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Employer Brand Check: Is Your Online Reputation Discouraging Jobseekers?

September 28, 2016

Your employer brand has a role to play when luring best talent to be a part of the growing workforce. With the penetration of social media impacting almost every sphere of our lives, employers are no longer spared from the brunt of employees’ opinionating and commenting about the company brand on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

More than 76% of Hong Kong jobseekers say the online comments of former employees influence their decision to apply for a job or work for a particular organisation, according to recruiting experts Hays.

In a poll of 314 people, 27% said that online comments from former employees definitely influence their decision to apply or work at a particular organisation. Another 49% said to some extent they take such comments into consideration.

Just 24% said online comments from former employees do not influence their decision. “Researching online reviews to aid our decision-making process is now the norm in many aspects of our lives, including when considering applying for work for an organisation,” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.

There are a number of company review sites, where existing and ex-staff can rate and comment on employers based on salaries, benefits, culture, and management style and so on. This freely available information is more commonly utilised than employers might like to think, and can have detrimental effects on a company’s employer brand.

“Jobseekers are able to make informed decisions about choosing to apply or work for a company by researching online company reviews, and as our research shows, most are influenced by the comments they come across”, adds Dean.

Here are some useful tips for employers to protect their employer brand online:

Look in the mirror: To start with, employers should be aware of what their online reputation is, and this means researching what sorts of reviews are out there so you can identify any particular themes or forums that are working for or against your brand.

Effective exiting: Mostly, negative comments come from disgruntled ex-employees so by introducing an effective off-boarding and exit process, you can give them the opportunity to air any grievances directly rather than have them go online to do this after they’ve left.

Leverage your ambassadors: Those that leave on a positive note of their employee experience with you can be powerful brand ambassadors for your employer brand. Consider how you can harness their positivity through alumni groups or forums. Similarly, think about how you can engage your current employees to be brand advocates to drive referrals and positive awareness of your employer brand online.

Embrace social media as friend not foe: Building an effective social media presence, will give you a direct channel to communicate with promoters and detractors of your employer brand in your own environment, giving you much more control of the situation. You can also use your channels to promote positive stories of your employer brand and what it’s like to work there to generate positive buzz.

“It’s extremely important for a company’s website and social media pages to correspond to their employer brand as well as the company’s vision, culture and values. An organisation should never underestimate the power and impact of its online presence in attracting top talent”, advises Dean.

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