What Should Your Staffing Firm Do About Negative Online Reviews?

“Help: My staffing firm just received a negative review on our Facebook page. What should I do?”

While you might be tempted to get rid of the comment, that’s not a good idea.

Here’s why:

You’ve built a great business. You pride yourself on providing an exceptional experience to both clients and candidates. You’ve made a service model that has checks and balances. You train your staff on how to work with employers and job seekers.

And then a disgruntled troll wants to tell the world how horrible your company is…how your service is terrible…you don’t care about people…you’re unresponsive…and how you are not even friendly to your children. You know the type!

Your first instinct is to go defensive or delete that comment immediately. I get it. Sometimes a bad review can seem like a slap in the face. And more times than not, it is not justified.

The truth is, most of the time, it wasn’t your service that was the problem. It was just that the candidate needed the skills or experienced your clients needed, and you couldn’t place that person.

But put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. That poor person has probably bounced around to a few different agencies. Maybe he was laid off and can’t find work. Perhaps he didn’t know where to turn next and felt helpless. That candidate needs a job and is probably pretty upset about being rejected. Now he needs to vent his anger at someone—and you’re an easy target.

So what do you think you should do with a bad Facebook review?

Please don’t delete it or hide it. Instead, address it proactively and helpfully:

Step 1: Address complaints directly on Facebook, then look to move the conversation offline:

Here’s an example:

[This is you] Hi [Name], thank you for the feedback; I’m very sorry that you didn’t have a great experience. We pride ourselves on helping people find great job opportunities. Whenever we hear that someone didn’t have an exceptional experience, we want to know about it to fix things. If you could call our offices at XXX-XXX-XXXX, we would be happy to speak with you and help in any way we can. Again, thank you for sharing your feedback, and we look forward to turning things around for you.

Step 2: Please don’t be interested in a back-and-forth commentary online. You won’t win.

If the candidate won’t listen to reason and continues their onslaught, consider banning them from your page. Here are Facebook’s instructions on how to ban a user from your company page.

Step 3: Be more honest with unqualified candidates.

Most internal recruiters are charming and have difficulty being honest with someone who needs the right skills. It’s much easier to say, “I’ll call if anything opens up,” than it is to say, “I’m very sorry, but you just don’t have the skills that my client(s) are looking for, and I don’t have an opening for you.” The problem with this muted response is that it gives candidates false hope, and they will be agitated when you don’t call!

Step 4: Implement a proactive plan to build more positive reviews.

You’re in the people business, and at some point, you’re going to deal with a bad review. The best way to combat bad reviews is to overwhelm them with the positives. The more four and five-star reviews you get on Yelp, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Google Reviews, the better.

Stop the trolls!

Could you provide an outlet for an internet troll to air their grievance in a channel that comes directly to you (instead of being blasted all over the internet)? Customer feedback surveys are the perfect vehicle to intercept and neutralize hostile reviewers’ comments.

Could you ensure your feedback survey is short, simple, and enables customers to voice praise or concerns? If you’re looking for a tool that:

  • Surveys your audience – to identify champions AND trolls.
  • Encourages positive reviews – on the sites critical for your staffing firm.
  • Channels negative feedback to a private channel – where you can effectively address the issue.
  • Monitors your online reviews – so you always know what your staffing customers are saying about you…