Thursday 29 November 2018

Recruitment and Google reviews

You are looking for a recruitment consultant. You may be a business looking to recruit staff or someone looking for a career move, so what process will you be going through? Personal recommendation? Industry specialists? The web? Almost certainly a combination of all three, but whatever route you adopt, one thing is for sure, at some stage in the process you will be conducting an online search.

Recruitment consultants and the web

The world of recruitment has come late to Google reviews. Here is a London-based search that is typical of any - UK-wide...

...and what do we see? We see a massive opportunity for any recruitment consultant that succeeds with Google reviews to stand out like a beacon. But before we go ahead and examine that opportunity in detail, let's first pause and consider why reviews matter for recruitment and then why recruitment has not - yet - engaged.

Why reviews matter

Reviews matter because people are influenced by them. How? Well, superficially we have all become conditioned to notice Google scores. We will prefer a business that scores 4.8 over one that scores 3.1 - but where important decisions are concerned, choosing a medical specialist, an estate agent or financial adviser or, I am sure we would all agree, a recruitment consultant, we will read the actual reviews themselves. Here are the first four reviews of one of the agencies listed above... why, assuming they do a decent job for the majority of their clients and applicants, do they allow this impression to persist in search? The answer is almost certainly twofold. First: ignorance - you might be surprised just how many businesses we meet that are unaware of their image in search, they simply didn't know they looked so bad (and nor, in the majority of cases, did they know that they could respond to their reviews). The second, and this is more common than many people think, is fear. Fear of opening their business up to (even more) criticism.

It doesn't have to be this way

Here is a recruitment consultant we met this time last year...

...and here they are now...'s the same business. The only difference is that they have engaged with Google reviews.

Managing out the fear

As you can see, from the screenshots above and from any search for 'recruitment consultant' wherever you may be - recruitment consultants that have not engaged with Google now show poorly, often very poorly indeed. In some cases this may be deserved, but in over ten years' experience as review managers we usually find that unengaged businesses look far worse in search than in reality, simply because 'not engaging' as a strategy allows disgruntled reviewers a free run at the business in question's online reputation.

All that needs to happen in the overwhelming majority of cases is a determination to address the issue by the business concerned combined with the support of a professional review manager like HelpHound.

The business...

...determines to invite its stakeholders to post reviews. It's as simple as that.


...provides moderation. Not to deflect genuine negative reviews - that would be against the CMA regulations* - but to enable the business and the reviewer to engage in a dialogue before the review is published should the review in question contain factual inaccuracies or the potential to mislead readers. And to mitigate the 'fear'.

We also provide the software to enable the business to invite the reviews to the business's own website and then get them copied across to Google by the reviewer.

*N.B. Most business's reaction - right across the spectrum - when first engaging with reviews, is to ask their 'happy' clients to post to Google. This is known as 'cherry-picking' and is in contravention of the CMA regulations. These state that if a business invites any of its customers to post a review it must allow them all, and at a time of their own choosing. That is why HelpHound's moderation is so vital, and why you will see a button like this - 'Write a review' - on all our clients' websites:

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