It Pays for a Company to Have a Good Reputation

Reputation and hiringWhat’s the cost of a poor corporate reputation? Quite a bit, at least in terms of talent acquisition.

Companies like Toyota Motor Co. and energy giant BP may still be able to hire talented workers, but they’ll have to pay them significantly more than others that have never been the subject of criminal investigations.

A survey sponsored by global recruitment firm Alexander Mann found that a damaged corporate reputation won’t keep workers from hiring on — 70 percent said they’d take a job — but the salary bump would have to be better than 53 percent. Contrast that with the 93 percent who said they’d leave their current employer to go with a company that had a good reputation. And, on average, they said they’d accept a raise of about 33 percent.

The annual survey, produced in conjunction with Corporate Responsibility magazine, was first reported at the magazine’s COMMITForum this past fall. Discussing the findings, Adam Shay, global head of employer brand management services at Alexander Mann Solutions, said, “It shows that a bad reputation has the potential to cost companies real money in terms of higher recruiting costs, increased difficulties in sourcing and onboarding new hires, and the higher salaries needed to attract candidates.”

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As striking as the salary differential is, companies with poor reputations find it harder to hire the most experienced workers. The survey found workers up to age 44 to be least concerned about corporate reputation. Eight in ten millennials, for instance, would take a job with a troubled company. But once you get to more senior workers, the percentages willing to jump to a poor reputation company drop precipitously. Only 56 percent of those in the 55-64 bracket would change jobs.

There’s also a gender difference. Women are much less likely than men to leave their current job for one at a company with a poor reputation. More women than men also say it’s important to them to work for a company whose CEO is actively involved in corporate responsibility and/or environmental issues.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


2 Comments on “It Pays for a Company to Have a Good Reputation

  1. The young are less likely to care because they are, for lack of a better word, naive. Generally when you’re young you don’t care as much when your manager demands you work 70 hours a week, because you can do that and still maintain a social life. As you get older your relationships get more serious, sacrificing your life fo work becomes a harder and less attractive decision. Eventually perhaps you get married, then you wife/husband requires your attention at least some of the time, or the relationship goes south. The decisions get even harder, those 70 hour work weeks get even harer to maintain because of your relationships, and your physical ability to just do it and recover in the ‘allowed’ time goes down. Then you may have a kid, and it’s then virtually guaranteed your life will interfere with your work, and that’s when you realize as an employee that the manager you thought was great and ‘demanding’ is really just a social moron with no family or social life, and expects you to have none either. Hence, why older people are more sensitive to bad reputations. You only have to go through the corporate grinder once or twice before you learn to set boudnaries and only respect those people and companies that respect you back, and don’t think of you as a slave.

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