The Relationship Between Your Online Reputation and Your Recruitment

If you’ve been in recruitment long enough, you can probably remember a time when feedback was gathered purely at exit interviews or by anonymous survey reports. Today’s reviews are instantaneous and across multiple networks. Of course there are the overt ones like Facebook reviews, direct Tweets and in-person feedback, but there are now so many more to worry about. For instance, when you post a job on Indeed, did you know that previous employees might be rating you there? Have you checked your Glassdoor account recently? Rankings and negative feedback on these sorts of networks can drastically affect your ability to recruit successfully.

Recently, The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s Roy Maurer wrote an article titled Online Reviews Sway Job Seekers’ Opinions of Potential Employers and we couldn’t agree more with his points and the research behind them. Here are some of our favorite insights and strategies to deal with your online reputation so that it doesn’t have a negative effect on your recruitment.

First of all, it’s crucial to mention the benefits of why you should maintain your online reputation. According to the SHRM article the following positives can be gained via positive reviews:

  • A better overall candidate perception of the company/employer
  • More applies and recommendations
  • Possible acceptance of lower salaries by candidates (in order to work in a positive environment)

If candidates see negative or even neutral reviews you are going to receive less interest overall, which means your recruitment marketing budget won’t help as much. Some of the recruitment dollars and time should be dedicated to a sustained effort to monitor online reviews and improve your company culture.


SHRM recommends that you make sure to converse with the reviewers. Maurer said, “If people are talking about your company on an online review site, employers should jump into the conversation and make the most of the opportunity.” Employers should respond to both the positive and negative review in order to make sure that employees, candidates and even terminated staff feel listened to. You can’t completely avoid negative feedback, but you can respond to it appropriately and more importantly, in line with your brand’s message.


The Cost of Negativity and Neutrality

Having negative or neutral feedback out in the digiverse can literally cost you! The study referenced in Maurer’s SHRM article noted that, “Participants in the study who viewed positive reviews required the smallest pay raises to work at those employers, as opposed to those who saw neutral or negative reviews. Those who read positive reviews said they would ask for an average increase of between 35 percent to 40 percent for a job similar to the one they currently held. Those who read a neutral review wanted a 45 percent to 50 percent pay raise, while those who viewed negative employee reviews required 55 percent to 60 percent higher pay.”


Solicit ongoing feedback: The best way to improve your online presence is to make yourself worthy of praise by existing staff. Make sure to provide them with opportunities to provide feedback (both anonymously and publicly) so that you can get a feel for what needs to be improved.

Work on your culture: People want to work for a company that has a defined set of values, which invests in employees and feels like a family. Working on your company culture isn’t a quick fix. To provide further insight, we asked some other industry experts to answer to this question:

"How do you think companies can create the best company culture or improve a lack luster one?"

“Celebrating together; Whether that's celebrating reaching a goal, an employees birthday, or anything else. The recognition alone is huge, but getting together to interact outside of the normal 9-5 is also very important,” - Erica Hatch, New Media & SEO Specialist, 19 Oaks Strategic Sales & Marketing

“Identifying the values that everyone in the company can rally behind, support, and live by in everyday's interactions/ business practices,” - Oumar Traore, Manager, Global People, HireVue

“Design your culture, don't let it happen by accident. You should pick what you want your culture to be, nurture it, and develop it in alignment with the company goals and vision. (The Culture Engine is a great book on this subject.),” - Tony Benjamin MBA, PHR, Founder/Principle, The Grange LLC

Would you like to learn more about improving your company culture? Download our whitepaper here.

Institute An Inbound Strategy

A big issue that generates a lot of negativity is a lack of follow-up during the hiring process. People who may not even work for you who have either applied into the applicant tracking system (ATS) abyss or have interviewed and never heard back may end up influencing those who you want to recruit. Nurturing candidates in all stages of the hiring process is key to receiving less overall negativity. An inbound recruitment marketing strategy allows you to set up personalized automatic replies that feel human, gives candidates and existing employees relevant content and works toward building a talent pipeline to minimize your time to hire. In today’s day and age, a human touch (even if it just seems human) is important to your employer brand and by proxy your online reputation.


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