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January 12, 2023

Review-led Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding - Part 4: Tips for Responding to Reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed

Responding to every review is valuable for building trust with your current employees, prospective employees, and search engines alike.

To attract top candidates, improve retention and foster a positive company culture, you have to invest in your employer brand.

The Review-led Talent Acquisitions & Employer Branding Series is designed to guide human resources professionals in thinking about how to capitalize on the power of the employee voice by capturing and distributing their thoughts effectively in forward-thinking recruitment marketing tactics.

In part 4, we will discuss tips for responding to employee reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed. If you missed part 3, check out How to Use Campaigns to Get the Best Employee Reviews

Let’s say you’ve already done the hard part. You’ve put in the work to create and implement your review generation strategy. You’ve asked your valued employees for reviews, and you’ve got them. Now what?

While review generation undoubtedly takes a lot of time and effort, the next step is to respond to them. 

75% of active job seekers are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (i.e. actively responds to reviews). But why is response such a critical factor in the hiring process? The answer is simple. 

Why Response Matters:

Responding frequently and consistently helps build a positive reputation for your business. It allows you to take control of your company’s public image while establishing trust, in that it shows current and prospective employees you care about their feedback. 

Aside from helping you put your best foot forward with potential candidates, responding to reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed has measurable effects on employee retention and your company’s overall success. Out of all companies on the Best Places to Work list, more than half respond regularly to reviews. Further, companies that actively invest in employer branding reduce turnover by as much as 28%

To help you navigate company reputation management and reach your recruitment marketing objectives, we’ve gathered some tips for responding to employee reviews, both positive and negative. 

Tips for Responding to Positive Reviews:

  • Use the correct name and job title: Since employee reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed are anonymous, you cannot address reviewers directly by name. You can however include your own name and job title in your responses. Including this information goes a long way in making your responses seem more genuine and personal and works to humanize the review process overall. 
  • Say “thank you”: Thanking reviewers for sharing positive feedback is an essential component of review response. It shows that you appreciate their time and value their experience with your company. 
  • Use your company’s name: Including your company’s name in each response is a great way to build your employer brand and increase brand recognition. It also makes you seem more professional and accountable to reviewers. 

*Tip: Don’t use your company name more than once. Overuse can be perceived as “keyword stuffing,” which can negatively affect search engine rankings and make your response seem not genuine. 

  • Share your company values: Review response is a place for you to highlight what makes your company a great place to work. If an employee mentions a specific aspect of your work culture that they like, include it in your response. Instilling company values in your responses will draw the right type of candidate who shares your values. 
  • Keep it brief: Remember that positive employee reviews are left by people who already like working at your company - meaning you don’t have to sell them on it. Keeping your responses short increases the chances of your response being read and is a great way to establish rapport with reviewers. 


Tips for Responding to Negative Reviews: 

  • Respond promptly: Taking too long to respond to an employee’s negative review suggests that you don’t care about resolving their issues. While each case is different, it’s generally best to respond within the first few days of a review being posted. The sooner you deal with an issue, the sooner you can resolve it. 
  • Say “thank you”: You need to thank your employees for taking the time to share their feedback, even if it’s negative. This demonstrates a level of understanding and maturity. It also shows that you are willing to improve for future employees. Thanking each reviewer is something that takes very little time and effort but leaves a lasting impression, even in the toughest of situations. 
  • Stay professional: Nobody likes receiving criticism, especially on a public forum such as Indeed or Glassdoor. While negative feedback can be frustrating and upsetting to receive, it’s critical to take a measured approach in your response. When you respond to employees, you represent your entire organization. Avoid being defensive or sarcastic, and make sure to keep all beliefs surrounding politics, religion, ethics, and social issues out of the conversation.
  • Apologize for the reviewer’s frustration only: When an employee has a bad experience with your company, it’s natural to want to apologize. However, you need to maintain a professional tone and avoid taking any unnecessary blame. When you do apologize, focus on the fact that the reviewer is upset rather than delving into the specifics of their complaint. 

Example: “We care deeply for our employees, and we are sorry to see that this was not better reflected in your experience. We invite you to reach out to our HR department to discuss your concerns further.”

  • Present the facts: If a review deals with a specific situation, take the time to look into what happened before responding. By consulting company communications/other HR resources, you can get a clear understanding of the issue and put yourself in a better position to respond professionally and effectively. 
  • Be human, but minimize emotion: Empathizing with the concerns and complaints of your employees demonstrates your business’ willingness to improve. However, it’s crucial to keep the right tone of voice when responding. While employee reviews might feel personal, you represent a place of business. Minimizing emotion and choosing your words carefully can ensure a collected yet compassionate response. 
  • Offer to take the conversation offline: When dealing with negative reviews, the #1 goal is to move the conversation offline. If appropriate, direct employees to reach out to your HR department or TA specialist. This ensures anonymity and demonstrates that you care about making things right. 


Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, gives you an advantage over other businesses. It serves as a way for you to share your company values and culture with prospective candidates. It also shows your current employees that you value their input and well-being. 

Overall, managing employee reviews works to establish trust - which is an essential component of your employer brand. If you are interested in learning more about building your employer brand and how you can use reviews to strengthen your recruitment marketing tactics, feel free to check out our other Talent Acquisition series posts. 


Download the printable cheat sheet of 54 high-impact words and phrases to use in review responses

Emily Keenan

Originally from Scarborough, Maine, I moved to Vermont after graduating from St. Lawrence University, where I received my BA in English and Spanish. I have always been interested in writing and communication, which is what initially drew me to the Review Response Specialist position at Widewail. In my spare time, I can be found reading, playing electric guitar, or strolling/biking around one of Burlington’s many scenic trails. I always welcome the opportunity to talk about my work, and invite anyone with questions or comments to reach out or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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