Career moves are impactful, personal decisions—often about more than salary and benefits. It’s not shocking that most professionals trust that decision process with precious few individuals.
If your recruiters want to be involved in that process, they have to earn the candidate’s trust. They do this by providing exceptional experiences and building up a reputation for putting the candidate first—a reputation so impactful that candidates can’t help but talk about it with their peers.
But how do you connect the dots? How do you take those great experiences and leverage them to promote & elevate your brand? The answer: open transparency via online recruiter reviews.
Why recruiter reviews are critical for brand promotion
In the past, recruiters’ main value prop was access to available jobs. Now, with online job boards and similar services, that value prop has changed. The most successful recruiters don’t just open doors, but give valuable advice and guidance to their candidates.
However, measuring candidate experience can be fuzzy. So what mechanism do you use for such a subjective metric?
The answer: recruiter reviews. They provide an objective, real-time way to measure recruiter performance and make adjustments at the most critical moments.
What’s more, reviews enable candidates to evaluate recruiters before they start a conversation. In fact, 90% of consumers read reviews before contacting a business. The question is: what are they going to find when they Google you?
If you aren’t actively investing in online reviews to promote your brand, then you’re letting the worst experiences drive the narrative. It goes without saying that this can have disastrous brand consequences.
5 steps to leverage recruiter reviews to elevate your brand reputation
Now that we’ve laid out the importance of investing in online reviews as a tool for measuring and elevating your brand reputation, here are some tips to use them effectively.
1. Ask for them!
People who’ve had a great experience rarely share it online without prompting. On the other hand, 72% of candidates who have a bad experience make a point to post about it.
If you aren’t proactively asking satisfied candidates for reviews, you’re letting the negative experiences drive the conversation.
That’s why you must make review requests part of your recruiting process. Here are some times when it makes the most sense to reach out:
- After a first conversation
- After the first placement
- 30, 60, & 90 days post-placement
Even better: find a way to automate review requests, that way no one slips through the cracks, and you capture as much positive feedback as possible.
2. Respond to negative reviews
Not every review will be positive. Even if your recruiters do everything in their power to provide a quality experience, there’s going to be a few crabapples in every bunch. If you aren’t thoughtful in how you respond to negative reviews, then you’ll take a tough situation and make it worse.
In fact, 89% of consumers who read businesses’ responses to reviews make assumptions about that company based on their tone and reactionary response. If you lash out or are dismissive of the concern, then you’ll end up putting off even more people.
What’s more, if there’s a genuine concern with one of your recruiters, you want to know about it—so you can fix the problem. Expressing appreciation at a negative review and a willingness to fix the problem humanizes your brand and shows that you’re responsive to concerns.
3. Understand return on awareness (ROA)
Return on awareness is a simple concept—the more your candidates and customers talk about you, the more relevant your agency will be. If your brand receives positive attention, it’s a positive return. If you receive negative attention, then it’s a negative return.
Say you attend a local baseball game, and one of the attendees is wearing a shirt with your brand on it. And let’s say that someone notices that shirt and strikes up a conversation about your agency. They may even recommend a client or candidate to start working with you.
Now, you can’t track the ROI of printing that shirt and giving them out to your people. But you know that shirt has a positive brand impact. Likewise, you can’t track the ROI of investing in online reviews. But it yields a positive impact, without a doubt.
4. Use technology to automate the process
Breathe easy: automation will never replace the recruiter as a person in our industry. The relationships between recruiters and candidates are crucial and provide the foundation for the entire industry.
That said, COVID has changed the reality across a number of industries. Speed to market is especially important as jobs have skyrocketed. As a result, automation & recruiting technology are no longer “nice to haves” — they’re crucial.
Some of these tools include:
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Applicant tracking system
- Email & communication automation system
- Experience management & brand promotion
- Google My Business
- Referral management systems
- Reference checking software
- Self-service portals
The power of automation today is that it frees up your team to perform the tasks that require that human touch: spending time with the candidate and delivering an exceptional experience—not just sending out emails.
5. Remember: culture is foundational
If you want to create an environment where people are encouraged to improve and grow, you need to foster transparency. This enables them to see what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and where they can improve.
By collecting real-time reviews from candidates, you create a mechanism for providing that transparent feedback. When recruiters see positive candidate reviews, it boosts their confidence, which leads to greater team morale. When they see negative reviews, it provides an opportunity to improve and adjust their behavior—and it gives you peace of mind to know that issues are being addressed at the most critical moments.
You can’t put lipstick on a pig and expect it to look pretty. In the same way, you can’t just request reviews and expect that to fix the problem.
As much as you can, invest your efforts into a flawless online presence shown through great candidate experiences. If you don’t have a culture that puts people first and presents a valuable candidate experience first, then your experiences are going to show in in reviews.