Many employers are understandably wary of sites like Glassdoor that allow employees and job candidates to publicly post anonymous reviews of their current or prospective employer, which can create tension between employees’ free speech rights and employers’ rights to be protected against costly defamation. In the age of social media, however, managers who would hope to put a lid on this pot are probably fighting a losing battle, and it is becoming increasingly important for organizations to pay attention to how online reviews affect their employer brand. Last week, CIO’s Sharon Florentine highlighted a recent survey from Future Workplace and CareerArc exploring the influence of online reviews on job candidates’ perceptions of an employer. Candidates are more likely than ever to research a prospective employer online before applying, the survey found, and are making more decisions based on those reviews:
[J]ob seekers increasingly trust reviews from other candidates and current employees to give them the lay of the land before applying. One in three job seekers has shared at least one negative review of a previous or prospective employer, and 55 percent of job seekers who have read a negative review have decided against applying for a position at that company, according to the survey. The survey also found that those employees and job seekers who do leave online negative reviews are 66 percent more likely to spread those opinions on social media, compared to those who only share their opinions directly with a friend or colleague.
And job seekers give more weight to the opinions of their fellow candidates and employees than a company’s official stance. The survey showed that job seekers rank current employees as the most trusted source for information about a company, followed by online reviews from job applicants and former employees, respectively. The CEO or other company executives were ranked the least trusted source by job seekers.