SAUSALITO, CALIF (June 11, 2008) – For as long as most working Americans can remember, talk about salaries and compensation in the workplace has been taboo, just as trying to figure out what it’s really like to work for a prospective employer has been next to impossible. A new site launching in public beta today is addressing these challenges head on. Glassdoor.com is a career and workplace community where anyone can go to find and anonymously share real-time reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs in specific companies – all for free.
“Work matters a great deal to our daily lives, yet detailed information about jobs and employers is still hard to find. We’ve built Glassdoor to make it easier for anyone to peek inside the walls of a prospective employer — or even the next cubicle — to get information that will foster more productive conversations and lead to better career decisions,” said Robert Hohman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Glassdoor.com. “Glassdoor’s employee-generated content provides a level of transparency in the two key drivers of employee motivation – compensation and culture – that is not available from any other source. Our beta launch is just the first step toward Glassdoor becoming the TripAdvisor of the workplace.”
Registration and access to all employee reviews and salary details on Glassdoor is free to anyone provided they first contribute a review and/or salary survey for their current employer or any position they have held within the last three years. Through this “give-to-get” model, Glassdoor is populated with anonymous employee-generated content, providing valuable information and perspective about workplaces that is otherwise hard to find, from the people who know best – employees.
Founded in 2007, Glassdoor has been collecting company reviews and salary reports from employees who work for targeted companies over the past several months. To date, Glassdoor has accumulated nearly 3,300 reviews and salary reports for more than 250 companies, primarily concentrated in the Silicon Valley high-tech and New York financial services arenas. As part of its debut, Glassdoor is allowing visitors to preview all available data for four “Sneak Peek” companies: Cisco; Google; Microsoft; and Yahoo!. Once a visitor completes a company review and/or salary survey, they are granted anonymous and unrestricted access to the equivalent data for all other companies within the Glassdoor dynamic community that includes:
- Detailed company reviews. Glassdoor encourages balanced feedback in its company reviews and asks respondents to provide “pros” and “cons,” along with “advice to senior management”. These unedited accounts provide insight into what employees on the inside really think, showing the good, the bad, and a lot more in between.
- Employee ratings on workplace and leadership, including CEO approval ratings. Through a series of questions, users are asked to rate the company and a range of workplace culture factors, including areas like work-life balance, fairness and respect, employee morale, and senior leadership. Glassdoor also features CEO approval ratings, providing a real-time pulse of how employees think the person in the top job is doing.
- Compensation information by company and position. Unlike most salary services that only report aggregated data by generic position type and industry, Glassdoor provides details of salary, bonuses, and other compensation for actual positions and titles at specific companies. For example, users can see exactly what a software engineer at Google makes, along with bonuses and types of equity grants, in comparison to a software development engineer at Microsoft.
Registered members may also anonymously comment on any review and elect to “watch an employer” to be alerted when there are new reviews or salaries posted for a specific company. Details for more than 40,000 companies are already pre-loaded in the system and if an employer is not in the community database, anyone can add it at any time with the contribution of a review or salary survey.
While a member’s identity is never revealed to the Glassdoor community, the company requires a valid and verified e-mail address in order to register and submit survey data. Before being posted to the community, every review and salary survey is read by a Glassdoor team member to ensure the content adheres to its terms of service and community guidelines and does not compromise anonymity. The company estimates this review process could initially take between a few to 48 hours. However, once a submission is received, users may immediately access data for all companies.
Today’s Workforce Still Uncomfortable Sharing Compensation Yet Wants More Transparency
Details about compensation and company information, including culture and other qualitative factors, are important for workers today yet traditionally difficult to access. Most workers are not comfortable openly discussing current compensation with people at work and the quantitative and qualitative information collected through annual employee surveys are rarely distributed widely. A recent survey(1) conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Glassdoor.com illustrates the sentiment of today’s workforce:
- Employed adults(2) are more comfortable talking to their spouse or significant other (64%) and best friend (34%) about their current compensation than their boss (24%), a human resources representative (17%), a recruiter (6%) or a direct report (2%).
- 59 percent of employed adults said they wished they had a better understanding of fair market compensation for their position and skill set at their company and in their local job market.
- Half (52%) of employed adults say they’d be more comfortable sharing details of their current compensation if they could do so anonymously although one out of 10 (11%) say they are not comfortable sharing compensation information with anyone.
- Less than 40 percent (38%) of employed adults say their company does a good job sharing internal employee satisfaction survey results with employees.
- It is hard to accurately assess a prospective employer from hiring interviews: about two out of three workers(3) (64%) say they’ve found the reality of a new job different than what they expected from the hiring process. The areas with the most notable gaps to reality include: job responsibilities (43%); hours expected to work (42%); employees treated with fairness and respect (42%); employee morale (41%); and; Boss’s personality (40%).
Employers Stand to Benefit from Glassdoor
Glassdoor provides employers a real-time barometer of internal satisfaction and compensation in the competitive market. While many companies participate in annual salary reviews and internal employee surveys, reports from these assessments are expensive and results can lag several months. The ability to see current compensation data is extremely helpful, especially in markets where salaries for positions in high demand can fluctuate widely in the course of just a few months. For example, demand for many types of software engineering skills in the Bay Area has grown considerably during the past several months, increasing compensation packages.
“We’ve designed the Glassdoor community with both employees and employers in mind. Glassdoor provides an important forum to exchange information about the workplace that can also benefit employers by helping them stay on top of issues and compensation trends, giving them an edge in recruitment, retention and overall employee engagement,” said Hohman. “Employers tell us they see Glassdoor as a helpful supplement to costly annual surveys that can provide more current insight into employee sentiment and the competition. Glassdoor can help management quickly address issues and, most importantly, exploit areas of strength.”
Glassdoor is inviting employers to get involved in the beta and site development process through its Employer Advisory Panel, which the company also kicked off today. Official company representatives from management, human resources and internal communications are encouraged to join the panel to preview new features and participate in periodic surveys and focus groups. Anyone interested who meets these criteria may join the panel by sending an email with contact details to email@example.com.
(1) The Glassdoor.com study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive May 15-19, 2008 among 2,505 adults ages 18+, of whom, 2,464 have ever had a job and 1,691 are currently employed. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
(2) For the purposes of this study, the term “employed adults” refers to U.S. adults ages 18+ who are currently employed full time, part time, and/or self employed (n= 1,691).
(3) For the purposes of this study, the term “workers” refers to U.S. adults ages 18+ who have ever had a job (n= 2,464).
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EDITOR’S NOTE: To receive detailed information about the survey or obtain screen shots, company graphics and other data, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Glassdoor.com is a career and workplace community where anyone can find and anonymously share real-time company reviews and ratings, salary details about specific jobs, or interview questions and reviews for specific employers — for free. Glassdoor was founded in 2007 and launched its public beta in June 2008. Glassdoor is headquartered in Sausalito, Calif. and was founded by Richard Barton, Robert Hohman and Tim Besse.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
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