Recently, I was trying to explain to my dad what the recruitment marketing space is about and what I do. After throwing a bunch of jargon at him (which was received with only a perplexed expression), I boiled it down to this (paraphrased, more or less): You know that website, Glassdoor? I monitor how our clients are being reviewed, and sometimes I respond on their behalf. Companies’ reputations as employers have become crucial to job seekers when they’re applying to and accepting jobs.
He considered this for a moment and replied, “But isn’t Glassdoor just a bunch of angry employees writing reviews? Unhappy employees are more likely to complain publicly, so how accurate are reviews on Glassdoor, anyway?”
Maybe one day confused parents everywhere will finally understand what us kids are up to at work, but in the meantime, this conversation with my dad got me thinking. Go on Yelp, and you’ll see plenty of negative restaurant reviews. The same goes for Glassdoor – sometimes, people write negative reviews that are so angry, you might question how credible they are. So how accurate can a brand’s reputation as told by Glassdoor reviewers be?
Actually, Glassdoor is more than just rants from dissatisfied employees. Glassdoor surveys show that 70% of reviewers would say they are “okay” or “satisfied” with their job or company. In fact, Glassdoor reviews fall across a spectrum of not just positive versus negative but everywhere in between. Here are four different types of reviewers you’ll see on Glassdoor. And, if you find yourself tasked with responding to them, I’ve included some tips.
Although Glassdoor may not entirely consist of angry reviewers, they are definitely present. Companies see these kinds of reviews and panic. The angry reviewer may bring up valid points about the workplace, but mostly they write about how it simply sucks to work at a company – that’s not what you want a prospective candidate to see! You can’t remove it, but you can respond. Just make sure to tread carefully. If an employee – current or former – writes a hostile review, they really just want to be heard. Let them know that you appreciate them bringing their concerns to your attention. And there’s no need to be fluffy about it: a simple “thank you” can sometimes do the trick.
The reviewer who has a point
A reviewer can definitely write a negative review without being hostile. What if there is truth to their negative testimony? In the era of transparency, this is bound to happen. When reading their review, you may notice that they’re bringing up areas in which your company has room for improvement. In this case, meet honesty with honesty. Don’t get defensive or avoid the issue with marketing speak. Address the reviewer’s specific issues, perhaps even mentioning them word-for-word, so that they (and Glassdoor users) know that you’re an employer who cares what their employees have to say.
The whistleblowing reviewer
Reviewers may take to Glassdoor to bring up issues as specific as discrimination or unethical business practice. If a reviewer writes about racial discrimination in the workplace, don’t let it go unaddressed. It’s important to show that you take the matter seriously, so let them know that you’ll escalate the issue to the appropriate departments. You may also consider taking the conversation offline. If you have an email alias to which you can direct the reviewer, encourage them to reach out privately so you can hear more about their experience.
The happy reviewer
Finally, we have the happy reviewer! They write the reviews that make you smile and remind you why your workplace is great. A common misconception is that you don’t have to respond to these reviews because they aren’t negative. But imagine this: someone in the office walks up to your desk, compliments you for all the hard work on your latest project, and you just stare at them – no thank you, no recognition. If you wouldn’t do that in person, don’t do it online! When you come across a particularly nice review, thank the writer and let them know you appreciate the praise. This will not only make them feel heard but also encourage others share their positive experiences.
You don’t have to respond to every single review, but whether they’re positive or negative, you should reply to at least some of them. Did you know that nearly two-thirds of Glassdoor users agree that their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to reviews? Responses not only improve your reputation but also allow you to tell your side of the story!