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How to handle negative online company reviews

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Your employer brand dramatically influences your ability to attract, influence, hire and retain top talent. So much so that when we asked almost 2,000 candidates recently if they would interview for a company with bad online reviews, over 50% said they wouldn't.

The impact of negative online reviews

A poor 2-star rating on Glassdoor, a negative Tweet or a bad Facebook comment could be enough to discourage a candidate from interviewing for a company. Peer reviews are becoming increasingly important to candidates, with Glassdoor alone receiving 30 million unique visitors a month according to Forbes.

'A Study by Corporate Responsibility Magazine' found that 69% of jobseekers would rather remain unemployed than take a job with a company with a bad reputation, while 84% of respondents would consider leaving their current company if offered another job with an organisation with an excellent corporate reputation.

This proves employers need to take online reviews seriously and respond when necessary to avoid missing out on top talent.

How to manage negative reviews

Always reply to damaging posts and monitor your company's reputation proactively, by:

- Setting up alerts which notify you when your business is mentioned online.

- Asking employees to alert HR if they become aware of any employee posts which could you're your company's reputation.

How to respond to bad online feedback

Respond to all reviews whether they are positive or negative. If you receive a dismissive review, respond promptly and politely. This shows that you care about the opinions of your employees.

Acknowledge the problem and apologise for their experience. By accepting the responsibility, you are one step closer to turning a negative reviewer into a brand advocate.

Always thank the person for their feedback. Respond in a non-defensive way showing that you are listening, and if possible, take the conversation offline as quickly as possible. If you're dealing with a current employee, ask them to discuss the issue internally and politely request that they take down the post.

Once the issue is resolved, and if the review is still online, thank the employee for speaking with them in the post comments and say you are glad you could resolve this issue.

Requesting removal of defamatory reviews

If a review is defamatory, you can ask for it to be reviewed/removed. If the post stays up and comments are damaging to your company you can consider legal action.

For particularly nasty comments, especially if they have gone viral, issue a statement addressing the matters raised.

Final thoughts

Company review sites provide an important insight into a company's culture, as well as employee satisfaction. As an employer, you need to take negative reviews seriously and respond showing your commitment to employee welfare and facilitating positive work environment.

Company ratings and comments can be negatively biased, as an unhappy employee is far more likely to leave a review, than a satisfied one. Your response to these reviews are of great significance when it comes to potential employer's evaluation.

Cpl Employment Market Monitor 2017 Q4