- A new survey shows that job seekers pay attention to company's poor online ratings. A CareerArc poll found that just 1 in 5 applicants consider working for employers with a 1-star rating — but 86% of companies think online ratings are unfair. CareerArc, an outplacement firm, surveyed 508 job seekers and 654 HR and recruiting professionals.
- The survey also found that women were 33% less likely than men to apply for a job at a 1-star rated company. Negative reviews stemming from poor experiences following a layoff nearly doubled in two years, and the number of applicants who share negative perceptions of employers doubled to 66% in the past two years, since CareerArc released its 2015 CareerArc Employer Branding Study.
- Generational differences surfaced in the poll. Millennials were less likely to apply for a job at a 1-star company after reading its poor reviews. Although baby boomers were twice as likely as millennials to report having been laid off or fired during their careers, millennials were 22% more likely than baby boomers to have a negative perception of the employer that laid them off. And millennials were 2.5 times more likely than Gen Xers to share negative perceptions of past employers on social media.
Employers might think online reviews are unfair or inaccurate, but job seekers are taking note and generally avoiding those with the lowest ratings. Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful means of sharing negative reviews, which is why social media, with its broad reach, can have a long-term, damaging effect on an employer's brand.
A disgruntled employee or two can be a significant factor in online reviews, particularly for millennials, who often turn to the internet to research their options. But an employer with multiple negative reviews may need to conduct an internal audit of its practices, start correcting objectionable conduct and be transparent about making changes by publicly announcing plans. Job seekers note honesty and transparency just as they do negative experiences.
HR sets the tone for how workers are treated in an organization. Are different criteria used to pay, develop and promote employees or are equitable polices in place to avoid bias based on gender, race, age or other criteria? Are layoffs announced in generic emails or face-to-face group meetings? Are terminated employees handled respectfully or are they paraded out the door in front of coworkers? When employers are deliberate in crafting the employee experience, it can do wonders for attracting and retaining talent, as well as protecting the company brand.