How a Bad Online Reputation Can Kill Your Hiring Process

The new word of mouth about a company’s reputation can be found online. In a recent survey by the international contract employment firm Spherion, 47 percent of job-seeking respondents said a company’s online reputation matters as much as the job offer they receive. How candidates see or perceive you is based in part on what they read about your company on the Internet. Glass Door Talent Solutions recently posted a study that found even in a bad economy, job seekers care about a company’s reputation.

Job Seekers Write Reviews, Too

Your job postings go unanswered when your online reputation is poor. Companies that must go outside to find a new employee have to make sure the way they treat applicants reflects well on them, even (and especially) those who are not hired. Every candidate you interview and do not hire should leave the interview wishing he or she had been, according to Impact Hiring Solutions. Here are some ways you could hurt your business’ reputation within the hiring process:

  • An applicant who is not chosen for the job after interviewing, with no follow-up even though the interviewer suggested there would be, might be miffed and leave a negative review about your firm. This could turn off a highly qualified applicant from applying to a position.
  • You hire an applicant who applies in part based on how your company’s online reputation struck them. This future employee will leave an impression on your customers who do take the time to write reviews about your business.
  • Your online applications for jobs are clumsy, and you leave no way for an applicant to get in touch. This is frustrating and can create negative feedback.
  • The worst case scenario is when your applicant is also a client or customer. The very last thing an interviewer wants to do is explode that relationship.

Guard Your Reputation

With so much information so easily available, top job candidates weigh their decision to apply for a position based in part on Internet reputation. This is why business owners and executives should refrain from voicing personal opinions on business websites—these usually inflame someone. Examples of topics better left off your site include religion, politics and inflammatory issues such as immigration, guns and welfare.

Online reputations can go from excellent to horrible in moments without you even knowing. If anyone decides to make negative comments, you may not know about it until your business is hurting or applicants are not applying. Use tools such as daily Google Alerts to see what is being said about your company in the digital space.

The Boston Globe reported a company’s hiring image is subject to how others see its community service, dress code and diversity, all of which is easily obtainable information in 2013 through social media and online sentiment.

New hires want to know the company they join is honest, ethical and fair. While it is easy for a business to dismiss its online reputation as inaccurate and then believe everyone else thinks so as well, it’s also foolish.