How to Use Company Reviews to Enhance Your Employer Brand
Well, in the modern talent-driven workplace, retaining the most qualified and skilled employees is a must for every company. In fact, it’s a mandatory condition for surviving and thriving on the market.
For example, would you prefer to join a company with a bad reputation among its employers? Of course not, you would look for companies that learn what their workforce wants and give it to them.
Monetary incentives are not the deciding factor now; as a recent Gallup survey showed, 87 percent of Millennial employees valued self-development on the job as high as the compensation.
Millennials want jobs to be development opportunities
Therefore, if a company doesn’t provide good opportunities to learn and develop as professionals, chances are its turnover rate will be pretty high. And we all know what a high turnover rate means for companies.
In this guide, I’m going to show how you can use company reviews to create and maintain an excellent employer brand.
Let’s learn how to attract and retain the most talented candidates for your company.
What are Employees looking for in Employers?
The term “employer branding” refers to the way how your company is perceived by the public, stakeholders, and, of course, employees.
A number of important factors affect employer branding. For example, as far as employees are concerned, a company should be a great place to work, have a positive mission, vision, and culture, and provide opportunities for development.
Having a strong employer brand ensures great benefits, including:
- High application rates, thus a wider pool of talent to select from
- Good reputation on the labor market
- Greater overall employee job satisfaction and morale
- Higher retention rates
- Increased employee engagement
- Increased employee loyalty
- Reduced spending on recruiting and training.
So, companies that motivate their employees and give them an opportunity to explore new roles are more likely to keep them happy and engaged. From the perspective of employees, here are the signs of a good employer:
- Opportunity to receive career guidance. And that doesn’t mean just helping with writing resume. Career guidance involves training and improvement of skills.
- Free education and training. According to Training Magazine’s 2016 Training Industry Report, U.S. companies spent more than $70 billion on employee learning and development in 2015.
- Mentorship programs. Many companies invest in programs that connect employees with mentors who teach them new skills.
Employer Branding and Company Reviews
Company reviews sites like Great Place to Work, GlassDoor, and Vault are a good way to get to know a potential employer before even visiting their office. Here are the most common things you can find about a company that interests you on these sites:
- Workplace insights
- Employee benefits
- Salary reports
- Management rating
- Job interview tips
- Training opportunities
Each of these can be reviewed by people who worked in the company or had an interview there. By reading these reviews and analyzing the ratings, one can get an insight into the working environment and other factors.
As the result, these sites provide useful information to those who want to increase their chances of finding a good employer and getting hired. Naturally, a poor rating and a bunch of negative reviews will affect a company, therefore, an employer brand, in a bad way.
So, the significance of reviews, both good and bad, should not be ignored or overlooked by companies. In fact, a recent study by Software Advice found that 52 percent of job seekers used GlassDoor to help with job hunting.
Image Credit: Software Advice
Some of the characteristics of companies that could be reviewed on the site were perceived by the respondents as more important than others. For example, the decision to apply to a company depended on the nature of reviews in the following categories.
As you can see from the image, all of these categories can be controlled by the company. And getting them right is important, as their ratings profoundly influence the perception of the company among potential candidates.
So, you need to make sure that reviews of your business work for your benefit.
How to use Company Reviews to Improve Employer Brand?
Now it’s time to learn how to make company reviews contribute to your success. Before we get to the business of reviewing, you need to decide where you are and where you want to be.
This means that you have to define your current employer brand and identify the strengths and weaknesses. For example, you can survey your employees. Ask them what they would like to improve and what attracted them to your organization.
If needed, make the survey anonymous.
The results will help you to identify the gaps between where you are now and where you want to be. Many of the improvements identified by employees should be fairly easy to implement, so make sure you cover your bases by doing what your employees want.
At this point, you’re already way ahead of thousands of competitors because you started to learn from your staff!
Now, it’s time to take your employer brand to market.
Getting Started with Employer Branding on Review Sites
Almost every major review websites allow to create official profiles for employers. These profiles enable companies to listen to employee feedback and improve themselves.
Step #1. Create Company Profile or Collaborate with Review Sites
The first step to enhancing your employer brand is to create an online presence on major review sites that play a major role in shaping the opinions about your company.
Well-known reviews websites have special pages for employers. In most cases, they have “For Employers” section on the homepage. Click on it and you’ll proceed to employer registration page. For example, here’s how it looks on Vault.
Complete all fields and start building your online presence by managing reviews. For example, review sites often allow to upload media to company profiles. Use this opportunity to show the location of your office, happy employees, working environment, and other conveniences you want to showcase.
Some review sites ask companies for information that describes what it’s like to work for them. For example, Great Place to Work often requests information about employees and perks available for them so the candidates could make an informed decision.
Of course, the website informs the visitor that the information was provided by the company. For example, here’s what job seekers see when they browse a company’s profile on Great Place to Work:
Every major information section (just like the Perks and Programs below) contains the following notification:
For you as an employer, this means that you should provide everything that a review website asks (be in a registration form or an email request) because that information will help their visitors to have a better idea of what it’s like to work for you.
Step #2. Respond to Reviews
Now that you have a profile on review sites, chances are you’ll see that lots of people have rated their experience with your business. You can respond to them using the official page.
Remember: responding to every review is your best bet because it shows that you really care about the experiences of your current and former employees and are committed to improvement.
Here are some things to keep in mind when responding to reviews:
- Don’t get defensive. This attitude will be perceived negatively by everyone who sees the response
- Inform the reviewer that his or her feedback has been taken into account and your company will use it to be better in the future
- Don’t forget to thank the reviewer. It doesn’t really matter whether the review is positive or negative. Always begin your reply with a thank-you.
- Don’t get personal. It’s also a very bad image for your employer brand.
- Don’t write the same responses to everyone. No copying and pasting here because the viewers will think that there’s an automated reply tool at work. Try to personalize every response.
To make sure that you’ve responded to everyone, it may be a good idea to appoint someone to do it. This person will collect the feedback and present it to the management which may organize discussions to analyze the results.
Remember: checking for employee reviews should be a routine task in your company.
Step #3. Pay Special Attention to Negative Reviews
Negative reviews could really hurt your reputation, so you should be careful when responding to them. As it was mentioned above, never get personal or defensive, because there’s no place for public conflict.
For example, you can start your response by directly addressing the main point made by the reviewer. Ask them about the details of his or her experience. If this person did something great for your company, thank them.
And, of course, if a negative review, say from a former employee, describes something that’s really your fault, you should apologize.
Here’s a great example of a response to a negative review on GlassDoor:
Why it’s great:
- The company thanked for the review
- The responder did not get defensive or personal
- The responder apologized for the reviewer’s experience
- The responder showed that the company is trying to improve and provided evidence of success.
Step #4. Ask Your Current Employees to Leave Reviews
Your employees are happy to work for your company, right? So why not ask them to write some reviews as well? They are anonymous so they will have no reasons to worry even if they write a negative comment.
While this is a good idea to enhance your employer brand by using the reviews of current employees, you have to be careful here. For example, if your employees write too many reviews at the same time or use the same or similar template, no one will believe them.
For example, if you saw ten reviews saying that your company is “awesome” or “the best ever!” posted the same day, would you believe them? Of course not.
Many job seekers can tell instantly if the review wasn’t left naturally, so it’s better to ask several employees at a time and make a review request to an employee who’s leaving the company on good terms.
Step #5. Learn
Almost every review presents a great opportunity for you to learn something new about your company. By analyzing the information in reviews, you can identify real pros and cons of your company and improve.
Step #6. Put Your Employer Brand First
While responding, remember that every word you write will influence your company’s reputation. That’s why you should always be objective, fair, and empathetic but never defensive, personal, and subjective.
Every response that you produce should be respectful and express gratitude to those who wrote a review. Otherwise, you may end up hurting your employer brand, which is to be avoided.
Step #7. Use Positive Reviews to Your Benefit
This can be done in several ways. For example, many review sites allow to include your rating in job posting you create there. By including a good rating on every posting, you’re letting everybody know that you’re a great company to work for, so you deserve consideration.
The next way is to demonstrate your rating on your company’s website. For example, you can provide a link to the profile on review sites so the visitors can go there and see what it’s like to work for you.
Also, you can include the link to your company’s profile to job postings that you post on popular job boards. It’ll add more subjectivity, and therefore, credibility to your information.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, building a great employer brand requires some work, but it’s totally worth it. Given that a lot of job seekers read company reviews before contacting them, having an online presence on review sites could score you more applications to vacant positions.
As the result, you’ll have more talent to choose from, and create and maintain a great employer brand. And you already know what benefits it can bring.
All right, take your employer brand to the market and show that you’re amazing to work for!
About the author:
Lucy Benton is a specialist in digital marketing and content writing who currently works at www.assignmenthelper.com.au. She focuses mostly on the worlds of technology, gadgets, and the Internet. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on Twitter.