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There Is Such a Thing as Bad Publicity When You're Hiring

There Is Such a Thing as Bad Publicity When You're Hiring
Credit: RawPixel/Shutterstock

When you're hiring new employees, all press is not necessarily good press. A new study from CareerBuilder revealed that the type of publicity an organization garners plays a role in how easy it is for it to attract and hire top job candidates.

Negative publicity can have a crippling effect on a company's hiring efforts. More than 70 percent of the U.S. workers surveyed won't apply to a company experiencing negative press.

This is especially true among women. The study found that 79 percent of women, compared to just 61 percent of men, would not apply for a job with a company that's being dragged through the mud in the press. [Do you have a PR crisis? Here are a few ways to navigate the storm.]

More than a quarter of the businesses surveyed have taken a hiring hit following bad publicity. Of those employers, 61 percent said they had fewer job offers accepted, fewer candidate referrals from employees and fewer job applications as a result of the negative publicity.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said it is harder than ever for organizations to keep a positive image publicly at all times.

"In today's 24/7 news cycle and social media world, earning and maintaining a good reputation can be a challenge," Haefner said in a statement.

Bad news doesn't just impact hiring. The study shows that poor media coverage also results in lower employee morale, higher voluntary employee turnover and a decline in sales.

While negative publicity can have a significant negative impact, positive news can have the opposite effect. The research discovered that, among businesses that had good news shared about them in the media, 32 percent received more job applications, 22 percent got more job candidate referrals from employees and 21 percent had more acceptances of job offers.

Besides the hiring implications, positive news also resulted in higher employee morale, a boost in sales and lower voluntary employee turnover.

"It's easier than ever before for job seekers to research potential employers," Haefner said. "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."

The study was based on surveys of 2,369 hiring and human resource managers and 3,462 employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.