Employer Branding

Why Real Employee Reviews Matter

We all do it. Whether we are booking a holiday, buying a car or the latest smartphone, or looking for a reliable trades person. Reviews matter and we believe them.

But now they’re filtering into the world of work.

The trend for checking reviews before making significant purchases is filtering into the world of work, according to new research by BPS World. It found that jobseekers are increasingly reliant on researching their potential employers online and keen to have a number of job offers on the table before making their decision.

The survey found that more than three quarters of employees (79%) would check out an employer online before accepting a job offer, and 74% of employers doing the same when hiring someone. Facebook ranked the second most likely place a potential employee with LinkedIn and Glassdoor proving less popular choices. Researching potential employers online seems to be a recent trend, with 62% of employees admitting they didn’t check out their current employer before accepting their job offer.

Simon Conington, Founder and MD of BPS World said:

These findings suggest that the open, consumer-led platform of Facebook is preferred for creating a truer picture of what the potential employer could be like, in a similar way to the ‘traveller’s own photos’ on TripAdvisor. There is an honesty about what people share online that often isn’t reflected in the way a company presents its employer brand.

This research proves just how discerning both bosses doing the hiring, and those applying for jobs now are. Both bosses and employees therefore need to think about how their company and themselves are talked about and presented online, and if there’s anything negative, controversial or inflammatory then they need to get it resolved or removed. Ignoring it could mean companies miss out on hiring a talented team member, or that an employee loses out on landing their dream job.

So how can you make sure your employees say nice things about your company? Here are 4 expert tips for you.

1. Be human

Steve Ward, Talent Attraction Strategist, says:

The greatest way to get authentic employee reviews, is to ensure you have an environment that genuinely allows employees to express themselves, be human, and be key contributors in business progress and exposure projects. When companies recognise the need to consider programmes with ‘bottom-up’ in mind, it engages the people at all levels, and when regular employees are the stars of the show, they demonstrate greater authentic pride, and inclined to amplify positively.

2. Educate and encourage

Shaunda Zilich, Global Employment Brand Leader at GE, says:

Educate employees on what candidates are seeing out there before they walk into the company.  Let them know the numbers (traffic, reach, engagement) on reviews (example: over 80% of candidates now look at reviews before making a decision on employment).   I am still amazed at how many of our employees are not aware of these sites or don’t realize how popular they are.

Encourage transparency.  I don’t solicit for reviews with our employees but I do encourage transparency.  This is the reason review sites are so popular and usually the more reviews that are left the more real the story is.

3. Get reviews from current employees

Phil Strazzula, Founder of NextWave Hire, says:

Many times reviews on employee sites are from disgruntled people since there isn’t a mechanism to get reviews from the typical employees in your company (hotels have done a great job of getting their patrons to leave reviews on TripAdvisor by emailing everyone after their stay, so it’s not just the people who had bed bugs).  So, my advice to companies is not to over think it, and simply remind everyone in the company every 6-12 months that reviews are a good way to attract talent and if they have a few extra minutes to please take time to write something.

4. Timing is everything

Will Staney is the Founder & Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies and says:

The idea is to get your employees to review the company around various company milestones. One of the ways I’ve done this in the past as a TA leader is to incorporate Glassdoor into onboarding practices by asking employees in each new hire class to leave a review of their interview experience.

Other ways I’ve done this is while congratulating an employee on their work anniversary (“Congrats on 1 year at ABC Company! Now that you’re a veteran here, do you mind sharing your experience working here on Glassdoor?”) or when someone is promoted (“Congrats on your promotion! As an example of an employee that is truly making an impact and exuding our values, we would love if you’d take a moment to share your experience and what’s made you successful here on Glassdoor).

Finally, as a follow up to a company event you could send an email out encouraging employees to upload photos from the event to the company Glassdoor page. You might find that while they are there, they leave a review as well.

By Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our new eBook now: Measuring Employer Brand: The Ultimate Guide and check out our latest product The Employer Brand Index.