. This will also help you avoid situation where employees felt their only last resort was to leave a nasty review.

Our top tips would be:

  • Keep it professional; you don’t want to be one of ‘those’ employers who just dishes any negatively back to the reviewer. Be professional and approach the problem thinking ‘how can I use this review to improve my business?’
  • Try to keep a high frequency of reviews; this not only balances out any negative reviews that may seem prominent without other positive reviews to counterbalance it.
  • Ensure your careers page features quotes from your employees (even better if they are accompanied by an employee’s name and picture). This will present a more authentic engagement with job candidates, knowing everything they see isn’t just transcribed by a PR department.
  • Maximise the free membership – Glassdoor’s free membership still allows you to add videos and photos to build your profile. This will help prospectives visualise your working culture and team ethos!

So there you have it, those were our top tips to maximise review platforms! If you have any advice or experiences you wish to share with us, comment below! Otherwise, never hesitate to get in touch to discuss how we can help you market yourself to prospective hires! Call us on 0117 4280600 today.

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