Just the other day, the unemployment rate in the IT industry reached a staggering 1.3%, representing a 20-year low. The fight for skilled technical talent is harder than ever, and that’s why employer branding – in Portland and across America – is increasing in importance. Professionals have their pick of jobs in this industry, and they use a number of tools to determine which employer is right for them. Third-party opinion is vital to an IT pro’s career moves, and yet they are basing their decisions on more than just a company’s Glassdoor page.
Yes, Glassdoor still matters, but not as much as you think. First, there are the stats: 74% of Glassdoor users are more likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand, meaning they respond to reviews, update their profiles, etc. However, the power of Glassdoor has muted in recent years.
Today’s skilled professionals looking through Glassdoor understand that most individuals who leave a review about a company do so because of an incentive. Either they’ve become so disgruntled that they want to publicly vent their frustration or they’ve been nudged by their supervisor to leave a review. Either way, these activities do not represent an accurate picture of an employer brand. Professionals know that it’s a broken system.
The idea of authenticity behind Glassdoor is a phenomenal one, but it often misses the mark. IT pros see a company with no negative reviews and smell something fishy. In fact, bad reviews are good for business to an extent. They give your company an opportunity to publicly show your responsiveness, adaptability, and desire for improvement and discourse. Studies show that job seekers spend five times longer looking for bad reviews than good ones for these reasons.
Then, there’s the fact that Glassdoor offers services to help employers look better. Job seekers know this and see it as a gray area. Glassdoor has a stake in companies receiving positive reviews and can make money helping those companies garner them, and that fact alone deters people from completely trusting the service. Even if no questionable activity has taken place, the idea that it could takes away from the authenticity of the platform.
Organizations that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire. A key piece of that branding strategy is disseminated and digested through digital and social channels. Think of it as the price of admission: in order to be considered by that veteran data analyst or fresh developer, they will need to see your company online. Maintain a Glassdoor page while using negative reviews as an opportunity to show that your brand cares, but put effort elsewhere too.
LinkedIn, for instance, is crucial for improving employer branding in IT. Share articles often, post company updates, and be visible there to stay top-of-mind for job seekers. With the same mentality, keep up on Facebook. Job seekers look here to discover more about a company’s culture, so share your fun events and show off the perks your employees are enjoying most. However, while these platforms can get people’s attention, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Facebook cannot build your brand and close a candidate by themselves.
Some companies get lost in digital branding efforts and forget what matters most. While your digital brand is important, it doesn’t make up your entire brand. At the end of the day, the most significant factor that affects how others view your organization is how your internal team feels. Are they engaged? When they are asked by their friends how work is going, are they quick to gush about a fun office event or cool perk? How your employees project your brand to their real-life social circles is more important than something like Glassdoor.
When considering your brand and how to attract new IT pros, it starts with your current people. Make sure they’re happy. Keep them engaged throughout the days, weeks, and months. Give them fulfilling career paths. Respond to their needs and questions. Go above and beyond whenever possible. These actions keep your workforce feeling great, and that kind of attitude is contagious in the best way. The connections they have with friends, family, and peers create stronger impressions than surface-level digital interactions.
If your brand were a restaurant, then Glassdoor would be the pictures on the menu. People would use them for an idea of what your food might be like but also understand that what they order won’t look exactly the same. The rest of your branding is the actual food served. It’s what people care about and what they tell their friends about at the end of the day. Do great things for your employees on a daily basis and they’ll do great things for your employer brand.
The Importance of Employer Branding in Portland’s IT Industry
Expectations vs. Reality: Why Tech Pros Leave and How to Retain Them