For better or for worse, online reputation is a major part of running a business these days. A few disgruntled employees or cranky customers can truly torpedo your brand. Not only does this make it more difficult to gain new customers, it can also make hiring a whole lot harder. If your company is dealing with reputation issues, here’s how to make sure your hiring efforts don’t suffer:
Don’t just hope the comments go away
Many people get so overwhelmed by the presence of negative reviews that they think hiding is the best option. Unfortunately, waiting for these comments to go away simply isn’t an effective method of dealing with the situation. A business owner needs to take a proactive approach. Write a response to the comments on the forums where they’re posted. Address them on social media. You could even write a blog post about them on your business’s website. Acknowledge what went wrong in the past, and let your customers or potential customers know how you plan to fix the problem in the future. When you show that you’re not burying your head in the sand, you look strong and engaged, instead of passive and disorganized. This is appealing to a potential hire.
Actually make good on these promises
Once you’ve made a list of promises about how your business is going to improve, it’s important to actually act on these changes. If a certain aspect of your business needs to be corrected, do so in a timely fashion, and then follow up with your customer base to let them know that the problem has been addressed. Customers are willing to give businesses a second chance, but if you apologize and promise to change and then don’t, they will write you off for good. Potential hires that see this happen will likely move on to another business with a more prestigious reputation.
Let your employees advocate for you
Happy employees are your best ambassadors. Treat your employees well and do everything you can to keep morale within the company high. Give your team members the chance to speak out on your company’s behalf. Let them get involved in the recruiting and hiring processes, and value their opinion during these situations.
How did you deal with hiring when your company faced negative online reviews or other bad press? Share with us in the comments!
Image: Jakub Jirsak/BigStock.com