Most jobseekers influenced by a company’s online reputation

Author: Sophie-Marie Odum | Date: 5 Oct 2016

Almost a third of Hong Kong candidates said comments from ex-staff would ‘definitely’ affect their decision to apply

More than three quarters (76 per cent) of jobseekers in Hong Kong are influenced by online comments from former employees when applying for a job, according to a new survey.
 
Over a quarter (27 per cent) said that online comments would ‘definitely’ influence their decision to apply or work at a particular organisation, and almost half (49 per cent) said they take such comments into consideration, according to an online poll by recruitment agency Hays. Only 24 per cent were not influenced by online comments.
 
Dean Stallard, regional director of Hays in Hong Kong, said: “Researching online reviews to aid our decision-making process is now the norm in many aspects of our lives, including when considering to apply or work for an organisation.”
 
Company reviews, which have become increasingly popular, allow existing and former staff to rate and comment on their employers based on salaries, benefits, culture and management style. This can have a detrimental, as well as a positive, effect on a company’s brand.
 
Market leader Glassdoor is an ‘employee review’ website, which has become ubiquitous in Europe and the US. It claims to have 30 million users globally, who have posted more than eight million reviews.
 
In the UK, more than two thirds of candidates (68 per cent) say Glassdoor is a believable source of information, making it more trusted than companies’ own collateral, according to a survey. Nearly all jobseekers in the US (90 per cent) say they read a review of an employer before going for an interview.
 
Many Asian companies now feature on the site, including multinationals such as HSBC and Deloitte, as well as Petronas, DBS Bank and the National University of Singapore. Companies find value in using Glassdoor to benchmark and improve employee experience.
 
Jamie Ong, HR business partner at Fairchild Semiconductor in Singapore, said: “Glassdoor reviews can be an avenue for HR professionals to understand how current and former employees feel about the company. It can also help them to see how competitors match up in terms of hiring and salary. It’s an open channel, and any opinion matters.”
 
To protect online reputations, Hays encourages employers to research their online profile, introduce an exit process for employees so they can air any grievances directly, and build an effective social media presence, which could share positive stories and employee experiences.
 
Dean added: “Jobseekers are able to make informed decisions about choosing to apply or work for a company by researching online company reviews, and as our research shows, most are influenced by the comments they come across.”