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Will Glassdoor be the downfall of your HR department?

Posted on: July 29th, 2015 by admin No Comments


Did you know that Glassdoor is now crucial to a job search? As the TripAdvisor of the recruitment world, company review website Glassdoor has the ability to reveal all of your business’s undesirable secrets, warning valuable talent and business partners off.

Here, we’ll explain how to keep your Glassdoor profile sparkling, so you can welcome in new talent without any roadblocks.

To begin with, your HR team must develop a habit for the following best Glassdoor practices:

  • Sign up for the free employer account

    Employees have the power to elevate or diminish your company on Glassdoor via their reviews, and signing up for an employer account is the only way to gain control of the direction the conversations take.

    The employer account is free; it’ll allow you to edit your company profile to maintain brand consistency across each online platform you use, receive instant alerts when a new review is posted, and you’ll be able to respond directly to these reviews. You can also post job adverts using Glassdoor.

  • Let your current employees know you have a Glassdoor profile but never pressure them into leaving reviews

    If you’ve got an office full of seemingly happy employees, it’s tempting to incentivise them all into boosting your rating on Glassdoor through a flurry of positive reviews, but job searchers can spot a forced review from a mile off and this practice is prohibited on the website.

    If your employees genuinely are happy, a simple email sent around the office to let them know that you’re now live on Glassdoor should do the job, as satisfied workers will want their company to yield an excellent reputation, hence they’ll post a review without bias.

  • Respect that Glassdoor is employees’ domain

    Regular social media strategy is not relevant for Glassdoor; employees come here to communicate with each other, away from the eyes of their managers, thus you need to keep your voice low.

    Only respond to negative reviews (more on that below), and although you can thank positive reviewers, it’s not essential, as they don’t expect to communicate with you on this platform. In fact, it can deter potential reviewers from being honest if they suspect you are reading their every comment.

If you’ve received a negative review, don’t panic. The following tips will help you recover:

  • Address negative reviews head-on
    1. Read the feedback objectively.
    2. Determine if the criticism is a fault on your company’s part. If it is, own up publicly by telling the reviewer how you will resolve the issue, but if it’s not an internal error, outline the facts politely in your public response.
    3. Sign off with an email address or phone number for the reviewer to directly contact you on if they still have concerns.
  • Identify communication breakdowns

    If you have one bad review amongst a sea of positive reviews, visitors are likely to write it off as an anomaly, and depending on the severity of the criticism, you shouldn’t fret over it too much either.

    However, if several reviewers are complaining about the same thing, you do need to look within your organisation and implement some changes. You can identify at which stage the concerns are arising via Glassdoor (e.g. during the interview phase or once employment has commenced) and then investigate your staff and internal business processes for flaws.

  • Report regularly to management

    Glassdoor has useful analytical features that record talent engagement levels. These are particularly useful if you use Glassdoor to post job adverts, as you can easily calculate your cost-per-hire rate by referring to them.

Whilst you cannot prevent former and current associates leaving negative feedback on your page, these simple measures should help you tackle criticism, rather than fall victim to it. And once your Glassdoor is polished, quality talent and important clients are more likely to want to do business with you.

6 staff retention strategies

Posted on: May 1st, 2015 by admin No Comments


The average UK turnover rate is approximately 15%1 a year, with the highest levels found in retail, media and other private sector organisations.

There are two types of turnover: voluntary turnover, which refers to employees choosing to leave a company, and involuntary turnover, which happens when an employer lays workers off.

High voluntary turnover levels are problematic for businesses due to the costs involved in finding replacement workers, plus once one employee leaves, a chain reaction often occurs and several other staff members will follow suit. Involuntary turnover can also have this effect, as staff morale inevitably suffers once an employer starts letting colleagues go.

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘People quit their boss, not their job’ – this is significant because voluntary turnover rates are a reflection of bad management. And when it comes to letting people go? The last thing you want are high involuntary turnover rates, as not only are layoffs short-term fixes that are detrimental to a company, but they also suggest inefficient business planning has been implemented to cover fluctuating economic factors.

How to calculate your staff turnover rate

Divide the number of employees that left by the total number of employees at the beginning of the period.

For example, let’s say you had 100 employees at the beginning of 2014 and over the course of the year nine people left voluntarily and six employees were let go. This would mean your annual voluntary turnover rate was 9% and your involuntary turnover rate was 6%, totalling 15% altogether.

It’s in your best interest to keep turnover rates low because it’ll save the company time and money spent on replacement costs for those who quit, plus you’ll receive a better evaluation from your supervisor if you’re able to retain your staff.

Below are six staff retention strategies to help you succeed.

1. Track retention

Use the formula above to calculate your staff turnover rate and aim to ensure the percentages are dropping every year. You can compare these figures with those recorded by other internal teams to determine which line managers are performing the best, and you can hold the total up to the average turnover rate within your industry to measure your company’s overall performance.

All too often, managers are taken by surprise when an employee hands in their resignation. By having a constant target in place, this puts the importance of retaining staff at the forefront of your management teams’ minds and will encourage them to adopt a proactive approach to preventing this from happening, rather than simply reacting to it when it does.

2. Set out a clear career path for your employees

If an employee doesn’t feel that working for your company will lead to better pay, greater recognition or more responsibility, they’re going to look elsewhere for an employer who will offer them these things.

This is why it’s vital to schedule performance reviews every six months for each member of staff, enabling you both to discuss your expectations and monitor if they are being achieved.

3. Train your management team

As previously stated, employees don’t leave companies, they leave their managers, which is why it is so important to provide your management team with adequate training. You can do this by partnering them with a mentor from higher up within your organisation or by sending them on an external training course.

Be open with your management team about what is going on throughout the business too and if any potential stressors could be about to occur, as this will allow them to prepare their teams for any potential fallout.

4. Increase the flexibility of your working conditions

Three in four2 managers have a flexible working policy solely to hold on to their staff.

Whether it’s instructing flexible working hours to help your workforce beat the rush hour, or if it means permitting workers to work from home once a week to help them reduce their childcare costs, employees appreciate this humanistic approach and are significantly more loyal as a result.

5. Review your benefits package

Commonly, benefit packages are compiled by senior managers thus the list of compensations focuses around life insurance and PMI, completely overlooking what the average 30-something who is thinking about leaving their job would actually like to receive.

Sit down with your HR team and tailor your company’s benefits package to meet the needs of your core team, which could mean including paid-for gym memberships or giving employees the option to swap their medical insurance for additional annual leave days.

6. Implement a succession plan

If the worst does happen and a key member of your team quits, you can reduce the impact this has on your business by kicking your succession plan into action, which may entail referring to your internal talent bench review or 9-box grid, or it may require the assistance of an external recruitment company.

You can read more about effective succession planning methods here.

1 Monster, 2015. What is the ideal employee turnover rate?. [Online] Available at:
2 London loves Business, 2013. 10 killer statistics that prove how transformative flexible working is. [Online] Available at:
[All information sources accessed 30th April 2015].

Succession planning: Internal vs. external

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by admin No Comments


In the past five years, Britain has gone from yielding alarming rates of unemployment to boasting a record-high figure of 30.9 million1 in work.

It’s not only the statistic that has changed; the mind-set of Britain’s workforce has too. No longer are workers looking for a ‘job for life’ – around 650,0002 people move from one job to another every quarter.

Call it a cost of living crisis or a symptom of the Gen X uprising – businesses without an appropriate succession plan are in an extremely vulnerable position.

Whilst six in ten3 companies do have some kind of back-up plan in place should key members of staff leave, it’s estimated that around 80% of companies would need at least a year to find a suitable replacement for senior employees.

A year is a long time in business. Below, we’ve listed the best succession planning methods for businesses that couldn’t afford to have instrumental positions to fill.



The most straightforward succession planning method is the talent bench review, which enables business managers to assess who should be developed, who should be groomed for leadership, and in some cases, who should be moved to another role.

Providing your assessments are based on real examples of consistent behaviour demonstrated by employees, and as long as your performance criteria is concisely defined to ensure accuracy regardless of who carries out the review, the talent bench review should lower the risk of keeping the wrong people in the wrong roles.

You could use the following assessment criteria to shape your company’s talent bench review:

Performance level
What the employee does and how they do it.

  1. Weak performer
  2. Solid performer
  3. Strong performer

Potential level
The job level an individual could reach (under the best working conditions) if their current level of performance is maintained.

  1. Current role only/current role is a bad fit
  2. Good fit at current level/could move up one level
  3. Potential for upward mobility of more than one level

You may also wish to consider the individual’s learning needs.

  1. Requires significantly more than twelve months to develop
  2. Should develop in current role for more than twelve months before advancing
  3. Can take next development step within twelve months

The 9-box grid is a natural extension of the talent bench review, visually plotting employee performance against potential to provide HR practitioners and managers with a talent review tool that can be used on an on-going basis to measure development within the company.

This approach requires the leadership team to work collaboratively to arrange every employee into one of nine categories across a vertical and horizontal axis. Potential level runs from low to high vertically whilst performance level runs from left to right horizontally, as demonstrated in the diagram below.


Once an employee reaches the box in the top, right-hand corner, they are ready to progress.


Why use these internal assessment methods for succession planning?

  • Simple assessment technique that can be used across industries
  • Triggers insightful dialog amongst members of the leadership team
  • Typically sparks shared ownership and accountability for a company’s talent pool
  • Useful way to identify development needs within an organisation



The fact is that 650,000 employees are moving companies every quarter. You could receive a resignation notice from a key member of staff completely out of the blue – even from that star employee at the top right of your 9-box grid – thus relying on an internal succession plan may no longer be enough.

External succession planning is a necessary precaution to take in the current climate. If you’ve got the resources and time to nurture external talent, you can do this in-house; otherwise, you can hire a recruitment agent to line up potential successors for the key roles within your organisation.

Below are three important aspects to consider when succession planning eternally.

Identify target positions

These will include:

  • roles that are likely to require replacement talent in the next 6 to 18 months
  • positions with no qualified internal candidates on the bench
  • positions that only have one qualified candidate in line and you would prefer the option to choose if an opening becomes available
  • departments that would benefit from new ideas, perspectives or experience
  • roles within growth areas where you aim to develop new products, new customers or venture into new geographic regions.

Source external talent

Your company’s consultants, partners, suppliers, and even your customers, all have the potential to be your future employees. What’s more, LinkedIn has made it easy to research talent even further, right down to the industry, job title or skillset you need to form your external succession plan.

However, poaching talent from a competitor is frowned upon and many companies now write an anti-poaching clause into employee contracts, thus the response you get from this method may be limited.

Recruiters are often a good solution to this, as you’ll receive the confidentiality you require. Approach a recruitment agency that specialises in your industry (as opposed to hiring a bigger agent that adopts the one-glove-fits-all approach) to expand your network with a refined selection of suitable professionals.

Build relationships with external talent

If you work with a recruiter, they’ll do this for you. If you’re going to be nurturing external talent yourself, just be careful to maintain a high level of tact throughout.

The process will involve regularly meeting the people you would eventually like to join your company at professional events they attend, and providing they don’t work for a competitor, even asking them to serve as an external consultant on specific projects.

You’ll need to find the right time to ask personal questions about their career aspirations, and be prepared to carry out a side-by-side comparison of the opportunities they have available within their current role and the reason your company is the better one to work for.

After about six months, you may decide to tell them about your external succession plan and how you’d like them to be a part of it.


Why implement an external succession plan?

  • With official statistics stating that 650,000 employees leave one company for another each quarter, your internal succession planning could fall through if any of your star players resign
  • Workforces generally respond better to external replacements as it can be hard to adjust to the hierarchal change that internal promotions produce
  • Forming relationships with external talent, whether it’s through a recruitment agent or directly, can often bring other business opportunities to light, including the acquisition of new partners and customers


1 Liberal Democrats, 2015. UK employment at record high of 30.9 million. [Online] Available at:
2 Financial Times, 2015. I quit! Job resignations and the UK labour puzzle. [Online]
3 CEO World Magazine, 2014. Succession Planning: Organizations Still Have Some Work to Do. [Online] Available at:
[All information sources accessed 15th April 2015].

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