Are you hearing this a lot?: “future of work…blah blah blah…. millennial… blah… technological shift”?
Yes yes, it is true, it’s real, and we do need to prepare for change in the world of work. But something I’ve noticed is that we aren’t so great at preparing for is what’s just around the corner.
No I’m not talking about Generation Z – I’m talking about the critical role of social and new media in how we manage our employment brand.
You’re reading this – so I know you can use LinkedIn, Google… maybe even Twitter? I love social media for professional development (and those that know me hear me wax lyrical about it all. the. time.) – but social media for PD is an option for business folk. You might use it, you might not, but it won’t really impact on your ability to do your job (yet).
Something that is right around the corner (and already here if you’re in a big market like the U.S.) – the proliferation of employer review websites and apps. The potential impact on employment brand from social and new media is huge.
You might have heard of some of these review and information sharing platforms: Glassdoor, Vault & JobAdvisor, and apps like Whisper and Canary. If you haven’t, you will.
The likelihood of your organisation getting reviewed or spoken about on one of these platforms in the next year? Growing exponentially.
The likelihood of most HR professionals and business owners knowing how to navigate this tricky topic? Not great.
These sites are to the world of work what TripAdvisor is to the travel industry: an incredible opportunity, but a force to be reckoned with. Just one negative review might dictate 100% of your organisation’s rating on such a platform.
So wait… what?
The platforms I’m speaking about are already common in the USA… and due to the global nature of technology and it’s impact on trends in the workplace it won’t be long until your CEO or investors are asking you why weren’t you on top of this?!
A bit of a rundown on the kinds of platforms I’m referring to:
One of the most well-known of these sites, Glassdoor is a US-based site where employees (and former employees) anonymously review companies and their management and can post salary data. Glassdoor includes options for employers to pay for an enhanced profile.
Vault is all about ranking and reviewing companies, internships and schools. With a wider scope than Glassdoor it seems to be more focused on the graduate market.
This Australian based site is similar to Glassdoor (except I like the interface better) and has a few more Australian employers listed – similar to Glassdoor & Vault it uses a ratings system and gives you information from individual reviewers based on ‘pros’ and ‘cons’.
Whisper wasn’t originally billed as a site to review employers – but it is increasingly being used in reference to user’s jobs, the base concept being it is an anonymous secret sharer where users post their secrets online. It is possible for workplaces to feel the heat from this app (as there’s nothing stopping users naming their workplace in their confessions).
Billed as ‘anonymous company chatter’ this app allows users to ‘share insider news, thoughts and rumours with your co-workers’. Aside from the potential intellectual property and privacy concerns Canary is designed to facilitate gossip, which, when it’s anonymous, is potentially an HR (and PR) nightmare.
Just start by getting familiar with these platforms, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook along with any other collaboration systems your organisation uses if you aren’t already comfortable with them.
Conversations are going to happen, disgruntled employees are going to post damaging things online. We can write all the policies and procedures we want, but the idea of completely mitigating the risk in this space? Impossible.
What do I need to do?
- Get familiar with these platforms yourself.
- Asses whether your organisation is already being talked about.
- Get out ahead: encourage your star staff to engage in this space – next to 20 stand out reviews, 1 negative review won’t look so bad. But if potential employees, stakeholders or customers just see the 1 negative one? Not good.
Repost from LinkedIn article published 6 September 2015