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Two thirds of employees leave job reviews on public websites

Over half the reviews are negative

Over two thirds (69%) of employees write online reviews of former employers, with over half being of a negative nature, according to research from the CPL talent evolution group.

The research also found 29.9% of UK employees were uncomfortable sharing negative feedback on their line managers in a formal exit interview or survey with their employer.

A third (34.5%) felt that ineffective or toxic line management was a key influential factor for them leaving an organisation. 

Áine Fanning, managing director of CPL’s talent evolution group, said negative reviews are the result of ineffective feedback processes.

She told HR magazine: “A harmful cycle exists within organisations whereby ineffective line management and negative workplaces can cause staff to resign and head to public websites to express their feelings and experiences. 

“Trust in organisations breaks down and belief or hope that honest feedback will be listened to and valued is lost.” 

Read more: Ryanair social media manager resigns over company culture

Global job site Indeed sees 189.4 million monthly website visitors, followed by Glassdoor with 50 million monthly users, further proving their popularity within talent pools.  

Glassdoor reported 86% of employees and job seekers research company reviews and ratings to decide on where to apply for a job.

Ian Moore, founder of HR consultancy Lodge Court, said employers should be careful of their digitised reputation.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “A single bad review can have a big impact on a company's reputation and ability to hire new employees. Employers can adapt and mitigate these effects through transparency, openly acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the company. 

“If complaints do go public, it's important for employers to respond in a way that shows action is being taken to prevent similar issues in the future, without getting defensive.”

He encouraged HR to work on their exit interview processes and employee support networks.

He added: “By addressing issues internally, via exit interviews as well as ‘stay interviews’, companies can prevent them from becoming public problems. 

“Ultimately, it's crucial for all companies to create a positive work environment, provide training and support to employees, communicate effectively, and motivate them to do their best. These steps can help prevent negative reviews and protect a company's reputation.”

Read more: How to listen to your employees and show your appreciation

The survey was conducted among 1,500 UK adults who have resigned from a job role within the last five years. Polling began in February 2023.