Bad Reputation affected Hiring Top TalentA company with a bad reputation on the web will have difficulty attracting top talent. In fact, it may have to settle for poor performers.

A recent article in Impact Hiring Solutions Blog titled Your Reputation Can Impact Hiring Top Talent talks about a case of a company whose reputation was so bad that top talent refused to be interviewed for jobs with them.

What kind of reputation issues can a company have?

1. Poor financial health.

Who would want to go to work for someone who is struggling financially? Would you feel secure in a job that might disappear?

2. Lack of Innovative products.

A company with ‘me too’ products, or one that used to have best of breed products but have since lagged and fallen behind, will be perceived as an organization in decline. While it might be interesting to turn a laggard around, top talent will be looking for an upbeat progressive organization.

3. High Turnover.

A company with high levels of turnover will be less appealing to a new prospect as the culture of high turnover says that there is a gap between what an employee signed up for and the work they were subsequently required to do in the job. A bad reputation creates a trust gap.

4. Low Pay.

Who would want to trade their time to get a low rate of pay, especially amongst ‘Top Talent’ candidates. Even if the candidate will be paid well, he or she needs to work with others. If the others are poorly paid, then it is assumed that their skills are also inferior.

5. Poor Leadership.

If the top executives of an organization are poorly perceived, then others will not want to work with them. From my own experience, I worked for IBM, a company I was very proud of, most of my almost 42 year career. But there were times, when the company was in financial trouble that I felt defensive amongst my peers working for them. The company went through a bad time and it looked like it might be broken up. Thankfully a new executive team, led by Lou Gerstner,  came on board and fixed some systemic issues.

What is most interesting, is that the strategy for  turn around of IBM, attributed to Lou Gerstner, was based on feedback from customers.  IBM already had excellent personnel policies and processes.

IBM’s new chairman, at the time of crisis, Lou Gerstner was fanatical about meeting with and listening to customers and he demanded that his executives do the same. The analysts were encouraging IBM management to break up the company  but it was IBM’s customers that told the executive team that IBM would be better able to serve their clients’  needs if it remained in tact.


A company needs to understand its image in the marketplace in order to attract top talent. Even in times of high unemployment, the best talent wants to work for upbeat, growing, companies with a fine reputation.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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