Get the gen before you get the job

Tracy Li
Online comments about prospective employers heavily influence job seekers in China.
Tracy Li

Job seekers are heavily influenced by online comments about prospective employers, according to a survey by recruitment company Hays.

When asked whether online comments by former employees influence the decision to apply or work for an organization, 73 percent of respondents stated that they would take online comments into consideration, Hays’ latest web poll found.

In addition, 18 percent of the candidates would “definitely” be swayed by reviews and opinions of former employees.

In an identical poll in 2016, 12 percent of respondents said their decision to apply or work for an organisation was not influenced by such factors. In the 2019 poll, only nine percent felt the same.

Simon Lance, managing director of Hays’ China operation, explained that as industries across the board become skills-starved, organizations could benefit from managing their online reputation.

It is a natural process for hopeful candidates to look up what is being said of working at an organization which they are considering becoming part of, Lance said.

With many employer review platforms and forums online, the Internet has made it fairly easy to gain access to comments by former staff, he added.

Hays said that organizations that want to attract quality candidates and mitigate the risk of losing adept talent should position themselves as the employer of choice both online and offline.

While it is difficult to control what people post online, there are social media platforms where employers can give outsiders a glimpse of what is it like to work at their company, the study noted.

As far as existing online comments go, it is best to assess feedback by both current and ex-employees, then create an action plan for not only the public relations image, but also the working environment of the organization, Hays said.

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