Your Glassdoor Playbook: How SafeStreets USA Went From 2.5 Stars to 4.5 Stars

Employer review sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Kununu, etc are an increasingly important part of the candidate journey.  Job seekers are reading these reviews, and making decisions on whether or not to apply, or accept an interview, based on your company’s rating.

We ran into Sarah Morgan of SafeStreets USA and found her story particularly interesting.  When she joined, the company had a bad reputation on these sites.  Their Glassdoor rating was a 2.5.  And, it meant that a lot of candidates weren’t even accepting interviews.

Sarah set out to change this, and was kind enough to share the playbook she used.  You can watch out full conversation here:

 

First Steps

The first step was to simply claim their company’s profile on each of the major review sites, add in basic information about the company, and start to respond to reviews.  Simply by having more of a presence here, they saw a slight lift in their overall ratings, from a 2.5 to a 2.8.  Not great, but moving in the right direction.

Getting Employees Involved

What started to really move the needle was getting employees involved to share their stories on these sites.  SafeStreets had around 700 employees across many offices.  To get employees engaged at first, Sarah sent out a simple email asking people to leave reviews.  She got around 150 people to leave reviews in this first go around, and then another 100 six months later when she asked again.

Here’s the email she now sends to employees asking for reviews:

She also started asking applicants to leave feedback on the interview process after they have their in person interview.  Here’s the email she sends for this communication:

Results

SafeStreets USA’s ratings went from below average (2.5 range) to stellar (4.5 range) across the various sites due to these efforts.  This has led to more candidates, and more candidates accepting job offers.  It’s also led to praise from the executive and marketing teams.

Key Takeaways

  1. Let go of fear: Most HR teams we talk to are afraid that asking for reviews will encourage people who have negative things to say.  That will almost certainly happen.  But, the good far outweighs the bad.  SafeStreets was in a situation where things couldn’t get much worse when they started this.  But, they still encourage reviews today despite the fact that their ratings are in the stellar category.
  2. Ask for feedback, not just positive reviews: Don’t ask for positive reviews necessarily.  That can backfire, plus it’s helpful to get the real story out there in order to set the right expectations, as well as to give your organization a chance to look into the mirror and make changes to improve culture.
  3. Get executive buy in: Getting your exec team to buy into this can be tough (SafeStreets needed marketing to realize they were losing customers due to poor reviews before they acted), but it’s necessary to get the appropriate resources to tackle the problem.
  4. Results are only a few months away: This isn’t a project that will pay off in 18-24 months.  You will see results in the 3-6 month timeframe that will help your organization get the right talent.
  5. It’s nearly free: Beyond the time it takes to get this off and running, this playbook doesn’t cost much.  You may pay for a site to get traffic and awareness, but everything SafeStreets did to improve their brand is free!
Phil Strazzulla

Phil Strazzulla

Founder at NextWave Hire
Phil is a founder of NextWave Hire.Previously, he was a VC at Bessemer.Phil is a self taught programmer and business nerd who studied at NYU and Harvard Business School.
Phil Strazzulla