Why We Like Glassdoor. And Why You Should Too.

Your job candidates find it indispensable. Your employees make it their routine. Even your vendors and your competitors frequent it. We’re talking about Glassdoor, the unique employment review and rating site that is everywhere.

Launched in 2008, Glassdoor is THE online destination for employees to anonymously review their companies and to post data and comments about topics such as salaries, workplace culture, and senior management leadership.

Here’s why it’s important to embrace sites like Glassdoor. Top talent – from the most qualified candidates to high-performing employees – is using review sites to form and validate their beliefs about employers.

Candid Glassdoor reviews are good, aren’t they?

It’s unmistakable. Glassdoor brings more transparency to the employment space than ever before. But with that transparency can come some angst and anxiety for HR pros and talent execs. Organizations often have the same questions: “What if my company is not well rated?’ “What are my current employees going to talk about? What if someone says something bad about our company?

These are legitimate concerns. Most importantly, they are questions that can lead to powerful opportunities.

3 things you can do now to make Glassdoor a positive for your company

Create a profile.
Be proactive. Take control of your presence on Glassdoor by developing your own company profile. Having a strong presence on the site shows job seekers and employees that you welcome open communication.

Set the stage for positive reviews.

If employees view a third party website as a primary outlet for airing their concerns, they will use that outlet. The result? A company’s Glassdoor reviews may be a mixed bag. Let’s be clear: negative reviews are now a fact of digital life.

The key is to understand that it’s not about managing the negative review but, rather, about creating a balance. There’s a good chance that many companies with predominantly negative reviews (and thus low rankings) are actually great places to work, but the “dissenters” are dominating the conversation. In those cases, it’s important for the company to find ways to engage all perspectives to share.

The goal is to attain a balance between negative and positive reviews. Set the stage for sharing by encouraging workers to contribute their experiences to Glassdoor. Enlist managers to spread the word and reassure that it’s okay to share honest feedback. Target the “every day” stories of workers and their peers over senior level executives as they are a more trusted and credible source. (Eldeman Trust Barometer 2016)

Tell your side of the story.
The usual inclination of companies who encounter negative online feedback is to ignore it and hope no one sees it. Well, in today’s world, people are going to see it. In this case, the best defense is a strong offense. Acknowledge and respond to the negative review in a genuine and caring way. You may respond by mentioning initiatives that your company is establishing to improve the situation. Merely thanking the reviewer for bringing the problem to your attention is better than no response at all.

A full 69% of Glassdoor users said their perception of a company improved after seeing a company respond to a review, according to a recent Glassdoor survey.

Glassdoor: open it wider and make it a powerful resource

Why do we believe you should embrace all of this? Because we believe that authenticity is the new paradigm of employer brand communication. Your employer brand exists and it’s out there for the world to see and experience. Maybe, in the past, you’ve not considered your employer brand as something that you had to actively manage, but now — because of the transparency of review sites like Glassdoor — it is front and center.

Platforms like Glassdoor present a simple question: will you actively manage how people see you, or will let others manage that perception?

Ways to get started

Here are a couple of ways to get started in your Glassdoor journey.

  1. Audit your Glassdoor page. Review key statistics as presented by your page and compare those stats to those of your competitors.
  2. As a part of your audit, read carefully current employee reviews. Reflect as to how accurate those reviews are. And, compare those reviews to other engagement data you may have on hand. Note the gaps.
  3. Create a plan for engagement on Glassdoor. As a part of this plan, develop specific goals, each containing a measurement mechanism.
  4. Finally, understand that it takes time to improve your Glassdoor page. Therefore, make sure that you incorporate a longer-term planning and implementation schedule into your approach.

Glassdoor has much to offer. The strategy is to become an active member of the community. Contribute to the conversations. Use the site to not only monitor the impact of your employer brand in real time, but to enhance it based on what your target recruiting audience is talking about most.

About the Author

N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

Bob Johnson has more than 20 years of corporate, agency and internal communications experience. He is currently leading The David Group's Workforce Communications Practice focused on strengthening employer brands, engaging people and cutting the cost of talent.

Email N. Robert

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