The vast majority of internet users today rely on peer-review sites before making a purchase; from books, restaurants, hotels and even airplane seats, users happily rely on online services to aid them in making informed choices. Sites such as Amazon, Yelp, TripAdvisor and eBay have made online reviews the norm for savvy consumers everywhere.
Equally, savvy jobseekers around the world are relying on social media, particularly on employer review sites for information about their prospective employers. Review sites have come a long way from merely providing disgruntled employees and rejected jobseekers with a place to vent and publicly air their grievances. In the last few years, these sites (and their user base) have matured to be reliable sources of “insider” information for candidates looking to join an organisation.
In an age where branding and corporate culture are becoming key differentiators when attracting skilled talent, your organisation’s marketing and HR department are probably investing heavily and working furiously on campaigns that they hope will attract the best candidates for the job. However, even if you’ve got the best Facebook page, a highly engaged Twitter presence and a viral recruitment video, jobseekers will still seek out alternative channels in hopes of getting the “inside scoop” on the going-ons in your company. Review sites provide just that.
They give potential employees an idea of the company that they would not have otherwise had access to from your corporate careers site or the glossy recruitment brochure you gave away at the careers fair. At the same time, potential vendors and even consumers interested in what goes on in your offices could easily look you up and make decisions on whether to continue working with you or not.
How many brands have endured consumer backlash after it became public that they had unfair working practices or over questionable values being upheld within the organisation or even just by their CEOs?
Here’s a list of the top 5 employer review sites from around the world which you need to be aware of:
Glassdoor.com – the most popular employer and CEO review site right now. Current or former employees anonymously rate their companies on a scale of 1 – 5 along with a statement of at least one pro and one con of working for the organisation.
Employees are also able to review CEOs and other high-profile business leaders who are known in the public domain. However, users are not allowed to submit reviews for “private individuals”, i.e. immediate line managers to preserve their privacy.
Each submission is manually reviewed by a team at Glassdoor to make sure that the entry is “genuine”. Apart from reviews, users are also able to submit information regarding interview questions they faced as well as reporting salary information.
With the release of its Facebook application last year, usage has grown dramatically and the site continuously attracts new users from around the world.
RateMyEmployer.ca – The site displays anonymous reviews from current or past employees for Canadian businesses. To date, 36’817 reviews have been submitted for a total of 8’060 employers. The site discourages posting reviews for companies with fewer than 20 employees to prevent possible identification of the reviewers.
All submissions are user moderated and as such, the system relies on the community to report inappropriate language, inflammatory comments and other objectionable content. Apart from flagging inappropriate material, the site also allows users to “like”, “dislike” and comment on existing reviews.
RateMyEmployer is owned and maintained by Jobwings.com careers inc., a Canadian company that also operates several job boards. However, despite being founded by a company firmly entrenched in the online recruitment space, RateMyEmployer does not advertise any jobs nor does it seem to have a revenue stream which works in partnership with any employers rated on the site.
Jobadvisor.com.au – Launched in March 2012, JobAdvisor is an Australian employer review site focusing on providing employers the opportunity to improve their online branding. As with other review sites, all submission are anonymous with all companies ranked against similar organisations in its sector.
The service’s main aim is to promote employment branding for companies. JobAdvisor urges employers to use the feedback they gained on the site as a benchmark for overall employee satisfaction whilst at the same time, leveraging the positive reviews as an attraction tool for new hires.
Kununu.com – was founded as an alternative to Glassdoor.com specifically aimed at the German-speaking market. The platform has gained significant traction in the Austrian, German and Swiss markets. Recently it was acquired and is slowly being integrated with the social network Xing.
As with other review sites, the monetisation model for the platform relies heavily on employers paying a subscription fee to respond to the submitted comments as well as enhancing their page by adding photos, videos and the company logo. Further revenue is generated by allowing companies to post job vacancies on the site.
Jobeehive.com – launched in September 2008, the site hosts anonymous reviews primarily for employers in India although there are entries for US-based employers too.
Similar to other sites, user-reported salaries and compensation reports are available alongside the company ratings. Jobs are also available on the site via Indeed.com’s platform. Jobeehive also offers a “Layoff Tracker” functionality that displays the number of employees made redundant in a given month.
The site generates revenue primarily through display advertising. They also offer employers the opportunity to promote their brand through a “Featured Employer” program as well as social media management services.
TheJobCrowd.co.uk – is a UK-based employer review sited targeting the graduate population about to enter the workforce. The site pitches itself as the ‘TripAdvisor’ for graduate jobs and internships.
Founded by two graduates, the review site focuses primarily on providing feedback for advertised graduate schemes throughout the UK. The site has since expanded to include employer reviews, as well as information on working hours and average salaries.
In order to effectively monitor your brand online, you must also be aware of what your colleagues and past employees are saying about you on the internet. Just as feedback on your product may not always be positive, you need to be prepared for the fact that not every comment about your company culture or your CEO would be stellar. You cannot control what appears about you online, however you have the option of addressing these comments internally and externally.
Employer branding can easily detract from how your consumers see your product as well as influence the type of candidates that choose to accept an offer to join your organisation. As such, it’s worth keeping an eye on how conversations about your brand evolve on dedicated social networks such as the ones listed above.