I recently spoke with Erin Osterhaus, Analyst at Software Advice, about the importance of employer branding. Knowing that she conducted a relevant research study on how jobs seekers use Glassdoor reviews, I asked her to share the results.
What does a job seeker look for in a company’s brand? What elements resonate most?
According to Bright, 75 percent of Americans would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation. But reputations are fluid things, and it’s crucial that recruiters and hiring managers are aware that their actions can have an impact on a company’s overall reputation, and a candidate’s resulting decision to apply for a position. To improve a job seeker’s perception of your company’s brand, highlight the benefits of working at your company (bonus points if it’s from an employee’s viewpoint!).
For example, in my recent discussion with Veronica Segovia (Vocus’ Employer Brand Manager) on this topic, she suggested taking advantage of current employees’ passion for social media to share news about company events in order to give potential candidates a sneak-peek into a day in the life of a Vocus employee. She encourages the recruiting team to post work-related content on a regular basis in order to maximize the amount of traffic Vocus receives to its careers page through social sites.
Are job seekers researching managers’ and executives’ image and reputation?
Glassdoor asks its users to rate companies based on five criteria:
- Senior management
- Culture and values
- Work / life balance
- Comp & benefits
- Career opportunities
Of these five categories, respondents to our survey said that a bad review of senior level management would not greatly impact their decision to apply at a company. So, although some job seekers will likely find this information useful, positive ratings of a company’s compensation and benefits program is much more important to job seekers.
Additionally, when we asked survey respondents if a negative review of the CEO would have a negative impact on their decision to apply at a company, only 10 percent said it would have a significant impact.
Does a company’s reputation weigh heavily in deciding to apply for a job?
Given that 48 percent of respondents noted they had used Glassdoor in their job search, I would say that a company’s reputation is quite important. After all, of those respondents who used Glassdoor in the job search, well over half consulted the site before even applying for a position. Rather than researching the company’s corporate reputation, they were likely seeking a more personalized view of the company from its current employees.
I would say that current employees’ perceptions of the company often weigh extremely heavily on a job seeker’s decision to apply. After all, almost 50 percent of respondents used the site to research companies before they even thought about applying for a job in order to determine which companies they would even like to work for.
Of compensation and benefits, work-life balance, culture, and values, do any of these elements out-weigh others?
Our research showed that compensation and benefits were most important to job seekers, while work/life balance came in at a close second. As companies have control over both of these areas, ratings in these categories can be more easily improved through executive level action.
Most Important Categories to Have Positive Reviews
Conversely, when we asked respondents what would most impact their decision not to apply to a company, the results verified the importance of compensation and benefits to job seekers. In fact, a quarter of our respondents said that poor ratings in this category would deter them from applying.
Categories Where Negative Reviews Most Deter Job Seekers
As we’ve transitioned to more digital tools over the years, are companies and job seekers comprehensively researching each other online? Is online presence considered critical?
I can say with some certainty that companies are using social media to extensively research potential candidates. I recently attended TalentNet Live at SXSW, and a large portion of the conference was spent sharing tactics recruiters had used to find and connect with candidates. One recruiter even mentioned that he used Facebook to find out what sports teams potential candidates liked in order to better engage them on the phone.
On the other side of the job search, our research on Glassdoor indicates that the Internet has also greatly benefited job seekers during their research of potential employers. By providing insider information to prospective job applicants, it’s a service that has revolutionized the job hunt—creating more transparency in the workplace. I know from personal experience: I’ve used it in the past, and many of my current co-workers commented that it was the first place they went when they decided to look for a new job.
For a detailed look at the research findings, view Software Advice’s slideshare:
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