Nearly 10 years ago, Glassdoor was just an idea. Today, Glassdoor aggregates millions of job listings and is one of the fastest‐growing jobs sites in the United States today. It’s a global organization helping people everywhere find a job and company they love – and in turn helping employers hire top talent.
We sat down with Robert Hohman, Glassdoor co-founder and CEO, to get his perspective on Glassdoor throughout the years.
Q: How did Glassdoor get its start?
A: The idea for Glassdoor began in 2007 along with two of my former colleagues from Expedia, Rich Barton and Tim Besse. Expedia had already brought transparency to travel, and Zillow had done the same for real estate. We wanted to shine a light on an important aspect of our lives that was shrouded in secrecy – our jobs. It was crazy we were making huge decisions about where to go to work with very little information on the job, the pay, the culture and more.
Q: How has Glassdoor changed the way people go about looking for a job?
A: Before Glassdoor, if you were interested in working for a company, you’d typically start with some online research. You may have been able to find some information on the company’s website and in a few press releases. If the company was public, you could read its annual financial (10-K) reports to get an idea of its financial strength. If you were lucky, you might have known a few people who worked for the company who could give you their personal insights. But beyond that, learning what it was really like to work for the company – its culture, compensation, and leadership – was next to impossible.
Q: What do job seekers say about the importance of working for a company that embraces transparency?
A: Candidates appreciate when an organization is transparent, which is why it serves organizations to make transparency and openness a part of their recruiting strategy. In fact, 96 percent of job seekers say it’s important to work for a company that embraces transparency.
Q: How should HR professionals acknowledge Glassdoor reviews, whether positive or negative, when formulating their communication, engagement and/or recruitment strategies?
A: For HR professionals, openness, awareness and engagement are key when formulating recruiting strategies in today’s transparent workplace. A first step when approaching online company reviews from employees is to take time to read the reviews, learn what’s working, what can be improved, and where your candidates may have questions. Remember the reviews are peoples’ opinions and most Glassdoor users report that they read at least 7 reviews before forming an opinion about a company.
When it comes to Glassdoor, the key is to learn how it can work for you, your company and your recruiting needs. According to comScore, Glassdoor is now the second largest jobs site in the U.S. following Indeed.com (comScore, January 2017), and a leading third party recruiting agency reports that Glassdoor delivers twice the applicant quality at a fraction of the cost. A great place for employers to get started is to access their company’s employer center with a free employer account. Through the employer center, company representatives can monitor reviews, get basic analytics on how much engagement is happening with both job candidates and employees, and manage their recruiting activity on Glassdoor.
Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind what is average for the more than 600,000 employers that are featured on Glassdoor. For example, 72 percent of employees say they are ‘ok’ or ‘satisfied’ with their jobs and companies. In addition, the average company rating on Glassdoor is a 3.3 (ratings are based on a 1-5 scale) and the average CEO rating is 67 percent. (Based on Glassdoor internal data, December 2016)
Q: What’s the best way for companies to address negative comments on Glassdoor from current or ex-employees?
A: Employers can choose to publicly respond to reviews on Glassdoor for their company. By responding to reviews, employers can help signal that they care, they’re paying attention, and they can help provide additional insight into any commentary provided by employees. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Glassdoor users agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review (Source: Glassdoor.com U.S. Site Survey, August 2016).
Q: What range of actions does Glassdoor have available to respond to complaints from employers about negative or false employee comments?
Q: What checks does Glassdoor have in place to guard against inaccurate salary reports and other false information provided by employees?
A: First, Glassdoor has a content moderation process that user-generated content is subject to before it gets published on Glassdoor. Part of this process helps to identify any salary reports that may be grossly inaccurate and that require further review. In addition, employers can flag salary content to Glassdoor that may not be accurate. Also to help ensure quality salary information, we invite employers to encourage their employees to anonymously and voluntarily share their own salary reports. The more salary information Glassdoor collects, the more valuable it becomes to job seekers and in setting their expectations on fair pay.
Q: Some have said that Glassdoor is a pay-to-play model: companies that pay for placement have more control over the comments that are posted. How would you address that perception?
Q: How does transparency benefit employers and how do you envision this movement in the next few years?
A: Workplace transparency gives greater visibility into employment from the candidate experience to the employee experience to the former employee experience. Not only does it help you to understand your reputation in the market, but it also helps you understand how you can better recruit and what it will take to recruit.
Work is one of the most important facets of our lives. Transparency will only grow as people look to become more informed and make smarter decisions about what job they take next and how they grow their career.
Related: For a complete overview of how Glassdoor works – for job seekers and employers alike – download a copy of Glassdoor For Dummies®.