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Have you embraced crowd sourcing to improve your brand


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Crowdsourcing as a value added way to improve Talent Management and retention strategies.

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Have you embraced crowd sourcing to improve your brand

  1. 1. Has Your Company Embraced crowdsourcing to Improve Your Employee Value Proposition? Crowdsourcing is one of the hottest conversation topics on the web. I predict it will be the most “buzzed word” of 2013. Companies are starting to pay attention to crowdsourcing as viable, cost effective ways to develop new product lines, new technologies, solve problems and improve service. Crowdsourcing is also important to HR as it can provide a wealth of knowledge in understanding employee experience with a company’s employee value proposition and employment brand. What exactly is crowdsourcing? The term crowdsourcing is mix of the word “crowd” and “outsourcing” first coined by Jeff Howe in a 2008 Wired magazine article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” 1. In essence it’s online database where people can contribute content (written, video, pictures) by posting it in a public forum which can be viewed and shared by others. Availability on the internet makes it easier to search and find information. Integration with social media sites such as Facebook means reviews can be cross-shared to friends. Apps let you search and review on the go through mobile platforms. To demonstrate the power and value of crowdsourcing to the business and HR I thought I would do a comparison from two strategic crowdsourcing sites; TripAdvisor and Glassdoor. I am an avid and loyal TripAdvisor member. Over the years I have become dependent on TripAdvisor to help me make informed decisions on what hotels to stay at when I travel. I find the reviews invaluable and will not make a decision without consulting TripAdvisor first. I also pay it forward by writing my own reviews, thus sharing my experiences with others. I was first introduced to Glassdoor through Facebook. I got a few invitations from friends in my network requesting I join. At first glance I didn’t understand its value. However once I saw there were anonymous reviews providing real insight into the culture, work, management and environment of an organization, I was hooked. Sites like TripAdvisor and Glassdoor are powerful because of their reach. As the stats below reveal, the traffic, membership and visibility on these sites is enormous. More importantly they are still growing. Reach TripAdvisor (Business) • World’s largest travel site 2 • 50M visitors per month • 20M business visitors per month • 1.5 Reviews posted every second Glassdoor (HR) • 21M registered users 3 • 260K companies globally • 5M company reviews • A new member joins every 7 seconds Every company has a vested interest in promoting how great they are. They want to you buy their product and/or attract top talent. Crowdsourced reviews are powerful because they are authentic. They are reflective of genuine experiences from a variety of people who have interacted with the company. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations compared to only 14% from advertisements 4. This has put pressure on companies to become more authentic in their brand promise and employment value proposition. Authentic 1 TripAdvisor (Business) • Reviewers have actually stayed at the Glassdoor (HR) • Reviewers are either current employees or 3 4 2
  2. 2. • hotel. They have no vested interest in portraying the hotel as good or bad. • • former employees. Reviewers write reviews based on their employment experience. Anonymity allows for more genuine feedback without fear of reprisal. Crowdsourced reviews are powerful because they are transparent about the brand promise. They help to answer the question, Is the company/employer genuinely delivering what the promise? Transparent TripAdvisor (Business) • Pictures and videos of hotel rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, etc. from reviewers provide real examples of what is delivered versus what is being advertised. • Potential travellers have more realistic expectations about the product they will receive. Glassdoor (HR) • Viewers have more realistic expectations about day to day operations, work environment and management styles. • Employees rate the employee value proposition (career progression, growth, development, compensation, benefits, etc.) against what they experienced. This helps set expectations for future prospects. It’s my opinion that companies should be grateful for crowdsourcing through sites like TripAdvisor and Glassdoor. Think about it. Customers and employees at no cost; are providing companies with feedback on what they’re doing well and what they can improve on. Actionable Feedback. It’s a goldmine of rich data. TripAdvisor (Business) • Reviewers provide suggestions for improve. • Reviewers provide feedback on what’s working. Glassdoor (HR) • Reviewers provide suggestions to Management on areas they can improve. • Reviewers provide feedback on things that are working well. Companies that are focused on continuous improvements can create action plans to fix shortcoming. Employers can cross reference engagement results with reviews. Retention strategies can be created based on feedback. Positive feedback can be woven into marketing and advertising to highlight positive attributes, making the brand promise more credible. Actionable Feedback Positive feedback can be woven into employment branding and the employee value proposition messaging, making them more credible. If you reviewed two hotels at the same price point and one had predominantly negative reviews and the other had predominantly positive reviews; which one would you choose? Crowdsourced reviews are powerful because they influence people’s opinion and ultimately impact their decision. That has a bottom line impact. Reviews Impact Decisions TripAdvisor (Business) • Positive reviews may yield more sales. • Negative reviews may result in a loss of a sale opportunity. Glassdoor (HR) • Positive reviews may attract better talent to your organization. • Negative reviews may turn off top talent.
  3. 3. • Companies can assess referral ratings based on reviews. • Employers can assess referral ratings based on reviews. Companies cannot ignore crowdsourcing’s impact on the bottom line any longer. Smart companies will acknowledge suggestions and make improvements to demonstrate they are listening. This willingness to change also builds credibility as reviews validate changes. HR departments should be conscious that employee opinions not only have a direct impact on talent souring strategies, but may also carry over to net promoter scores (NPS), product sales and customer retention. Dissatisfied employees may not buy your products or recommend the company to a friend. That impacts the bottom line. In my opinion, crowdsourcing is a gift. Embrace it as a free resource to listen and improve the customer and employee experience. By Ann Barrett- Director eRecruitment & Social Media Strategy