A Cautionary Tale About Bad Glassdoor Ratings

August 15th, 2022

How bad is a bad Glassdoor review for your company? It can be reputation-crushing. Consider this real-life example, names redacted.

A company handed down a round of layoffs in the worst possible way. No severance. No offboarding assistance. No dignity. It was pretty much a bloodbath. Several of the summarily-kicked-to-the-curb employees, understandably angry at their former employer and also worried about their futures, took out their frustrations on Glassdoor. The result? The company now has a 2.5 rating.

Having that low of a rating on Glassdoor is bad enough, but it doesn’t stop there. If you were to Google that company right now, you’d see a snapshot of their Glassdoor rating, front and center on the first page of your search results! Right there, for all the world to see, is their corporate scarlet letter, er, number: 2.5.

Say you’re a job seeker thinking about applying for a job at that company, or say you’ve already got an interview scheduled. What’s your first move? Google. You want to go to their website to familiarize yourself with the company, who their clients are, and everything else you can find out with a little online research. What do you do when you see that 2.5 rating? One trip to Glassdoor will give you the brutal details behind it. Are you still applying?

Here are some stats from NextWaveHire.com about the importance of your brand:

  • Companies are overpaying on salaries by 10 percent if they don’t have a strong brand.
  • 69 percent of candidates wouldn’t take a job at a bad company even if they were unemployed.
  • A strong employer brand can lead to a 50 percent decrease in cost/hire.
  • A strong employer brand can lead to a 28 percent increase in retention.
  • 89 percent of HR pros agree that a strong employer brand gives you an advantage over your competition.
  • A strong employer brand leads to 50 percent more qualified applicants.
  • 92 percent of candidates would consider leaving their jobs if a company with an excellent corporate reputation offered them another role.
  • Companies with a strong talent brand receive up to 2.5 times more applicants per job post on LinkedIn.

When abysmal Glassdoor ratings are showing up on the first page of a Google search about your company, that’s about more than employer brand. It’s about corporate reputation. When anyone who does business with you or is thinking about it — job applicants, clients, prospective clients, customers, competitors, vendors — Googles your company, the first thing they find out, even before they make it to your website, is that it’s a bad place to work.

That will do real and lasting damage.

This statistic from NextWaveHire.com says it all:

  • 90 percent of HR managers said there is a connection between offboarding and the number and severity of negative social media reviews.

This cautionary tale isn’t meant to demonize layoffs. They happen. Sometimes you’ve got to let people go. It’s the way you do it that matters. Giving departing employees immediate help with outplacement, career counseling, and a plan of action so they’re not twisting in the wind is not only the right thing to do morally. It’s the right thing to do for your brand, your corporate reputation, and ultimately the health of your company.

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