Occasionally, a job seeker will surprise me with an unexpected answer to a common question. 

I’ll say, “What about this company? They’re hiring! This looks like a great job opportunity.” Without missing a beat, the job seeker will respond, “Their company reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed are terrible! I’m going to pass on that company. I would rather be unemployed.” 

Can you imagine? Someone who is desperate to find work is so turned off by a company’s negative reviews that they won’t even take the time to apply there. Let that sink in for a minute. 

It’s similar to a weary traveler looking for a hotel for the night. They find one and dutifully look up its Yelp review, which is terrible and mentions bed bugs. Without a second thought, the driver decides sleeping in their car is a more desirable option than staying at a hotel with a bad online review. They don’t even take the time to stop at the hotel to check it out to form their own opinion. They just keep going to the next place. 

From a hotel owner’s (or an employer’s) perspective, these unchallenged reviews are frustrating. Big job websites will accept your money to place your job ad, but won’t hear your side of the story when it comes to company reviews. And, of course, not every employee leaves fair and unbiased reviews. 

I hear you. In the same way that Yelp reviews aren’t always fair and unbiased, neither are employee reviews. Fortunately, most people know that. Most consumers (and job seekers) are looking for what the reviews say overall, as opposed to one extreme opinion. 

The big job search companies can’t edit reviews anyway, or they wouldn’t be a credible source for job seekers. If they aren’t credible, job seekers would stop using them and they would never see your ads. 

The good news is there’s a lot you can do to influence the average review. Take the time to read your reviews closely. What do people like, and what turns employees off? If you find a common theme, think of it as an opportunity for improvement. It’s like receiving a performance review for your business. It gives your company specific goals to improve upon.  

But, whatever you do, don’t ignore your company reviews. They will show up online. Your potential future employees will read them. 

If you have bad reviews but do nothing to address them, every job seeker with an alternative choice will go elsewhere. That leaves you with only applicants who have no other options. Now, that sounds like a real nightmare. 

Embrace your company reviews. They’re a place for you to showcase your strengths, find areas for improvement and attract the best candidates. 

— Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.