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How to: Respond to a Negative Glassdoor Review

negative glassdoor review

Having a plan in place when it comes to effectively responding to company reviews (both good and bad), should be part of any solid employee engagement and employer branding strategy. Therefore, knowing how to respond to a negative review on Glassdoor is an important skill for a recruiter or HR professional to possess. Especially when you consider that 46% of Glassdoor members read reviews before speaking with a company or the person in charge of hiring. And that a whopping 90% of job seekers find employer perspectives useful when learning about jobs and companies.

That’s why in today’s blog we’re giving you 8 pieces of advice on how to deal with a negative Glassdoor review:

1. Don’t ignore it!

88% of people claim to have been influenced by an online review (for anything, not just employers). So, by not taking charge of your negative reviews where you can, you are missing out on your chance to have your say. By failing to respond, you’re missing an opportunity to not only neutralise a negative review, but also showcase your employer brand to all stakeholders who will read the review including current employees and future employees.

69% of Glassdoor members agree that their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. So, by taking the time to respond you prove that you are actively working to improve your brand and that you value your employees’ perspectives.

Bottom line: it’s better to have your voice heard rather than simply ignoring it.

2. Be professional.

It can be tempting to come back at a review all guns blazing when you feel the reviewer is being out of line, advertising false information or accusing your company of something that simply isn’t true. But it is especially important in these situations to be the bigger person.

Never respond to a review in anger. When an employee gives you a bad review, fighting back is not the best idea. Take the response from California trial attorney, Phlip Layfield, for example. When faced with a barrage of negative reviews for his company, with titles such as “You will HATE working here – Please read all the reviews” and “Working Here is Psychological Torture“, Layfield decided that instead of responding professionally, the best thing to do was to file a very public lawsuit to try and get Glassdoor to release the identities of the people who left these and other reviews of his law firm. Chances are, if he’d just stayed calm and professional, and responded to each of the reviews individually, many of us would be none the wiser that this had ever happened.

So before you respond to a negative review, step back. Take some time to really think about what the reviewer has to say and how best to approach it. Show prospective candidates that your company deals with issues calmly and professionally.

3. Say “Thank You”.

It may seem counterintuitive to thank someone for saying something negative about your company, but trust us on this one! Think about it this way. This person has just provided you with free information that will allow you to make your company great! By thanking them for their feedback it shows them (and any other stakeholder who are reading) that you’re gracious, you care about their issue, and that you’re willing to engage in order to put it right.

Kicking off your response by thanking the reviewer, will also go a long way to making you look professional.

4. Address specific issues.

Acknowledge the main issues the reviewer has raised, then go on to explain how you intend to solve the issue or what you are already doing to rectify it. The more detail you can give, the better.

That said, if you don’t want to validate the reviewer, don’t respond directly to accusations or statements made. Instead, keep your response focused on showcasing your company values by using stories or examples of actual behaviour within the company.

5. Be authentic.

Don’t, we repeat, don’t use canned responses when addressing a negative review on Glassdoor. Doing so makes it look like you’ve something to hide. People respect authenticity and the only way to be authentic is to respond to each and every review individually and honestly. In a world full of inauthenticity, people will appreciate your effort to be upfront.

Don’t make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve. They are far more informed, aware, socially connected – and empowered – crowd than ever before with high standards… and boy do they have attitude,” says James Noble. This is THEIR area too, and they can sniff out a scam at 10 paces. They aren’t afraid to air some dirty laundry either and anything you put out there will be scrutinised. If it doesn’t measure up to ‘genuine’ it WILL get called out.

6. Think about your target audience.

Who do you really want to influence with this response? Current employees? Future employees? Customers? Investors? Write your response with those people in mind, not just for the person who wrote the review.

7. Check spelling and grammar before posting.

Once you post a response on Glassdoor you CANNOT go back and edit it. Therefore, we advise you compose your review in a Word document first so you can run a spellcheck and edit it until you’re satisfied with the final product.

Oh, and it also wouldn’t hurt to get the opinions of some of your colleagues. Not just for spelling and grammar, but also for a sense check. Is your response professional? Does the response read well? How do you come across in the response? After all, two sets of eyes are better than one.

8. Listen and respond to the feedback.

The person who left this review did so for a reason. They felt strongly enough about it to open their laptop, log in to Glassdoor, and spend time typing out a review. Wouldn’t you like to stop anyone else from having the same negative experience? If you’re a responsible employer, of course you would!

Use this review as constructive criticism – as an opportunity to improve. Especially if two or three people point out the same issue, it’s definitely time to take a look and try and fix it.

Bottom line: people want to work for a company that listens and cares.

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