What You Don’t Know, May Hurt Your Company

May Hurt Your Ability To Recruit Top Talent

By: Scott Seefeld


But if you’re struggling to recruit top talent, the problem could be more than just heightened competition. It may have more to do with your “workplace reputation,” or what your employees − not customers − are saying about you outside the office.

Smart candidates today want to learn everything they can about a company before replying to an opening, agreeing to an interview or accepting an offer. They rely on both word-of-mouth and the internet to assess your reputation. But once they start doing their homework, companies often lose in the race to attract top performers.

The companies we work with today generally fall into one of these categories:

  1. Strong workplace reputation – These companies are doing things right – their employees are engaged and saying positive and exciting things about the company both internally and externally.
  2. Going through the motions – Employees in these companies are not unhappy but not fully engaged − and possibly sharing their lack of enthusiasm in the marketplace.
  3. Saying it but not living it – These companies are saying the right things externally but not living it internally. Employees are disengaged, unhappy and feel there’s a significant disconnect between what is promised and what actually occurs.

A negative workplace reputation significantly increases the challenge of recruiting top talent. Unfortunately, many companies we work with are not monitoring how employees are feeling, their level of engagement, or what they’re saying out in the marketplace. And they’re not taking steps to address what they find.

How can you find out what your workplace reputation is?  This is what we recommend to our clients − and what we do ourselves.

  1. Regularly survey employees. There are many survey tools out there such as surveymonkey.com and tinypulse.com that make it easy and cost-effective to pulse what employees are thinking and enable them to provide feedback anonymously.
  2. Assign someone to monitor workplace reputation. In addition to employee surveys, continuously monitor sites like glassdoor.com in order to identify red flags and proactively address complaints before they become external reputation issues.
  3. Hire an external consultant to assess workplace reputation. From employee interviews and surveys to external searches, a third party can often uncover and assess the level of issue severity better than an internal team…and help companies take steps to address any concerns.

A strong workplace reputation is more important than ever when it’s a candidate market. What’s out there about your company may turn out to be a pleasant surprise – or may shock you. After all, every company isn’t Google, so putting time and effort into your “workplace reputation” is a critical component to recruiting and retaining top talent.  

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