The words “reputation management” today mostly elicit a vision of marketers huddled over computer screens using software to monitor what consumers are saying about their brand. But there’s another aspect of a company’s reputation (not just online) that needs factoring in and one that social media monitoring tools aren’t really very good at. And that is a company’s reputation with it’s employees and prospective hires.
Many job candidates today do a lot of research on a company to which they might apply. There’s the key word “might”. In an interview, often one of the most common questions asked is “what do you know about our company?” You expect them to have gone through your website, maybe done some industry research. Today however, it is more than likely that they researched your reputation as an employer before they even applied. It doesn’t take much work either. A quick look on search engines, checking out LinkedIn, viewing your Twitter account. They can quickly gain some insights into your corporate brand. And small businesses are not immune to this approach either.
What Candidates Look For
We’ve done a fair bit of deep research for clients in this area and below is a graph that shows the most common things people talk about or look for when looking for work through online channels.
As can be seen, after wages, reputation of a company is most important. In our analysis, we defined reputation as consumer negative commentary in social media, former employee statements, negative news media and comments on blog posts about the company. We also found it interesting that a lot of people are looking for financial information on a company; perhaps to determine stability of a job? Possible candidates are also looking for ex-employees, to see if they say anything about a company. Comments and information about management team members is also of interest to candidates.
Why You Should Care
In two past research projects for US clients, we found that there were a number of online forums where people were posting negative comments about the employer and their company culture. One client is in the extractive resources sector and the other in the financial sector. Both were experiencing difficulty in attracting certain skill sets to their company. This wasn’t information a social media monitoring tool would pick up either; the chatter was on channels those software tools don’t monitor or can’t analyse. For these employers, such commentary was turning candidates away from even applying for a job.
So before you start wondering about a potential hire’s reputation and engagement in social media, perhaps take a look at your own company’s online reputation when it comes to your corporate culture.
Social media impacts businesses well beyond just marketing today. It can impact corporate governance, social responsibility, product development and more.
MediaBadger extracted data from seven prior research projects in aggregate and then established a metric of “weighting” the value of words. Sample size was 2,500 profiles. We note that at no time do we ever review private information, nor do we store any information that would identify an individual.