What to Do About Online Reviews

August 12th, 2020

When you’re starting the recruitment process for your next big hire and you’re scrolling through the anonymous reviews of your company on Glassdoor that you haven’t checked in a while, do you ever long for the days before Al Gore invented the internet? We feel you, but we’re not putting that genie back in the bottle anytime soon. The internet, and Glassdoor, are here to stay.

Back in 2018, the company that owns Indeed bought Glassdoor for $1.2 billion, an impressive sum that shows the importance and power of Glassdoor, mainly because it allows employees to post anonymous reviews of the companies (and CEOs) they work for. Post all the happy company party pics on LinkedIn you want, but those anonymous reviews on Glassdoor are where job candidates are learning what it’s really like to work at your company.

Not to put too fine a point on it, these reviews aren’t all glowing. Because they’re anonymous, Glassdoor is the place for employees to vent their frustrations. Got a toxic company culture? Is your CEO out of touch? Are you dealing with pay equity issues or workplace harassment? Read all about it on Glassdoor. And so will your potential new hires. It’s becoming a big problem for HR.

It can seem like it’s all out of your control, employees posting reviews willy-nilly, but there are ways you can influence and enhance your company’s brand by controlling your Glassdoor narrative, even in the face of those negative reviews. The first step: If you don’t have a policy for addressing your company’s reviews, it’s time to create one.

Here are some suggestions:

Make monitoring Glassdoor part of someone’s job. It doesn’t have to be the CHRO, but somebody somewhere in the HR food chain should be hopping on Glassdoor to read those reviews, if not daily, then weekly.

Respond to all of your Glassdoor reviews, positive and negative. Glassdoor itself recommends that employers respond to each and every review, either with a thank-you or a comment about the negative review. It shows you’re engaged and listening to employee comments, positive and negative, in an effort to bolster your company’s brand.

Craft your responses to negative reviews carefully. Address the issues the reviewer raised, point out ways you’re resolving those problems, and be professional. If more than a couple of people are posting negatively about the same issue, it’s time to look at it seriously within your workplace.

Be authentic. Do not use the same cookie-cutter responses to reviews. People will spot that a mile away. Respond personally to each review.

Spellcheck! Write your responses in Word and post them from there onto Glassdoor. That way, you can use spellcheck.

Writing careful responses to Glassdoor reviews can help bolster your brand, even if those reviews are negative.

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