How can you get the dirt on a company before you get hired? And how can you hurt the reputation of a company that fired you?

These two questions get to the heart of what makes the website Glassdoor so dangerous. And if you’re company’s Glassdoor page is being under attack, you’ll need to know all about how the site works, so you can mount an internet reputation counterattack that has bite.

Glassdoor is Made for Job Hunters

Glassdoor’s stated mission is to help people find both jobs AND companies that they love. And the site gathers and serves user-generated reviews to make that happen.

A job hunter can hop onto Glassdoor and read up on what current and past employees say about the company with which they have/had a work relationship. Readers can find out:

  • How much the company pays
  • How the interview process works
  • What’s good about working for the company
  • What people consider a drawback of the company’s structure or its management

Users of Glassdoor are required to create profiles and/or sign in with their social accounts. That makes the site at least somewhat reputable, as each bit of data comes from a real person (or at least a real profile) with a login. Unlike other review sites, which allow people to post anonymously without verifying any kind of personal information, Glassdoor requires at least a little bit of data about a user before the typing and reviewing begins.

But, the data that appears on Glassdoor can be spectacularly damaging. And the site’s setup makes an attack relatively easy to launch. In fact, in order to submit a review on Glassdoor, a current or former employee is asked to share some pros and cons about their current or past employer and, even if the reviewer has nothing negative to say about the company, he or she is required to enter cons in order for the review to be accepted. It’s not difficult to see how this requirement could lead to overly negative reviews being submitted.

If an onslaught of negative reviews does take place on your Glassdoor page, no matter how frustrating it may be, it’s important to remain calm. Responding to negative online reviews while angry is never a good idea. Doing so can make the situation far worse for your internet reputation and business than it would have been had you handled the review with caution and care. If something said in a negative review of your company on Glassdoor, give yourself a little time before responding.

Who Writes Reviews on Glassdoor?

People searching for jobs are, in most cases, leaving other jobs. And most people don’t leave their jobs and their steady paychecks for no reason at all. They leave those jobs because something about the company or the position just didn’t mesh with what they wanted out of life or out of a career. They made a choice to leave, or that choice was made for them.

Therefore, someone getting onto Glassdoor to find out about a company might also be motivated to talk about a prior company. And since Glassdoor strips names from printed reviews, so reviews aren’t tied to a real name users can see, reviewers tend to be brutally, and painfully, honest. Here’s one example.

Good Glassdoor Review - Kind of?

This former employee gave the company an overall positive review, but some of those comments are hair-raising. Words like “micromanaging” and “tunnel vision” are not the sorts of attributes any company wants tied to performance.

And since reviews like this do not come with a real name (even though a real name was required in order to write a review), it might seem hard to fight back. But there are some very powerful things companies can, and should, do.

How to Handle Negative Glassdoor Reviews

Step 1: Create a Glassdoor Profile

The Glassdoor Employer Solutions page has a quick and easy form for anyone working in HR, recruiting, marketing or PR. Within a few minutes, you can create an employer account for your company, and there, you can write up a few words about what your company does and what sorts of things your employees stand for. You can even upload a photo that represents your company in some way.

There’s no need to get crazy and overly wordy here, but a few sentences pulled from your recruitment material could help you to tell the story of your company in a compelling way, and that could come in handy if you’re under attack.

Step 2: Monitor Your Company’s Glassdoor Page

Glassdoor has an almost airtight policy about user reviews. The company will not moderate nor review them, even if you offer to pay Glassdoor to take things down. The company will not do it. Ever.

But, Glassdoor does allow employers to write detailed responses to each and every review a person might write. And here’s where the site has real power. If you find a negative review and you discuss why that review doesn’t actually reflect your company, you could fend off an attack altogether.

But to do so, you’ll need to watch your page like a hawk. As soon as you see something new, you’ll need to take action.

Step 3: Respond to Negative Reviews Appropriately

If a user writes a review that paints your company in an unflattering light you can (and you should) respond to that review as quickly as possible. But you’ll need to make sure to follow a few basic rules:

    • Stay calm. No profanity allowed.
    • Do not include links to websites or surveys, even if they help to bolster your case. These links are not allowed in responses.
    • No names. Even if you know who wrote the review, you cannot use it. Don’t even try.
    • No contact data. Your response will also be anonymous, so do not try to put in any contact information.

All of these tips come from Glassdoor’s Community Guidelines, and they are very clear. If you break these rules, your response will disappear. Be very careful.

Step 4: Ask for Help

Prior employees aren’t the only ones who can write up reviews on Glassdoor. Current employees can also share their thoughts, and you can help make that happen. Seek out your top employees (the ones who think favorably about you and the work you do), and ask them to write up a few notes about their experiences at work.

You cannot offer any kind of payment or incentive for writing reviews. Per the guidelines, that is forbidden. But you can ask your employees to help you in a calm and courteous manner, and they could choose to do so.

Get a Business Reputation Defender Involved

One of the best ways to deal with a Glassdoor issue is to ensure that your other loose reputation management ends are nailed down tight. That means content generation, review management and continued monitoring of the web for new reviews and brand mentions. If you need help with those steps, and if you want a little insider help dealing with negative reviews on your company’s Glassdoor page, it might be a good idea to call in a business reputation defender to remedy the situation.

In fact, because Glassdoor has become such a threat to the online reputations of employers in recent years, a number of online reputation management firms, such as InternetReputation.com and Reputation Hawk, that specializes in business reputation and review management, already have processes in place to fix bad reviews and optimize employer pages on Glassdoor. Such companies will be able to improve the sentiment expressed by current and former employees on your Glassdoor page, so that you can get back to running your business.

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