Your Company Can Get Top Talent for Less – by Earning Great Reviews

Your Company Can Get Top Talent for Less – by Earning Great Reviews
From Recruiter - February 8, 2017

When it comes to employees, you get what you pay for. Offer competitive salaries, and youll have a better chance of attracting the best.

But those salaries dont necessarily have to be higher than everyone elses if your company earns great reviews on Glassdoor, according to a new studyconducted independently by academics at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain. Not only did the study find that candidates are more likely to apply to jobs after reading good reviews of the company, but it also found that candidates would accept lower salaries from positively reviewed companies than they would from competitors.

Participants shown positive reviews required an average pay increase of between 35-40 percent for a job similar to the one they are doing now, according to a Glassdoor summary of the study. But participants shown neutral reviews of a company required a higher average pay increase (45-50 percent more), while those who saw negative employee reviews required an even higher pay increase (55-60 percent more). This data shows that job seekers are willing to work for a lower salary at a company where employees are more satisfied in their jobs, according to online reviews.

This news didnt come as much of a surprise to Kirsten Davidson, Glassdoors head of employer branding.

I think it confirms for me specifically what I know anecdotally and have seen from clients and my own experience, Davidson says.

She compares the situation to its consumer branding parallel. When a company receives a lot of positive reviews for a product, consumers are willing to pay more for it. Similarly, when a company receives a lot of positive reviews from employees, candidates are willing to pay more, in a sense, to work there.

When you feel like youre joining a company where youre going to have to take some hits socially and politically, or youre setting up for a negative environment or fewerbenefits, youre like, Alright, then compensate me for that, Davidson says. Whereas if youre joining a company that has valuable benefits, you even that out a little.

Candidates Find Reviews More Convincing Than Awards

The study also found that candidates were more influenced by an organizations positive employee reviews than bythe awards and accolades it may have received. Davidson believes this stems, in part, from the fact that candidates dont really know what goes on behind the scenes with these awards. For that reason, job seekers look at them skeptically. Authentic employee reviews, on the other hand, are more transparent and, therefore, trustworthy.

The reviews also offer a level of granularity and specificity that awards dont.

If Im a data scientist, its much more interesting to see what other data scientists in the company are saying instead of hearing about awards the company won overall, Davidson says.

Owning Your Employer BrandHow to Use Employee Reviews to Your Advantage

In recent times, Davidson says she has seen more and more organizations creating roles like her ownwhich is a great development in her eyes.

When thequestion Who owns employer branding? gets asked, the No. 1 answer I hear is Everyone, Davidson says. Yeah,to some extent, thats true. But the reality is someone internally has to drive that strategy, and they have a specific goal tied to that strategy around retaining and attracting talent. Thats how you ultimately have to prove out your investment when you go back to the executive team to ask for more money.

Davidson says the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria study is particularly valuable because itsan attempt to quantify the impact of employer branding through hard data, which is still relatively rare.

A lot of the stuff people are using [to support employer branding] still tends to be along the lines of It makes people feel good and We are pretty sure that this makes us look better, Davidson says. At the end of the day, you have to have that quantifiable data to back yourself up when youre fighting for dollars in a tightening organization.

But even with a dedicated team and quantifiable metrics, an organization still needs a strategy if its going to make the most of its employer brand. And its not like a company can simply spinpositive reviews out of thin air.


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