What's The Impact of Glassdoor on Recruiting Industrial Salespeople?

Ed Marsh | Feb 4, 2022

Tl;dr - You know you're a great company to work for, but what about that prospective super-star employee who's never heard of you? Wouldn't it be a shame if they were underwhelmed as they researched you, and decided not to apply because of something silly like your Glassdoor ratings? Here's what that means, why it's important and how to fix it.

To Know You Is to Love You

But most top capital equipment sales talent out there probably doesn't know you! Ergo, they couldn't love you...yet.

If you're trying to recruit top industrial salespeople, you have to convince them that your firm is worth a look.

As a consumer you understand exactly how that works - think Yelp for restaurants and Amazon reviews for products. 

Remember that each of the sales professionals you'd love to recruit are consumers too - and they've built certain behaviors like browsing reviews prior to any commitment.

Here's the rub....those behaviors also apply at the intersection of the personal and professional lives; like when they see a job posting or hear from a recruiter.

They will check out anonymous reviews on Glassdoor from current and past employees. If they like what they see (a number appropriate for the size of the company, and favorable comments) they might consider the opportunity further. However, if they find limited reviews and/or a disproportionately negative vibe, they won't.

What is Glassdoor?

Let's start at the beginning. 

"Glassdoor empowers job seekers with straight-from-the-source insights, reviews, and corner-office intel so you can make your next career move with total confidence and clarity."1 It offers job candidates the opportunity to "Search millions of jobs and get the inside scoop on companies with employee reviews, personalized salary tools, and more."


Generally one finds that larger industrial manufacturers with robust HR teams carefully cultivate their Glassdoor ratings. The Nordson ratings shown here probably don't cost them applicants but aren't going to attract them proactively.

In contrast, Caterpillar below is very strong, while Pumps It's presence will cost them applicants and the data may even contradict a job posting compensation promise.








Sales Recruiting and More

Glassdoor is for all sorts of jobs - not just sales. So, given the challenges facing companies across all sorts of talent - from manufacturing and logistics through sales and finance - improving your Glassdoor presence will be important.

This democratization of information shouldn't surprise you. This is precisely how prospects research you. It makes sense that possible employees would do the same.

Improving Your Online Presence to Improve Sales Professional Recruiting

Glassdoor is not the only place you have to burnish your employer brand. LinkedIn and Indeed are also important, and your website should include information for prospective employees. For example listings of openings and information on your culture and benefits are common on industrial manufacturing websites. In fact, that's a great place to "own" your Glassdoor ratings - embed and link to it.

nordson-linkedin-company-pageThis is a marketing and HR commitment however. It's not set and forget.

For example, check out Nordon's LinkedIn company page. It doesn't get much love - the most recent posts are 2 months and two weeks ago, despite having 415 jobs open (for a company that lists 2,224 employees on LinkedIn in total!) Compare that to a meager Pumps It page and a vibrant Caterpillar page and one finds a pretty close correlation between their presence on LinkedIn and their profiles on Glassdoor.

Obviously, Caterpillar is an enterprise with more resources than the others, but just as some small companies have rich websites while some larger ones have lame online brochure sites, size needn't correlate directly to the value of either your LinkedIn or Glassdoor presences.

How Can You Measure The Impact On Your Capital Equipment Sales Recruiting?

In other words, how do you know if it's important to invest in upgrading it?

You can't.

Nobody is going to stand up and say "I saw your job posting and really wanted to apply until I saw your trainwreck of a Glassdoor presence and realized the sales jobs don't pay what your ad offers."

Remember that candidates will approach quietly in the mist, and then, if your presence is poor, slip away never to be heard from again. (And remember also that some prospects may also check it to measure employee satisfaction and culture as vendor selection criteria!)

Of course, there could be various reasons beyond Glassdoor why you attract unqualified or too few candidates. Your job postings could be lame. You may seek champagne skills on beer budget compensation. Maybe top sales talent expects to work remotely now, not in the cozy town where the family originally started the business. Or perhaps your marketing is poor and sales talent recognizes that they'll be lacking tools and leads - e.g. no chatbot on your website.

That means, unfortunately, that you have to fix all of it.....

And fixing it means more than a series of one-time steps. Like blogging and other digital activities, it requires management emphasis, some mindset and change management adjustments, and an ongoing effort.

Simple Steps to Get Started Improving Your Online Employer Presence

At a high level, you need to be clear that the company's values and culture are appropriate.

And then ensure that they are clearly reflected on your website, your careers pages, your company's LinkedIn page, and Glassdoor. Bear in mind that Glassdoor provides an opportunity to reveal hypocrisy in companies that don't walk their culture talk!

In both of the latter cases that means setting up the company page and Employer Center respectively. (Check first though because it's common that they may already exist having been created by energetic folks who may have left the company in the meantime. Pro Tip - You might consider including language in your Electronics Use policy that clarifies who owns branded social media profiles! more on that here)

LinkedIn Company Page as a Sales Recruiting Tool

Your LinkedIn company page should be populated with a full array of information including a compelling banner and "profile" image, well-written "About" info, posts (often can be integrated with your marketing automation), videos, selected #Hashtags and jobs. It should celebrate employees, share company and industry insights, and include some news and product/service information. Encourage employees to select the correct company as their employer on their profiles, and to follow and share company information to their networks. And of course, update it frequently and monitor closely to respond to inquiries, acknowledge comments, and moderate inappropriate content as necessary.

Improving Your Presence on Glassdoor to Facilitate Recruiting Industrial Salespeople

Glassdoor's a bit different. It's more of a dialog (including anonymous unhappy reviews, some of which may even be fabricated) in addition to a place to promote your company, share your culture, and attract candidates. The Employer Center guide provides lots of information.

As with LinkedIn you'll have to encourage employee participation. If you've got a solid culture then you should be comfortable asking current employees to provide anonymous reviews. You could also make it an element of exit interviews, perhaps even offering a gift card for folks that can document that they provided a review (think through how to do that without jeopardizing the anonymous aspect of it.)

On occasion, you'll have to deal with negative reviews. There are lots of tips online for how to respond (or not) if they're:

  • legitimate and unjustified
  • legitimate and justified
  • illegitimate (Glassdoor provides a process to contest it for possible removal)

But don't gloss over legitimate criticism. Own it, learn from it, and acknowledge it. Inc.com provides recommendations on how to even leverage criticism for your benefit.2

For most companies reading this article, though, that's going to be a welcome challenge to have. First, you have to start building your Glassdoor presence and getting early reviews.

Glassdoor is Just One Step in the Process

This article is about ensuring that your online employer presence doesn't deter candidates and hopefully encourages them. But it's kind of table stakes.

You also have to attract the right ones (write your job postings properly), assess them accurately, interview efficiently, and onboard them effectively.

All of those are steps we assist with as part of our industrial sales recruiting program. 

1. Glassdoor on LinkedIn

2. 12 Ways to Deal if Your Business Gets a Negative Glassdoor Review