Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Employer rating sites: why are they important to HR?


   I’m quoted in an an article in Personnel Today on employer rating sites such as

"They are becoming increasingly important," says Jon Ingham, social media expert and executive consultant at consultancy Strategic HCM. "In particular the younger generation, who are more internet savvy, are used to using sites like TripAdvisor for personal things and they are increasingly using employer rating sites before they apply for a new opportunity or before they accept an offer."

[Please note, I didn’t call myself a social media expert!]


The discussion in the article is part a wider issue about who has control of an organisation’s employer brand.

This issue was nicely addressed by John Sullivan in an article last year (I particularly like Sullivan’s point on the power of bloggers!), and has been taken forward by Bill Boorman and the TRU unconferences as well as HRevolution in the debates about whether employer brands have been employee branded.


I’m still on the side of control.  And I don’t mean that organisations can control the (social media) conversation – I don’t think they can, or should.  I completely support Mervyn Dinnen’s reflections on ‘control’ as the subject of conversation at HRevolution:

“During one track I asked if we could just forget CONTROLLING social media and start EMBRACING social media! It’s my belief that if you try to control what people say, whether through a policy or strict guidelines, then you stifle the creativity and spontaneity that, I believe, are at the heart of social media.”


But I do think that by participating in these conversations, organisations can still control the general image of their brand.  I think this post at Social implications sums it up quite well:

“Think of it this way — all of your customers, readers, or whoever your target audience consists of are like this big conversational sea. It might be calm one day and you might hit rough waters the next. But either way, you’re always at the helm. You have the ability to steer or influence the image your company portrays.”


Also see: Employer brands debate at HRevolution 2010: Are your staff your best ambassadors?

And more of this at the HCI webcast in a couple of weeks time.


Photo credit: Bvld11



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