A company staffed by driven and motivated professionals doesn’t like to divert too many resources from its core focus. If you’re part of a company like that, and you believe wholeheartedly in your product, then taking the time to think about reviews posted by former employees might seem like an unimportant distraction. Watch out, though. Employee reviews are already influential enough to either sabotage your efforts to attract the best talent in your field, or form the catalyst for your greatest success.
How is it possible that this is something that merits such urgent attention? Why do employee reviews matter so much?
In the age of Amazon and Google, first impressions are digital
First, an analogy.
In the first decade since the mass adoption of smartphones began, consumer behavior underwent a dramatic change.
You see, almost no one ever shops alone anymore.
That doesn’t mean that everyone always has somebody by their side, helping them to push the shopping cart.
But it does mean that they have thousands of assistants in the palm of their hand.
Before smartphones brought the possibility of an internet connection to almost every cubic inch of occupiable space on Earth, shoppers had to rely on very limited information to know what they might like to buy.
We hate wasting money on defective or bad products, so we try to make sure they’re okay before we put them in the cart.
We check for intact seals, make sure there are no dents or leaks or weird-colored fuzz, and… that’s about it until you get home and can try it out.
Over time, we learn to trust certain brands for consistent good quality, and avoid the ones we don’t like.
Enter the iPhone
Suddenly, though, it became possible to get a lot more information before deciding to purchase.
You already know how this story ends, because you yourself probably check the Amazon reviews of that new pair of shoes to see how long they lasted for other people like you.
Where are we going with all this, and what does it have to do with why employee reviews matter?
The most interesting part of the story is that we don’t just do this research when we’re buying stuff.
We do it whenever we’re about to dive into something new.
Like, for example… a new job.
Reviews are as much a part of your brand as your advertisements
Just as nearly all internet-connected product consumers now do, job seekers want to get a sneak peek at what they might be getting into.
If we’re able to find out whether a new brand of chunky tomato sauce tastes good before we even open the jar, how much more important might it be to make sure that the place and people we’ll be spending most of our daylight hours with are going to be enjoyable and respectful to us?
The most talented job seekers know that they have lots of options, so they won’t waste their time applying to companies that look like they would drag them down.
That leaves the pool of potential hires much weaker for a company with poor reviews, and forms a vicious cycle resulting in lower quality, and further erodes trust in your brand.
Thus, just as consumer product brands now depend less on advertising for sales than they do on reviews by actual buyers, your brand as an employer is now becoming increasingly influenced by what your own workers have to say about you to the world.
Sites like Glassdoor have made it very easy for both current and former employees to give the future ones a heads-up.
The question you need to be concerned about is this:
Is that heads-up an invitation… or a warning?
Getting help for more and better reviews
If you find that you’re struggling with lots of negative reviews that you feel are unfair, it may be that you need a little extra help encouraging your happy employees to contribute their two cents.
RVW BOT makes that really easy with a simple app that plugs right into Slack, and gently invites new hires to leave a review after they’ve been on the job for at least a week.
That gives them time to see what it’s like inside, but before they get too busy with every responsibility they’re starting to take on.
That also gives you and everyone else the benefit of a clearer picture of what it’s like to work in your company. Whether the results are vindication or a wake-up-call, you’ll be able to move forward and continue focusing on what you do best.