Boosting your employer brand online


A positive Glassdoor review can make all the difference when it comes to attracting talent, but what should employers be doing to achieve a high rating on the jobs site...

Coronavirus has had, and is having, an unprecedented impact on the UK’s employment landscape. Prior to the pandemic, employment was at record levels and it was very much a candidate’s market. This is changing day by day. Yet, some things shouldn’t change. Despite tumult on the employment landscape, employer’s who keep a positive employer brand – in another feature in this magazine, HR Grapevine discusses the importance of putting people before strategy – will be in prime position to attract top talent to drive recovery and growth. Yet, only if they understand the importance of employer brand.

This is because nine in 10 of job hopefuls list company reputation as a key factor when it comes to applying for a new role, a recent Glassdoor Harris Poll revealed. Similarly, negative reviews of products or services are ranked as the top damaging factors to employer branding according to a CareerArc poll. And evidence suggests that jobseekers are actively searching for reviews on their potential future employer. Glassdoor gets circa seven million visits each month, plus these job hopefuls now expect companies to have an active Glassdoor presence, shares Jo Cresswell, Corporate Communications Manager at Glassdoor.

She tells HR Grapevine: “73% of Glassdoor users are more likely to apply if the employer is active on Glassdoor. They’re most interested in the organisations that are actively engaging on Glassdoor – for example, responding to reviews, regularly updating their profile and sharing updates on the culture and work environment.” This is a notion supported by Vanessa Evans, Group HR Director at pest control service Rentokil Initial plc, who explains: “Glassdoor is a very influential channel that allows jobseekers to make the most informed decisions on the businesses and workplace cultures that they want to work in.”

Combatting fake reviews

While Glassdoor is filled with many honest reviews from former staff members sharing their experiences at an employer, there is a chance some fake accounts may slip in from time to time. Businesses such as PurpleBricks Canada and Sephora have both been caught out in bribing staff to post fake reviews in order to boost sales and profits. In fact, the recruiting site has to reject up to 10% of the content submitted because it doesn’t meet community guidelines.

Cresswell assures HR Grapevine that the site takes its data integrity ‘very seriously’. She adds: “We take our data integrity very seriously and have a multi-tier moderation system in place to detect any fraudulent activity, or content which doesn’t meet our community guidelines. This can include both technological and human moderation, for which we have an entire team of real people dedicated to content moderation to ensure the highest level of data integrity on Glassdoor. In addition, if a review appears suspicious, anyone – a user or an employer – can flag the review and our content team will re-review the content in question.”

 

Striving for the best

According to Glassdoor, the average company rating on the site is 3.5, but how are companies reaching this high standard? Rentokil Initial currently has a rating of 4.4 on the site, while online retailer Very Group has scored a figure of 4.2; both above the average figure rating. So, what is the secret to both organisation’s branding success?

Helen Miller, Talent, Culture and Communications Director at The Very Group, bases the business’ success on its ability to deliver a clear brand purpose and message to staff members. “We know that being a purpose and values led business is something our people love about working here,” she explains. “We’re passionate about building the best possible place to work, but we need continual feedback from our colleagues to understand what’s important to them. Glassdoor is a strategic performance metric for our business for this reason; we use the data and trends to understand how our people are feeling, and in turn use this to improve our culture and colleague experience.”

Rentokil’s Evans believes that transparency is the key to a glowing review on Glassdoor. However, she points out that having a good review isn’t necessarily a deal breaker when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent. She continues: “Having a good rating is not necessarily the driver to success in hiring the right or best talent – people choose to work at certain companies based on their personal needs such as location or interests such as sector – but having a rating that is reflective of the work environment allows businesses to retain talent for the long term, as opposed to filling the gap in the short term.”

 
 

How Rentokil and Very achieved a good rating

The Very Group's Miller, explains that getting a good rating all comes down to maintaining a great culture and asking for regular feedback from employees. She says: “We work hard to build and maintain a great culture here at Very and have done for a number of years. In 2018 we built a strategy around how we were going to use Glassdoor and we soon started to see our numbers increase. We regularly ask our colleagues to review us. This help us to react to any changes in ratings or feedback trends.”

Elsewhere, Rentokil’s Evans attributes the company’s success to having a greater emphasis on managerial training. “People leave managers not companies,” she adds. “I think this saying is true more often than not, and so we have put a significant focus on line manager capabilities. As a multi-national, route-based business, the local manager is key to our success as a business not just on Glassdoor.”

 
 

Damage control

While a good Glassdoor rating can do wonders for a business in terms of attracting new talent, they can also be detrimental. For example, if employees choose to leave negative thoughts on the forum. Of course, every former employee should be given the opportunity to air their grievances and share their thoughts on a company’s culture, however what can an employer do to provide some sort of damage control when it comes to negative press?

Andrea Smith, HR Director of multinational beauty company Coty UK & Ireland, believes that effective exit interviews and digital communication strategies can help with this. “Employers can inspire existing employees to take their own initiative to share positive reviews on Glassdoor, by developing a digital communication strategy to engage with existing and former employees,” she shares. “Encourage staff to leave Glassdoor reviews as part of the exit interview process for transparency on ‘you said, and we did’ corrective measures to improve bad reviews. Respond to positive reviews so employees receive a personal thank you or acknowledgment for taking the time to leave a review.”

Despite this, Very’s Miller understands that jobseekers are reading reviews on Glassdoor, and as such companies should strive to show their ‘commitment’ in building a happy and positive place to work. “We know some of our hardest to attract audiences are using this channel to inform their decision making when evaluating a change in role. They’re reading our reviews, so it’s important that we show our commitment to building a great place to work by acknowledging and responding to those reviews. Our leaders respond directly, highlighting our culture of embracing and encouraging feedback,” she concludes.


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