In the digital age, consumers have more information available than ever before. One increasingly popular source for such information is opinion and review platforms with non-professional/user-generated content. Whether it’s ranking a restaurant (Yelp), movie (IMDb), book (Goodreads), or even college professor (RateMyProfessor), it has become more and more frequent for everything and everyone to fall under anonymous Internet raters’ scrutiny.
And while much has been written about employers’ ability to use social media to check candidates’ backgrounds, the web has also enabled job seekers to research prospective employers based on past and current employees’ reviews. These employer reviews can play a major impact on the recruiting process, whether positive or negative, and are becoming increasingly important to track when looking to a make a hire.
Where are jobseekers going for Employer Reviews?
The two largest employer review websites currently are Glassdoor and Indeed. While smaller employers could have zero to a few dozen reviews, large employers, such as Coca-Cola, have over a thousand. On both sites, current and former employees rate companies on a 1 to 5 star scale.
Glassdoor allows reviewers to get a little more specific and asks reviewers to rate companies’ Culture & Values, Work/Life Balance, Senior Management, Compensation & Benefits, and Career Opportunities. Both sites allow reviewers to leave comments to accompany their rating, which is frequently where the most insightful information resides.
When a possible applicant uses these sites to research an employer and sees an overwhelming number of negative comments, their desire to spend time applying for that position shrinks. No one wants to work for a bad employer.
Do these reviews really have an effect on recruiting?
How frequently have you seen a restaurant proudly displaying their high Yelp or TripAdvisor rank? Some service sites put enough credence in user reviews that they use them for quality assurance.
For example, Uber, an increasingly popular transportation start-up does not allow drivers who fall below 4.7 stars to continue to drive under the company name. While goods and services providers have known for a while that online review sites affect business, when it comes to recruiting, many small- to mid-sized companies may overlook online reviews’ influence on attracting applicants and hiring people to fill positions.
When consumers turn into candidates, they don’t stop utilizing the web for information gathering. Time Magazine reported that nearly half of employees polled in 2013 said that a company’s online reputation matters as much as the job offer. For personal evidence- all three of the most recent employees at NewHire (myself included) looked at online employer reviews during our job hunt. Finally, one possible extra perk keeping high reviews: saving money. Most candidates are willing to accept a lower salary if company reviews are favorable.
In their 2013 Candidate Behavior Study, CareerBuilder discovered that 67% of the over 5,500 job seekers polled said they would take a lower salary at an exceptionally reviewed employer online. That’s a lot of people.
Employer reviews are key to making good hires at the rate you want. So now that you know how important they are, what can you do about poor reviews? Stay tuned for part 2 and I’ll let you know.