For the modern recruiter, reputation is everything.
The last two years have brought a major realignment in the job market, placing candidates in the driver’s seat for the first time in a while. Now, it’s the recruiters and employers who have to compete for the best candidates, not the other way around.
If you don’t think that candidates are proactively looking up every recruiter that comes across their LinkedIn profile, then you’re wrong.
Think about it. When you want to try a new restaurant, what’s the first thing you do? That’s right: you do a quick Google search. If the restaurant has over four stars, you skim some reviews and you go. If it’s less, then you probably pick somewhere else.
It’s the same thing for recruiters. If your agency has bad reviews—or no reviews—then candidates are moving on.
So how do you proactively manage your online reputation? This article will walk through some tangible action steps you can take.
Why is your online reputation important?
Every business has an online reputation, whether you want one or not. The question isn’t whether someone will find your agency online. The question is: what will they find when they Google you?
If you want that candidate or potential client to work with you, you’d want them to see that you:
- Take care of your people & go above and beyond
- Make quality matches between talent and employers
- Are proactive and reachable
- Embrace long-term relationships above short-term placements
First impressions matter, both online and offline. You want to make sure that the first impression your agency or recruiting business makes is a positive one.
Why improving your online reputation can’t be a quick fix
If your agency has a poor online reputation, we’ve got both good and bad news.
The good news is that a bad reputation is entirely fixable—if you’re willing to put in the work. The bad news is that you can’t turn things around overnight. You have to be patient.
Your reputation isn’t defined by some nice-sounding words you put on your website. It’s defined by the experiences you create and how your candidates and clients perceive them.
So if you want to improve your online reputation, you have to start by changing how you operate:
- Stop treating people—candidates, clients, and even your own employees—as commodities
- Focus on delivering great experiences without immediate expectation of a return
- Proactively collect feedback and act on it
- Make your candidates and clients so happy that you don’t have to ask for a referral or callback—they want to do it on their own
None of these changes happen overnight. But if you make a proactive effort to improve your online reputation through exceptional experiences, you’ll find that things will slowly start to turn in your favor.
4 steps to monitor and improve your online reputation
So what are some of the steps you can take to monitor and improve your online reputation? Here’s a simple process that can help you remain engaged along the way.
1. Perform an online reputation audit
Before you start making changes, it’s important to know exactly what you’re working with. An online reputation audit starts with the simplest of steps—a Google search—but involves a thorough process to see exactly what people are saying about you online:
- Look up your company profile on websites like Glassdoor and see what people are saying about you
- Perform a search for your company name on platforms like LinkedIn
- Find your individual recruiters on social media and see what people are saying about them
- Review your website to make sure your current language reflects how you want people to perceive your agency
- Talk to people you trust in the industry and see what they’ve heard about you
Once you have an idea of where your reputation stands, you’ll have an idea of what areas you need to improve. For example, if your recruiters have a reputation for not following up with candidates, working with them on resume screening isn’t the best use of your resources.
2. Proactively capture feedback from candidates & clients
Once you’ve performed an initial audit, the next step is to set up a continual feedback loop. This enables you to see in real time whether your efforts to improve your reputation are working—and where you need to course-correct.
The best way to do this is to proactively capture feedback from your candidates and clients.
But you may be wondering: We already collect NPS surveys at the end of the year. That should be enough, right?
Actually, no, it isn’t.
NPS is a popular feedback tool that has its place, but there’s a lot your NPS won’t tell you:
- NPS provides very high-level feedback which is sparse on details
- NPS surveys generally only happen once a year. This often means the opportunity to address any issues has already passed – reactive instead of proactive
- NPS surveys generally only cover the candidates and clients who choose to work with you—but 360-degree feedback requires that you look at the people who don’t work with you as well
The best alternative is to have a mechanism in place to proactively request and capture real-time reviews at the most critical moments:
- After the first interaction
- After placement
- 30-60 days post-placement
That way, you’ll get reliable, honest, and helpful feedback that you can actually act on.
3. Listen to feedback—good and bad
One of the biggest mistakes that many recruiters make is only listening to good reviews. While this can be a great ego boost, it does very little to help improve your performance.
By reviewing bad feedback in real time, you’ll get immediate insight into problems within your organization. This enables you to proactively fix them, and address the issue with the candidate or client.
Recruiters aren’t perfect. Your candidates and clients don’t expect them to be. What they do expect is that you own up to those mistakes and fix them quickly. This is only possible with real-time recruiter reviews.
4. Share your successes
Once you start to leverage real-time reviews to improve candidate experiences, the next step is to share it with the world.
Now, some of this will happen organically. There will be candidates who are so pleased with the experiences you create that they’ll start spreading the word—both publicly and privately.
But 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked. If you aren’t proactively asking, that’s brand equity you’re leaving on the table.
Once you start to collect these reviews, go ahead and share your successes with the world. Social proof shows that you don’t just talk the talk—you actually walk the walk.
Final thoughts on improving your online reputation
In the modern recruiting economy, online reputation is everything. The fastest and most effective way to elevate your reputation is by collecting real-time reviews. Not only do these reviews enable you to create these great experiences, but they also help you share these successes with the world.
Use the tips we’ve shared in this post to get started, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing clients, candidates, and everyone else who comes across your online presence.To get started with the industry’s #1 experience management & brand promotion tool, click here.