Why Focus on Online Reputation Management
Let’s face it, the staffing industry has a reputation problem. Just do a quick Google search of “recruiters are…” and see what comes up.
Not great, right? Your prospects are likely coming to you with some of these ideas in their heads — that recruiters aren’t trustworthy, that they aren’t genuine or responsive, that they don’t know what they’re doing.
With these stereotypes floating around, leaving your online reputation to chance isn’t an option.
The old way
Years ago, if a bad review about your firm popped up on an external site, you couldn’t do much about it. You were stuck in defense mode. Maybe you could reply to the review on the site, but your reply would get buried.
Or you could send an apologetic email to the reviewer if they left their contact info — which wasn’t likely.
Either way, you sat back, crossed your fingers and hoped your recruiters’ hard work would speak for itself. Somehow. Being that passive never felt great, did it?
The new way
Luckily, you don’t have to wait around for reviews on external sites. You can actively take control of your feedback without leaving your reputation to the whims of online reviewers or off-track recruiters.
Using a reputation management software puts you in the offense. You can guide your recruiters, harness those reviews and finesse your great reputation.
And why is it so important to get ahead of your reputation?
Online reviews determine whether candidates will even engage
Your candidates are researching you, and if your online reputation is less than stellar, you won’t even hear from them. The numbers are stark:
Research shows that 91% of people read online reviews, and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And they make that decision quickly: 68% form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.
The story these numbers tell is clear: your online reputation is going to make or break your business.
Your employees are paying attention
It’s not just candidates who care about your reputation. Over 80% of employees would consider leaving their jobs for a company with a better reputation. And 69% of employees said their perception of the company improved after seeing their employer respond to outside reviews.
Don’t forget that your reputation is also your employees’ reputation — it’s the lens through which their friends and family view their work lives. Your employees want to feel proud of the company they work for. And you want to make sure your online reputation is an accurate reflection of their hard work.
You get to control your story
Online reviews can feel like the Wild West, a lawless frontier where you have little control over how your company is represented. Typically it’s the unhappy candidates who leave reviews — often anonymously, so you can’t even engage them in a meaningful conversation to fix the issue.
With reviews prominently displayed in the first results in online searches, gaining control of this frontier is crucial for any firm that wants to grow.
Candidates read an average of ten reviews before trusting a business. And 91% of searchers don’t go past page one, where external review sites can dominate. It’s critical that you do your best to get your real story out there. Why let negative reviews that only tell one part of the story determine your online fate?
To take control of your story, you need to take active control of your feedback. When you master how and when you get to respond to your feedback — good or bad — you’ll get a better handle on your reputation.
Online Reputation Best Practices
Since prospective candidates are already a bit suspicious of recruiters, everything job seekers find about you — from your website, your social presence, your third-party reviews — has the potential to show them that your company is different.
To build a good online reputation in the staffing industry, you want to show candidates that you are a genuine, responsive, transparent advisor with the experience and knowledge to back up all of your claims. First impressions are essential. Make sure the great experience the candidate expects, and what they actually get, matches up.
Whether you want to polish an already strong reputation or rehab a poor one, here are some tips on how to build a positive online reputation, and one that will make candidates forget their stereotypes about recruiters.
Capture real-time feedback
In an industry as competitive as staffing, the faster you can get insight into your candidate’s experience, the more quickly you can give them more of what’s working and less of what isn’t. And no one represents your brand more than your recruiters — so make sure you know what your candidates think of them.
Be proactive by soliciting feedback at any part of the candidate journey. Ask candidates for reviews of their recruiters before those candidates hit up an outside review site. Candidates who have a negative experience will tell their friends and social networks, so take control.
With a digital platform, you and your team have an automated system to take the temperature of your prospects and candidates in real time.
- Solicit feedback directly with emailed surveys at key moments in the candidate lifecycle. For example, you can send automated feedback requests as soon as a candidate secures their first assignment or when they’ve completed their first interview.
- Increase the amount of feedback you receive by sharing your feedback links far and wide.
- Use short, image-based forms to make the process fast, easy, and engaging for candidates.
- Make it part of your daily routine to check in with candidates.
Shine a spotlight on your positive reviews
As you start to collect those happy reviews, make sure you’re putting them out there for future candidates to read.
Studies have shown that employees who work at a place with positive online reviews ask for 10-15% less in pay raises than those who know the company has neutral or negative reviews. Just think about that — positive reviews are so important to your prospects, candidates, and internal employees that they’re willing to take a pay cut for them.
- Prominently display your positive online reviews on your website, social feeds, and other online forums.
- Use a digital reputation management platform to manage online reviews and generate comprehensive feedback for your company.
- Share your positive reviews internally with your employees.
- Spotlight individual recruiters who get personalized kudos — it’ll give them an extra dose of pride, allow them to celebrate with their team, and drive healthy competition.
- Respond! Thanking your happy candidates will go miles towards keeping a long-term relationship and encouraging them to refer other candidates to you.
Respond to negative reviews
Staffing is a unique industry. You’re caught up in your candidate’s job search, and if they have a bad interview or don’t get a position, they might take that frustration out on you. They may do it online.
And even the most proactive, people-first staffing firms out there hire folks who don’t work out or have recruiters who start slipping in performance before their leaders realize it.
So, for many reasons, negative reviews happen to the best of us. See them not as blemishes on your reputation so much as opportunities to showcase your ability to learn and change. Take an opportunity to turn an unhappy candidate into an advocate for your firm.
- Provide constructive comments on negative input.
- Validate unhappy candidates’ feedback and offer practical, immediate solutions.
- Avoid defending yourself publicly or justifying your organizations’ choices.
- Respond publicly with a short reply to show readers your responsiveness
- Quickly move forward by taking ongoing or challenging responses offline.
Moderate comments on social media
Take control of social media comments — but not too tightly. You want to create engagement, foster connection, and establish a sense of friendliness and openness. But you don’t want to be so open that what shows up on your social feeds impacts your reputation.
- Monitor your feeds closely.
- Delete comments that use disparaging language or may be offensive to readers.
- Don’t feed the trolls. The internet is rife with people who just want to fight — don’t get drawn into a long, public battle.
Showcase your expertise
Your candidates are hungry for guidance in their job search. Flaunt your experience far and wide by offering industry-specific insight and resources. You already have this knowledge — share it with your candidates so they know you’re more than just a staffing firm. You’re an expert!
Here are a few ways to establish your expertise.
Keep your blog updated
You already know that having an updated blog on your company site is a great way to stay active in Google rankings. It’s also true that 70% of candidates prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than advertisements.
Make sure your blog is updated weekly with relevant, research-based content written by industry or marketing experts. You may want to outsource this to a digital marketing company.
Speak at industry conferences
Do more than just attend and exhibit at conferences — own them! Submit speaking topics. For example, you might submit a topic on why online reputation is important to StaffingWorld, the recruiting world’s largest industry conference.
Publish in trade magazines
Offer yourself as an interviewee or resource to trade magazines, such as Staffing Success. You can also pitch article ideas that align with your brand.
Gaining trust can be a layered process that takes a lot of time to build and seconds to lose. Recruiters may only find jobs for a small percentage of the candidates they talk to, but every candidate has the potential to be a future referral, hiring manager or cheerleader for your firm. Transparency is key.
- Post an example of your typical hiring process, from start to finish, on your site.
- Emphasize emotional responsiveness in your core values. You understand how vulnerable the job process is — let them know you get it!
- Give candidates all of the facts about potential job leads up front.
- Stay responsive at all stages of the process, no matter if the news is good or not-so-good.
Highlight your benefits
Job seekers are looking for more than just a paycheck. In a candidate’s market, to remain competitive, staffing firms need to establish trust by offering clear benefits — and delivering on them.
Highlight all of your differentiators, from your insurance package to your career training. Make it clear to candidates what you can do for them:
- Post your benefits on your website and any external review sites where you have a profile.
- Display perks prominently. Benefits should be easy to find on the website without too much digging.
- Be transparent. Too often, firms will fudge job perks in order to secure candidates.
- Make the details clear and easy to read, like an infographic.
Check out this example from Blue Chip Talent, a staffing firm in Michigan:
Share your company culture
Take the heart of your organization and put it into words. What’s your specialty, your passion, your goal beyond basic staffing? Caring about broader issues shows you’ll care about your candidates’ dreams and goals.
- Post your mission statement and core values on your site.
- Ask happy candidates to leave feedback.
- Discuss the issues your firm cares about on social media. For example, if you specialize in placing marginalized groups, link to resources for these groups.
Own your narrative on external sites
You can take an active role on external review sites so you’re in charge before any reviews roll in.
Most review sites allow organizations to create their own profile. By creating a profile and monitoring it regularly, you can craft your story and stay ahead of any feedback — positive and negative.
Here’s how to set up profiles on key review sites:
- Earn a green “engaged employer” badge when you respond to reviewers and answer questions.
- Click here to claim your business profile. While not exclusively a career site, Yelp is the most-searched review site on the internet.
- Build out your profile and add photos for free. Company-submitted photos are one of the best ways to craft your Yelp narrative.
- Explore premium profile extras, like removing competitor ads from your page and adding a call-to-action button.
And to monitor the rest of the internet, subscribe to Google Alerts with variations on your company name to track online mentions. To do this:
- Go to Google Alerts.
- Enter the term you’d like to track. For example, we would input “Great Recruiters.”
- Click on “Show Options” to determine what kind and how often you’d like to get results.
Repeat these steps for each phrase you want to track. It’s a good idea to track spelling variations on your name and the full names of each of your recruiters. Don’t forget to track your competitors’ names to see what you’re up against.
Deliver on your promises
You can put all the positive reviews and case studies into the world, but if you can’t back up with you say, then your words don’t matter, and your online reputation is wasted.
You need to make sure your recruiters are living the claims you’re making on your website. Recruiters get poor reputations when clients expect the world and get a small farm in the Yukon instead.
- Share any feedback you get right away with your recruiters so they have a chance to pivot.
- Use your reputation management platform analytics dashboard to catch patterns before they become problems.
- Ask candidates for specific feedback on your claims. For example, if you talk up your responsiveness, make sure to ask candidates if your recruiters are, in fact, responsive.
Why You Need Online Reputation Management Software
Let’s talk about sports. You know the old saying, the best defense is a good offense? There’s a reason you’ve heard that phrase a million times. In football, if you’re constantly defending without an offensive strategy, you’ve already lost. And the same goes for your reputation management strategy.
If you want to take your online reputation management to the next level, a digital platform is your offense: you’ll generate more positive feedback, actively respond in real time to negative feedback, and promote your reviews anywhere your candidates might be researching you.
An online platform will also help you be proactive in righting recruiters before they veer off course and potentially damage your reputation.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of digital reputation management.
Improve recruiter performance
Recruiters have the unusual position of being both the face and the muscle of your organization, which means your reputation depends on their performance alone.
Your candidates are writing reviews about your recruiters — not your firm — so make sure your recruiters are living your company values.
To ensure a great reputation, think of recruiting as a dance — both partners need to be responsive to each other for it to be a success. For recruiters to become better partners in this staffing dance, as it is, they need to hear what they’re doing right and what needs to be improved.
With online reputation management software, you can help your recruiters pick up their lead, their blind spots, and their sweaty palms before they drive their candidates away.
- Gain insight into the black box of the recruiter-candidate relationship and stop problems before they start.
- Track patterns in feedback to identify ongoing problems.
- Ground training and education in specific candidate feedback so you can help your team grow in the right direction.
Generate more reviews, testimonials, and feedback
If you’re like most staffing firms, you might have a process for measuring employee feedback — but what about candidate feedback? Perhaps you send surveys a few times a year or your recruiters engage with candidates in an ad hoc way, asking them to send in testimonials or talk to friends.
This is leaving too much to chance. And, as you know, anything left to chance is unlikely to get done.
An online reputation management platform automates your feedback outreach and creates multiple touchpoints for your candidates to share their experiences, ensuring you stay in control.
- Generate candidate feedback consistently throughout their relationship with your firm.
- Automate feedback solicitation to collect those positive reviews without taxing your team.
- Gain insight into a larger section of your business by requesting feedback from all prospects and candidates.
Gain a big-picture view of your organization
Many people think of reputation as your audience’s idea of who you are, and that’s true. But reputation doesn’t originate in perception, messaging, or your external face. It starts in the very heart of your organization — with your culture, your values, and your mission.
An online reputation management tool is responsive to this. It improves the face you put out to the world online and also helps you grow internally. The right tool will give you deeper insight into your internal performance, help you improve cooperation between team members, and deliver a big-picture view of the health of your organization.
- Align your mission and values more precisely with your candidate experience.
- Drill down into and compare performance across divisions and between recruiters.
- Create an agency-wide knowledge base of best practices.
- Root out the causes of flagging sales by investigating feedback on low-performing divisions and team members.
Combat reviews from external sites
With a reputation management platform, you can establish yourself as the first point of contact for candidate feedback. By proactively seeking out reviews and providing an easy-to-use platform to leave feedback, candidates will likely leave reviews with you first.
This means they’ll be less likely to leave reviews on external sites — where it’s more difficult for you to respond in real time, triage problems, and promote positive reviews in a timely fashion.
- Successfully compete against external review pages on Google search result rankings.
- Avoid Bad Review Death, the plague of candidates seeing multiple unanswered low-star reviews and immediately dismissing your company.
- Create a microsite where you showcase your great feedback.
Unhappy candidates are still represented — every staffing firm, no matter how stellar, has them. But 100 pages of detailed, generous 5-star reviews from satisfied candidates outweigh the bad and provide a much richer picture of the company.
Share across multiple channels
People often think of reviews as static feedback that lives on a site somewhere, contributing positively or negatively to that all-important star rating. But, reviews can also be opportunities for you to share more nuanced, substantive feedback. By properly harnessing your reviews, you can turn your happy candidates into recruiters of sorts.
- Easily share your review link, star ratings, and testimonials on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- Feature glowing testimonials on your website to establish trust, communicate your values, and generate engagement.
- Include your feedback link in your team’s email signatures, so that every email is both a request for input and promotion of your gold-star reviews.
Top your competition
Recruiting is becoming more and more competitive every day. Online reputation management is one competitive tool that still isn’t widely used by your competitors. In fact, only
Adopting this technology early gives you a competitive advantage.
- Show your commitment to understanding what candidates want by regularly soliciting and responding to feedback.
- Provide a low-pressure way to ask for feedback. Most recruiters ask for feedback directly, putting candidates on the spot.
- Gain better insight into your candidate experience so you can improve faster than other firms.
Great Recruiters® is a candidate experience and reputation management platform specifically designed for recruiters. It was born from the desire to help transform the reputation of the recruiting industry. Easily capture real-time feedback, elevate recruiter performance, improve the candidate experience and supercharge your brand with an easy-to-use interface. Get a free demo today and see what’s possible.