Wondering what your employees are saying about you? Check employee ratings sites like Glassdoor—they might surprise you. In today’s tight job market, you can’t afford for job candidates to form a negative opinion of your practice. That’s why it is essential to establish, repair, and boost your Glassdoor ratings.
With a little effort, you can use positive Glassdoor ratings to support and strengthen your hiring efforts, attract top talent, and build a promising employer brand. But before you rush out to implement the following tips and tricks, remember: this is a strategic plan. There are no secrets or shortcuts to cover up mistakes. In order to attract outstanding reviews, you must be a superb employer.
While there is no single, proven method for managing your brand image on Glassdoor, here are five steps to help you get started:
1. Claim and optimize your free employer account.
Outdated and inaccurate information can cause as much damage as negative or so-so reviews. Claiming your account is the first step to creating and protecting your practice’s image on Glassdoor. Once you do this, you can update company information, read and respond to reviews, and flag something if it seems inappropriate. You’ll also gain access to the “employer center” where you can view analytics like page views and demographics of your profile visitors.
Tip: Don’t forget to sign up for alerts that let you know anytime someone posts something new.
2. Encourage current employees to review your company.
We know you would never require employees to favorably review your practice or reward them for doing so—that’s strictly prohibited. But you can give them the opportunity. Encouraging happy employees to review your company on sites like Glassdoor is an art:
- Select a point person to reach out to employees, letting them know of the opportunity to review your practice. But don’t reach out to all of your employees at once—it will look suspicious if you have few reviews one day and a waterfall of favorable reviews the next.
- Put your long-tenured and happy employees on a review schedule. This will help to spread them out over time. Strategically schedule these posts so they seem at random.
- Ask employees who are willing to write reviews to contact your point person to get on the schedule. Send each employee a reminder on the week they’re teed up, then check Glassdoor to verify that their review is live.
- If employees aren’t sure what to post, suggest that they “post about what it’s like to work at the practice and the company culture. Things you wouldn’t know unless you were an actual employee,” advises Rupert. That’s why job seekers visit your practice’s profile on Glassdoor—they want to know what the culture is like.
3. Frequently respond to reviews.
Nearly 62 percent of candidates say that their perception of an organization changes after seeing an employer respond respectfully to a review, according to Glassdoor internal data. Not to mention, responding promptly and professionally to reviews will make reviewers feel heard and engaged.
That’s no sweat when the reviews are positive, but what about when they’re not? “Even if you are totally great as an employer, you are occasionally is going to make a bad hire who is going to rip you up on Glassdoor,” warns Suzanne Rupert, director of recruiting at Talent Acquisition Innovations. “I do think it’s appropriate that employers take the time to respond, because that means they really are listening to the concerns of employees or former employees. Readers like to see that,” she continues.
Don’t let a negative review get you down.
“If you have a bad experience with a company, your first response is to complain,” explains Heather Sullivan, a corporate recruiter also at Talent Acquisition Innovation. “That’s what Glassdoor is. It’s a sounding board and a lot of times people use that when they are unhappy with their experience.” And if you’re worried that you’ll never achieve 5 stars? Don’t be. The average company rating on Glassdoor is only 3.3.
Next, respond carefully.
“You can pre-draft a couple of genuine responses where you say you appreciate the feedback,” advises Rupert. “If you respond with ‘I’m sorry you had that experience,’ sometimes even that makes a difference too.” Rupert has even seen instances where upset former employees have removed a negative post after a heartfelt employer response. Sullivan also recommends giving the reviewer “a way to reach out if they want to take it to the next step, whether that’s someone in HR or whoever handles those issues in your practice.”
Tip: To stop negative reviews before they start, make sure your “open door policy” is just that. “If you don’t provide employees any avenues to air their grievances, then you’re going to have more of those negative reviews, but if there are other channels for people to share feedback, then reviews are going to be a lot more positive,” explains Rupert.
4. Use reviews to improve your practice.
One of the most significant benefits of having a Glassdoor profile is that you receive honest feedback from your employees on a regular basis. However, these insights are useless without implementation. “Look at your reviews and assess the landscape to see if there’s a theme emerging,” advises Rupert. “If they’re all saying one thing, see if there’s a way to make improvements. It could be something that doesn’t cost anything, like improving communication.”
When you inevitably receive constructive feedback, consider conducting an internal survey to understand the extent of the problem. Then, be transparent with employees—and the reviewer—about how you are fixing it. If it’s something that you can’t address (benefits, for example), be sure to explain the factors that limit you from providing exactly what the employee wants (a tight budget, perhaps).
When it comes to scathing reviewers, “most of the time they just want to be heard, and some people just want to be ugly,” says Sullivan. Unfortunately, their words can haunt you. On Glassdoor, reviewers can renew their post annually, Sullivan explains. So if you have a negative post, that same person can repost it one year later, changing only a few words. It makes it look like you have multiple negative reviews, when it’s really the same person. “If you see wording that looks the same, don’t be afraid to contact Glassdoor and investigate it, recommends Sullivan. “If it’s the same person, you can try to have it removed. It will keep dinging your rating over and over,” she notes.
5. Hire an agency to manage your Glassdoor profile.
User-generated content on review sites like Glassdoor and others strengthens your SEO, improves online reputation, and helps attract the brightest job candidates. Because these sites are so critical to your practice’s overall success, it may make sense to have experts managing your Glassdoor profile. “My advice would to either hire somebody or be proactive and at least respond to the good and the bad reviews” says Sullivan. “It shows that you are paying attention and are concerned and that you care about people’s feedback,” she adds. If you don’t have time to do that on your own, and can’t identify a competent person on your staff to do so, hire someone.
If you decide to outsource online reputation management (ORM), beware: these companies charge vastly different rates, says Joanne Mansour, practice administrator at The Virginia Retina Center and member of AAOE’s Board of Directors, who presented at last year’s AAO conference. One vendor she considered wanted to charge $600 per doctor per month, while another proposed to handle the entire practice’s ORM for $249 annually, she told attendees. The lesson? Before you sign on with an ORM vendor, get detailed estimates of rates and the specific services they’ll include.
6. Remember that Glassdoor ratings improvements take time.
So what if a job candidate brings up your less-than-stellar Glassdoor reviews during an interview? Don’t get defensive, but on the other hand, don’t be dismissive either. Think about it this way: it’s like the tables are turned, and the employer is trying to explain away something negative, whereas usually it would be the candidate who’s trying to address say, an employment gap on their resume. And employers aren’t used to that.
“Share your own experience. Be genuine and let them know what you’ve encountered at your practice,” advises Rupert. Sullivan agrees. “I try to ask people to have an open mind and continue with the hiring process. Take our own conversations and how I treated them into account. See if that reflects the Glassdoor reviews. Give us a chance to prove this is not who we are,” she says.