Employee reviews compiled by Indeed and Glassdoor can be a great asset or a great problem. There are companies with lots of positive reviews from former and current employees, but there are also companies with very harsh and critical reviews. When recruiting for clients, we find that candidates really are checking these reviews and at least in part making decisions based on them.
Are Indeed and Glassdoor reviews (which are both owned by the same company, Recruit Holdings Inc), valid and worth worrying about?
As a person who often looks at reviews before spending 8 hours in a hotel or 45 minutes at a restaurant, I really can’t blame candidates. They will be looking at spending 40 hours a week and 2000 hours a year at a company, so they want to know what the place is like. As a recruiter, it is amazing how often we experience a candidate withdraw their application at least in part due to these reviews.
Are these reviews valid? As they are left by a small number of unverified people who claim to be former employees, I’d say no. But what else do potential employees have to go on?
The truth in reviews (like the truth in politics, unfortunately), seems to be what gets reported on the internet. How does an employer deal with this new landscape? The number one thing an employer can do is start getting its own reviews put up, and start acting on them internally before worrying about former employees reviews in public. Does that mean we should go to a new 360 degree review process?
No, a simple and effective solution is to go to an eNPS Employee Net Promoter survey to find out how many employees would recommend your company. Net Promoter Score NPS is the gold standard in reviewing and improving services for companies. It’s simple: ask customers on a scale of 1-10 how likely would you recommend our company. Anyone who says a 9 or 10 is a positive promoter, and anyone less than 8 would not likely leave a positive review online.
Moving this to NPS standard to employees is not a hard thing to do. You can hire a third party survey company to do an eNPS survey or design your own using Surveymonkey, Google Forms, or even the old pen and pencil. If you act on the feedback from the NPS survey question and an open-ended question (for example, what can we do to improve?), then reviews will get better.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to getting good employee reviews online short of paying current and fake employees to give them, but this is unsustainable. Start doing Employee Net Promoter Score surveys and make a change.
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Vancouver Island. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.