Business ratings are becoming more impactful upon consumers, 87% of whom “read online reviews for local businesses in 2020” compared to just 81% in 2019, according to one survey that interviewed more than 1,000 respondents. The same survey, conducted by BrightLocal, showed that less than half of consumers (48%) “would consider using a business with less than four stars,” while virtually all respondents (92%) were “less likely to use a business” with negative reviews. Meanwhile, data from Moz tells us that 67% of consumers are impacted by online reviews, with nearly 55% saying that “online reviews are fairly, very, or absolutely an important part of their decision-making process.”
These statistics (and plenty of others) offer a compelling glimpse into the power of brand reputation. However, it isn’t just products or services that are being reviewed today — it’s also millions of employers, who are rated through apps and websites like Glassdoor, Vault, and Indeed.com. These and similar services, which we’ll explore some of in this article, allow workers to anonymously rate and review their employers, including former employees, current employees, interns, and even job candidates who are still going through the interview process.
By keeping reviewers’ identities anonymous, platforms like Glassdoor hope to encourage authentic and honest reviews that job seekers can trust to help guide their career decisions. However, it’s not only job seekers who benefit from employer reviews — so can employers, even when the comments or ratings they receive are negative. Our response scribes will show you how, providing some helpful examples of “do’s” and “don’ts” along the way.
Ready to learn how you can actively build, promote, and improve your brand by engaging with employee reviews and maintaining a presence on websites like Indeed.com and Glassdoor? Read on to discover how (and why) you should manage employee reviews, including FAQs such as:
- – What apps or websites do most people use to rate and review employers?
- – Is it important to respond to employee reviews, and how will my company benefit from doing so? In other words, what is the advantage of building and maintaining a presence on Glassdoor or similar review platforms?
- – Should employers respond to bad ratings and reviews, such as 1-star ratings from former employees?
- – What are some useful tips and strategies for handling negative employer reviews appropriately?
What Are Some of the Top Employer Review Platforms in 2021?
When it comes to services for consumers, the top three review platforms are unquestionably Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, and Facebook, which enable users to rate and review almost any type of service or product imaginable. With regard specifically to employer reviews, one of the leading platforms is Glassdoor, which boasts not only widespread name recognition, but, maybe more importantly, “67 million unique monthly visitors to its website and mobile applications.” Indeed.com, which describes itself as “the number one job site in the world,” attracts even more traffic, pulling in “over 250 million unique visitors every month.”
While they may be among the largest — at least, as of late 2021 — Indeed.com and Glassdoor aren’t the only review platforms that employers should be monitoring. Other employment review platforms to watch include, but are not limited to, the following websites and mobile apps:
- Career Bliss
- Fairy Godboss
Looking for more information about review sites and apps? You might be interested in our guide to industry-specific review platforms.
How Does Responding to Employee Reviews Benefit My Brand or Reputation?
Now you know where reviews are posted — but why does it matter, and what should you do with that information? We’ll share some advice on managing reviews from employees later; but for now, let’s begin by explaining why you should respond and how it benefits your business.
Now that we’ve defined what we mean by “building a presence” on Glassdoor or related sites, let’s look at three of the ways your brand can benefit as a result:
- Attract top talent. Employees want to work in an environment where they feel valued and respected. Attract passionate, talented new members to your team by enthusiastically engaging with all of your reviewers — ideally, incorporating some of the review reply tips we’ve shared below.
- Reach a wider employee pool. Requesting and responding to reviews is a great way to efficiently spread brand awareness. For example, did you know that according to Glassdoor, “90% of Glassdoor users find the employer perspective” — i.e. the response — “useful when deciding where to work”? Responding to your reviews makes it easier for prospective employees to find — and trust — your company.
- Gain actionable insights into issues like employee turnover that cost your company money. Patterns in your reviews (or reviewers) can give you insights into turnover-related trends — and how to address them. For example, Glassdoor suggests evaluating how many reviews come from long-term versus short-term employees, and whether there are recurring themes within the reviews themselves. If so, it may indicate that it’s time for a change at your company (or at least within a certain department). For instance, if numerous employees complain about a specific workplace issue like staffing or pay, it may be wise to assess your policies and how they’re currently being implemented.
Is it Necessary to Reply to Negative Reviews from Employees?
“Do I have to respond to negative reviews, or is it better to simply ignore them?”
This is probably one of our most frequently asked questions, and with good reason. After all, no one likes receiving bad reviews or poor ratings — and by replying, aren’t you in danger of legitimizing the reviewer’s negative comments?
On the contrary, Glassdoor argues — responding is not only savvy, but essential. “By not responding,” its website explains, “Glassdoor believes that you are missing an opportunity to not only neutralize a negative review, but also showcase your employer brand to all stakeholders who will read the review (including current employees, future employees, investors and customers).”
Not only do we agree with this message; we’ve made some of the same points ourselves, as long-time readers might recall in this older post from our blog. As we discussed in the linked article, responding gives you a chance to quickly perform damage control, offering the customer a path toward resolution while demonstrating that your business values transparency, stellar service, and dedication to customer satisfaction.
The same principles hold true when applied to negative employee reviews, which are — as Glassdoor puts it — “ opportunit[ies] to talk directly to your future employees,” not just the reviewer who left the original comment. While you cannot control what employees write about your business, you can control — via your response — the impression you leave upon job seekers who are browsing your reviews.
Remember: ignoring a negative review won’t make it disappear. All it will do is cost you an opportunity to shape the narrative about your brand, demonstrate that your team members are valued, and portray your business in a positive light. (Of course, if you truly believe that a review is fraudulent or abusive, you can always flag and report it according to the platform’s rules.)
Tips for Responding to Bad Reviews on Glassdoor and Other Employment Review Sites
Last but certainly not least, we wanted to close by offering you a few simple strategies you can put into practice the next time you need to respond to a review on Glassdoor, Indeed.com, or a similar platform. Of course, your agency can always count on our 24-hour response scribes to provide custom employee review responses around the clock — but, for those who prefer to take the DIY route, we’ve presented some key tips below.
For a comprehensive dive into this topic, we suggest checking out our articles on responding to positive reviews, responding to negative reviews, or responding to neutral reviews. With that in mind, let’s walk through a quick overview of some best practices — and practices to avoid — when responding to comments or ratings from employees:
- Be prompt with your reply. Glassdoor recommends “answering reviews promptly.” Google My Business, though not specific to employer reviews, likewise suggests replying to reviews “in a timely manner.” But what is meant by adjectives like “prompt” and “timely” in this context? We suggest responding within 24 hours, especially since BrightLocal’s most recent data shows that 20% of reviewers expect to be responded to within one day.
- Do not become defensive. Glassdoor specifically uses this adjective, urging employers to reply in “a non-defensive voice” — even when the original review is intensely negative. Maintaining a calm and courteous tone is the best way to broadcast professionalism and help to foster a sense of trust in your company — even before the first interview is scheduled.
- Do not attempt to resolve complaints or issues within your response. As we’ve discussed in past articles, your response is not the place to resolve the dispute or issue, but rather, an invitation for the employee to follow up by contacting you. Instead of trying to explain your actions or argue your position, simply encourage the reviewer to get in touch with the appropriate department or individual, such as Human Resources.
- Make an effort to personalize your response. Most employee reviews are anonymized so that reviewers can speak freely without fear of consequence or retaliation. However, they may still contain details about the reviewer’s position. Additionally, the review itself will likely contain specific details, whether positive or negative (e.g. “great pay,” “inflexible hours,” “management doesn’t listen”). Try to incorporate these types of details back into your response, rather than offering a canned or generic reply. For example, you could incorporate review-specific language such as, “Thank you for sharing feedback about your experience as a Senior Accountant with [ Company Name ],” or, “We appreciate your comments about our generous employee benefits package.”
Need Help with Reputation Management? Schedule a Demo of Our Custom Review Response Service
Don’t overlook employer review platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed.com as resources that can be leveraged to help you drive growth. Take the next step forward by asking for a demo of our review management dashboard or custom review reply service, which are both backed by award-winning technology with 24-hour US-based support.
Whether your client has 500 employees or 5,000, Shout About Us gives your agency the tools to manage all of their reviews more effectively and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more, and discover why agencies like V Digital Services, Suds Creative, Qebot, and Honeycomb Marketing Network all trust Shout About Us to provide streamlined reputation management solutions.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.