An employer’s brand no longer rests solely in the hands of the business. Thanks to rating and review sites, employees have a voice too––and it’s a strong one. These sites have the power to make or break the reputation of an organisation. Every month, 50 million unique visitors flock to the Glassdoor social platform to view the pages of more than 800,000 companies, making it the second most popular job site in the United States, according to Comscore.
This platform has become indispensable to job seekers looking to find out more about companies advertising vacancies. So how do you turn it into an ally? How do you optimise your presence and enhance your image so that Glassdoor is a tool of differentiation for your brand? Let’s break it down.
Demonstrate authenticity by introducing your corporate culture
You might be tempted to go overboard in trying to stand out. Big mistake. The goal is not only to attract talent, but to retain it over the long term. When Robert Walters asked employees in France in 2019 why they had left their jobs during a trial period, 58% said there was a gap between the position as it appeared in the offer and the reality, and 34% said that they disagreed with the company’s values.
The platform can provide an overview of the quality of life within your organisation, starting with how the interview process plays out. Among the topics to be completed, “Why join us?” is one not to be taken lightly. And with good reason: every potential applicant wants to know what they have to gain from working at your company rather than somewhere else in terms of wellbeing, impact or creativity, for example. Some advice? Answer with complete transparency and in accordance with your values, helping future employees to be able to see themselves there. The description should be brief, concise and easily understandable. This is not a time for hype, which will probably result in frustration and disappointment for the applicant if they get the post but are then disappointed to find it does not live up to the description. This can lead to higher staff turnover. It is better to be humble and just show the reality within your organisation. “You have to be incredibly authentic to attract the right people. The more corporate your message is, the more it will deter applicants,” said Michael Morris, head of talent at Employsure, an Australian workplace relations specialist.
Keep your page updated by using visual storytelling
Do you want your future recruits to be empathetic, dynamic and innovative? Do the same with your content. Treat Glassdoor like other social media platforms and update your content regularly: three out of four users are more tempted to apply for a job if the account is active.
To do this, it’s best to avoid copying the content from the career section of your own website. Glassdoor has different functionalities through which you can show more originality. You can give insight into daily life in your company through a photo album or videos. This is an opportunity to highlight the team atmosphere, as well as the work environment they can expect to find, which is particularly relevant if your company has a number of offices or work sites.
Take advantage of the opportunity to show what’s happening in your organisation, especially if it aligns with your commitments and values. Highlight staff taking part in interesting events or corporate social responsibility initiatives. This approach is one of those used by Bain & Co, one of the best-rated American companies in 2020 on Glassdoor.
Authenticity is key and so the involvement of your employees in the content creation is more essential than ever. A study conducted by Glassdoor in 2019 revealed that candidates are three times more likely to believe the word of an employee than that of a company. Offer them a space to share their experiences and feelings about the organisation. It’s worth noting that as of this year, Glassdoor is taking into account the opinions of employees regarding diversity and inclusion. This really matters because 32% of respondents to a Harris 2019 survey said they hadn’t applied to a company because of a lack of diversity. This is a great opportunity to bring an insider’s perspective to these critical issues and show how they are being addressed on a daily basis.
On top of that, don’t hesitate to make your recruitment needs known by using the new “hiring surge” badge, launched during lockdown.
Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative
Even a negative response is better than indifference. If this principle applies to recruitment, it’s the same for a Glassdoor review. The number of reviews is one of the three items to appear when the user conducts a targeted search by company, along with salary statements and interview feedback. The platform uses geolocation by default to highlight the top-rated local companies that match the user’s interests.
Researchers have found that how much weight a negative review holds depends on the applicant’s familiarity with the company. In short, if your company is well known, potential applicants are more likely to overlook a negative comment. If not, it could be detrimental for you. Keep in mind that 86% of job seekers are likely to consult reviews when deciding where to apply for work.
To make sure you don’t miss any messages, assign a specific team to manage your page. Identify the topics assigned to each person beforehand, define a timeline and a process to improve responsiveness. Finally, be sure of the consistency of the response style and clarity of the key message.
Glassdoor’s experts recommend structuring your response to a negative opinion as follows:
- Acknowledge: “Oftentimes people are looking for you to acknowledge a problem rather than offer an empty apology. Be transparent about explaining the current situation, and/or offer insight into what’s being done making changes,” according to its website.
- Articulate: Briefly and concisely articulate your position, sticking to the facts: “Offer data and research to back your position [so as] to keep your emotions out of your response.”
- Advise: “Your response is not just for the current or former employee who reviewed your company, it is also for prospective candidates. Advise future candidates on what they can do to have the best possible experience.” You can even direct the user to a designated email address, if the disputed elements require a more in-depth discussion.
Keep this in mind: much like a journalist, you should refer to verified facts and keep emotionally-based responses to yourself.
Ask former and current employees to leave honest reviews
No one should put pressure on employees to leave their opinions on a ratings site, but you can ask politely. There is nothing preventing you from making it known that your company would like the staff to be your organisation’s main ambassadors.
Be aware that a four- or five-star rating is worthless if it is not accompanied by a few lines of a written text. Explain what is involved and ask them to give their impression of the company, their job or their daily professional life. A good approach could be to say, “What do you appreciate the most?” or “What makes you want to get up in the morning?”
It may be a good idea to include a Glassdoor link in an email during the onboarding phase, but after 90 days at least, or following an evaluation. You could also ask for it before a recruitment peak or during an outplacement phase.
To stand out on the platform, the organisation should have a number of comments and they should be relevant and recent, which means no more than five years old. For example, to be ranked among the 50 best employers in the UK, an organisation must have a minimum of 30 reviews and notes from employees in the UK for each of the eight workplace attributes, and it must have at least 1,000 employees at the end of the eligibility period. In fact, 65% of job seekers read at least five reviews before forming an opinion of the company.
This is all the more essential since having enough reviews makes it possible for potential candidates to draw on objective data that is visible to everyone, such as the degree of difficulty of the interviews or the level of recommendation.
Take advantage of feedback to enhance your employee experience
Commitment, productivity, wellbeing––you have everything to gain by nurturing your employees’ talents. In a 2018 study, George Daskalakis, a lecturer in finance at the University of East Anglia, highlighted the correlation between employee satisfaction and corporate profitability. He cross-referenced 326,000 satisfaction ratings with 313 publicly-traded American companies. The results show that the organisations with happy staff were better off financially too.
Glassdoor provides relevant insights to enhance the employee experience within your organisation and strengthen your employer brand. It’s about assessing the strong points identified by applicants and responding to those who point out flaws in your organisation. Site reviews and ratings can expose a toxic corporate culture too. Marie, a strategic marketing and communication manager, has experience of this type of situation. Her company faced the sudden, and almost simultaneous, departure of six employees and the same number of one-star or less reviews on Glassdoor. In response, a team-building exercise was organised to discuss the negative points that had been brought up. This was helpful as the actions of a toxic manager were identified and stopped.
It is also worth noting that 50% of job seekers mention that lack of information about pay and benefits during the interview process is frustrating, according to a 2018 Harris survey for Glassdoor. So consider including information related to salary and other benefits. Also, if possible, avoid postponing planned interviews with your applicants. In the event of an emergency, you should offer an apology and the reason for the postponement.
When managed skillfully, Glassdoor can be used to get informative reviews that can enhance the applicant’s experience. In addition, it is an unrivalled tool for assessing the perception of the brand in real time and, if necessary, quickly taking corrective action. Glassdoor’s rating platforms represent a new step in a company’s storytelling. Used wisely, it can help to prove that its commitment to staff wellbeing and fulfilment are not just empty words.
Translated by Kalin Linsberg
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