07 Sep 2017

5 Steps – How to Fix Negative Glassdoor Reviews

We’ve written extensively about Glassdoor in the past – Part 1, Part 2. For this blog, we wanted to share a simpler, 5 step guide on how to fix negative Glassdoor reviews. To give a benchmark, the average employer on Glassdoor has a score of 3.3 stars (out of 5). This is up from 3.2 stars when we wrote our original pieces on the topic in 2015. Another thing that has increased since 2015, is the site’s impact on attracting and hiring A players. Fortunately, cracking the code on Glassdoor is fairly straight-forward. Read on to learn how to turn your Glassdoor Reviews into one of your company’s biggest hiring assets.

The quality of your online reputation (Glassdoor) determines the quality of your candidate pool.

  1. Claim Your Glassdoor Page.

The first step in fixing your Glassdoor ratings and reputation is taking ownership of your company’s Glassdoor page. There are 600,000 companies with reviews on Glassdoor but only 36,000 have claimed their Glassdoor page. Claiming this page is as simple as finding your page, clicking on “Claim this company” and following the prompts (shown below).

Once you have claimed your company page you will be able to add a bio about your company and update the facts listed in the overview. In addition, you can add your logo, upload up to 10 photos and highlight any awards your company has won. All of these things you can do for free. Compare Sales Talent’s claimed page (below) to the unclaimed page above. Visually, there is no comparison.

The unclaimed page looks unloved; like the employer doesn’t care. Don’t be that employer. Claim your page.

  1. Recruit Your Glassdoor Champion.

Step two in fixing your ratings is entrusting one person within your company to “own” Glassdoor. It’s their job to monitor and champion your Glassdoor page. Given the importance of Glassdoor, we suggest picking someone with enough authority and influence within your company to foster change. This is not a job for the intern. Think A Player. Your Glassdoor champion’s job starts with our next step – Show You Care.

  1. Show You Care (Respond).

Once you are an “Engaged” employer (you’ve claimed your page), you are allowed to respond to reviews. The company that we give as the best example of how to respond to reviews is Zillow. Below is a random review that shows Dan Spaulding, their Chief People Officer getting several things right.

Here is what impresses us about Dan’s response:

  1. Zillow is a 4,000+ employee company and a C level is personally responding to the review. Impressive!
  2. The tone is positive.
  3. He’s listening. His response comes across as genuine and engaged. To back that up, he’s given out his person email address. How many C level officers of 4,000+ employee companies do that?

If you take the time to look through Zillow’s reviews, you’ll see a winning formula for responding. As far as we can tell, it’s the formula above. On Glassdoor there are multiple examples of their C level officers responding, including their CEO, Spencer Rascoff. Spencer is engaged, he cares and his desire to make Zillow a great place to work is authentic. The payoff? He’s been one of the  “Highest Rated CEOs” on Glassdoor for 2014, 2016 & 2017. Without question, having strong Glassdoor reviews and a CEO that clearly cares dramatically increases Glassdoor’s ability to attract A players. This brings us to the 4th step, which we’re sure Zillow also follows – Recruit Your A Players.

  1. Recruit Your A Players.

In the example above, Zillow has turned Glassdoor into a major advantage in their recruiting wars. Accomplishing this requires nothing less than fully embracing Glassdoor. Yes, this is going to take some work. Fortunately, the formula is simple. Before we explain, allow us to take you on a tangent.

A players want to work with and for other A players. In our experience, nothing frustrates A players more than working with C players. With the support of your Head of HR or your CEO, your Glassdoor champion needs to reach out to your A players with a message and an ask. First, the message. Show them how negative reviews makes their job harder. If necessary, zero in on each A player’s frustrations with the quality of department x or delivery team y. Make it personal.

Your ask is simple. Have each A player write an authentic, positive review. Every company has its shortcomings and they should be included. You don’t even want over-the-top, 5 star reviews because they won’t be credible. It might be obvious, but you also don’t want a flurry of positive reviews to happen within a short window of time. It won’t take very many positive reviews to start turning around your overall score depending on how many reviews your company currently has. All of this leads us to step 5. Ignore this step and your Glassdoor Review fixes won’t stick.

  1. Fix the Problems.

Depending on your point of view, this is where we share the potentially bad news. You must address the issues within your company that brought on the bad reviews in the first place. Fix them and your Glassdoor reviews going forward will almost always be positive. Even more positive, your overall Glassdoor Rating will turn into a recruiting strength. Ignore your problems and the negative reviews will continue to pour in. As that happens, steps 1-4 above will not be enough to maintain an overall positive Glassdoor Rating (3 stars or greater).

Our Take on Glassdoor.

Recruiting is a zero sum game meaning that when one employer wins by hiring an A player, another loses by missing out on that hire. Smart companies, like Zillow, have chosen to embrace Glassdoor and turn it into a clear recruiting advantage. We see this as a smart company taking a smart approach.

Transparency is the new currency in the recruiting wars.

Another plus to Glassdoor is the transparency it provides job seekers about potential employers. Glassdoor’s reviews provide a more balanced view of an employer by sharing both the positives and negatives of working there. This is critical to getting your hires right. After all, it takes more than attracting A players to build a great company. You must attract A players that fit and will stay with your company.


Chris Carlson

President and founder of Sales Talent Inc, a B2B sales recruiting firm. Based near Seattle, WA we place sales reps, sales engineers and sales leaders across North America.