In early February, The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a motion to block a subpoena for the identity of 10 individual Glassdoor posters, who were accused by their former employer, Kraken, of violating a non-disparagement agreement by posting reviews on the site.
The case, which could be a watershed moment in the history of digital data privacy, illustrates how far employers will go to protect their reputations on review-based employment sites like Glassdoor. Considering that 86 percent of employees would not continue to work at or seek employment with a company that has a negative reputation, it’s understandable that organizations would feel compelled to act on even a single negative review.
Even though these review sites can act as make-or-break factors in determining a candidate’s first impressions of an employer, the vast majority of businesses don’t have squeaky-clean online reputations. Glassdoor pinpoints the average business’s rating at a 3.3 out of 5 stars.
Having sourced more than 10,000 candidates in my career, I’ve seen a direct correlation between bad reviews and candidates completely ghosting me. Case in point: A small faction of disgruntled employees recently left one of the businesses I work with, and they chose to take their frustrations out by hitting the company’s Glassdoor page with a barrage of bad reviews.
The result? An immediate shift in the tone of the initial interactions I was having with candidates. My outreach for this company has historically been met with speedy and enthusiastic responses, but I began getting a lot of “Let me do some research” or “I’m pretty happy where I’m at, but I’ll let you know if anything changes.” The majority of the candidates I source for this company have been talented, experienced people who are currently employed. After the reviews showed up, most of the interest I received came from mid-level unemployed or college students without experience.
Knowing that my client wasn’t going to be satisfied with those types of options, I had to change my approach to be more direct with candidates and cognizant of the information that’s out there. If you’re a recruiter dealing with a client or company that has a less-than-stellar online reputation, here are a couple of things that have helped me keep my pipeline full of stellar candidates regardless:
Lean In to Your Strengths
Nobody is perfect. You don’t have to bill your company or client as a place that checks every single box on every candidate’s wishlist. Some companies have shortcomings in some areas in terms of employee satisfaction, and that’s fine….