Who’s opening your Glassdoor?

A little over a year ago I sat down with my leader and our communications manager to discuss my new role and a particular platform they’d like me to take responsibility for; Glassdoor.

If the truth be told, I knew very little about it. I’d seen our rating suddenly appear within the careers pages of our website and, given my curious nature, I clicked through to see what it was all about. The page was unappealing, the reviews were scarce and I couldn’t help but think we’d placed ourselves uncomfortably into the firing line.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

In the weeks that followed I began my research into the platform and drew my comparisons to sites like Amazon and TripAdvisor. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to buy a new product or book your next holiday you’re going to be checking the reviews first, right? So why wouldn’t you be doing the same for your next potential employer?

Looking for a new job is practically a fulltime job in itself, so it’s no wonder that job seekers are actively pulling on all resources to help them in their quest to find their next role.

A colleague once asked me if I’d be worried about seeing negative reviews on our page, I responded with: “I would actually welcome them”. Allowing them enough time to digest what I said, I pleasantly smiled back to the ‘are you serious’ framed stare and followed up with: “Hearing people tell us what they really think about working here, whether that’s good, bad or indifferent, helps us to improve as an employer, helps us to learn from what people are saying about us and helps us to adapt”.

We’d be naïve, as an employer, to think everything is perfect. Glassdoor is a channel for colleagues and former employees to share in their experiences, and anonymously too. This gives assurance to the person posting the review but also credibility to the audience, and employer, of what has been said.

Bromford is still relatively new to Glassdoor but already we’re reaping the rewards of investing in our profile. In 18 months we’ve increased our review numbers from 11 to over 80, with the average employer rating up from 4.1 to 4.6, and in 2017 we were credited as being the 3rd Best Place to Work in the UK by Glassdoor, our first ever placing in the award, ahead of the likes of Facebook, Salesforce and Apple.

If you’re new to Glassdoor, or yet to join, here are my top 5 tips to get you going:

 

Have a presence

The reviews will be there, even if you’re not! Adopt your page (it’s really easy to do) and start to build your company brand within the profile. This is your opportunity to share your story through company updates, blogs, photos, videos, and by the reviews that are posted about you!

 

Respond…to everything

Nobody wants to see a bad review about their organisation but they do get posted, and ignoring them won’t make them go away. In fact, if you don’t respond you’re probably doing even more damage to your reputation by not acknowledging somebody’s grievance or opinion. So be polite and let them know you’re listening. Don’t sit on it, make a point of responding promptly and learn from what they have to say.

 

Encourage colleagues to get involved

Your colleagues are your company’s biggest advocates, and the custodians of your culture, so make sure you engage them. Just because Glassdoor has the best part of 6 million monthly active users in the UK, don’t assume that all of your workforce know what it is and how it works. Give them some narrative and explain the benefits of capturing their views.

 

Don’t forget the ones that got away

Colleagues will leave you, that’s inevitable, and there’ll be some that never quite get through your door and make it to day one. Both of these sets of people can provide you with some invaluable insight – so reach out to them! You could use your ATS to generate emails to candidates who apply for your roles who you could ask for feedback about your recruitment process, and your HR team could screen your leavers for you, how you do it is entirely up to you.

 

Share the feedback

Make sure you communicate the learning from your Glassdoor profile with the rest of your organisation. Somebody posted a glowing review about a role they had in the maintenance team? Let the manager know. Is someone unhappy about the interview process they went through? Let the recruiters know. Are people loving the benefits you offer? Let HR know what people are saying – and promote the comments via social to let potential candidates know what employees think! But make sure you look beyond the reviews, you’ll be collecting a whole host of data from your profile which is invaluable to your Talent and Resourcing strategy and will help in the build and management of your company brand. Candidate demographics, job clicks, page visits and followers are just some of the things worthy of your attention.

 

Glassdoor’s growth in the past couple of years has been pretty phenomenal, something you cannot afford to ignore. If you do, it’s likely that your competitors will have a profile and before long your colleagues and future talent will be looking over their shoulders to see what’s being said about working there. So maybe now is the time to look at that page of yours.

 

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No matter what the barriers are, invest in people

Mashpi Lodge

Photo credit: latour.com

In 2001, former mayor of the Ecuador capital city of Quito embarked on an ambitious journey to transform the Andean forests, which had suffered from deforestation for many years, into a global tourist attraction.

As a lover of nature, I recently watched a BBC TV programme with my jaw anchored to the floor. Roque Sevilla, former mayor turned businessman turned environmentalist, shared his personal multi-million dollar project with us; the incredible Mashpi Lodge and Reserve. It’s a striking structure which provides a holiday home for just 42 guests, placing them in the middle of the tropical forest just outside of Quito. It’s constructed almost entirely out of huge glass panes in an attempt to place its visitor’s, as-one, with nature in a way they’re unlikely to have ever experienced before. I was in awe.

As you’d expect, delivering such an ambitious project would never be plain sailing. Roque had several obstacles to overcome, including a machete-wielding local!

Jose was a farmer who lived in the nearby village and farmed in the Mashpi Reserve. He worked for a logging company that had moved into the area in the 1990’s for a lumber concession so spent his days hacking through the dense woodland.

So, how did Roque deal with this? How would you deal with this?!

Roque offered him a job.

Upon meeting Jose for the first time, Roque brought along an orchid expert. It was a brave move. As they talked and walked through the forest, the idea was to re-channel Jose’s thinking; to remove any negative thinking, to re-imagine his surroundings; to really open his eyes and look at the positive things which lay before him – to not only see what good the forest can do for him but what he can do for it.

Jose admitted to never noticing the colourful and fragrant blooms before. He was blinkered, channelling his anger and frustrations at the innocent trees. However, through this intervention, Jose quickly built a trusting relationship with Roque, and now, thanks to this new found knowledge, he quickly took up his offer of employment as Village Chief (that’s a resident tour guide to you and me).

Thriving in his new role, Jose not only welcomes and chaperones guests to the Lodge, he’s now a botanist; cultivating and blooming a personal collection of orchids in the newly developed tourist village.

Mashpi Lodge has firmly inked itself a place in my bucket list, but in reflection I was thinking how much Roque had achieved with Jose and Quito’s wider community.

Jose

Photo credit: mashpilodge.wordpress.com

In some ways, Bromford has its similarities. Our coaching approach allows us to get closer to our communities in ways we’ve never been able to do before. Much like in the case of Jose, if you truly want to make a difference to peoples’ lives you’ve got to get to know the person first; what are their hopes, their dreams, their hurdles and their barriers.

When we recruit we’re looking for the right person, with the right skills – not just for today, but for tomorrow too. We offer a job with a good salary that has an excellent benefits package. We offer excellent in-house training with opportunities to grow and develop. It’s a two way thing; we’ll show what we can offer them – but equally we want to know what they can do for us.

Mashpi Village didn’t just happen overnight. The money helped, of course, but it took time to develop – and by that I don’t just mean physically. The natural habitat and the local community had to be considered and respected. By simply ousting Jose, for example, could’ve had catastrophic consequences. Instead, time was invested into him as a person and because of this both parties reaped the rewards.

So, whether you’re recruiting for a vacancy, coaching someone through life, or building a luxury holiday lodge in the middle of a mountain forest – make sure you take the time to invest in people.

You can’t beat a bit of cake!

Cake

Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 – what an amazing night this was. Hundreds of senior Human Resources experts attended the 11th Annual HR Directors Business Summit at the ICC, Birmingham which included guest speakers, presentations and workshops and concluded with a prestigious award ceremony. I took my position on a cosy 3-seater sofa, had the League Cup semi-final between Bradford and Aston Villa on in the background and watched the event unfold from the comfort of my living room courtesy of Twitter!

Bromford were represented at the event by some of my colleagues (so no need for me to FaceTime in my t-shirt and jogging bottoms, thankfully!), as we were shortlisted in the Recruitment and Employee Branding category. Our campaign; #gottalovecake was up against industry giants like McDonalds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Impetus Automotive, tough competition to pitch against but as my colleague Alex Abbotts said:

Alex tweet

Why not?

I know I represent Bromford myself, so some may consider my opinion biased, but our campaign was brilliant! I’m not going to explain all about it here, I’ll leave that to Alex (who heads up our Communications Team) who does it wonderfully in this great post.

Why did it work?

It engaged. It got hold of the end-user in a way like no other campaign before. It didn’t just tell the audience what the job is and how they can apply; it told them why they will want this position with Bromford. It wasn’t all about us, it was about the individual – we just made the right noises to get the campaign out to them – and boy did we make a racket! I watched a really interesting video yesterday from a guy by the name of Simon Sinek (thanks to John & Vicky for sharing this). He talks about ‘The Golden Circle’, something that turns an idea into a social movement – which is what we did thanks to Twitter using a very quirky hashtag, some great advertising and the brains of a very creative team of people.

 Golden Circle

So, for those of you who don’t work at Bromford, who didn’t attend last night’s event or didn’t see the army of tweets that invaded social media late into the evening; I’m pleased to say that Bromford did give me that ‘punch in the air moment’ – the award was ours!

What a magnificent achievement. What a great team. What a great place to work.

Now excuse me whilst I tuck into my slice of award winning cake!