When a current client provides an offline referral to your recruiting company, it’s safe to assume that your potential new referral is going to search for reviews of your business before they reach out to see what the Internet has to say about you.
Nonetheless, for the vast majority of recruitment agencies, you will find zero public reviews on Google or a more review-oriented site like Yelp. Of course, part of the reason for this may be related to confidentiality agreements or trying to maintain a competitive advantage, i.e., you don’t want your competitor to know who they should try to poach. However, the primary reason is that most recruiters simply don’t understand the power of reviews.
Imagine I search for a recruitment agency and I find this on Yelp:
Regardless of the strength of my referral, I’m probably going to have strong second thoughts about working this company.
Contrast that with how I might feel after getting a referral to this company and finding this. I’m much more likely to reach out.
Getting good reviews
So what do you do to get good reviews? Ask for them and do it fast.
When a candidate has been successfully placed in a job and you speak to your client on the phone or in-person to thank them for their business, ask them if they would be willing to write a review for you on either Google or Yelp if you send them an e-mail reminder.
In this email, you must make sure you include two items:
- The words “five star review”. Some people give four stars even when they’ve had a great experience simply because they assume that five star reviews are reserved for perfection. When you ask for a five star review, this type of person is more likely to give it to you even if it isn’t aligned with how they typically operate.
- A link where the client can write the review.
- If you want the person to leave the review on Google, the process for creating a link is trickier than it should be. Follow these instructions to figure out how to generate the link for your page.
- If you want the person to leave the review on Yelp, you just need to send them a link to your Yelp page. However, you should note that if the person doesn’t typically write reviews and your business has no existing reviews, the review may be filtered by Yelp’s hyper-vigilant spam algorithm, rendering it useless.
An optional third item you may want to include is an incentive. If you offer a $10 Starbucks gift card upon the completion of a review, you will see your response rate jump to nearly 100% with minimal cost to you.
What to do if you get a bad review
If you get a bad review, it’s not the end of the world but you do need to take action so that you can show other people reading the review that you care when you have not provided service that is up to your standards. Both Google and Yelp let you respond to the review with your own comments. When responding, you should never attack the reviewer but simply apologize for the negative experience and ask if there is anything you can do to help rectify the situation.
In some cases, you may even be able to convince the reviewer to go back and edit the review to increase the number of stars and change the text.
Can’t I just get testimonials?
While many recruiting and staffing agencies don’t have Google or Yelp reviews, many do have testimonials on their site. While these certainly can bring value, they should not be thought of as a replacement for public-facing reviews.