Looking Beyond the Glass Door
HR Managing Transparency
A Interview, Conversation, and “How To”
With Will Marzullo, VP Global Talent 2020 Companies
and Christine Nichlos, CEO People ScienceIt used to be, a person looking for a position, now known as a job seeker, would obtain their information about prospective hiring companies by word of mouth, knowing someone who knew someone…., by their annual report, or just assuming ideas about the company based on their brand – “A Coke and a Smile”. Today, virtually every company is virtually visible. This new reality that we are just at the beginning of understanding is already having a major impact on job seekers and employees alike. Albeit good or bad, sites such as Yahoo Messenger, Indeed, Google Search, and of course Glassdoor, have become the go to resources for information.
The Evolution of Corporate Transparency
Christine: Will, you and your talent team have really embraced corporate transparency in and around the recruitment channel. Where or how should a HR Pro get started? Will: First,- realize that there is no going back. As the graph identifies, we are moving further and further towards full disclosure of our companies. Putting your head in the sand, hoping it will clear up or just go away, at this point, could very well be detrimental to an organization as a whole. I started really considering transparency as a job seeker. When I found myself combing the internet for possible employers, I began to realize the amount of information and opinions that were available helped me determine where I might be interested in working and just as important, where I would not be interested in working. Some of the things discovered were that the company’s brand and culture were coming through clearly. Brand and Culture Will: As a seeker, I wasn’t sure if the company was living up to what it was communicating but it was hard not to convince myself that the message they were sending was accurate, unless I had confirmed reasons to believe they were not. So, their brand was being communicated and unless I had firsthand knowledge to counter act it, I was buying into it. Christine: So, for example, if a fast food restaurant chain was sending the message that they employ service oriented staff and offer healthy food options, but my experience with them was the opposite I would question their authenticity as I have had the opposite experience. However, if I had no knowledge to the contrary, I would be more susceptible to believing their advertised brand and culture. Reputation Will: Yes. And in my search there were companies that through first and second hand experience I was not interested in exploring. In these cases, their reputation preceded my consideration. Now, and as we will discuss later, this reputation could be addressed and possibly improved on with a good transparent strategy. Thinking like a consumer….. Christine: Speaking as a consumer, I have been purchasing from the internet for quite some time, however, although I read product and service reviews I seldom supplied them. I’m not exactly sure why and how, but suddenly I have started writing reviews. Much in part because sites like Amazon and Glassdoor are convincing me through their active campaigns to give my opinion. Will: That’s exactly it. When searching for a job, I was a seeker, a consumer. Once employed, that experience led me to view 2020’s reputation very differently. Today, we try to think like our customers and our applicants when building our transparency strategy and in our execution. Power balance shifting from 100% employer Christine: So, in your opinion does this start to point towards a shift in the power structure of employment in general? It’s not only job seekers, but message boards like Yahoo Messenger and Glassdoor that supply a place where current employees can anonymously vent both good and bad. Are these sites taking the place of the employee suggestion box? Are employees becoming more and more empowered to influence the company’s policies, procedures, offerings and general overall viability? Will: Definitely. We no longer live in an era where employers hold 100% of the power. Transparency is starting to help tip the employer driven job environment a least a little more towards empowering internal staff and potential new hires. Christine: And, on that note, negative comments always seem to come first and people naturally gravitate towards the negative first. Additionally, negative comments are more believable than positive comments. After all, corporations are not likely to create negative comments but very likely to, incognito of course, create their positive comments. Transparency in our corporations is a lot to tackle and frankly for most, a ground breaking idea. So tell us, how did you get started, how are you doing now, and what can you recommend our readers/listeners get started to take advantage of this today’s growing transparency? 2020’s Strategy around Transparency Will: The Strategy includes the following:
- Who in the company should be involved?
- Who is supplying information?
- Where can this information be found?
- Who and how will this be managed?
- Prioritize: Glassdoor is the most transparent tool. Then, in order: LinkedIn, Indeed, and Facebook through social conversation.- Watch those follower/friend driven sites like Twitter & Facebook; their numbers can help or hinder depending on their impression of you.
- Devise the smartest responses to repair negative feelings.
- Manage them the best you can, responding to all you come across. Thank those who submit the positive. Sympathetically- ask for more information/-details from people submitting negative comments that maybe valid.
- Realistically look at the feedback.- Pay attention to reoccurring negative trends, that angry comment may help you uncover something wrong in your organization. What you learn can help you to become a better employer. If we don’t learn from our mistakes and show “readers” we are making an effort we could lose the potential new talent we are looking for.
- Information companies traditionally found through surveys and marketing companies is now readily available
- The amount of information available is much greater
- Upper Management can learn much more than they do from the employee suggestions box or “walking the floor”
- Real concerns and challenges can be uncovered
- When what a company truly is about becomes common knowledge: challenges can be addressed, wrongs righted, and brands matched with reality
- Embrace the reality of Transparency and get ahead of the curve
- Staying ahead of the curve means: