Bad Press May Make it Impossible to Find Good Employees

By: Lauren Mineau

Having the rumor mill churning typically doesn’t do anyone much good. But new research has found that it could actually be detrimental for attracting new hires and good talent in the workforce.

Approximately 71 percent of U.S. workers who responded said they would not even apply to a company with negative publicity or bad press, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Women were more likely to avoid these companies than men, at 79 to 61 percent respectively.

The national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 24 to June 16, 2017, included representative samples of 2,369 full-time employers and 3,462 full-time U.S. workers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

"In today's 24/7 news cycle and social media world, earning and maintaining a good reputation can be a challenge," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "It's easier than ever before for job seekers to research potential employers. Employers that value transparency and take a proactive approach to issues or complaints will have a better chance of securing trust and loyalty and maintaining a positive reputation that can strengthen their recruitment and retention strategies."

Interestingly enough, bad press can cause companies to struggle with attracting new hires, but it rarely drives people to leave. Less than one in 10 workers has left simply due to bad press, according to the survey. Though that could simply be because, for employees of a company going through a tough time, the negative situation creates a set of hurdles that are difficult to explain to a potential employer. In that case, staying put may be more logical.

Bad publicity can still affect every part of a company, however. More than a quarter of employers (26 percent) say their company has experienced negative publicity, resulting in a hit to their hiring process. Sixty-one percent of these employers combined report fewer job offers being accepted, fewer candidate referrals from employees and fewer job applications as a result of the negative publicity. Other negative impacts to the business included lower employee morale, higher voluntary employee turnover and a decline in sales.

Job Seekers See Companies With Bad Press as a Turn Off

71 Percent of U.S. Workers Would Not Apply to a Company Experiencing Negative Publicity, According to a Recent CareerBuilder Survey