Glassdoor, in case you did not know, is a website where current and past employees anonymously rate and review businesses they work for, or have worked for in the past. When looking for a company name, the network ranks highly in search, and can be used by job seekers, recruiters, and hiring managers, as well as potential consumers and investors.
Many businesses understand that Glassdoor reviews may have an impact, good or bad, on their recruitment efforts, but it also has an impact on marketing, demand generation, company growth, customer success, product development, and sales. And, if you are thinking “well none of this matters, as I have never created a Glassdoor profile for my company”, we’ve got some bad news for you.
As is the case for other big review sites – Yelp!, TripAdvisor, Google My Business etc. – the chances are good that your company already has an autogenerated listing, generated from publicly available directory sources, of which there are a lot available. What’s more, employees may have already been posting there, and while you’d hope it’s all good stuff, that may not be the case.
This all means that, if you haven’t yet, it’s time to claim and take charge of your business’ Glassdoor listing. It’s not just white collar businesses that are listed there either, if your business is on Google Maps, it probably already has a Glassdoor listing.
While there are lots of things you can control about a Glassdoor listing once you’ve claimed one, the reviews posted are usually not something you can control. So what do you do if a negative Glassdoor review seems to be impacting your brand image in search? What if a Glassdoor review is fake? Can you get it taken down? Can a Glassdoor review be deleted?
The basic answer is maybe. The more complete and complex answer is what we’ll be discussing here today, as well as offering advice for Glassdoor best practices in general.
How Should You Handle Fake Defamatory, Negative, and Negative Glassdoor Reviews in the First Place?
Receiving a negative review is always painful, but it’s often well-deserved. Mismanagement or workplace injustices can occur when running a business, which is a huge challenge. Take some deep breaths, read carefully, and figure out what did go wrong and how to improve.
Not all negative reviews are written by people who offer constructive criticism to leadership and work to improve the working environment for others. Some are posted by unhappy or disillusioned employees in order to harm the company’s reputation and disparage coworkers.
Others are created by somebody who may or may not have applied to work for you. Some, on the other hand, may be fraudulent, left by people you’ve never met but who, for some reason, want to harm your business by leaving a nasty Glassdoor review.
What Kinds of Negative Reviews Can Be Disputed and Removed on Glassdoor?
Glassdoor’s primary content source is user reviews. Unfortunately, some bad reviews that violate the Community Guidelines sometimes get past the moderators’ approval procedure.
The account owner has two options for disputing the negative review:
First, figure out which Community Guideline the negative review breaches.
Second Step: Underneath the review, click the red flag icon and check the box that denotes a violation. Give a thorough explanation of why you’re contesting the review.
Glassdoor moderators will be notified of the complaint. Their decision, when they make it, will be final.
Is it possible for me to ask the reviewer to remove or change the negative Glassdoor review?
Absolutely! Always attempt to settle the issue in a positive manner, by making sure you comprehend the situation, come up with a solution, and ask if the review can be altered or removed.
Because of the anonymity of the network, it’s difficult to do with current employees, but you can try by starting a conversation with the department or even the entire staff, such as “it’s been noticed we’re getting some nasty reviews on Glassdoor.” The management is well aware of your concerns, and we are working hard to address them…”
Former employees are trickier. If they have left a bad Glassdoor review, they probably don’t like your company very much. If the review is reasonably fair, and accurate, you’ll have to leave it in place and work on other methods to minimize its impact (more on that later). If it can be said to violate Glassdoor guidelines however, you should report it for potential takedown.
What is the Success Rate for Removing a Fake or Negative Glassdoor Review?
Each unfavorable review is unique, and there is no such thing as an average success percentage when it comes to reporting them. If the negative review blatantly breaches the Community Guidelines, it will usually be removed immediately.
If the reason for the review bing questionable isn’t clear but you believe it violates the rules – for example if you know it’s fake – how well you report it and convey the problem to the moderators is up to you. Be clear, explain everything, and make a compelling case for why the review should be removed.
Is it possible to simply delete my company’s entire Glassdoor profile?
Unfortunately, Glassdoor does not usually allow you to delete profiles and allows anybody to post a review on the company’s culture and policies, therefore the answer is no. This link is to Glassdoor’s explanation of the profile removal policy.
Is it a “Pay-To-Play” situation? Is it possible for me to become a Glassdoor sponsor and so have control over my company’s reviews?
Glassdoor provides advertising services that can help your company’s profile and job ads stand out. Unlike some other networks, however, even paid sponsors cannot ask for a negative review to be removed or hidden. When it comes to user-generated content, Glassdoor treats all profiles the same way (free and sponsored).
What Kinds of Things Violate Glassdoor Community Guidelines
Glassdoor’s tolerance of some things that might be legally murky has been controversial. For example, as per their own community guidelines
“We may allow reviews that mention race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and the like if we believe the comment is used to describe a workplace situation. General discussions of workplace misconduct are allowed, including most discussions of illegal activities, discrimination, and sexual harassment.”
If a review is fake, or the claims cannot be substantiated, that actually puts them, in many countries, in dangerous legal territory. In fact, they have been sued so often in the US now that they maintain a help page about reviews and lawsuits. So if a review seems to include one of these factors in a negative way that is unfair, you can, and should, still attempt to have it removed.
The name issue is also worth mentioning here. According to Glassdoor, those in a CEO/Managing Director position, or C-suite/high level executives can be named, but other employees cannot. Again, this has been the subject of a number of lawsuits involving the company, so if a review is fake and mentions a name, you should not let it slide.
My request to have the fake review removed from Glassdoor was denied. So, what’s next?
Even when you have a good case, not all unfavorable reviews are removed. The individual who reviews the ticket has the final say. You have a number of options from here, including legal action if the review does serious harm.
As we mentioned at the beginning, negative reviews on Glassdoor can be harmful, as they can, and do, show up in Google searches as well as searches made on the platform itself. And, as we also mentioned earlier, not all negative reviews are that far off the mark, and will not be eligible for removal under any circumstances.
Minimizing the impact of these reviews calls for some concerted effort on the reputation management front. You can begin by responding/commenting on the review, but do so in a cool, considered manner that you’d be happy for the world at large to read. Then the work should move offsite.
Boosting your volumes of good, favorable content that will be easily and readily indexed by Google is the key here. This means new blog posts, new social media campaigns, new PR pieces and more. The idea is to push the Glassdoor review down in the search results found everywhere, and it’s something a great reputation management company (like Pearl Lemon) does all the time.
There are also some things you should NOT do, including all the following:
- Don’t prohibit your staff from publishing reviews; it will all too often backfire.
Don’t get into a confrontation with the individuals who left a bad review.
Don’t offer monetary inducement in exchange for removing a negative review (because that’s a bribe)
Don’t make legal threats against existing or past employees, or the network as a whole, unless you genuinely intend to follow through.
Don’t make a new/different/duplicate Glassdoor profile. The old one won’t go anywhere anyway.
Pearl Lemon offers proven, expert reputation management services that will minimize the damage caused by negatives that can be found online about your brand while maximizing the positive. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.