Free career and job-review communities like Glassdoor continue to gain traction, as they offer job seekers the opportunity to gain an inside look at company culture, career growth potential and management quality. In fact, according to Software Advice, nearly half of alljob seekers visit Glassdoor to view and often provide company reviews.

For employers, in a perfect world, all reviews would be glowing, five-star and encouraging—or, at the very least, tongue-in-cheek and irreverent. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and occasionally current or former employees use the microphone provided by Glassdoor to publicly lambast an organization. Your organization.

Now what? How do you respond? Should you respond? In a world driven by social media, one disgruntled employee can damage your ability to recruit and retain quality talent. The following four steps can help weather the storm:

1. Consider the severity of the review. If the review is inaccurate, profanity-laced, attacks a specific person, or fails to meet any of the guidelines set forth by Glassdoor, you can suggest the review be taken down. There are times when people resort to insults and derogatory language, and employers have every right to make certain false claims are reviewed. To flag reviews, visit the Contact Us page or send an email to employersupport@glassdoor.comstating your case.

2. Leverage the “Add an Employer Response” opportunity. Just like job seekers and current employees, companies can sign up (for a free Glassdoor account) and respond to remarks. The key here, however, is to ensure you come off as the rational, sane party. We all recognize there are disillusioned, volatile and perhaps even crazy people on the internet, and experiences at a company don’t always go well regardless of how much effort you put into employer branding. If you choose to respond, it’s vital to do so in a professional and thoughtful manner; as social media has made clear, one slip can royally backfire.

3. Bury the bad review with positives responses. If you’re organization represents a strong mission, value and culture, there is no reason you should feel uncomfortable encouraging employees to provide honest, online assessments of your company. Not only can doing so bury poor reviews in a sea of favorable responses, but encouraging staff to publicly voice their thoughts can identify new insights from your current workforce. Although responses are kept anonymous, you may uncover trends and areas in need of improvement, as well as strong areas to continue building upon.

4. Buy an advertising package with Glassdoor. In most situations, Glassdoor will not make your poor review disappear; it will, however, provide the real estate needed to give onlookers positive information that may offset negative comments. By advertising, you have the opportunity to maximize what you can control: Showcase awards, highlight career growth potential, promote positive reviews and share other attractive elements of your organization. Advertising is not for everyone, but it’s an opportunity that may be worth considering.

For companies that are “walking the talk” with their employer branding strategies, user review websites such as Glassdoor should be viewed as an asset. It begins with building a business on the foundation of, “This is a place I want to work.” But it’s also imperative to protect your brand by ensuring there is a representative sample of employee reviews, and that false claims are reviewed. Recruiters, leadership and all representatives of an organizations work too hard to let their brands get tarnished by a single poor review. Staying up-to-date and responding appropriately can do more than safe face—it can lay the groundwork for a stronger employer brand.


Post contributed by Adam Godson, Vice President of Global Technology Solutions. Connect with him on  LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.