There's nothing quite like that sinking feeling of discovering your start-up has received bad reviews on Glassdoor. Like a sauce stain on your favorite top, you know that whether it's your fault or not, that blemish is here to stay.
When you've been called out, you don't want to be remembered as the one who started yelling 'fake reviews!' so much as the one who calmly responded, 'you're right, we need to work on that - and here's what we'll do.' This solution also trumps the idea of ignoring a bad write-up altogether - in fact, 69% of job seekers are more likely to consider applying to work with you if you respond to bad reviews than if you leave them hanging.
The process of owning your reputation on Glassdoor begins with patience and humility. Never respond in the heat of the moment - and try to sleep on it if possible. Take a look at the issues that have been raised, and if they refer to other staff in your organization, or indeed other staff may be 'suffering' from the same issue the ex-employee has written about, investigate internally before saying anything publicly. Remember, this is above all a learning experience, and only secondarily a reputation management issue (using it as a learning experience will contribute to your long-term reputation anyway).
Take each criticism point-by-point, and accept any true accusations with humility. Make explanations but not excuses, and state the concrete actions you will take to ensure the problem does not persist. If you can think of positive things the company does within the same category of the criticism now is the time to mention it. Be specific to the case that's been presented (no stock replies - they make it look like you don't care) but don't mention personal information and definitely not character traits: be individual but don't get personal.
People love to see a good scrap online - it's human nature! But whether your case is being observed by casual rubbernecks or potential employees and collaborators, you need to make sure your image is up to scratch. Before you post your response, ensure your Glassdoor profile is open, honest and positive, so that anyone who clicks through can only be impressed.
This new step-by-step guide from Headway Capital lays it all out: