How to Monitor Your Employer Brand Online After a RIF

July 31, 2018 by Josh Hrala

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It can be hard to keep track of all the moving parts involved in conducting a RIF or layoff. You have to hold the event, notify those who are impacted, check in our your employee morale, make sure your business will stabilize, and help those who have guilt – or ‘survivor sickness’ – after the event is over.

By paying close attention to all of these aspects, you ensure that your RIF, layoff, or other reduction event goes over smoothly, but there’s one more thing you need to be aware of: how the public views your move.

Yes, in a world where employees, customers, potential business partners, and others are more empowered to voice their concerns than ever before, it’s vital you know what is being said, how to smooth over tensions, and how easily your hard-earned reputation can be tarnished overnight.

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Now, the first step in all of this is to ensure you are doing everything you can to support your staff members when they are laid off or let go. We have a ton of resources that can explain to you the best practices involved in RIF events.

This article is mainly for those who have already done everything to the best of their ability. If you hold an event that doesn’t factor in your exiting staff members, your retained staff members, and isn’t sympathetic to the fact that layoffs and RIFs are extremely stressful times for all involved, this guide will not help you because you have set yourself up for big problems in the future.

So, before we begin, we highly recommend that you take a look at the other resources we have available for you when a RIF or layoff occurs to ensure you start out on the strongest foot and take into account how impactful the event truly is not only on your business but the lives and futures of your staff members.

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With that said, how can you make sure your RIF did go over smoothly? How do you monitor social channels, press, and people’s overall feelings about the move?

The good news is that there are a ton of tools for you to use. To make this easier to follow, we broke them into three groups.

Let’s get started.

How to Monitor Your Company’s Brand on Social Channels

Given that social media plays such a vital role in how people communicate with friends, loved ones, co-workers, and more, there is an abundance of tech tools you can use to monitor what people are saying about your company, allowing you to reach out and talk with them or to change your practices to better align with what the public wants.

We won’t go into all of the details here because there are just so many options to choose from. We highly recommend that you work with your marketing team on these sorts of endeavors because they, most likely, have a great understanding of how your social presence operates and how to use many of these tools.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise us if your marketing team was using all of these tools in their daily activities.

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With that said, the first social media tool you’ll want to use to monitor your brand is something along the lines of Hootsuite.

While there are many tools like it, Hootsuite has stayed a pretty standard social media monitoring and posting platform that has a ton of unique features.

The one we’re most concerned with today is the media streaming abilities that allow you to track keywords, accounts, and other things, which are all customizable to give you the feed experience you want.

“You can use Hootsuite to track social mentions, key terms or hashtags, influencer and customer lists. Available for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram, the tool allows you to create content streams that load in real-time, keeping you informed of anyone talking about your brand or reaching out to engage in a conversation,” reports Adhere Creative, who ranked Hootsuite number one for monitoring social.

“Hootsuite also provides a quick and easy way to view RSS feeds and share them to your social media channels (which reviewers rave about) as well as rich filtering, monitoring and tracking tools, enabling you to track which stories you’ve shared.”

You can have Hootsuite and other tools like it monitor hashtags, competitor tweets and posts, and other things to ensure that when someone is talking about your products or services, you’ll be in the know.

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There are also other tools out there that are specifically designed to monitor your brand whereas Hootsuite, Hubspot’s social tools, and other popular social apps are designed for posting and interacting as well.

One of the best options right now is Mention, a company that offers software that allows you to monitor a bunch of places online to track how your brand is doing, what people are saying, and much more.

Monitoring Your Brand Online: Google Alerts

Another great tool to use when checking in on your brand to see how a layoff or RIF event might have impacted it is to use a tool like Google Alerts.

Google Alerts can be set up to track new articles that mention your company. For example, if you set up Google Alerts to search for your company name, when a news site like, say, Forbes or Bloomberg put out an article mentioning it, you’ll get an email with the article linked inside.

Obviously, if your company is in the news all of the time, this can get a bit tricky to follow since there will be articles from all over the place mentioning you.

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For smaller businesses or ones that are generally not in the press, Google Alerts can be easier to manage. Still, even if you get a lot of them, it’s always a good idea to see what people are saying about your company.

You can also have Google Alerts monitor for other words or phrases, too, such as ‘layoffs’ or ‘reduction in force’ to see if your company is mentioned in anything like that.

It all depends on what you want to keep track of and what does and doesn’t impact you. However, during a RIF, especially a large one, you need to make sure that you are keeping an ear to the ground to see if you have tarnished your reputation with the public.

This brings us to our next point: sites dedicated to reporting how your company operates.

Monitoring Your Brand During a RIF or Layoff: Glassdoor and More

Besides social media and the press at large, you need to pay close attention to sites like Glassdoor to monitor what your staff members, and those you recently let go, are saying.

Glassdoor, for those who are uninitiated, is a site where employees and ex-employees can report various things about your company from how much they were paid, what their experiences were like, and things of that nature.

In today’s world, sites like Glassdoor and others – Indeed recently launched something similar – can have a huge impact on your business because many – if not all – new hires have looked into before joining your company. In fact, that’s the whole point behind Glassdoor – to provide a place for people to see how a company operates before they work there.

If your Glassdoor score is low and riddled with bad reviews, you could turn potential talent away with them opting to go with a competitor or some other company that has a better standing on the site.

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As more and more sites like Glassdoor pop up all around the internet, this monitoring becomes more and more important. After all, who would want to work at a place that doesn’t treat their staff members properly?

The same can be said for sites like Yelp for customer reviews. Nowadays, before many people hit up a new restaurant, go see a movie, order something online, or even attend an event, we look at reviews. The same goes for your company and who wants to work there.

The Final Say

When it comes to monitoring your brand on social media, in the press, and on review sites, there are tools to help.

We recommend using a combination of tools to ensure you know what is being said about your company during a layoff or RIF event.

However, the best way to keep your reputation intact is to make sure you hold the event properly by following all of the best practices for letting employees go. You’ll need to make sure you set up your outbound staff members with the tools they need to succeed while also helping your retained staff deal with the increased amount of stress they’ll be put under.

If you do everything right, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of having any negative press or opinion pop up online and elsewhere.

To learn more about RIFs, layoffs, and other transition events, check out our resource library here:

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Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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