Employer rankings: Not below four stars, please!

Updated on: 17. November 2023

Employers beware: If they receive average to poor marks on evaluation platforms, candidates quickly refrain from applying. This is the result of a survey conducted by the HR consultancy Hype…

Employers beware: If they receive average to poor marks on evaluation platforms, candidates quickly refrain from applying. This is the result of a survey conducted by the HR consultancy Hype and the applicant management provider softgarden among around 1,450 applicants of all occupational and age groups in Germany.

Independent employer rating portals, such as Glassdoor or Capterra, are on the rise. In the meantime, 37 percent of all applicants are influenced in their job selection by the rankings published there, which are mostly based on a five-star rating (5=very good; 1=very bad) plus a review. But beware: as soon as an employer achieves only 3 stars or worse, 80 percent of the candidates surveyed by the Hype Group and softgarden refrain from applying. Apparently, even an average rating is enough to brand a company as a miserable employer.

However, companies should not only fear these rankings as a risk of being backhandedly punished by frustrated employees. Rather, employer rating portals also offer a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the needs of candidates and employees and to analyse the criticism of employees. This can point the way to one’s own potential for improvement and enable employer branding that is tailored to the current trends and needs in the applicant market.

Work-Life Balance decides

But what does an employer have to offer in order to attract the increasingly scarce skilled workers? There is no question that much more is required today than a good salary – employee benefits are in demand. As the joint study by Hype Group and softgarden found out, a good work-life balance is at the top of the wish list of candidates – even before the financial and material additional benefits of an employer. This confirms the trend that the job no longer comes first for many. Instead, it is important that work and private life can be reconciled in the best possible way. For example, the offer of company childcare was named as the most important incentive for switching to a new employer; this benefit scored 5.90 out of a possible 10 points. Home office is similarly in demand, with which many employees seek to achieve flexibility in terms of time and place in order to reconcile family and job (5.33); flexible working hours and flexitime rank behind this.

However, employers should not only focus on a family-friendly personnel policy, but also on financial and material fringe benefits in order to be successful in recruiting in the future. At the top of the popularity scale is the sports membership, which allows employees to use the gym at a reduced rate (5.80). This is closely followed by company cars (5.76), employee discounts (5.69), expense allowances (5.65), travel allowances for public transport (5.47) as well as technical benefits such as company mobile phones and free choice of workplace computer (5.43). The company pension scheme scores 4.92 points.

Social media as the first port of call

But where do employers find their target group? Answering this question is one of the most urgent tasks of HR managers and recruiters. In the age of booming job boards and job search engines, there is no question that the classic job ad published in print media has long since had its day. This trend is confirmed by the current study. Almost 73 percent of candidates prefer the job markets of social media channels to search for interesting job offers, first and foremost XING (43.55 percent) as the largest professional network in the DACH region. LinkedIn (34.4 percent) and Facebook (11.58 percent) follow in second and third place, with the remainder distributed among other social media. Multiple responses were possible.

Another study result on the use of the messenger service WhatsApp shows that the highest value is placed on discretion, especially in the professional environment. Almost 60 per cent of applicants refuse to be informed about vacancies by an employer via this app. More than 78 per cent of them give the reason as wanting to protect their privacy; over 32 per cent claim data protection concerns.

Bye, bye, application by post!  

However, these reservations seem to be much less pronounced when it comes to sending one’s own application documents to a company. More than 72 per cent of the candidates surveyed consider postal applications to be outdated. For about 25 per cent, they require too much time and effort to prepare, and the same percentage cite too high costs. Conversely, this means that most applicants today prefer suitable online procedures.

Valuable tips for employers

The results of the study by Hype Group and softgarden reveal key developments in the current applicant market. Employers thus receive important recommendations for action with which services and measures they can increase their attractiveness. They would do well to evaluate the relevant evaluation platforms to find out how they can improve their working conditions and build an employer brand that is geared to the current candidate wishes. In addition, employers should score points with family-friendliness, but by no means forego additional financial and material benefits for their employees. Those who want to reach their target group in the best possible way should also refer to the popular career and social networks: According to the study, XING, LinkedIn and Facebook are the first choice for candidates when it comes to researching interesting job offers.

softgarden: Thank you Frank for the great cooperation. We also believe that employer reviews have a significant influence on the application behaviour of job prospects.

About Frank Rechsteiner

Frank Rechsteiner is the owner of Hype Group, which is specialised in executive recruiting and strategy consulting for IT companies. With regular surveys and studies, he identifies trends in the IT employment and recruiting market. He continuously publishes articles in business, IT and social media and writes as an author for renowned publishing houses.

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