Companies understand that online reputation management services can improve their image and their bottom line. This is most often reflected in customer reviews or company trust metrics. However employee reviews also have a significant impact on your brand’s online reputation.

Employee opinions can guide the decisions of job seekers, but their influence stop there: your rank-and-file employees are the most trusted voice to speak on your reputation not just to job seekers, but to customers, investors, and the public at large.

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Positive Employer Reputations are Good Business

Employer reputation depends on one simple truth: great employees want to work for great companies. It’s not hard to understand why human resources and morale has a major impact on reputation. Companies known for great benefits, advancement, and good working conditions will attract the best talent. And the best talent creates the best product, no matter what industry you’re in.

It’s no coincidence that many of the companies that are considered the best to work for are also among the most successful and respected in the world. Fortune‘s Best Companies to Work for shares several entries with the Fortune 500: Microsoft, Google, Apple, Qualcomm, and NetApp, to name a few.

A good reputation is one of the best recruiting tools available to a company. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that employees love to rave about?

83% of Job Seekers are Influenced by Company Reviews

In today’s digital age, job seekers search Indeed and Glassdoor reviews to find the best companies to work for. People want to hear directly from employees about company benefits, business practices and working conditions. That’s why it’s so important to have positive employee reviews on Indeed and Glassdoor.

Indeed’s survey indicates that job seekers are greatly influenced by company reputation. They consult reviews when deciding which companies they’ll apply to, and which companies they’ll ultimately accept offers from.

Indeed’s survey revealed:

  • 83% of respondents are influenced by reviews when deciding where to apply
  • 46% reported that a company’s reputation had a significant impact on their job offer decision

“Just as reviews have had a profound impact on the way we shop, employer reviews are changing the way people search for their next job,” explains Indeed’s senior vice president of product engineering Chris Hyams. “The opinions and experiences of current and previous employees are significantly impacting how employers are perceived by potential employees.”

Indeed’s own metrics support this assertion: the site has seen that employers that have reviews on their company pages will experience a 5% increase in the number of job seekers that apply.

Job Seekers Won’t Work for a Company With a Bad Reputation

But in a recovering economy with 10.4 million unemployed workers, can job seekers really afford to be picky about a company’s reputation? A survey from Corporate Responsibility and AllegisTalent2 says they can, and they are.

  • 75% of Americans would prefer to stay unemployed rather than work for a company with a bad reputation.
  • 87% of currently employed workers would consider leaving their current job to take on a role with a company that has an excellent corporate reputation.
  • They’d even do it for a minimal 1 to 10 percent increase in salary.

Corporate reputation management is critical for Fortune 1000 brands.

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A Bad Reputation Means Higher Recruiting Expenses

Companies with a bad reputation among employees may find it difficult to attract and hold on to top talent. Job seekers who see scathing reviews from former employees, negative news articles, or major corporate scandals may move on to seek employment with companies that don’t pose such a high risk to their careers and financial future. That means higher expenses for recruiting employees — not to mention missing out on strong talent that could positively impact the company.

The cost of recruiting and retention is higher for companies that have a bad reputation. Employees often leave in the wake of a scandal and it’s harder for the company to retain them. This means it’s crucial for companies to know how to remove negative or fake reviews whenever possible.

Your Employees Have the Loudest and Most Trusted Voice in Your Company

Reviews are so valuable to job seekers that they’re trusted more than industry analysts, CEOs, and government regulators. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, short of hearing from experts, people want to know from their peers what a company is really all about. In Edelman’s spokesperson credibility measurement, 67% and 66% of those surveyed trust academics or technical experts the most, followed shortly at 62% trusting “a person like yourself.”

People trust employee feedback

Employees are the most trusted voice to speak to your company’s reputation according to Edelman

In fact, Edelman’s barometer indicates that employees are the most trusted source to communicate on a company’s areas of reputation, including engagement, integrity, and operations. Employees are trusted more than CEOs, academics, and media spokespeople. Perhaps most interesting: employees are the most trusted influencer even over activist consumers in every topic except for company purpose. That means your employees are the single most important voice to speak on your company’s reputation. Are they saying what you want to be heard?

How Companies Can Develop a Positive Reputation Among Employees

It’s clear that developing a positive reputation among your own employees is essential to success in recruitment and beyond. How can companies ensure that they’re doing all they can to make sure employees feel positively about where they work?

Randstad, the second largest HR services and staffing company in the world, says that it’s all about positive employee engagement, noting that factors including flexibility and corporate culture, along with employee salaries, are essential to morale, productivity, and retention.

Randstad recommends companies drive employee engagement by:

  • Offering flexible work arrangements or reduced hours
  • Encouraging employees to share their ideas and opinions
  • Providing a stimulating workplace
  • Rewarding high performers with bonuses and promotions
  • Investing in training and skill enhancement activities

Reputation management often focuses on public or customer opinion, but companies shouldn’t forget to look inward. Your employees can be the most positive voice for your company — or the darkest spot of your reputation. Does your company have a positive reputation as an employer?

Contact our team for help today.

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