Glassdoor could be the most important recruitment tool you’ve never heard of – or at least, not using effectively. With 89% of Glassdoor users actively looking for jobs or open to better opportunities, it makes sense for employers to ensure that they not only have an active Glassdoor presence, but also that they manage this appropriately so potential candidates have the best possible perception of your organisation.

Great candidates will gravitate towards a positive brand experience

Organisations that don’t take control of their online presence risk missing out on attracting great candidates who use the internet to research roles and companies. The internet is an ever-present force in our everyday lives and jobseekers increasingly turn to social media to research organisations before taking up opportunities, making it more important than ever to ensure your online presence is a true representation of your company culture. And it’s not just about having a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Glassdoor; it’s about managing your activity on these platforms in the right ways.

According to a January 2016 Glassdoor Site Survey, 69% of active jobseekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. This involves responding to comments and reviews, posting information and updates on the company environment and culture and updating profiles as appropriate. Remember that just as you use social media to vet candidates, they use the same tools to review you as a potential employer.

Reviews on Glassdoor can make or break your reputation

In the past, negative reviews of companies spread slowly through word of mouth and – if you were really unfortunate – via traditional media forms. The advent of the internet and social media means that not only do consumers now have increased connectivity, but they also have the platforms to reach audiences of thousands (or even millions). Nearly half of UK consumers have written a product review online, so it’s only natural that employees apply this practice to their work lives.

When looking for a new job, the majority of people read at least six reviews before they form an opinion of a company, according to the Glassdoor survey. In line with this, 61% of Glassdoor users consult company reviews and ratings before making a decision to even apply for a job. So if you don’t have a Glassdoor presence, it’s outdated or negative for jobhunters to read, you’re doing your organisation a disservice and potentially turning away savvy candidates. All it takes is a few clicks for dissatisfied workers to publish a review of your organisation, and the same applies to potential employees finding out about your company culture.

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Your chance to show off your company

Online brand visibility is essential in the modern world, with candidates more likely to want to work for an organisation whose name they know and trust as opposed to an unknown or one with a negative brand portrayal. And while Glassdoor reviews can come from anyone at any time, you can take matters into your own hands if you’re looking to boost your company profile.

Start by appointing a Glassdoor caretaker to set up your employer account (if you don’t have one already) and maintain it so your branding is consistent across all your digital profiles. Highlight the areas salespeople tend to find more attractive in a new role, such as base salary and commission, training and development programmes and the potential for advancing within the business.

Next, let your employees know about your organisation’s Glassdoor profile and how it can best be used to boost your company’s reputation. You could ask employees to post reviews at strategic points in their journey with you – for example, after a positive meeting with a client, when they receive positive accolades or after a successful training and on boarding process – but avoid pressuring them into leaving reviews as this could encourage negative sentiment. To counteract this, put internal procedures in place to help catch such negativity before employees feel the need to air it on social media. It’s more beneficial for staff, managers and your business as a whole if grievances are discussed early and privately before they enter the public domain. Employee engagement surveys are also a good way to show your staff you want their feedback directly.

Negative reviews are bound to arise from time to time, but what matters most is how your company is seen to respond to these. Research shows that most people’s perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review, so it’s important to stay on top of the comments coming in and make a point to reply to those that require it.

Current and potential employees value transparency and open communication, so the right management of your Glassdoor account can be transformative in how you recruit new sales staff.