Article | 4:37 min read

Negative Employee Reviews and How They Affect Business

Grow Your Business

We use online reviews for everything these days. What happens when a negative review pops up about your business, or even worse, the review is from a current or former employee?

Woman wondering about lowest rating on screen of laptop

We use online reviews for everything these days. From picking a trendy restaurant to applying for a new job, it’s the first place we often look for helpful information.

Importance of a negative employee review

It’s easy to relate a negative review’s impact on customer purchases. If a customer sees a bad review, they may decide to take their business elsewhere. On the other side of a negative review, especially if it’s from a current or former employee, is how your employee hiring can be affected. All it can take to alter your reputation is one upset former employee to make a quick online post. After that, people could start seeing your business differently. Which shows why it’s important to always maintain a consistent brand message everywhere online.

According to an Indeed survey, 83 percent of people looking for jobs, usually search for online reviews before applying [1]. Also, HR technology company, CareerArc, found that 55 percent of job applicants would stop the application process if they found a negative employee review for that company [2]. The biggest take away from these stats is that people want to work in comfortable and enjoyable environments. A negative review can quickly show what it’s really like to work at a specific business, making the applicants’ decision even easier.

Hiring remains one of the top challenges for companies, which is also why these stats are so important. Businesses who are hiring today can automatically lose out on the best candidates without ever knowing them. Combating and preventing negative reviews can go a long way when it comes to hiring the most ideal candidate.

How to find negative reviews

So where do you find any negative employee reviews in the first place? It may be easier than you think! These reviews are often where your customers already leave reviews. In the instance of employee reviews, there are additional places online to consider searching. Here are the common places for employees to leave reviews.

  1. Social media – You can find reviews on either an employees’ personal social media page or on your actual business social media page. This can include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn.
  2. Hiring websites – Some of the most common hiring sites to allow employee reviews include, Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Monster.
  3. Common review sites – These sites include anywhere customers can leave a review, like Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor.

Create Social Media Response Policy

If you found a negative review, it can be easy to want to defend your company. However, that may not always be the wisest decision. Instead, take time to calmly develop an action plan for the review. You’ll want to present your company in the best light possible. Create an online response policy that guides each response you make. A helpful response model to use, even for non-employee responses, goes like this:

  1. Illustrate how you take the feedback sincerely and seriously.
  2. 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. Are your employees unhappy? Did that person have valid reason for the negative review? Or is there a bigger issue you need to address? Sometimes deciding the answer to the issue isn’t straightforward but figuring out a solution is important. Make it clear to your current employees that their opinions are valid, and you are addressing the negative review. Also, take time to share how your company has progressed from this event, and created a desirable place of employment.

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. This is not an easy task, depending on which platform someone left the review. Each platform has its own rules and ways to remove unwanted posts. Fake or slanderous reviews are the easiest to remove, according to ReviewTrackers [3]. These reviews often violate the platform review policies, which are in place to protect a company’s reputation. Other instances may require you to reach out to the individual and personally ask them to remove the comment. Often, that can be an easier route than working with the online platforms.

Make it clear why someone should apply

If a potential applicant is looking at an online review to aid their decision, they will probably look elsewhere for more information. Make the process easier by having inviting and helpful information about why your business is a great place to work. Create a page on your website about why people should apply to your business. On that webpage, be sure to include:

  1. What the company environment is like.
  2. Company benefits and perks.
  3. Testimonials for why current employees work there.
  4. Pictures from events and employees working.
  5. Easy access to apply for a job.

You can also extend this information past your website onto social media, and through community outreach. The goal is for your company to become a desirable place to apply and work. You can do all of this by simply showing you care about your employees, and your employees enjoy working for you.


[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 Negative Online Reviews from Former Employees, 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.