Importance of SMEs’ online reputation affirmed in new study

An SME’s online reputation has never been more important when it comes to attracting talent, according to new research from job site Indeed.

Employer reputation is a key factor considered by job hunters when deciding which companies to apply to, and the vast majority of job hunters in Australia deem it essential to research a company’s reputation before applying for a job. In fact, job hunters are sceptical (79 per cent) and suspicious (77 per cent) if an employer does not have an online presence.

The study, based on a survey of over 1000 job hunters in Australia in 2019, shines a light on the need for transparent and open communications about employer brand as Indeed is set to launch in Australia its Company Pages Premium service, which would provide enhanced design and analytics for employers who desire more control of their employer brand.

Research shows that the majority of job hunters would use company review pages and their professional network to find out about the company when considering a job opportunity, with almost three in four (72 per cent) job hunters considering insight into a company’s reputation an important part in their decision to apply for a role.

Additionally, when considering applying for a role at an SME, 69 per cent of job hunters believe it’s hard to know what the actual job will be like. This highlights the importance for SMEs to boost their reputation online amongst prospective applicants.

A correlation exists between access to information and trust in an organisation, with trust increasing according to the information that is available. This is reflected in the fact that two thirds (64 per cent) of job hunters are likely to focus on companies with the best online reputations if they have access to information about the company. Additionally, when compared to larger companies, job hunters believe that SMEs would be more likely to have true (62 per cent) and more accurate (62 per cent) online reviews.

One of the biggest challenges employers face during the hiring process is standing out amongst other employers vying for the same talent pool. The analysis of factors that affect the behaviour of job hunters comes as employers are finding it increasingly challenging to hire talent.

Jay Munro, Indeed’s Employer Insights Strategist said, “Reputation and trust have always gone hand in hand in business, and prospective employees are as discerning and thorough in their approach to a new company as customers would be. While reputation has always been important for any employer, in the digital age it is increasingly vital for small to medium-sized businesses to be visible as they compete with larger companies to attract the best talent.”

Munro added, “The culture and expectations surrounding job search have changed forever. Small to medium-sized businesses should seize every opportunity they have to start sharing their stories online and build their employer brands.”

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