How To Overcome Ugly (And Attract Great Talent)

Are You Attractive?…Yes, of course you are!

But is your company?

It should come with little surprise that prior to any interview, most candidates already did the following:

  1. Checked out your website
  2. Looked you up on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc)
  3. Looked you up on Glassdoor
  4. Googled you
  5. Reached out to contacts who work/ed at the company

**As a job seeker, companies will usually look you up on Linkedin, Google search you, or eventually run a background check. So always be aware of your online presence.

As a growing business, sometimes it’s easy to overlook your presence on the internet and how it affects your hiring.

When is the last time you searched the internet for your own company (or yourself)? If you haven’t recently, take a second and do so now.

  • Is your website clear & modernized (mobile friendly) or stale & outdated?
  • What is your rating on Glassdoor and are there negative reviews?
  • Do past employees speak positively or negatively of your organization?
  • Does a google search turn up anything unusual or negative?

What did you find? … Be honest.

If you we’re a candidate, would you be impressed with your business? Or did you uncover a few bad reviews, an old negative article, or know that you have a few disgruntled ex-employees willing to trash your company at any given chance?

Not every business can be a fortune 500 company and rely on their brand to cover up their blemishes. Nor does every business have the money to invest in fancy websites and large marketing campaigns to attract talent.

  • How do you compete with them for talent?
  • If you have a bad presence, how do you get past the ugly outer appearance and show candidates the inner beauty of the company?

Here are 5 ways to help improve your company image and compete with the giants in attracting great talent:


  1. Invest In Your Website

Good websites are not cheap. That said, you don’t typically need it to be state of the art. What you do need is a site that looks professional, is clear about what you do, easy to navigate, and most importantly, MOBILE friendly. Many candidates utilize their phones/tablets when searching for jobs and will be turned off if your site is not built for these devices.

First impressions are important and for most candidates, your website is the first point of contact. Make sure it represents you well.


  1. Not all Job Postings Are Created Equal

Most job postings tend to use the same messaging to promote their opportunities. If you can’t rely on your brand alone, you need to find a way to stand out amongst the crowd. This is where you can let your creativity shine. Focus on telling your company’s start-up story, describe the benefits of working for your business and its culture (see How To Build A Retention Culture). Most importantly, know who you are targeting and make sure it appeals to them.


  1. Take Action and Fight Back Against Social Negativity

So someone wrote something negative about your organization, now what? It’s time to take action and fight back.

First, be honest with yourself. Is what the person wrote true? If so, address the issue internally and work to solve the problem so that it doesn’t happen again in the future. If the platform allows you to respond, reply back politely, thank them for the feedback, let them know you are addressing the issue, and wish them well in the future.

If what they wrote isn’t true (unfortunately some disgruntled people will post lies out of anger) it’s okay to combat the accusation and politely share examples to counter the complaint. Every situation is different, but every situation should be addressed. Keep in mind that nobody wants to see a social cat fight. Be kind in your response and don’t feel the need to reply again.

Second, encourage your team to post honest positive reviews if they feel comfortable doing so. (Lying is a no no. These should be honest reviews). This will help improve your image and give a more accurate representation of your business.


  1. Be Prepared To Discuss The “U-G-L-Y” With Potential Candidates

Not everything can be swept under the rug, nor should it. Being aware of your online presence helps you prepare to address the issues with future candidates. People are mostly reasonable. They understand no business is perfect. Instead of being defensive or falsely denying the accusations, take an honest approach. Tell the candidate that like most growing businesses you have experienced growing pains, have listened to the complaints, addressed them, and are now better for it.  The candidate will appreciate the honesty and then will hopefully decide to move past the concern.


  1. Hire an online reputation management service.

If you have some serious issues or just aren’t sure about your online presence, you can always hire a service (like Birdeye Solutions or Webimax) that manages your online reputation. These services will help review your business and build a stronger online brand & presence.


What are some other ways that you protect your online presence or stand out among the giants? Share your thoughts with us!

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