6 Recruiting Tips for Companies with Bad Reputations

There’s no way to avoid it – attracting new talent is currently a major priority for recruiting and HR leaders around the globe. Because of the economic upswing, the need to address skill shortages and a requirement to build the leadership pipeline at many companies, talent acquisition is now at the forefront of the corporate agenda. This is leaving recruiters competing for the candidates who are looking for new opportunities.

Company reputation matters

If you’re in recruiting, then your company’s brand and reputation matter quite a bit. Research shows that 69% of job seekers wouldn’t take a role with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed. Similarly, 84% would consider leaving their current role if they were offered another role with a company that had an excellent corporate reputation.

So, first things first: find out more about your current reputation. I’m not talking about the nice, glossy employer branding messages your team creates and publicizes on your careers page. What matters (and really all that matters) is what your employees, both former and current, have to say. And, what applicants are saying about your candidate experience.

Job seekers are using platforms like Glassdoor to research potential employers – so the first thing you need to do is find out what they’ll see when they click “search”.

What to do when the feedback is negative

Are you prepared to find out the truth? Oftentimes, the feedback employees list on review sites like Glassdoor make employers extremely uncomfortable because they aren’t prepared to hear the bad.

Before you check out the reviews, have a plan in place. If they’re good reviews, then great! Respond and thank people for taking the time to leave their feedback. If they’re negative, don’t get disheartened or angry right away. Instead, take it in. Start talking to other recruiters and Hiring Managers within your organisation and learn from their experiences. Have they had difficulty recruiting because of your company’s cons? What objections do they come across?

Also, keep in mind that bad reviews present an opportunity for your organisation to improve, which is a good thing. Here are six tips for dealing with negative reviews:

1. Respond to bad reviews! Don’t ignore what’s being said online and hope that it goes away. It won’t! If you’re seeing negative reviews on Glassdoor then they need to be dealt with. 94% of candidates are likely to apply to a job if they see the employer actively managing their employer brand, and this includes responding to reviews, so let them know that you’re doing something about it.

Finding out what’s wrong about your candidate experience and showing that you’re fixing it can be a powerful message, and one that might encourage applicants to think they are joining your company at the right time.

2. Share positive stories. Responding to bad reviews is really important, but showcasing what is good about your organisation is also essential. If your branded messages are too focused on what you say about yourself as an employer, then let employees, customers and collaborators show what a good business you are by sharing their stories and experiences. Potential employees are much more likely to believe their feedback, anyway.

3. Make sure the recruitment process is right. Candidate experience is an important part of reputation as an employer, so make sure that yours is a great one. From the initial application to selection to on-boarding, ensure your business is doing as much as possible to give potential employees a seamless journey that makes them feel valued.

Action Plan: Test out the application process by applying yourself and sit in on hiring manager interviews to find out how they sell the opportunity and overcome objections. Also, ensure the selection process isn’t long and drawn out. Any delays should provide an opportunity to communicate with candidates.

4. Get the proposition pitch perfect. Make sure the job description and any listings that you post really bring the role to life. Candidates don’t respond to a checklist of skills and previous achievements, but instead are often motivated by a job “story” and how they can add value. They look for an experience. Find creative ways to illustrate the work that they will be doing and how it aligns with the wider business vision and goals.

5. Remember, some people like a challenge! What are the reasons for the bad reputation? Sometimes, companies have bad reputations because they don’t know where to start. So get your employees involved in sharing the word!

Your employees are motivated by the opportunity to show they have real impact and influence. So let them help! Encourage them to become brand ambassadors, socially share your open positions and refer their friends and family. If you have your employees on your side, you can conquer anything.

6. Cast your net wider. If you’re struggling to attract the perfect candidate, it could be time to broaden the spec and take a chance on someone who wouldn’t be put off by reputation. Is it essential they’ve worked in your sector before? Do they really need every bit of experience the hiring manager has asked for? There might be a lot of candidates out there not on your radar but who could bring desire and knowledge, and might jump at the chance opportunity you have to prove their worth. Hire for potential, not necessarily just for experience. Think outside the box to add strong candidates to your talent pool.

The best recruiters overcome challenges to find the people who can add value to their organisation. Don’t let a bad reputation put you off!