We’ve spent a solid amount of time discussing recruiting new hires on the blog this year—from hiring best practices to how having your brand in check allows you to attract (and retain) high-quality candidates. Now, we’re going to take this topic a step further to explore the relationship between recruitment and managing your brand's reputation.
Your brand’s reputation affects your hiring
In Part 2 of our Employment Series, we discussed the employer brand, which conveys several key components of your organization including its identity, company culture, and why your company is a valid option for job-seekers to consider. And much of what plays into your perceived identity, culture and validity actually doesn’t come from what you say or think about your brand—it’s what your audience says and thinks about it.
In other words, your reputation matters when it comes to recruiting. It matters a lot. So, if you follow Joan Jett’s motto of not giving a damn about your reputation, you may want to reconsider.
A couple of negative reviews can go a long way
Gone are the days when candidates searched for job listings in the newspaper and blindly went into an interview without researching (or borderline stalking) the company beforehand. The internet has totally flipped the hiring process upside down. Not only are you researching your candidates, but they are researching you—and likely more than you are them. While your website is a major resource of information for the talent pool, their research goes well beyond this space. Hello, Facebook, Glassdoor, Yelp, LinkedIn… and so on!
“Much of what plays into your perceived identity, culture and validity actually doesn’t come from what you say or think about your brand—it’s what your audience says and thinks about it.”
Believe it or not, these are the staggering statistics about the impact of negative reviews—as reported by Recruiterbox from Software Advice and Bayt.com:
- 48% of respondents to a Software Advice survey reported using Glassdoor at some point in their job search
- 1/3 of job seekers said a company needed at least a three-star rating in order to apply
- 76% of professionals research a company online before considering a job opportunity
- 83% of job seekers are likely to base their decision on where to apply on company reviews
- 46% will weigh a company’s reputation heavily before accepting a job offer
Clearly, brand reputation matters. But how do you monitor and manage your brand’s reputation online?
“83% of job seekers are likely to base their decision on where to apply on company reviews.”
Brand reputation management best practices for hiring
We’ve already gone through the dos and don’ts of reputation management for your brand in the past—but now may be a good time to read up on it if you have yet to do so… or at least give yourself a refresh. As we discussed in this former post, your brand will naturally build a reputation as time goes on, and how you respond to the feedback you receive (both positive and especially negative) will have a lasting effect on your reputation—and your hiring track record.
In addition to the list of dos and don’ts we list in the post, there are more specific things your company can do to ensure potential candidates aren’t scared off by what the interwebs are saying about your brand.
Actively seek out what info is currently circulating on Google, Glassdoor, Yelp, Trip Advisor, social media, etc. about your brand—the good, the bad, the ugly. Record both the positive and the negative comments and identify any patterns. Once you get caught up on what’s already out there, make it part of your daily routine to check review sites and social platforms for more feedback that comes in. Make it even easier on yourself by investing in a management tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social.
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to replying to reviews—especially the negative ones. Admit to any wrongdoings when they’re apparent and respond thoughtfully with a corrective course of action. When a negative review is about an issue you may not believe to be the company’s wrongdoing, acknowledge the customer’s feedback regardless and leave room for further private discussion if they so choose. Leave your email address or phone number for contact.
This also goes along with being proactive. If a particularly jarring review or piece of news comes around, having a “brand protection” policy in place, as Recruiterbox suggests, can help with any needed damage control. This can come especially handy if there are negative comments published about your brand after an employee is let go from the company.
“Honesty is the best policy when it comes to reviews—especially the negative ones. Admit to any wrongdoings and respond thoughtfully with a corrective course of action.”
Wondering what NOT to do? Let's take a look…
Sometimes, it's easier to identify what not to do when handling your brand's reputation management.
Remember the United Airlines fiasco in April 2017? We sure do. When a man refused to get out of his seat on an overbooked United Flight, air marshals forcibly and violently removed him from his seat—completely going against their brand promise, “Fly the Friendly Skies.” From the moment the United team decided to take that course of action rather than an alternative, less-violent route like offering vouchers or asking a different passenger to volunteer their seat, they tarnished their reputation for years to come, if not permanently. The incident even has its own Wikipedia page.
Now, think about this from a job seeker's perspective. If you were seeking employment as a flight attendant, pilot, or even on the corporate side of the company, these events would probably make you question if United is the airline you really wanted as your employer. You'd most likely go for Southwest, Delta or another carrier first.
As sited by Vendasta, J.P. Morgan attempted to host a Live Tweet Q&A session with top executive Jimmy Lee as an attempt to improve their public relations during a rocky time for their brand reputation. Of the 80,000 tweets that the company received with the hashtag #AskJPM, over 66% of them were negative. While the idea of the Live Tweet event shows J.P. Morgan was attempting to instill company transparency, the whole idea backfired not only because of the influx of negative tweets but more so because of their tweet canceling the event, calling it a “bad idea.” Ouch.
Long story short, if you're going to initiate a live chat with your audience, be prepared to face negativity and have a strategy in place for how to respond to negative comments. This only tells your audience, particularly potential employees, that your brand buckles under pressure and doesn't value honest feedback from its customers.
And lastly, an example in sloppy social media, also reported by Vendasta. Back in 2012, a Kitchen Aid employee felt inspired by the presidential debates to tweet her political views. Little did she realize she was actually tweeting from Kitchen Aid's account—not her personal account. Big woof. Even though the tweets were quickly deleted, they weren't removed fast enough to avoid being screenshot by followers and posted for the whole internet to see. Seven years later and we're still talking about it, see?
Now, there's a chance this could deter potential job candidates away from Kitchen Aid for their careless mistake, or perhaps even for their employee's political views. Now, we do have to give the employee, Cynthia Soledad, credit for introducing herself and owning up to her mistake publicly—but this mistake is still a big no-no.
Need help with reputation management? The Image Shoppe is here for ya!
Reputation management can feel overwhelming to wrap your brain around at first, but we promise it becomes part of your routine as you go. Team TIS can help develop a process for you to stay on top of your brand's reputation management, or, better yet, we can do that work for you! Contact us today to discuss your needs and get a plan in motion.