Templates for Hiring Pros
How to Respond to Reviews
Feedback doesn’t have to be scary. Both positive and negative feedback are what drives change, and helps people and organisations grow and improve.
Plus, feedback, including reviews published on Glassdoor, is a two-way street. When employees share their opinions about working at your company, you can join the conversation and share your side too, for free.
Need help getting started? We’ve got you covered. These templates will give you exactly what you need to communicate with current and former employees leaving reviews, and importantly, anyone reading them as well. You’ll quickly learn how easily you can turn the feedback loop into a critical recruiting mechanism that will help you fill your pipeline with informed and engaged candidates.
Results of Responding to Reviews
Reviews are an important piece of your candidate’s job search. In fact, 40% of UK job seekers consult company reviews and rating when making job decisions.1 Worldwide, 80% of job seekers read online reviews before accepting a job.2 Those reading reviews aren’t just skimming the surface. They read at least 4 reviews before forming an opinion about a company,3 making them some of the most informed candidates on the market today.
But what if your company’s reviews are less than glowing? Or, you want to give your opinion about something an employee has shared? The antidote for this problem is simple. Respond to your company’s reviews.
By the Numbers
Responding to reviews has positive impacts beyond impressing prospective candidates. It can also impact your company’s bottom line and determine its future success. Having trouble convincing leadership? Try these proof points:
- IMPACT ON RECRUITING. The average cost per hire is $4,1295 (approximately £3,238), but companies with bad reputations pay 10% more per hire.6
- IMPACT ON EMPLOYER BRAND. Of Best Places to Work companies in the US, which financially outpaced the S&P 500 by 112% between 2009 and 20147, more than half (56%) respond to reviews.
- IMPACT ON BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS. Salesforce leverages company and CEO ratings on Glassdoor as leading metrics in deciding which companies to potentially acquire.8
The Rules of Reviews and Responses
In order to gather balanced and actionable feedback for employers, Glassdoor asks employees to include “pros,” “cons” and “advice to management” in their reviews.
Glassdoor also maintains strict community guidelines to ensure all reviews and responses are helpful, balanced and authentic. Reviews go through a two-touch content moderation process which includes both a technological review and sometimes, human review as well. If reviews or responses do not abide by these guidelines, they will not appear on our site.
To make sure your responses are within our community guidelines:
- Be courteous and professional.
- Do not include the name of the individual who you believe wrote the review.
- Do not threaten the writer of a review with legal or other punitive action.
Read the Community Guidelines in their entirety.
Responding to Reviews Best Practices
- Ensure title and name of responder is correct
- Draft responses in Word or Google Docs to allow for proper editing of spelling, grammar and tone
- Say “Thank You”
- Acknowledge positive feedback
- Address specific concerns honestly
- Take the high road Avoid corporate or internal company jargon
- Offer to take the conversation offline
When it comes time to formulate your response, in addition to following the best practices, we recommend keeping the three As in mind:
- Acknowledge. Oftentimes people are looking for you to acknowledge a problem rather than offer an empty apology. Be transparent about explaining the current situation, and/or offer insight into what’s being done to make changes.
- Articulate your position, stick to the facts. Offer data and research to back your position to keep your emotions out of your response.
- Advise. Your response is not just for the current or former employee who reviewed your company, it is also for prospective candidates. Advise future candidates on what they can do to have the best possible experience.
Test Your Knowledge
Let’s put the best practices to work! Read the following responses to reviews and determine whether the responses follow the best practices and community guidelines.
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. From the top down, the key to our business is our commitment to not only customer service, but to our associates. Because taking care of associates is one of our core values, we’re always looking for ways to ensure our associates have equal access to growth and development opportunities. We strive to provide an environment where associates feel they’re valued, treated fairly and respected. Our associates are encouraged to provide further feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie, I know you may not approve of our modified commuter benefits, but we don’t have the funds right now to cover all commuter costs as our employee base has grown too large. If you can’t be appreciative of the benefits that you do receive then we may not be a good fit for you any longer…
Thank you for taking the time to write a thoughtful review! We appreciate hearing about your personal experience and are glad to learn that you enjoy working with your team members and our unique work perks. We care very deeply for our employees and like to provide fun benefits like pastries on Fridays and chair massages every quarter. We are growing quickly which presents its challenges. We are dedicated to always improving our benefits package, which includes a generous pension scheme. If you’d like to provide further feedback please email me at email@example.com.
Responding to Reviews Flowchart
Now that you’ve successfully identified the right way to respond, let’s take a look at an example for how you can tackle reviews as an organisation.
Now that you have the tools you need to respond to your Glassdoor reviews, ask your employees for feedback! You can request more reviews from employees through the Glassdoor Employer Center. Here’s how:
- From the Employer Account, go to Review Management > Request More Reviews
- Fill out “From” and “To” email address fields
- Fill out subject line and email content
- Send email
We suggest tailoring your request to specific demographics within your company such as:
- New hires (and employees finishing their probation period)
- Employees celebrating work anniversaries
- Employees in roles you’re hiring for
Here’s a general message you can send to all of your employees:
We’d be very grateful if you would take a moment to review us on Glassdoor UK. Glassdoor is a leading global job search destination that more and more of our future hires are using to research us to determine if we are the right organisation for them. We want our employees to tell prospective candidates what it’s like to work here by leaving reviews. We also use employee feedback on Glassdoor to make our company a better place to work.
Your honest feedback is very much appreciated and will remain completely anonymous.
Thank you very much for taking the time to tell us what’s on your mind
Tips From Top Responders
U.S. Small & Medium-Size Companies Best Places to Work: 2017 (#28) (#11)
Q: What’s your company’s policy on responding to reviews? Do you respond to both positive and negative feedback? Why?
A: We try and respond to all reviews within a week when they are positive; if the review is not great, we ask the leadership team to get involved in providing a response. Due to this, the response time for negative feedback sometimes takes a little longer, but it remains our priority. We think it is important to respond to all reviews for a couple reasons. First, it allows us to say thank you. We truly value the voice of our team members, and when someone takes the time to provide feedback, we want them to know we are genuinely grateful for it. Second, we want them to know we care. If the feedback is positive, we want to keep doing the things they appreciate; if the feedback is negative, we want to work to address any legitimate concerns, problems, or issues.
Q: How do your company’s Glassdoor reviews impact your recruiting efforts?
A: They are hugely impactful! It seems like every candidate that we interview these days references what they’ve read about us on Glassdoor. Whether we like it or not, candidates appreciate the opportunity to peek behind the curtains to see what’s truly going on without the “spin”.
Q: How are less-than-perfect reviews actually good for your business?
A: It is important that candidates know that a) we are not perfect and b) we are responsive to feedback. When a prospective candidate reads less-than-perfect reviews, it helps to remove any rose-coloured glasses and likely gives them some good questions to ask us. At the same time, because we take care to respond to reviews, it is an opportunity for us to show them how we respond to negative feedback. It is important that we take useful feedback to heart, respond in a manner consistent with our values, and take all opportunities to grow. If we can show this to potential candidates, and they like what they see, the negative review turns into a great opportunity for us.
Canada Best Places to Work: 2017 (#3) (#11)
Q: What advice can you offer to people who are trying to get leadership on board with engaging with the conversations taking place on Glassdoor?
A: Executive sponsorship or buy in is important to your success with Glassdoor or any external marketing, branding or recruitment initiative. Be a partner to your senior leadership team. Demonstrate the value that can be obtained through anonymous transparent feedback. Give them a compelling reason to be open to the idea of reviews by doing your own homework. Identify trends, key messages, themes in the material you’re seeing on your Glassdoor employer page. And find a way to tie this directly into your business objectives. This connectivity will encourage your senior leaders to understand the value in reviews and how they can impact your most valuable asset — your team members.
Q: How do you encourage employees to leave feedback on Glassdoor?
A: Ensure that you encourage the mentality of creating that safe space for current and former team members to tell their stories. Make sure your team members know that they are all brand ambassadors and empowered to help build that brand. By sharing their unique perspectives, they’re part of building something truly meaningful for your company.
ATB lives this practice — our senior leaders have boldly said, “You have a voice and it deserves to be heard. If you have something positive to say, we’re humbled, excited and grateful to hear what we should keep doing right. If you need to share something that’s more difficult, know that we’re listening. If you’re more comfortable providing anonymous feedback, we value this. In the event you want to provide feedback directly, as a senior leadership team, we’re here to hear your story personally.”
It’s really improved the sense of openness within ATB and has made a big impact on the perception of our senior leaders’ availability.
Q: Candidates look at Glassdoor because they want an inside look at the company. Do you believe this transparency is important in attracting the right kind of candidates to your organisation?
A: This may be a bold statement but here goes. Transparency is THE ONLY way to ensure you’re attracting prospective talent that aligns with your values. How many times have you attracted a new friend or even a date that had any real staying connectivity by pretending to be someone you’re not?! Transparency is not just a buzzword, but a foundational element to your company culture, which will feed into your talent strategies. Your talent brand voice should be based on your company culture. Every time you communicate internally or externally, it’s advantageous to bring your company vision, mission and values to life. Your review responses are a GREAT way to do this.
At ATB, we are able to connect with our audience in meaningful ways by using consistent language that feels and sounds like ATB. Our messaging and voice is consistent with our brand in everything we do, including our Glassdoor response, which we aim to keep smart, simple, helpful and steadfastly genuine.
- UK One Poll, May 2017;
- BPS World Survey, May 2017;
- Glassdoor.com UK Site Survey, September 2016;
- Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, January 2016;
- SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Report, 2016;
- Harvard Business Review, March 2016;
- Beating the Market Again: Updated Stock Returns for Best Places to Work Companies, Glassdoor, December 2015;
- Quartz, October 2016
Note: The cited research, except for the BPS World Survey, has been compiled in the US and pertains to the American job market. However, Glassdoor is currently collecting similar market data for UK job seekers and employers.