Years of research (much of it done by the Center for Creative Leadership) confirms that the absence of honest feedback derails leaders at all levels.
— Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, Love'em or Lose'em Getting Good People to Stay

Is Glassdoor Hurting Your Recruiting Efforts?

Today’s job hunters are savvy. Today it’s easier than ever to find out inside information about almost any organization. But when you have negative reviews on Glassdoor, it can hurt your ability to recruit top talent. Some organizations have taken Glassdoor reviews into their own hands by employing a proactive approach to managing their external reputation.

What Have Employers Done to Fix Negative Reviews?

Control Point #1: Friendly Bribes

Yes, bribes abound. Starbuck’s gift cards have been disseminated to employees for writing positive reviews. An abundance of positive feedback helps dilute the negative reviews.

What’s wrong with bribing employees? Most people would agree that it’s controlling and not authentic. I would advise staying away from this strategy.

Directly from the Glassdoor website:

“We do allow companies to encourage their employees and job candidates to share honest reviews on Glassdoor. However, they are not allowed to offer incentives in exchange for reviews.”

Control Point #2: Public Response

Employers are also responding publicly to comments, especially the negative reviews, posted on Glassdoor. Usually human resource professionals write back to the anonymous posters conveying publicly that they are hearing and acknowledging the information that’s being shared.

According to Glassdoor’s own survey, “69% agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer publicly respond to a review.”

Control Point #3: Fake Reviews

Now I doubt any employer would admit to making up reviews but I’m certain it’s happened. Under pressure, people do things they normally wouldn’t dream of attempting. Users of Glassdoor do believe some reviews are fabricated.

So, What Should You Do When Glassdoor Has Negative Reviews About Your Organization?

I’m afraid there are no easy answers to this one. When you have negative reviews, you can address your image which tends to favor cosmetic fixes or you can take an alternate path and examine your culture.

Viable Option #1: Work on Attracting, Recruiting, and Hiring Better Matches

You can decide that the company culture isn’t for everyone and hire people who are better suited for the environment. For example, if you have a highly competitive sales force that is hyper-aggressive and leadership who’s demanding, look for people who will thrive in this atmosphere.

Simply refuse to pretend to be something you’re not. That’s right---be direct and upfront about your culture. Even if it costs you a few promising recruits.

During the interview process, find out if the potential new hire will be able to adapt to your unique conditions, or if they will be miserable and won’t be able to get the job done. If they are not willing or incapable of adapting, you’ll need to keep interviewing. Whatever you do, don’t settle for people who can’t adjust to your environment.

Viable Option # 2: Observe, Evaluate, and Change from the Top Down

If your current culture isn’t something you can be proud of, it might be time to evaluate and make changes. This is no small feat and will require assistance from senior level executives to take hold. It will take time and attention, and it won’t be immediately reflected in your Glassdoor postings.  

But if you can manage to change at the highest levels, you’ll see results in your employee retention rates, recruitment efforts, and employee engagement levels.

After all, by building a better culture, you’ll be able to hire the most motivated people in the country to help you achieve your company’s goals.

Working to Fix Problems

Even though it can be painful at times, being able to receive feedback is important. Glassdoor reviews are opportunities to see how others perceive your company. You can use this information to reflect and make deliberate changes.

Feedback can help foster growth through change. Although it’s probably tempting to resort to short-term tactics to mitigate negative Glassdoor reviews, embracing negative feedback and adjusting your behavior is more likely to help you reach your goals.