Negative Glassdoor Reviews? 4 Ways to Respond

negative comments on glassdoorWe’ve been talking a lot about social recruiting and how employers can no longer control how or what employees and customers say about them. Twice this past week both a client and a prospect mentioned how they are up against negative Glassdoor reviews (Glassdoor, the job/career website built around employee-generated content). I’m sure there are many more out there who are up against the same thing, or worse, don’t even know about Glassdoor and other sites where employees can vent.

Glassdoor purports to be a free jobs-and-career community that “offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies.” Its employee-generated content can include anonymous salaries, company reviews, interview questions, and more, which gets posted by employees, job seekers, and occasionally by the companies themselves.  Similar sites include JobVent,, PayScale, Telanu. There are definitely more on the horizon.

These types of sties and social networking site have brought to light a problem that didn’t exist years ago: What do you do if current and former employees are venting with negative Glassdoor reviews or similar comments on other public sites? Last week I saw someone I used to work with use a social networking site to slam that business.

How to handle the negative

Be transparent. Don’t rush to share that there might be negative comments on these sites, but if a candidate brings up something that they’ve seen, address it head on. Explain why the comments are there (perhaps there was a merger, always difficult; hyper-growth–growing pains actually do hurt; new ownership or management; economy, probably the number one reason). Human Resources and corporate recruiters need to be up-to-date and prepared to speak honestly and openly.

Remember passive candidates are vetting companies and their employees differently than someone who has been out of work for six months. It’s probably the passive candidates who will bring it up. Be ready.

Recognize the fringe factor. These sites are anonymous, of course, and they often support only a small percentage view and that needs to be considered in context. Keep up what you are doing. A few negative comments will not outweigh and overall positive. If a large majority wave of negative commentary shows up, you probably have a bigger problem that you already know about anyway.

Build out your employment brand. The message you create for recruiting is as important as your marketing brand. I will even make the argument they are one in the same.

  • Take some time, be honest, define your culture and share your findings with your employees. Turn your employees into brand ambassadors, not cheerleaders but honest ambassadors.
  • Choose an employment brand champion to lead this initiative and make sure they work with marketing and human resources.
  • Tap into your networks and let them know who you are as a person and organization.
  • Ask for recommendations on your LinkedIn Company Page and individual Profiles, endorsements on individual Profiles, reviews on Google+, etc.

Build up what you can control and manage your organization’s online presence.

  • Determine the sites that are the most influential to potential candidates and customers.
    • If you are in the B2B space, LinkedIn is going to be a key component to managing your employee brand, employees and messaging.
    • LinkedIn is considered the most credible social media source and therefore needs to be the hub of social strategy.
    • Engage your employees, especially on LinkedIn. Remember everything in LinkedIn begins with an individual.
    • If negative comments on Glassdoor are your nemesis, make sure you have an employer profile (it’s free). Glassdoor employer profile
  • Create a realistic, authentic plan and build those sites up with all the good work, initiatives, and employees. Weave in the press releases, new hires, awards, community wins and celebrate them. If there are clear issues and the business is not doing well don’t invent things, share what you have (this is why content is so important).

You need to be aware, prepared and realistic about the comments and how long it may take to lessen their impact. Get moving in the right direction with a plan and the right people to bring it to fruition. LinkedIn’s Employment Branding Playbook is a great place to begin. Need more insight? Let us know. 


Our blog posts, tips, and suggestions are accurate at the time of publication. 

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Currently there's 5 comments on “Negative Glassdoor Reviews? 4 Ways to Respond”

  • candy

    commented on March 19, 2015

    We have been attacked by terminated employees who race to post their malicious comments on GD. And, every new one joins the chorus. Our business is hugely successful, but GD has made recruitment at the admin level difficult. We’ve tried to kick GD to page 2, but the SEO firms are worthless. GD is just a sewer. They don’t deserve the power they have. All they are doing is denying people excellent, well paying jobs. Got ideas?

    • Richard

      commented on July 5, 2015

      Try screening your candidates better before hiring them. If you don’t put this effort at the front end then you get poor performers that end up having to be fired and leave with a grudge and looking for opportunities to give your company bad P.R.
      One of the first rules of business: Find good employees and keep them.

  • Sonia Singh

    commented on May 23, 2016

    I agree when you say there are companies still unaware about what is being said about them online by their own employees. Companies can no longer afford to ignore the Glassdoor reviews, more so the negative ones. ‘Be transparent’ to me is the keyword. Replying in your own voice, being honest and no contorting the facts is very crucial for every company.
    We came across this struggle ourselves and it took us a while to finally get over what was being written about us to actually write back to everyone. Taking it all head-on was our mantra and as a result we learned a lot of things in the process. Here are some of the lessons negative reviews on Glassdoor taught us:

  • Nick

    commented on August 23, 2016

    Of course Glassdoor has been accused of removing negative reviews for money and is known to be a meeting ground for disgruntled employees. Nevertheless their compensation reports are dead on and show that some companies have drastic fluctuations in pay for the same position. I understand loyalty is compensated in many businesses but if their is a 10+ hourly or 50% salary difference for the same position you have a serious problem. The cat is out of the bag and people now now how much your company will cap out on any given position. Same work should be close to the same pay if fully qualified and experienced.

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