Think about what we all do when buying something new. We research it to death, almost. We search different sites to compare pricing, we try to become “experts” in the field of what we’re searching (e.g., buying a new TV results in trying to understand LCD, LED, OLED, and plasma TVs) and, we read reviews. Reports and studies show that 9 out of 10 consumers conducted online research via search engines before making a purchase.
Why do people provide reviews? Consumers are able to and want to tell their side of the buying process. It becomes social proof. And, while companies may ask for your testimonial so they can publish it on their website, Google, Amazon, Trust Pilot, Yelp, CNET, and other review platforms become objective reviews relative to company-posted reviews. It’s why we choose one restaurant over another, one store over another, and one product over another.
Here’s the rub. As written by @reputationx, negative reviews can seriously impact your business. Every time a negative review pops up on Google searches, you have the potential to lose customers. 86% of customers hesitate to purchase from companies with negative reviews. Negative reviews ultimately cost you web traffic and revenue.
The same is true when searching for new talent. @recruiterbox reported that 46% will weigh a company’s reputation before accepting a job offer. 83% will base their decision on where to apply based on company reviews. And, 76% will conduct research on a company before applying.
In fact, from the @fractlagency survey conducted in 2019, one in three workers turned down a job offer after reading negative reviews about a company online.
You may end up with hiring not your first or second choice, but your third choice who may not work out as well and will need to be replaced. And, how quickly any new hires are let go may also result in the lowering of the morale of your other employees.
I imagine this is not new news. Nor, I imagine that how negative reviews can impact the “employer brand” is not new news to you, too.
Here are a few suggestions that either might already be well-baked into your employee engagement processes and/or could be ones that need to be strengthened or added to how you onboard and nurture the talent as they grow into your company:
- Transparency – A clear and open-minded dialogue during the hiring process. Manage expectations so that the new hire is not surprised or disappointed from what was communicated during the interview process and, in fact, recognizes that what was discussed is actually what is being experienced.
- Rapport – More often than not, people leave bad managers, not bad companies. Focus your efforts on helping managers to become internal brand ambassadors.
- Digital Ambassadors – Your same employees could become external brand ambassadors. Create structure around how to respond digitally across the social channels.
- Listen – Spend time to learn what’s working or not in how employees are engaged or not in what your company is doing. Allow for safe feedback.
- Invest – Your company culture is what you spent time thinking about and created. That employer brand. It’s one thing to create the words. It’s another to act on them. Events, town hall meetings, one on one meetings. They don’t all have to be solely about business. Get to know each other.
- Offboarding – Yes, this too, as difficult as this moment in time can be for one, a few, or many, creating a compassionate and empathetic offboarding process, complete with a career development program, will help to move employees forward in a positive manner and enable them to also become brand ambassadors for your company.