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6 Tips For Recruiters Dealing With Negative Online Reviews

Online reviews have the ability to make or break a company. We live in an age where before purchasing a product online we read numerous reviews to reassure ourselves our money is being well spent. A negative review makes us question the quality and validity of the product or service we are interested in. This is why from a companies perspective a negative online review can be highly frustrating and may seem unfair. Your brand is being tarnished online and there’s not a lot you can do about it.

Except there are some ways you can deal with the reviews, resolve any issues and maintain a high standard.

Think rationally

When responding to a review never act on impulse! When you first read a negative review your initial reaction may sometimes be to reply with a defensive response. How dare someone insult your recruiting skills!? But this will only lead to more hostility and could lead to a full-blown argument. Take a moment before replying and get a second opinion if necessary. Have your co-workers or manager look over the review and gain their thoughts on how to respond. It will allow you to consider other people’s perspectives and give you time to compose a professional response.

Understand their perspective

Recognising WHY the reviewer is unhappy and what went wrong will help prevent these issues happening again in the future. Not understanding their point of view, will increase the chances of the issue not becoming resolved.

You will also need to APOLOGISE regardless of who you thought was wrong or right, sometimes the unhappy reviewer may just be seeking a simple ‘sorry’.

Reply as a professional

Put your work face on remember who you are replying on behalf of. Nothing screams unprofessional like a rushed and defensive reply. When responding make your company the priority. What are their policies on customer service, how do you treat clients and candidates? These are important factors to consider befoe you reply. You will need to represent the companies tone and reflect the brand’s voice.

Resolve Issue

When you reply and apologise to a negative review this is the first step in resolving the matter. If the issue becomes unresolvable it is best you remove the review offline, to protect your brand image and credibility. What you don’t want is a long thread of comments consisting of an argument and disagreement. If this does occur you may be forced to manually remove the comment or attempt to contact the unhappy customer via an offline method. You could ask for a contact number or meet them face to face to discuss their issues further.

A direct message is also helpful if the review is on a social media platform, this way it lets both parties discuss freely but privately.


Once the issue has been dealt with and hopefully resolved, it’s time to create a strategy for how to respond to any future reviews. Whether the review is negative or positive, a plan needs to be implemented to ensure consistency within your responses.

Don’t take it personally

Last but not least don’t let it get you down! It’s hard sometimes to not take reviews personally. But remember by resolving the issue in a professional manner you are reducing the risk of an unhappy client or candidate bad-mouthing your company further.


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