Company reviews by employees … How much do they matter?

Over the last 3 years, there has been a dramatic rise in company reviews by employees on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed! Employer review sites are where employees (and former employees) anonymously review organizations, their culture, and their executive leadership in an open forum.  As these continue to grow in popularity, it’s important to pay attention – here are some reasons why:


1. Your top candidates care and trust the opinion of your employees.


Our research with thousands of workers annually tells us that Glassdoor and Indeed are consistently in the 3 most mentioned sites that job seekers visit when looking for work and deciding if they will apply to an organization. In fact, Glassdoor alone has nearly 57 million unique user visits monthly!  If job seekers do not see or read a message about the company that aligns with their values and career goals,  you may never get their talent application and worse, they may decide instead to go directly to your competitors’ career site instead. n the other hand, if you have stellar reviews, great candidates will seek you out. Employer review sites will impact your employer brand, for better or for worse.


It’s a good idea to know what sites are out there, and what people are saying.  Keep an eye on sites that might be less well known than Glassdoor, for example, fairygodboss, a forum for job and company reviews by women, for women, and thelayoff, which is gaining popularity and focuses on companies that are downsizing.


It’s not always a pleasant thought – employees, past, and present, can post whatever they want, for the world to see.  But it’s always better to know than not to know, and employers who stay close to what’s being posted are much better positioned to defend, build, and strengthen their brand, both internally and externally.  


2. The feedback left can provide you with valuable insights into your organization.


What should you do when someone posts a review?  Get HR on the job! You should have someone on your HR team whose role is to listen and consider the feedback. In fact, from a best practice, we recommend commenting on all posts, positive and negative to demonstrate that you actively listen to feedback, and are open to making changes and improvements.   That doesn’t mean everything that gets posted should create work and accountabilities for your staff – it just means that you shouldn’t be dismissing the feedback out of hand, or responding defensively. Is there a kernel of truth in the feedback that might help you improve something in your workplace?  Is there a trend in the posts that, taken as a whole, might point to an opportunity for positive change?


We often see leaders get stuck on their numerical score – the quantitative assessment of how they’re doing.  But what about the qualitative data associated with their performance? What is the work culture like? What is the reputation among employees, and other people in the same industry or sector?  What are the opportunities for advancement in their workforce? These review sites can also provide great early information on where the most engaged divisions are located, where there are problems with management or departmental engagement and trust. By listening, you can act early and adjust efficiently.


Employee review sites provide unique data and a unique opportunity to learn and grow from. Information that never saw the light of day before, that could have been damaging your culture now may be uncovered in your employee reviews.


You also have the chance to respond and demonstrate to the public, your workforce, and to current and future jobseekers, that you have a culture that listens and innovates.


3. Employer review sites also provide an opportunity to demonstrate your employer brand.


As an employer, these review sites encourage you to control a bit of the narrative about the company culture. We highly recommend taking the time to add valuable information about your company – photos and snapshots of what your workplace looks like, employer brand videos, testimonials, culture awards, and your Employee Value Proposition. These are all key to helping the job seeker envision if yours is a place they would like to work. These review sites are some of the biggest and most frequently visited job boards so it is important that you consider this a true extension of your careers site. Any effective employer brand strategy must look at these sites as a key investment to branding your company as a preferred employer, and to be seen as a transparent, open organization that has nothing to hide, and welcomes all kinds of feedback.


Developing a proactive strategy around employer review sites should be a mandatory part of your corporate strategy.  Blu Ivy Group can help you learn more about how to harness the power of employer review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed to leverage for your organization’s advantage.  Call us today at 647-308-2352 to learn more!

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