How Do Negative Employee Reviews Affect Your Business?

How will your business respond to a negative review from a current or former employee?

Woman wondering about lowest rating on screen of laptop

Finding negative reviews

Where are the best places to find negative employee reviews? It’s easy: follow the customers! Negative reviewers want customers to see their evaluations. Therefore, these reviews are often posted where your customers already leave reviews. However, there are also additional platforms where employees leave reviews.

Check out these common places to leave employee reviews:

  1. Hiring websites – Several popular hiring sites allow employees to leave reviews. A few of these hiring websites include Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Monster. As job seekers research open positions, they can also easily access employee reviews posted on the hiring website.
  2. Social media – Employees can post reviews on their personal social media page or on your actual business social media page. Social media platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, and even LinkedIn are common places to post reviews.
  3. Common review sites – These sites include any platform where customers can leave a review. A few of these sites include platforms like Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor.

Impact of a negative employee review

It is evident society values reading other people’s opinions and experiences. Individuals read what others have experienced and make their decisions based on these reviews. According to an Indeed survey, 83% of people looking for jobs often search for online reviews before applying [1]. Also, CareerArc, an HR technology company, found that 55% of job applicants would stop the application process if they found a negative employee review for that company [2]. Based on these statistics, a negative review can potentially hurt business performance and hiring practices.

Hiring remains one of the top challenges for companies. Combating and preventing negative reviews go a long way when it comes to improving your business’ hiring process. Employers cannot overlook the impact reviews have on their application pool. A bad review can possibly change the public perception of a business. Negative reviews can cause businesses to automatically lose out on the best candidates without ever knowing them. Just one negative employee review could have the power to affect your applicant pool. Because of this, it is very important to always maintain a consistent brand message everywhere online and analyze your social media presence.

Create a negative review response policy

Once you find a negative review, it’s tempting to immediately defend your company. However, that may not always be the wisest decision. Instead, take time to calmly develop an action plan for the review. Remove all of your biases and look at the review from a third-party perspective. Think about what response will paint your company in the best light.

With the accessibility of media platforms, negative reviews may be unavoidable. Therefore, create an online response policy that guides each response you make. A helpful response model to use, for customer and employee reviews, goes like this:

  1. Demonstrate how you take feedback seriously and with sincerely.
  2. Work to provide a solution for the employee.
  3. Include insight from the company perspective without a defensive tone.

Learn from the review

A key takeaway from a negative employee review is to truly reflect on the comment made. Ask yourself: Are your employees unhappy? Was there a valid reason behind the negative review? Or is there a deeper issue you need to address?

Sometimes, the solution is complex and may require some time and effort to figure out. However, finding a solution is vital. By addressing the review and working toward a solution, your current employees will know that their opinions are valid. Be open about how your company has progressed from this event. Share how you are continually working to create a more desirable work environment.

Try to remove the review

While it’s important to learn from the review, it’s equally important to try and get the negative review removed. It may not be an easy task, depending on where someone leaves a review. Each platform has its own rules and procedures for removing unwanted posts.

Fake or slanderous reviews are the easiest to remove, according to ReviewTrackers [3]. This is because review policies have been established to protect companies’ reputations from false reviews. In other cases, you may have to contact the individual and personally ask them to remove the comment. This direct method can often be easier than using online platforms to delete comments.

Show why your business is a great place to work

If applicants are researching your business, provide helpful information that is easy to find. Publish content that provides job candidates with inviting and engaging information that describes the benefits of working for your business. This can be social media posts, community outreach events, or even web pages. Consider creating a page on your website that shows why people should apply to your business. Content for this webpage may include:

  1. How your company culture keeps employees happy and healthy.
  2. Testimonials for why current employees work there.
  3. Company benefits and perks.
  4. Pictures from events and employees working.
  5. Easy access to apply for a job.

Show the public you care about your employees, and your employees enjoy working for your business. This public display will attract more customers as well as job applicants.


[1] Resources, insights, and tools for employers, Indeed

[2] CareerArc 2017 Future of Recruiting Study, CareerArc

[3] How to delete a Google review, ReviewTrackers

How Negative Employee Reviews Hurt Your Employer Brand – and How to Stop Them, RecruiterBox

Addressing Negative Online Reviews From Disgruntled Former Employees, Mimeo

How to Handle Negativity in Former Employee Reviews Online, Insperity

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.