Reputations’ Impact on Recruiting? Huge

In yesterday’s Advisor, expert Bob Corlett shared recruiting tips based GRIM—the dominance of Google, the Impact of Reputation, and the importance of Mobile. Corlett is the founder and president of Staffing Advisors. His remarks came at BLR’s RecruitCON conference, held last year in Las Vegas.

When Do Reviews Matter?

One or two bad reviews? Move on, Corlett says. Four or more bad reviews? That starts impacting your recruiting results and thus requires a response strategy.

Responding to Online Criticism

You have three options for responding to online criticism, Corlett says.
Option 1: Put your head in the sand.
This scenario forgets that candidates view you through the lens of the bad reviews.
Option 2: Talk your way out of trouble.
This scenario forgets that nobody listens to car dealers. “Oh, ignore those Consumer Reports comments.”
Unfortunately, with either option one or two, the most attractive candidates will mysteriously land other jobs, “decide to stay with their current employer,” or find other ways to decline a second interview, Corlett says.
Option 3: Tackle the situation head on.

  • Read your harshest Glassdoor®
  • Ponder why people were so disappointed.
  • Fix it in the interview:
    • Set authentic expectations.
    • Demonstrate how you’re addressing concerns.
    • Create an “engineered epiphany” (a situation where the applicant is led to having an epiphany)

Who should own Glassdoor responses? Corlett asks. It should be one person or a very small team, and the higher up in the organization, the better, he says. In your responses:

  • Be authentic. Personalize each review, good or bad.
  • Be specific. Address issues raised by describing the internal solutions proposed to fix them, if possible.
  • Avoid defensive or accusatory language.

A website that has helpful information can be found here.

Can the Interview Help?

The interview can make or break your recruiting, Corlett says. Candidates form an initial impression on Glassdoor or from other sources, then the interview cements or disproves the online reviews.


Corlett offers the following final tips:

  • Ramp up your strategic HR efforts.
  • Address your online reputation before it affects recruiting.
  • The problem is fixed in the kitchen, not at the table.
  • Reputation is a PR issue.

The Future: Strategic HR

There is going to be increased demand for strategic HR reputation management, Corlett says, and it will come in two directions:

  • Finding the root cause of reputation issues and taking strategic action.
  • Preserving, protecting, and defending senior leadership’s personal reputations.