Negative Glassdoor reviews can be initially biting - we get it. But effectively responding to company reviews, both positive and negative, is part of any solid employee engagement and employer branding strategy. In fact, 62% of job seekers say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review, according to a Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey.
Some of our pro tips for responding to reviews include responding promptly, welcoming all feedback, addressing specific comments, amplifying the positive and requesting more honest reviews from your employees.
But as an enterprise or fast-growing company, how can you stay on top of the influx of reviews that come into your Glassdoor profile? And where you do even start? Below, we break down how to manage large amounts of reviews and outline some frequently asked questions we receive on an ongoing basis about responding to negative Glassdoor reviews.
Managing Large Amounts of Reviews
Before we dive into the questions we receive on a day-to-day basis about responding to negative Glassdoor reviews in general, we want to address the number one question we receive from enterprise companies: how to manage the large influx of reviews that enterprise-sized companies receive to their Glassdoor profiles.
First, assign responsibility. Responding to Glassdoor reviews as a large company is no easy feat - it truly takes a team! Determine who on your team has the bandwidth to get involved, who will be responsible for responding to reviews, what your cadence will be for monitoring new reviews and curating templated responses that you can tweak or add to save time.
At The Home Depot, Jacquese Brown, Manager of Employment Marketing and Branding, aims to respond to 80-90% of all reviews. Do what you can! The Home Depot also has help - its Social Media Team collaborates with an outside agency and also gets hands-on involvement from employment marketing, branding, HR, talent acquisition and its internal recruiting team, so plenty of people are pitching in to help manage the load. The Home Depot also prioritizes reviews by urgency and gravity, which can help larger companies tackle reviews head-on in a methodical fashion.
Now, learn more about responding to negative reviews on Glassdoor with these frequently asked questions:
The Approval Process
Q: How does Glassdoor determine which reviews get approved?
A: We use a two-step process to moderate content on Glassdoor. The first gate of the review process is technological. We apply sophisticated technology that analyzes multiple attributes of the content. If the content does not pass technological review, a team of human moderators reviews the content to determine if it meets our guidelines. Additionally, a human always moderates any content that is flagged.
Responding to Reviews
Q: Is an individual notified when a company responds to their review?
A: Yes! If an individual posts a review, they will be notified if the company responds. But, that is where it stops. The employee cannot then respond to the employer's responses again, as we do not want to encourage a back-and-forth discussion on the site. On occasion, an employee may decide to post a new review. When they do this (within 365 days), the original review will be archived and the new review will show. Therefore, if an employer left a response on the original review, that response will be archived along with the review.
Q: Do responses to reviews show the date the response was made? We would like to respond to a negative review but it was years ago.
A: Yes. When an employer responds to a review, Glassdoor reveals the date the response was posted as well as the title of the employer who responded.
Q: Do you recommend responding to reviews from years ago?
A: Yes. We encourage responding to all reviews on your profile. By responding, it shows that you are actively working to improve your brand and value your employee's perspective, even if he or she may no longer be working with the company.
Q: Can an employer's response to a review get removed?
A: Yes. Because Glassdoor trusts our Employer Account holders to abide by our guidelines, we automatically put Employer Responses up on the site as soon as they are written. However, Glassdoor does moderate these employer responses daily. If the Employer Response does not meet our guidelines, we will then reject it and pull it off the site.
Q: Can we post a response to a review via video?
A: Any employer with a Glassdoor Free Employer Account may respond to a review with a typed message, and include a link to additional content like a video or other company collateral in that response. However, we highly recommend adding company videos to your profile. Learn more about employer brand videos.
Q: If our profile is mainly negative reviews, what is the value of driving to our Glassdoor profile?
A: Ultimately, it is best to drive candidates to your profile because it shows candidates you are a transparent company that values feedback. To get ready, here are some things you can do to improve your profile:
- First, respond to the reviews that are negative (in addition to those that are positive). Remember that the reader will be reading not only the review, but also your response to the review. A strong response balances a poor review and provides a platform for you to showcase your true employer brand. Because Glassdoor is a place many candidates are already visiting, isn't it better to have your voice on there rather than simply ignoring it?
- I also encourage you to think about your target audience for the Employer Response. Who do you really want to influence with your response (current employees, future employees, customers, investors)? Write your response for those people, not necessarily just for the person who wrote the review.
- Second, encourage your current employees to leave reviews. Take advantage of the opportunity to get the true spirit and voice of your workforce represented. Your employees will be happy to write a review because it means they will help the company attract great talent and their future co-workers; they have a stake in it, too. We recommend not asking for 'good' reviews, but simply asking for honest reviews. Employees tend to feel more goodwill toward a company that wants them to be authentic.
- Update all information about your company to make sure candidates have accurate information about the basics including your logo, your CEO, your company overview and more.
- And finally, consider the feedback provided from reviews. Many companies have told us they've learned a lot from review feedback and uncovered issues with which they were previously unaware. Once they have had internal conversations, they are better able to respond with steps they are taking to address them. These Employer Responses have gone a long way to showcasing why those companies are great places to work, and ultimately have attracted better talent. People want to work at a company that listens and cares.
Q: You understand how to respond to reviews publicly, but how do you respond to negative Glassdoor reviews privately, such as during a candidate interview?
A: Negative reviews are similar to negative news coverage - word about your company's reputation spreads quickly among job seekers, and they're not afraid to ask questions about it during an interview. Take a proactive, solutions-oriented approach when responding to interview questions about company culture. Here are some dos and don'ts to consider when having this conversation.
- Prepare by reading your company's latest Glassdoor reviews so you know what's being said about the company. Discuss a company communications strategy with your human resources and corporate communications teams before interviews. If you're unable to, check in with your leadership on the best way to respond and even role-model the conversation if you think that could help.
- Be honest - to the degree that you can. authenticity is important to candidates and employees alike, so acknowledge the negative reviews and share how the company has addressed this feedback and is moving forward stronger and better. Of course, keep any HR or legal guidelines in mind as you determine what to say.
- Don't clam up, say "no comment," or try to change the subject as this will just seem suspicious. It's okay to say the company is still in the process of working to make changes. This shows you are aware of the problem and working on it.
Q: Can employers get email notifications when a new review is posted to their Glassdoor profile?
A: Yes. Employees with a Free Employer Account can set up their email notification preferences in the Glassdoor Employer Center.
Flagging Potentially Incorrect Reviews
Q: Our company has salaries listed that are incorrect. Where do you get this data?
A: Per our Community Guidelines, Glassdoor allows members to contribute one review, per company worked at, per year. This is true for salaries as well.
Some employers feel as though the salaries posted on Glassdoor are not an accurate reflection of the current compensation they offer. Usually, this happens when either the salary was left in the distant past, or there are only a few salaries for a particular title at your company. For the first case, Glassdoor does adjust salary averages by using the inflation rate provided by the World Bank.
However, if you have few salaries on the site, this may still not be enough. The best course of action is to encourage more employees to post accurate salary information on Glassdoor. With the most up-to-date salary reviews, we will be able to better showcase your ranges, and educate potential job seekers what they can expect if they consider a position with your company.
Q: How can an employer flag a review to get it removed?
A: Employers are always able to flag the review for a second look by clicking on the flag icon below the review on the site. Once a review is flagged, a second-tier moderator will take a second look to determine if the review content falls within our content guidelines. If we determine it is unacceptable, we will remove and notify the flagger. If we determine it is acceptable, we will also notify the flagger via email. Please remember that while you may find the review disagreeable, it does not necessarily warrant removal under our guidelines.
Q: Do people know if you flag their review for any reason?
A: No, the author of the review is not notified if the review was flagged. If content does not meet our Community Guidelines, it will be removed and the author will be notified. Visit the Glassdoor Help Center to learn how you can manage your reviews on Glassdoor.
Q: When do you ask new hires to post reviews? After 90 days?
A: There are a few great opportunities to ask new hires to post reviews, including during onboarding training, and after 30, 60 and 90 days on the job. There's no requirement, but those are a few we suggest. Remember, if an employee posts a subsequent review within 365 days, the original review will be archived and the most recent review will show. Employees are allowed to write only one review per company per year.
Q: Do you offer materials (badges, signs to ask employees for reviews, stickers, etc.) for employers looking to get more involved?
A: Yes! We offer several employer resources for those looking to get more involved.
Q: What should we say to employees when we ask them to leave reviews? How do we encourage them to leave reviews?
A: Great question! We have eight easy-to-use email templates for a variety of situations and audiences so you can just plug and play! You can also download our "Let Your Voice Be Heard" poster to display around your office, encouraging employers to share what it's like to work at your company.
Remember, do not incentivize your employees in any way (gift cards, promises of a party, etc.) to leave a review. We take anonymity of reviews seriously, and never want an employee to feel they were coerced or bribed to leave a review. If we have evidence of this behavior, Glassdoor will remove review from an employer's profile within the time period this activity occurred.
Q: What's the best way to communicate the value of responding to reviews on Glassdoor to internal stakeholders?
A: Ninety-percent of Glassdoor users find the employer perspective useful when deciding where to work, so don't shortchange your reputation. Answering reviews promptly and in a non-defensive voice builds trust with your candidates, many of whom may just be starting their job search. Download our free resource, Templates for Hiring Pros: How to Respond to Reviews.
We often hear about internal stakeholders who do not want to respond to reviews because they believe it gives the reviewer credibility. By not responding, Glassdoor believes that you are missing an opportunity to not only neutralize a negative review, but also showcase your employer brand to all stakeholders who will read the review (including current employees, future employees, investors and customers).
Remember, when a scathing review is left, 1) most people discount that type of review, 2) the people who you want to work for you are not the ones that will give credence to that type of review and 3) your employer response is an opportunity to talk directly to your future employees and other stakeholders.
Look at each review as an opportunity to showcase who you truly are. If you do not want to validate the reviewer, don't respond directly to accusations or statements made. Instead, keep your employer response focused on showcasing your company's values by using stories or examples of actual behavior within the company. If you have a great copywriter who can use humor effectively, that can go a long way too!
Q: Do you ever delete outdated reviews on Glassdoor?
A: No, Glassdoor does not archive content that is passed a certain age. We leave all historical reviews up and allow users to sort by date to see content most relevant to them. However, when calculating the overall rating for a company, we do take into account the recency of the review (more recent reviews are weighted more heavily in the overall score).
Q: Can you make your own employer page on Glassdoor if you're part of a franchise?
A: Glassdoor recognizes both franchises and branches as part of the larger parent organization. At this time, we do not create separate profiles for branches or franchises. Users can filter reviews by location and job title. Thus, if they want to see reviews for a specific franchise location, they can filter. Alternatively, a headquarter location can also filter to see reviews specifically for them.
Q: How much information does Glassdoor have for regions outside of the U.S.?
A: While Glassdoor.com is one of the largest job site in the US, we have content on more than one million companies worldwide. Our global footprint continues to expand as Glassdoor has localized sites in the UK, Australia, Canada, India, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Italy and Singapore.
How you respond to reviews matters to the health of your business. To get involved in the conversation on Glassdoor and start managing and promoting your employer brand reputation, unlock your Free Employer Profile today.