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Employers beware: is your online reputation discouraging jobseekers?

Updated: 13 Oct 2016


More than 76% of Hong Kong jobseekers say the online comments of former employees influence their decision to apply for a job or work for a particular organisation, according to recruiting experts Hays.


In a poll of 314 people, 27% said that online comments from former employees definitely influence their decision to apply or work at a particular organisation. Another 49% said to some extent they take such comments into consideration.


Just 24% said online comments from former employees do not influence their decision.


“Researching online reviews to aid our decision-making process is now the norm in many aspects of our lives, including when considering to apply or work for an organisation,” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.


There are a number of company review sites, where existing and ex-staff can rate and comment on employers based on salaries, benefits, culture, and management style and so on. This freely available information is more commonly utilised than employers might like to think, and can have detrimental effects on a company’s employer brand.


“Jobseekers are able to make informed decisions about choosing to apply or work for a company by researching online company reviews, and as our research shows, most are influenced by the comments they come across”, adds Dean.


Hays’ tips for what employers can do to protect their employer brand online:


Look in the mirror: To start with, employers should be aware of what their online reputation is, and this means researching what sorts of reviews are out there so you can identify any particular themes or forums that are working for or against your brand.


Effective exiting: Mostly, negative comments come from disgruntled ex-employees so by introducing an effective off-boarding and exit process, you can give them the opportunity to air any grievances directly rather than have them go online to do this after they’ve left.


Leverage your ambassadors: Those that leave on a positive note of their employee experience with you can be powerful brand ambassadors for your employer brand. Consider how you can harness their positivity through alumni groups or forums. Similarly, think about how you can engage your current employees to be brand advocates to drive referrals and positive awareness of your employer brand online.


Embrace social media as friend not foe: Building an effective social media presence, will give you a direct channel to communicate with promoters and detractors of your employer brand in your own environment, giving you much more control of the situation. You can also use your channels to promote positive stories of your employer brand and what it’s like to work there to generate positive buzz.


“It’s extremely important for a company's website and social media pages to correspond to their employer brand as well as the company's vision, culture and values. An organisation should never underestimate the power and impact of its online presence in attracting top talent”, advises Dean.


The poll was conducted online at between July and September 2016.


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


Hays is located in Hong Kong at 6604-06, 66/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong. 


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About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2016 the Group employed 9,214 staff operating from 252 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2016:


– the Group reported net fees of £810.3 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £181 million;

– the Group placed around 67,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 220,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 22% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 45% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 33% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;

– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.

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