How to Manage Your Company’s Online Reviews

Thirty years ago, word of mouth was the only way people could tell others about their experience with a company. But in today’s age of the internet and the wealth of information that comes with it, online review platforms like Glassdoor, PayScale, and give candidates unparalleled insight into what it’s really like to work for or interview with almost any given employer.

On most review platforms, both current and former employees can anonymously rate and review their experience as well as share salary numbers. Candidates can also comment on companies’ hiring processes and provide information regarding the questions they were asked, how long the interview process took, if an offer was made, and whether they accepted.

Receiving this kind of feedback in such a public forum can certainly be a boon for businesses that boast positive reviews. However, it can also be a detriment to those with unfavorable marks on their employer page. “I’ve witnessed firsthand how candidate and employee review platforms like Glassdoor can significantly influence our employer brand and recruitment efforts,” says Kayla Norflus, a senior recruitment marketing specialist at The TemPositions Group of Companies. “Positive reviews can enhance our reputation, attracting top talent by showcasing our company culture and employee satisfaction. Conversely, negative reviews can deter potential candidates and harm our brand if not addressed properly.”

Below, we shared some tips from Norflus and other thought leaders on how employers can best manage their brand reputation on review platforms like Glassdoor.

Be Proactive When Addressing Negative Reviews

No one is perfect, and over time, every employer will encounter a misstep here and there that receives backlash from a candidate or employee. When this happens, Ursula Mead, CEO and co-founder of InHerSight, a company reviews platform for women, says having some kind of brand reputation management regimen is crucial, similar to a health and fitness routine. She says employers have to be proactive and consistent in their efforts, so that when a negative review attacks their brand, they are strong enough to recover. Meanwhile, ignoring or dismissing negative feedback can cause the issue to fester, further damaging an employer’s brand.

Actively addressing concerns raised in reviews can not only reduce potential harm, but it can also show current and prospective employees that there is value in their feedback. “For one-off negative reviews, I think a simple, ‘Thank you for the feedback. We’ve shared this information with the team/leadership in charge of this issue.’ will do,” Mead says. “Or in the case of something that alludes to an unsafe working environment, saying you’re ‘elevating the issue’ speaks to your urgency and care. For recurring ones that indicate a larger problem, comment yes, but also respond with action — that’s what people are actually looking for. So, for instance, if everyone says they think their pay is unfair, why not put salaries in your job descriptions to add some transparency? Answering feedback with action speaks volumes about who your company is.”

Remember to Respond to Positive Reviews, Too

Taking a proactive approach to review management also means responding to positive reviews — a task any employer should relish. After all, this can help amplify the satisfied employee or candidate’s voice and also encourage more people to talk up the company.

When responding to a positive review, Mead advises employers to “be grateful, genuine, and excited. If the review is particularly positive, you might even be able to get away with some self-promotion.” For instance, if an employee review mentions a promotion they received, Mead says an employer could respond with something along the lines of, “Congrats, and thank you for your years of service! We put a lot of thought into our mentorship and learning and development programs, and it’s exciting to see that those efforts are supporting our teams. More to come in the future!”

Encourage Current Employees to Leave Reviews

Once an employer is actively engaging with reviews, it may be time to think about adding more authentic voices who can speak to their experience working for them. “Encouraging current employees to leave reviews on sites like Glassdoor can amplify a company’s employer brand and further attract top talent,” says Tanisha Mighty, a recruiter at Saatva, the smarter luxury sleep company. “Authentic, firsthand accounts from employees offer valuable insights into our work environment, company culture, employee experience, and so much more. Positive reviews from satisfied employees can serve as powerful endorsements, while constructive feedback from current employees helps us identify areas for improvement and, as a result, take proactive steps to enhance the employee experience.”

While honest feedback is good feedback, the last thing an employer wants is for their employee feedback efforts to backfire with a slew of negative reviews. When thinking about which employees to solicit reviews from, some of the best responses may come from newer employees who are likely still wearing rose-colored glasses and thus will be more inclined to leave positive reviews about their experience. Another strategy may be to target top performers as those employees also tend to enjoy working for their employer.

Learn From Employee Feedback

At the end of the day, the key to employer brand management is to really listen. Simply responding to reviews without taking any kind of action won’t do much to improve an employer’s reputation — or their reviews — in the long run.

“Employee reviews offer invaluable feedback that can ultimately enhance a candidate and employee’s experience with a company,” Mighty says. “By analyzing any recurring themes and identifying areas of strength and improvement, they can tailor the recruitment strategies, refine the onboarding processes, and implement initiatives to boost employee engagement and satisfaction.”

When looking at reviews, employers should ask themselves:

  • What new positives am I seeing? How can I lean into these positives when promoting our brand or our initiatives?
  • What negative trends am I seeing? How will I get more information from employees about what’s going on there? How can we improve or remedy the negative situation?

Stay Active on Employee Review Platforms

Managing an employer brand involves more than just responding to reviews. It’s telling a brand’s story, celebrating wins, and acknowledging missteps. “Beyond responding to reviews, actively managing our presence on review platforms involves sharing updates about company initiatives, achievements, and responding to trends in feedback,” Norflus says. “This proactive approach not only protects our brand but also positions us as an employer that values transparency and employee feedback.”

Most review platforms like Glassdoor and even Monster allow employers to manage their own profile page, where they can add an employer value proposition, share company updates, and post photos that showcase the employee experience and important initiatives like DE&I efforts. Staying active on these profile pages can help employers take ownership of their brand image and help drive both active and passive job seekers to join the company.

Devise an Employer Branding Strategy

Beyond review platforms and company profile pages, employers can manage their brand on social media and their career website as well as through their employer value proposition, job listings, and more. Monster’s Employer Branding Guide provides guidance on how employers can devise a strategy and best utilize these channels to attract and retain top talent. Download for free today.