In the business world, it is often the case that “your reputation precedes you.” This is especially true for businesses.  New customers are frequently the result of positive word of mouth, and returning customers are often those whose beliefs align with the company’s mission.

How important is a company’s social media reputation?

Yet, despite the influence that reputation wields over customers, a recent study reveals that job candidates take a business’ reputation just as seriously.  According to a Spherion study of over 2,000 individuals, 47% stated that when interviewing for a job, the company’s social media reputation was just as important as the job offer itself.

Intuitively, the candidates’ responses make sense. Potential hires want to work for companies that they like and respect. And, a quick and increasingly important way a company’s reputation is communicated is through social media. Candidates understand that how a company presents itself on social media is a direct reflection of the company’s mission and of itself.  And, when employees work for a company whose reputation is positive, they analogously view their work positively as well.

Reevaluating social media strategies

However, the degree to which a business’ social media reputation affects a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer is certainly surprising, and it has been largely unanticipated by companies themselves. Only 27% of companies believed that candidates considered the company’s social media reputation as a part of the hiring process. Given that only 45% of businesses have a social media strategy, and only 15% of businesses are satisfied with their approach to social media, companies may have to revise their thinking about attracting valuable employees. Because, whether they like it or not, businesses’ reputations on social media precede them.