How online reviews can really screw your company

Your company’s online reviews are affecting hiring practices.

When workers are looking for a new job, most are looking at how your company was reviewed online. That’s why more than 80% said they consider online reviews on job websites from current or ex-employees before making a decision to apply, according to a new survey.

Research group Fractl churned the numbers in a survey of more than 1,000 Americans who have left online reviews about an employer in the past, where they wanted to find out the ins-and-outs of the states of online workplace reviews.

It turns out the potential employees have turned down job offers due to negative online reviews they’ve read. About a third of respondents said that bad online reviews made them say no to a new opportunity, with more than a quarter of respondents saying negative reviews would impact their decision to apply by a great deal. The fact behind reviews is nearly everyone is looking at them: Less than 10% of Americans ignore negative reviews when making a decision to apply to a company, according to the study.

Are online reviews truthful?

Like leaving a negative restaurant review on Yelp, not all online reviews about former employers are truthful.

Just about 10% of respondents said they’ve left dishonest reviews about their former place of work, according to the survey. A resounding 88% of respondents said they left fair and honest reviews.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the ones who left dishonest reviews were ones that either were fired or quit. Nearly 50% of respondents who lied had quit their job, while 31% said they were fired and 19% were laid off. As for the reasons behind why some decided to lie on their reviews, the most popular responses were they wanted to damage the company’s reputation or felt hurt by their manager or colleagues.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents who lied on their reviews said they felt they were unjustly fired, which allowed them to lie in their reviews.

Why workers were fired, laid off, or quit their jobs

Everyone has a different story for why they left a company, but for 80% of respondents, company cutting costs was the top reason for being laid off, followed by staff restructuring, merger or buyout, and loss of capital.

But for those who were fired, it’s a different story. While poor job performance was the most popular response for their firing (41%), taking too much time off was one of the top three reasons why employees were fired, according to the survey.

For workers who quit on their own, more than half said poor management pushed them to find something else. Nearly 50% said they found a better opportunity elsewhere, while 46% of respondents said their low salary played a role in their decision.