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Monday, June 22 2015

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38 Percent of Fired or Laid-Off Employees Share Negative Reviews of Their Former Employers, Reveals New CareerArc Employer Branding Study

Over half of all fired or laid-off professionals reported their termination or layoff negatively impacted their perception of their employer.

Los Angeles, CA, June 22, 2015 – Companies who plan to terminate or lay off employees may also need to plan for potential backlash.

According to the 2015 Employer Branding Study, published today by CareerArc—a global HR technology provider of social recruiting and outplacement services—over one in three respondents who have been terminated or laid off had left one negative review of that former employer on a review site, social media, or with a personal or professional contact. The survey also found that 54 percent of those who have been let go at least once in their career reported that the layoff or termination had negatively impacted their perception of their previous employer.

“Involuntary separations are inevitable in any organization. However, what has changed in just the past decade is the number of ways employees can share their opinions of employers and influence public perception,” said Robin D. Richards, CEO of CareerArc. “With the quit rate now near pre-recession levels, an employer’s brand is more important than ever, and the companies that know how to protect their reputation in the social era will earn and keep the best talent.”

Participants in the study included more than 1,300 job seekers and 218 HR and talent acquisition professionals representing employers of all sizes, the majority of which were companies of 500 or more employees.

The Long-Term Unemployed Are More Likely Than the Short-Term Unemployed to Harbor and Share Negative Views of Employers

The survey found that of those who reported having once been fired or laid off, more long-term unemployed workers—58 percent—said their perceptions of those employers were negatively impacted by the termination or layoff. Meanwhile, only 48 percent of short-term unemployed workers reported the same.

Moreover, of those who reported their perceptions were negatively impacted by the involuntary separation, more long-term unemployed workers—74 percent—reported sharing their negative opinions of that employer online or with an acquaintance, compared to 63 percent of short-term unemployed workers who shared their negative views.

Millennials Are More Jaded By, and More Vocal About, Being Let Go

Among those whom were once laid-off or terminated, Millennials were slightly more inclined than Baby Boomers to both hold and share negative opinions about their former employers. Although almost 2.5X more Baby Boomers (64 percent) than Millennials (26 percent) reported having been laid off or terminated once in their careers, 58 percent of those Millennials reported their perceptions of their previous employers’ brands were negatively impacted from the separation event, compared to 52 percent of Baby Boomers.

Furthermore, 73 percent of Millennials who reported being negatively impacted by the termination or layoff shared their negative views on social media, review sites, and with personal and professional networks, compared to 70 percent of Baby Boomers.

Job Seekers Expect Employers to Have a Strong Online Presence

Upon hearing of a job opportunity, a majority of the job seekers (52 percent) seek out an organization’s online properties first, such as websites and social media channels, to learn more about the employer’s brand identity and company culture. However, findings suggest that this crucial first impression must meet candidates’ standards: 91 percent viewed poorly managed or unattractive websites and social media channels as damaging to employer brand.

Below is a list ranking the first go-to sources job seekers turn to when evaluating employer brands:

  1. 52 percent of job seekers first visit online properties to view company websites and social media
  2. 17 percent first turn to individuals in their personal and professional network
  3. 15 percent first visit employer review sites
  4. 9 percent first research news articles
  5. 7 percent reported other first sources

Although employer review sites rank third on this list among first, go-to sources for employer brand insight, 82 percent of job seekers reported they were likely to visit review sites in the course of researching an employer’s brand.

62 Percent of Candidates Visit Companies’ Social Media Properties to Learn About Company Culture

Facebook and LinkedIn topped the list of social media platforms job seekers would likely visit to learn more about an employer’s brand identity and company culture.

The percentages below reflect the amount of job seekers who reported they were likely to visit the specified social media platform to learn more about an employer’s brand.

  1. Facebook – 70 percent
  2. LinkedIn – 67 percent
  3. Google+ – 61 percent
  4. Twitter – 41 percent
  5. Instagram – 29 percent

Negative Product and Service Reviews May Bring the Most Brand Damage to Employers

More survey participants rated negative reviews of a company’s products and services to be more damaging to an employer’s brand than negative remarks left on employer review sites.

Below is a list ranking what job seekers perceived as most damaging to employer brand; the percentage reflects the amount of respondents who found each negative attribute as either very damaging or extremely damaging.

  1. Negative Reviews of Products & Services – 80 percent
  2. Negative Remarks on Employer Review Sites – 73 percent
  3. Negative Opinions from a Personal or Professional Acquaintance – 71 percent

Over a Third of Employers Are Likely Disappointing Applicants During the Candidate Experience

Seventy-two percent of workers reported that not being notified of the status or decision made on their application leaves a negative impression of that employer. The survey found that over a third (36 percent) of employers admitted to never notifying applicants, even though 76 percent of employers knew it likely left a bad impression among candidates.

What Do Job Seekers and Employees Value Most in Employers?

Working professionals, across generations and employment statuses, reported that employee treatment–which includes company culture, work flexibility, health and wellness programs, etc.–was the most important factor in considering employer brand, followed by honesty and transparency. These qualities ranked above career opportunities, corporate social responsibility programs, and strong brand recognition and popularity; strong brand recognition and popularity was deemed by employees and job seekers as the least important factor on the list.

93 Percent of Organizations Either Plan to Increase, Continue, or Begin Their Investment in Social Media to Promote Employer Brand

For companies with 500 or more employees, that percentage ticks up to 95 percent. Fifty percent of employers said they were likely to increase their social media investment–be it in time, money, and/or human resources–within the next year.

To view CareerArc’s 2015 Employer Branding Study, visit to download the report.

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