The Glassdoor Effect

Previously, Chris Carlson wrote about building your online brand on LinkedIn as Part 1 of a three-part series on online hiring and sales branding. This week in Part 2, he shifts the focus to the online job review site Glassdoor.

An eye-opening stat that I shared in my previous post about building your online brand on LinkedIn is that less than 20% of consumers believe a company’s claims about themselves. On the other hand, 92% of consumers trust their peers’ reviews of companies. This trust in what our peers say is the platform that fueled Amazon, eBay and Yelp’s success. Now Glassdoor is bringing peer reviews to recruiting. Through Glassdoor, potential employees can read about their peers’ experiences with interviewing and working at a given company.

Employers, job seekers, and investors know that Glassdoor is on to something. They have raised almost $100M in funding and have positioned themselves for an upcoming IPO. More important to the talent community, Glassdoor has quickly established itself as the go-to resource for job seekers looking for insights into the working conditions for a given company. With 22M registered users, reviews on over 300,000 companies and an annualized growth rate of 160% over the past 3 years, Glassdoor is here to stay. If your company hasn’t been reviewed on Glassdoor yet, don’t worry, it’s coming.
In addition to company reviews, users can see self-reported salary ranges, interview tips and an approval rating for a given company’s CEO. Glassdoor’s goal is for “the majority of job searches in the US [to] end up utilizing Glassdoor.” Given that their founder Rich Barton also co-founded Zillow and founded Expedia (cue up the Rod Stewart song “Some guys have all the luck.”) I see that goal as entirely plausible. Whether or not they ultimately reach that goal, they’ve already changed the face of recruiting. Transparency into your company is here.

“Run Away!! This company’s only focus is what company will be acquired next.”

The quote above is the 1st review on the 1st page of reviews for one of our clients. Overall the company is rated quite favorably but it’s pretty hard to miss a review like this. With the average online user having an attention span of 8 seconds it’s not a stretch to see the potential significance of Glassdoor reviews on your company’s hiring brand.

Savvy Sales Professionals Are Watching (And Reading) About You Online

In our role as talent scouts, we have seen first hand the impact that Glassdoor has on attracting top sales talent. Simply put, the savviest sales professionals avoid companies with negative reviews. Those companies find themselves left with a diminished pool of talent to recruit from. Yes, these companies are left with the dreaded “best of the worst.” Because of this, Glassdoor is a major consideration for Sales Talent as to whether or not we’re comfortable representing a client.
A common misperception is that Glassdoor is only a rant site for bitter former employees to vent. Consider the following two facts:
  • The average company rating on Glassdoor is a 3.3 (out of 5 stars)
  • Two-thirds of reviews are positive
Glassdoor recognizes that there’s a lot of misperceptions as to what the site is and what it isn’t. You can read Glassdoor Myth Busters. They also have a very good Blog for Employers that has lots of useful tips for managing your Glassdoor hiring brand. Topics range from hiring brand best practices to insights into attracting and hiring the best and brightest. Their blog is an excellent place to start your journey with regards to understanding what Glassdoor means to your hiring brand and how to leverage the positives that comes with employment transparency.

“The savviest of employers are embracing this transparency into their hiring process.”

To that point, the savviest of employers are embracing this transparency into their hiring process. From Glassdoor reviews comes critical feedback that just might give your company the opportunity to create a better place to work. To that end, I suggest that if your company is big enough that you’ve been reviewed on Glassdoor you need to manage that image. That means that you need to:
  1. Have someone within your company responsible for monitoring your brand
  2. Have that person follow Glassdoor’s blog on managing your online employer brand
  3. Review the various ebooks that Glassdoor has compiled beginning with Employer Branding for Dummies.
Trust me, they’ll have a lot to learn. Once they do, they’ll able be able to bring back invaluable information into what you current, former and potentials employee think about working for your company. Company led exit interviews often give you feedback that makes you feel about where you work. Glassdoor usually gives the painful truth.

Transparency Is a Good Thing

What I find most interesting about Glassdoor is that it’s company agnostic. The best employers gain a competitive advantage and the worst are punished in the hiring game. I see transparency about what it’s like to work at a company to be a good thing. Personally, I love peer review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. With recommendations from these sites, I now look forward to traveling to new cities as I can spend my money with confidence. If I care enough to see what others are saying about a cup of coffee, imagine how important it would be to potential employees to have an insight into what it’s like to work at your company. Like it or not, there’s an all-out war for the most talented employees. In the past, employers held most of the power. It’s a totally new game today.
In Part 3, the final blog of this series, I’ll be sharing a few tips to enhance and/or repair your company’s LinkedIn and Glassdoor hiring brands. The LinkedIn tips will also apply to enhancing your ability to promote your services or products. If you think this is something to put on your radar for 2016 or beyond your business just might go the way of a restaurant loaded with poor Yelp reviews before then. Ignore this at your own peril.
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