Best Practices for Responding to Reviews

Mallory Wheaton -

Now that you are clear on what student reviews are and how to see them, you can begin to leverage them to engage with students more effectively and further promote your brand.

 

Here are three best practices to help you jump start your journey to turning the feedback loop into a critical recruiting mechanism that will fill your pipeline with informed, engaged candidates:

 

1. Respond to Student Reviews

 

“65% of job seekers say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review.” - Edelman Trust Barometer

 

Student Reviews on Handshake have given you the opportunity to communicate directly with your former interns on their experiences. Positive or negative, you are now invited to join the conversation and share your side, too.

 

When responding, we recommend keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Respond candidly and acknowledge the reviewers' concerns with facts and data
  • Never use an accusatory tone
  • Don’t offer an empty apology without any further explanation
  • Respond to reviews at your discretion and don’t feel obligated to respond to every single one. Make sure you are choosing a healthy mix of positive and negative reviews where you can offer both constructive responses and grateful acceptance, respectively.
  • Offer to take the conversation offline
  • Thank the reviewer for taking the time to give your company feedback!
  • Most importantly, always keep prospective candidates in mind. Take the opportunity to explain how you are addressing said issues in the future, so candidates can see that you are listening to your employees and taking action

 

“4 out of 5 candidates look to company reviews and ratings when making job decisions.” - U.S. Harris Poll

 

Responding to student reviews not only helps you engage with all students but also to manage your brand. Take control of your brand’s narrative!

 

2. Activate Your Fall 2018 Interns as Brand Ambassadors

 

Positive reviews are your most valuable recruiting asset. With the majority of job seekers reading up to seven reviews before forming an opinion about a company (Source: Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey), it is critical that 1) you have reviews and 2) they are either positive or constructively addressed (see best practice #1).

 

Leverage the resources you already have: current and former interns! Students with actual experience at your company are your best advocates, as they give future interns an authentic look into the company from peers.

 

When Student Review collection opens in September 2018, make sure you are in a position to take full advantage of this valuable feature. Follow these tips to drive more Handshake Student Reviews:

  • Send a welcome email encouraging new interns to write a review on their application and interview experience
  • Schedule a 30-day check-in, and follow up with a request to review their onboarding experience
  • Conduct exit interviews for your interns, and save five minutes at the end of the meeting for them to write reviews of their experience on Handshake

 

3. Use Student Reviews as a Roadmap for Future Intern Programming

 

Feedback is incredibly valuable, and the fuel for positive change. Taking the time to hear back from interns authentically will help you build a strong employer brand and give your organization a competitive advantage for the upcoming recruiting season.

 

74% of Handshake Student Reviews illustrated extremely thoughtful, balanced, and constructive feedback. These high quality, nuanced reviews written by students from all schools, majors, and backgrounds, provide your organization with a holistic look into personal experience and brand perception.

 

Make your past interns feel heard while improving the experience for future interns!

  • Reach out to thoughtful, constructive reviewers and request a 30 minute interview to dig deeper into their intern experience and concerns
  • Invite past interns to “planning workshops” as you build out your next intern program, including them in the process
  • Pair past interns with new hires as “advisors” to give them a chance to mentor a younger student as well as assist with onboarding pains.



Student Reviews are essential to building a strong employer brand and engaging with past, present, and future interns. Leverage them most effectively by trying out these best practices!

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