6 Ways to Demystify Glassdoor & Launch a Winning Strategy

Millions of candidates rely on Glassdoor to find jobs and get an insider’s view of what it’s like at any particular company. Specifically, 50 million unique users from around the world visit Glassdoor’s mobile applications and website monthly*. And, according to Comscore, it’s the second-largest job site in the US and one of the fastest-growing in the UK, yet many companies are still unsure what to do with Glassdoor.

I’ve been a Glassdoor advocate from the start. First, when managing the employer brands for both eBay and Visa International, then, as head of employer brand for Glassdoor itself. Now, as a Senior Partner at consulting firm Employera, I regularly help companies optimise their paid and unpaid Glassdoor strategies for powerful recruiting results. I’ve learned some things along the way:

1. Assign Ownership

Someone needs to own and manage your Glassdoor strategy and execution as part of their role. Without clear ownership, your Glassdoor programme will fall through the cracks. A great strategy will combine efforts from recruiting, brand and marketing, and communications. But responsibility for the programme must be assigned to one person.

2. Assess, Analyse & Benchmark Your Current Glassdoor Presence

It’s important to see what your candidates are seeing, along with where you sit in the competitive landscape. As a starting point, you might use a framework like the one we developed at Employera. Rate your company and each of your competitors on the Glassdoor attributes shown in the illustration below, which fall into 3 categories:

  • Ratings and comments, which have implications for reputation and feedback for organisational improvement.
  • Optimisation of Glassdoor profile features – messaging, branding, content (video, photos, updates, employer responses)
  • Data – number of reviews, trends, etc. Gather your data and insights, and use them to underpin your strategy.

employera glassdoor

4. Develop a Response Strategy Endorsed by HR, Executive Leadership, Communications & Legal

There’s a reason you should respond to your reviews: 62 percent of job seekers say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review, according to a Glassdoor US Site Survey in January of 2016. Creating a response strategy takes the mystery out of how, when and why to respond.

Your response strategy should include:

  • Messaging platform: Design a message platform around the key themes. Note: This is not about writing canned responses. It’s about ensuring alignment and clarity up front on the key messaging you want to reinforce when writing your responses.
  • Response rubric: Identify who responds to what. Knowing and having agreement on what the CEO vs. CHRO vs. business leader or manager should respond to allows you to respond quickly and accurately, showing candidates and employees you are listening and that you care.
  • Timeline for approvals: Establish protocol and a timeline for review and approval of responses.
  • Process: Identify ownership and ensure alignment and participation from all parties.

[Related: Results of Responding to Reviews]

4. Authentically Engage Your Workforce to Ensure New Reviews

Candidates are looking for recent and relevant reviews. And, the more reviews you have, the more complete your company’s story will be. So yes, you want to engage your employees to leave reviews. The most successful and authentic way to do this is to operationalise the ask as part of your current communications and procedures. For example, you might include a link to Glassdoor in the email that goes out to employees at their 90-day or mid-year review, with a simple ask to share their experience with potential candidates. Including a link to Glassdoor and an invitation to share their experience in these communications is an easy way to invite feedback throughout the year.

5. Optimise Your Profile for Recruiting

Few companies consciously optimise their profiles for recruiting. You don’t have to just replicate what’s on your career site or tell your generic overall company story — you can hone for your candidate audience/s. And unlike a career site, you can easily update all your content anytime. 3 out of 4 Glassdoor users are more likely to apply to an open job if the employer is active on Glassdoor (e.g. responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment).** Whether you are a paying customer or not, there are available options that allow you to actively manage your profile and design content for your specific audience/s.

  • Messaging. In addition to more general company information, make sure the story you tell about your workplace is articulate and specific enough that the right candidates opt in, while those who are looking for something different opt out. You’re not trying to hire everyone, just the right ones.
  • Tabs. (PAID FEATURE) Think creatively about how to leverage your tabs. You don’t have to parrot what’s on your career site. And you can update content at any time. How about including a “Featured Jobs” tab, where you post and highlight key open roles and link to a short video from the team and the application URL? How about a “Key Projects” tab where you regularly highlight key projects or go behind the scenes on something new? Get creative. Be specific. As a paying customer, it also pays to make sure you’re advertising your own jobs on your own profile page.
  • Posts. (PAID FEATURE) Don’t post generic content found on your social channels. Ensure the articles you share support your recruiting efforts. Articles that perform well are ones that give candidates insight into what it’s like to work at your company and how to land a job with you. Sure, share great news about your company, but remember your audience. Go beyond just duplicating what candidates see elsewhere. Curate content for the job seeker.
  • Photos. Together, your photos on Glassdoor tell a visual story about your brand. Be sure that your photos tell a complete one — your different locations, teams at work, social aspects, community efforts, etc. Be mindful of the quality of photos. You want to be authentic, but you are also representing your brand.
  • Videos. Make sure the videos you link to are current. And that the links work… you’d be surprised how many don’t.

[Related: How to Recruit the Informed Candidate]

6. Establish a Feedback Loop

Your strategy needs to include a feedback loop for executives with actionable insights that can lead to meaningful change. Your employees and candidates are sharing their feedback, and Glassdoor provides a great opportunity to listen and learn. Regular reporting ensures your executives know what’s going on and helps them stay on top of critical issues. Responding to employees, both on Glassdoor and through internal communications about the changes you’re making, lets your talent community know that you’re listening and taking action to improve.

Don’t be afraid to engage on Glassdoor. Your candidates are coming to your profile because they are interested in learning more. A solid strategy removes the mystery for everyone and lets you actively manage, monitor and improve your Glassdoor presence with confidence.

Need an objective professional assessment or assistance with your Glassdoor strategy? We can help. Click here to learn more.

Kirsten Davidson is Senior Partner, Employer Branding at Employera. Kirsten heads up Employera’s Employer Brand practice. Previously head of Employer Brand for Glassdoor, she is a go-to industry pro for building, improving and managing your employer brand.

Employera helps large and mid-sized companies solve difficult challenges in attracting, hiring and keeping the right people. Services include employer branding, recruiting operations consulting, employee engagement, culture, and experience design.

**Glassdoor US Site Survey, August 2017

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