Smashing the Glassdoor

A little bit of Penna insight and thinking.


23 Jan 2017

HR, Employer Brand, Glassdoor, Staff Recruitment

Smashing the Glassdoor

Glassdoor enables candidates, current and former employees to post feedback on a company, its management and interview experience.  Your university’s rating in a competitive field like Higher Education may make the difference between a candidate accepting your offer or going elsewhere.

When we deliver social media workshops, we are often asked “How can we improve our Glassdoor rating?”  So here are our suggestions to ensure your Glassdoor profile reflects your institution's quality as an employer. 

Firstly, don't panic. Take a step back and put your reviews into context.  The average employer rating of the 540,000 companies reviewed on Glassdoor is 3.3 (out of 5), based on 10 million posts.  Some massive corporations may have hundreds or thousands of reviews, but your institution's rating might be from just a handful of individuals, making it statistically skewed.  It may be more useful for you to compare your average rating with other competitor universities, either within or beyond your geographic region.

If you still need to improve your absolute rating, the first step is to understand the cause of your poor reviews.  Bear in mind that the majority of Glassdoor reviews are written by people who are leaving the University, potentially leading to biased negative views.  So the first step is to encourage current colleagues to write reviews – now, while they are happy!

Warning: you'll need to be proactive.  People often only think of posting to Glassdoor when they leave the University, so regular prompts are essential.  You could add a footer message to a standard internal email.  Or send a specific request to people to post their reviews, perhaps following positive employee event?  You should lead by example too – if you haven’t posted a review, do so today! 

Don’t forget to ask successful candidates to rate their interview experience too, as these insights are invaluable to applicants.  

Next, get a (free) employer account on Glassdoor. This allows you to update basic company information, see the analytics on page reviews and respond to reviews.  Many of our clients have a named team member who is responsible for monitoring reviews, responding as needed and flagging up anything inappropriate.  The best organisations also use negative reviews as feedback for the institution, identifying areas which need improvement for employees.  The potential impact on staff attraction and retention should be enough to justify this investment.

Once you have a positive rating, Glassdoor offers embedded links for your careers page, so that your great score is visible to visitors looking for jobs at your University.  But don’t become complacent!  Continue to monitor and manage your employee feedback on Glassdoor and through other routes; it's a critical way to maintain and improve your employer brand.

Berry Baker
Social Media Editor, Penna