Keeping up appearances

May 15, 2017

Your firm’s reputation can be made, or broken, on the internet. Maintain a clean online image if you want to attract and keep top talent.

I’m constantly fielding questions from clients and potential clients about the challenges they face when it comes to protecting their firm’s reputation on the recruitment and retention front. There’s no single answer that addresses everything that you may go through to protect and grow your brand in the minds of your current employees or even future ones. Here are three things you can do to keep your firm looking good on social media and in the eyes of those checking you out online.

First, I would recommend that you take stock of what current employees are saying about your firm. You need to look no further than Glassdoor to figure out how people feel about your organization. Every firm should have a Glassdoor account. If you don’t, please visit the site today and sign up.

Once you’ve done this, I would encourage you to have your employees spend time on the site reviewing your firm. You don’t need to coach them up, but you should encourage them to be as transparent and honest as they can be. Don’t worry, if someone leaves a bad review or even mentions things you know to be false, you will have an opportunity to leave a response. I’ve had clients ask me if they should do this when someone leaves a bad review, and I say absolutely yes!

It’s kind of like owning a restaurant and someone responds negatively on Yelp or some other site about your food. Your lack of a response can be an acknowledgment of the problem. If someone is telling the truth, acknowledge that, too, and make sure you say you are aware of the issue and are moving quickly to fix it. Don’t stick your head in the sand and hope that things will just go away over time. They won’t.

Second, you should run a Google Alert for your company to track whenever information about your firm appears online. This alert can be information on new jobs, business promotions, a new hire, or a major issue that your company is involved in. It’s always good to keep an eye on things because your competition will be. Smart job prospects will be keeping an eye out, too! This approach helps prospective employees be better prepared to interview with you or determine that maybe, just maybe, you guys aren’t the best place to look for work after all.

Finally, you need to make sure that all of your social media accounts are up to date and that someone is manning them at all times. I can’t tell you the number of people that have said to me they’re on Twitter, and when I go to check it out, the last post was three or four years ago on the day they opened the account.

Usually, they post something like, “XYZ design firm is ready to take the Twitter world by storm!” And then the crickets begin.

Please use whatever social media platforms your firm signs up for and remember to be social. If you are not using a particular platform, get rid of it. Job candidates are increasingly using social media to do research, ask questions, and give feedback. You cannot afford to not be listening. We’ve pretty much seen it all here at Zweig Group, so if you need any help or guidance give us a call. We’ll be here ready and waiting.

Randy Wilburn is director of executive search at Zweig Group. Contact him at

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.