I was in a store recently that is owned by a friend of mine, and the employee who was taking care of me mentioned that she was a bit bewildered that so many people were talking about their store on consumer review websites.  Apparently, none of her teammates at the store even knew that there were conversations about them taking place until very recently.  It turns out that even though the majority of the discussions and posts were positive, there were a few negative posts that went unanswered for some time.  She even went on to say that she wondered how many people were talking about them in other places that they are unaware of.

What can I do if this happens to my staffing firm?

Nowadays, feedback is left for all kinds of businesses, and staffing firms are no exception.  You may receive comments from recently placed candidates, current or former clients – even job seekers that you didn’t place.  And as you might expect, it’s extremely improbable that every comment will be positive.  Some important steps to follow:

  1. Pay attention to the conversations about your business. Know what people are saying about you and your firm shortly after it’s said; not days, weeks or months after the fact.  You can tailor these alerts to include not only your company name, but the names of your recruiters, salespeople – even your competition.  Our Director of SEO & Social Media, Brad Smith, wrote a great article about this a few months ago: Tracking Social Media Conversations About Your Staffing Firm.  Additionally, make it a point to visit different social feedback sites like Yelp, Insider Pages and Merchant Circle and see what’s being said.  You may find there are old posts about your business that you never knew about.
  2. Address feedback offline. If you’re receiving positive comments, meet with your staff and share them.  Focus on what’s working and find new and creative ways to expand upon them.  Reach out to the writer of the positive feedback (if you have the means to) and thank them personally; they’re almost certain to continue to sing your praises.  Likewise, make sure that any negative feedback gets addressed properly and promptly.  This will often result in turning a frown upside-down and ceasing any further negative comments, and ideally, you will maintain a healthy business relationship with that person.
  3. Address feedback online. Take a moment to respond to comments publicly.  This shows gratitude and involvement, and is especially important in responding to negative feedback after it has been addressed offline on a one-to-one basis with the once disgruntled client or job seeker.  Use this as your opportunity to show that you care about everyone’s feedback, and that you not only acknowledge negative issues, but that you do your best to correct them quickly.
  4. Be proactive. Utilize blogging to show your current and potential clients how your firm really is different, and how that translates to them and their businesses.  Write blog posts that give your candidates valuable job search tips.  Get involved in discussions on LinkedIn groups.  Build your Facebook and Twitter followers.  Automatically feed your blog to post into all of them.  Position yourself as an expert in your field, and as a trusted source of educational information.

By taking an active role in all aspects of your social feedback and media, you take the lead in crafting exactly how your company is seen.  If you don’t, your company image will still be shaped, but you may not have as much control over what it is shaped into.  If you have questions about how to be more active in social media, or any other aspect of your marketing initiatives, please call me at (888) 696-2900 or email me at [email protected].

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