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9 Unexpected Ways People Use Glassdoor

When Glassdoor first launched in 2008, our founders had no idea how big it would eventually become. Fast forward nine years later, and we’ve become the second-largest job site in the U.S., with approximately 45 million monthly visitors checking out and applying to jobs at roughly 700,000 companies. But while Glassdoor has become an indispensable resource for job seekers and recruiters alike, there’s still a myriad of ways it’s being used outside of that realm.

It may not be our bread and butter, but Glassdoor reviews and content have been used to provide insight into finances, personal relationships, customer service, and more. Here are some of the most unique ways that we’ve heard of Glassdoor being used — feel free to add your own in the comments section!

1. For Investing

Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, may have put it best when he said, “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business. It’s as simple as that.” There’s a growing body of evidence that companies with high Glassdoor ratings and positive reviews outperform others financially. In fact, in March of 2015, Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain found that companies on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list “outperformed the overall market by 115.6 percent,” while “30 companies with the lowest employee satisfaction[…] significantly under-performed the stock market since 2009,” Chamberlain writes. Because of this, savvy investors — from hobbyists to hedge fund managers — have used Glassdoor to help ensure that their dollars will see a handsome return on investment.

And companies who are in the know about this practice are playing it up. In addition to more traditional metrics like net income and earnings per share, some companies are highlighting their Glassdoor ratings and awards as a sign of their financial health. With the strong link between Glassdoor reviews and financial performance, investors can breathe easy when a company has impressive ratings on Glassdoor.

2. For Mergers and Acquisitions

It’s not just individuals who are using Glassdoor to help inform their investments, though. Multinational, publicly traded companies use Glassdoor ratings to help them decide whether or not to they should acquire or merge with a company. With Glassdoor ratings and reviews so closely tied to financial performance, many companies dive deep into company ratings, CEO ratings, business outlook, and whether or not employees would recommend their company to a friend before they seal the deal.

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3. For Getting a Raise

You know Glassdoor can help you get a job and invaluable insight into what it’s like to work at a company — but did you know it can help you get paid more, too? By entering your job title, location, years of experience, and other information into Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ personal salary estimator, you’ll receive an estimate of what the going rate for your skill set is — a data point that can be tremendously helpful when it comes to negotiating. Don’t just take our word for it, though! Find out what real users have to say about Know Your Worth™ here.

4. For Dating

There’s no shortage of parallels between looking for a job and the dating scene — the awkward getting-to-know-you stage, the pains you take to impress the other party, the dressing up… but some people take this concept a step further by using Glassdoor to scope out their dating prospects. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that they’ve entered their date’s title, company, and location to figure out how much they make. But we’ve also heard tell of singles using Glassdoor to look up their partner’s work-life balance, job satisfaction, and more. Welcome to dating in the 21st century!

5. For Consumer Research

Before going to a restaurant, staying at a hotel, or visiting a store, people often go to Yelp and read what others have to say about it as a gut-check on their decision. But according to a recent study in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Glassdoor can be used much in the same way. After reading negative Glassdoor reviews from employees of a hotel they had visited in the past 12 months, study participants “gave significantly lower ratings for overall satisfaction, quality of service, intention to recommend the hotel to others, and intention to return to the hotel,” Dr. Chamberlain writes in his summary of the report. “The findings of this new study suggest another reason why monitoring and cultivating a healthy workplace culture can be good for business — in addition to it being good for employees,” Chamberlain says.

6. For Helicopter Parenting

If you’ve got a Tiger Mom (or Dad), watch out — they may be using Glassdoor to plan out your future for you. We at the Glassdoor HQ have heard from many an over-enthusiastic parent that Glassdoor is a treasure trove for investigating which companies, jobs, and majors their children should pursue (and which ones they should avoid). Whether they want to make sure their child ends up at a Best Place to Work, chooses a Highest Paying Job, or studies a Highest Paying College Major, there’s no shortage of data for them to pore over.

7. For Detecting Company Fraud

If a company is engaged in financial wrongdoing, they probably aren’t exactly going to come out and say it. But according to a recent study, their Glassdoor reviews could speak volumes as to whether or not they’re operating honestly. This joint study between George Washington University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University found a link between negative Glassdoor reviews and the likelihood that a company would be investigated for fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “The study’s results suggest that managers shouldn’t dismiss employees’ complaints about culture. If managers don’t listen to employees’ feedback and attempt to correct the problem, a dysfunctional culture could lay the foundation for an accounting scandal down the road,” Dr. Chamberlain says.

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8. For Journalism

Glassdoor can be a journalist’s best friend — and not just because it helps them find a job or get a raise . “Journalists use Glassdoor in a variety of ways, from viewing the hottest job openings, labor market trends and who’s hiring in their city, to how to ask for a salary raise, to what led to a CEO being hired at or dismissed from a company,” says Scott Dobroski, Director of Corporate Communications at Glassdoor. And Dobroski of all people should know — he often spends much of his day-to-day talking with reporters who turn to him for insights on the stories they’re working on. “Glassdoor is used in news stories about business, careers, real estate, HR, personal finance, retirement, and more… every journalist in the world can use Glassdoor in some way,” Dobroski says.

9. For Selecting Vendors

Whether you’re looking for a customer relationship management tool, marketing platform, or human resources information system, the difference between a good vendor and a bad one often comes down to customer service. So what exactly makes for great customer service? For one, somebody who actually enjoys coming to the office on a day-to-day basis. Before they sign contracts with vendors, more and more companies are turning to Glassdoor to see what employees think about working there. As the saying goes, happy employees equal happy customers — so what better way to predict how satisfied you’ll be with their services than checking out Glassdoor reviews?

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