In order for your business to succeed, it must be filled with capable, driven, valuable people. But finding the best hires does not simply happen by chance. Quality candidates will primarily seek positions with companies that current and former employees will vouch for. Therefore, online reviews play a vital role in whether or not your business receives interest from highly skilled applicants.
Of course, no two reviews are the same. Some are unflinchingly positive or negative, while many are more nuanced. To complicate things further, employees may leave reviews on a number of different platforms, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Comparably or somewhere else. Keeping track of all your reviews and determining whether or not they might favor your employer brand is no easy task.
Binary Fountain’s product managers, Jeremy Lowry and Chase Ausley joined forces for our webinar, “How to Improve Employer Brand with Reputation Management Tools,” to help clarify how you can to make your brand stand out to potential employees using a reputation management solution to manage your entire employer brand. In this discussion, Lowry and Ausley went over the importance of managing your employer brand, why and how to properly ask your employers for feedback and how Binary Fountain’s reputation management tools can help you manage, respond to and learn from all employee reviews.
Why Managing Your Employer Brand Matters
Whether someone is looking for a product to purchase or a place to work, online reviews have become the most influential decision-making factor. Indeed, four out of five candidates actively seek company reviews and ratings when weighing their options. And according to a 2017 report by iCIMS, when looking for a place to work, job seekers heavily base their decision on employer reviews (37%), above text-based content on the company’s website (24%) and its publications or products (24%). The report also found that 70% of workers have job hunted while working, and that almost a third of workers turned away from a company due to negative reviews it received from an employee.
In other words, if your reputation as an employer is not up to snuff, attracting the best talent is an uphill battle. But what are job seekers specifically looking for in an employer? Software Advice conducted a study that detailed the importance of receiving positive or negative ratings on Glassdoor’s five categories: compensation and benefits, work/life balance, career opportunities, culture and values, and senior management. The study found that compensation was the most important factor in both attracting and turning away employees and that negative reviews of senior management weighed more heavily than positive reviews.
Of course, every candidate will value these five categories (and others) differently. Your employer value proposition must take all of these factors into account and seek to improve each one.
How to Ask Your Employees for Feedback
You cannot expect every employee to love everything about their time with your business. That said, you should not shy away from a negative review. A bad review is more valuable than no review at all. For one thing, this type of criticism will open your eyes to areas that need improving. Additionally, job seekers are likely to question employers with only positive feedback or few reviews, as these indicate a lack of engagement, sincerity or something suspicious. Therefore, asking your employees for feedback is vital for improving your operations and your reputation management strategy.
When asking your employees for reviews, you must be mindful of your approach. For new employees, wait about 90 days before requesting feedback. This provides a wide enough window for them to assess their feelings and report on them honestly. Do not pick and choose who you ask, as cherry-picking positive reviews can backfire on you in the end.
Be sure to inform your employees that you will be requesting feedback. Providing context for this initiative will give your people time to gather their thoughts. Also, encourage honesty and make clear that negative feedback will not be met with punishment or disappointment. And remind everyone that leaving a review is optional. No one should feel obligated to air their opinion.
When requesting feedback, look at your current ratings on different platforms to see which ones could use more attention. Reputation management software can help you easily view this data. And finally, send these requests to your people via email or text to make the process easy for them and yourself. Just make sure you send these requests at reasonable and optimal times, such as during the workday or shortly after work. Avoid sending requests late at night, early in the morning or on weekends and holidays.
Best Practices for Responding to Employee Reviews
Whenever you receive a review from an employee, you should take the time to craft a response. This goes for positive and negative reviews alike. Replying to all reviews signals to job seekers that you are committed to receiving criticism and making changes accordingly. That said, just as you must be tactful in how you ask your employees to leave a review, you must respond to each review with care.
As a general rule, be courteous and professional when responding to reviews. Think of what your best potential hires will think when reading your response as you craft it. If you display fairness and professionalism in your public reply, it reflects well on your brand. If the reviewer purposefully left their name out of the review but you think you have an idea of who it might be, do not include their name. For one thing, your assumption might be wrong. But even if it is dead on, there is nothing to gain by unmasking an anonymous source. On the contrary, doing so makes you look disrespectful and even petty. In that vein, never threaten the writer with legal or other punitive action.
Even if you feel a negative review is unfair or mean-spirited, present your brand as the bigger person. A good rule of thumb when responding to feedback is to adhere to the three “A”s: acknowledge, articulate and advise. Following this blueprint will help you learn from your mistakes, convey your message (stick to the facts), and reveal a path forward that will improve your business.
How Binary Fountain’s Employer Brand Solution Will Help You Attract (and Retain) Top Talent
Knowing how to properly ask for and respond to employee reviews will help you boost your brand as job seekers look for the best employers. However, without proper reputation management solutions, you will have a hard time knowing where to focus your efforts, and you will miss out on opportunities to improve your business.
Binary Fountain’s employer brand solution offers a holistic dashboard that gathers your brand’s reviews and ratings from sources like Glassdoor and Indeed, analyzes and synthesizes review data, and provides detailed insights and trends on your brand’s performance both in its own right and against local competitors.
The software also includes a task management system to assign review responses to different team members, a response module that includes templates and automatically posts to third-party review sites, a “closing the loop” dashboard to manage review response progress, and filters to help comb through date ranges, ratings, locations, sources and more.
With the employer brand solution from Binary Fountain, you can also hone in on specific categories (rated 1-5) that constitute employee satisfaction, such as growth, benefits, recognition, feedback and more. The tool currently features 15 of these categories that factor into the employee satisfaction index (ESI). Navigating these specific sections will help highlight areas that need improvement within your organization, which is necessary for retaining top talent.
Attracting the best candidates for your business requires a reputation management solution that covers all the bases. Binary Fountain’s employer brand software provides the data, insights and control to manage your brand and culture so you can hire people from the best possible pool.
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