In my last blog post, I wrote about the impact Glassdoor has on your recruiting funnel. In addition to recruiting, Glassdoor delivers quite a bit of insight that many executives never even consider. While transparency may still make many CEOs uncomfortable, embracing it can be a powerful weapon to transform your business and increase your competitive edge.
Let me walk you through why CXOs should care about Glassdoor, role by role, using examples to back up my argument.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
How much confidence do employees have in their CEO's ability to lead? We ask this question at Glassdoor, and employees can either give a yay or nay to whether they approve of their CEO. While this rating might come across as threatening to CEOs, it's actually incredibly important -- no CEO can be successful without the confidence of employees. Glassdoor also asks employees what advice they'd give to their management team on how to improve. At this point, CEOs can react in several ways:
- Pretend everything is OK and ignore the feedback
- Listen, take the feedback and work with the CHRO to remedy potential issues
- Number 2 + respond to the review, engage with employees who are giving you feedback, and prove to job seekers (potential future employees) you're listening
Personally, I'd recommend #3. That way, everyone wins.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Chief Operating Officer (COO)
People invest in people, not technology or buzz words. Think about it, any VC who invests $10m in a startup or buys stock in a public company is going to want the inside scoop on whether employees are happy. Why? Happy employees are more productive than unhappy employees, and companies with strong leadership teams are typically more successful than those with weak leadership. It's not rocket science, if you're a CFO and need the confidence of investors, you need to minimize risk, which starts with managing your most important asset, people.
Public companies typically miss their guidance when change occurs, either because of economic conditions or failed execution of its leadership and people. For example, imagine a company decides to fire its SVP of sales and replace that leader with a new hire who implements their own selling processes, culture and management changes. Do you expect the entire salesforce to adjust overnight?
For a CFO who has to predict revenue guidance, it's key to understand whether the people who actually bring in the revenue are happy and whether they are responding to change positively. One miss can be painful, two misses can be deadly. At the end of the day, people matter; having an inside view of what is going on in your company is the best source of intelligence a CFO can rely on. Glassdoor lets executives and HR professionals alike filter employee sentiment by job title and office location so that they can be proactive in dealing with the impact of change in their organization.
Here are a few reviews a CFO and investors may want to contemplate:
Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)
This is probably the most obvious executive who can act on Glassdoor data, given they typically manage recruiting, compensation and culture functions in the organization. So let's break each of these down and talk about how Glassdoor can help.
What is your candidate interview experience like? Why are candidates accepting or declining your offers? How many job seekers are researching your company relative to your competitors? Which jobs are job seekers most interested in? Which competitors do job seekers visit after they research your company? What locations are job seekers researching your company from? What are the demographics of job seekers researching your company? And how do those demographics compare to your industry peers?
Glassdoor answers all of these questions. Job seekers post reviews and feedback on what it's like to interview at your company, Glassdoor can also capture and report the demographics of job seekers who research you and your competitors. Don't believe me? Get your Free Employer Account and view the "insights" tab when you login to see for yourself.
2. Compensation & Benefits
Employees also post salary and benefit reviews on Glassdoor. Think you pay well or have a better benefits package than your competition? In two minutes you can find out for free by simply browsing this information on Glassdoor for you and your competitors profiles. You can even filter this information by job title and location, salaries and benefits. It's also worth adding your benefits information to your Glassdoor profile with your Free Employer Account, given hundreds of job seekers may be researching your company everyday.
Many companies like Netflix and Hubspot do a great job of promoting the DNA behind their culture on the internet. I've seen a few HR leaders religiously document and present their culture to employees in four or five PowerPoint bullets, all well and good. However, the key question then becomes: is the culture being promoted the same as the culture that exists? Reading Glassdoor reviews one by one is an easy way to understand your culture, but we also provide word clouds that summarize all your reviews. For example, below is a word cloud that CHROs can use to understand their culture, because it's based on what current employees are saying about your culture.
You can even compare morale and culture across departments with Glassdoor reports like these:
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
This one is fairly simple to explain, given I've worked in marketing for the past four years. CMOs should care for three simple reasons:
1. Brand Awareness
How many people know about your company and are researching your company every day? Every CEO cares about brand awareness in a competitive marketplace, and many even spend thousands of dollars on billboards to try and achieve this. As a CMO, how do you measure brand awareness? And how can you compare it against your industry competitors? Well, Glassdoor traffic for your company is one KPI you can use. In fact, we actually allow employers to compare their traffic against any industry peer, just so they can baseline their brand awareness. For example, here is a chart from our Employer Center that shows the brand awareness (profile page views) of three employers:
2. Competitive Intelligence
We've talked about the insight Glassdoor provides for CEOs, CFOs and CFOs. What if you could get all that transparency and insight for any one of your competitors? Guess what? You can, for all of them. Here are two insights you can mine with Glassdoor data to help you become more competitive in the market:
- Reviews and ratings from competitor sales reps and engineers. Does the product and/or services offered by your competitors actually work and deliver value for their clients? Especially in tech, sales reps and engineers tend to be quite vocal on product stability, technical debt, solution complexity and customer satisfaction (or lack of). One bad release can be toxic for sales momentum and engineering happiness, so if you work in product marketing, it's your job to find weaknesses in the enemy. For example, here are a few reviews that provide valuable insight:
- Job Postings. Analyzing these can give you intel on what a competitor's product roadmap may look like based on the skills they wish to acquire. For example, if a competitor is suddenly looking to hire 20 iOS engineers, it's pretty obvious they're about to invest big time in building mobile apps for the iPhone. For startups, lots of jobs means the company is flourishing or investing for the future, whereas the opposite can be true if the have only a few jobs open.
This goes without saying: your brand and reputation are incredibly important. First rule of PR - when someone says something about you, join the conversation. Every story has two sides to it, and job seekers who research companies on Glassdoor want to hear both sides of the story. Responding to Glassdoor reviews, as I mentioned in the CEO summary, is important for any company. It should be the job of the PR team to monitor what is being said about the company and work with executives to respond appropriately.
Chief Technology Officer
In today's economy, almost all businesses run on software, and most employers rely on software engineers as their competitive differentiator. So if you're a CTO, how do you know if your engineers are happy? More importantly, how can you attract the best engineers so that your business can grow, scale and become even more competitive? As mentioned previously, engineers tend to be pretty vocal in online communities and social media. Imagine if R&D reported into you and you read a Glassdoor review like this:
Or perhaps this one:
Things can get even more complex if you have multiple engineering teams around the world in the US, EMEA and Asia-Pac. Again, using Glassdoor data you can monitor and report engineers morale by geo and location.
Another aspect a CTO perhaps doesn't think about is the interview experience of software engineers applying at the company. Engineers interviewing engineers can often not be a match made in heaven, typically due to egos and the fact that many engineers feel threatened by engineers who are smarter than them. Also, engineers tend to be more picky and sensitive to how they are treated during the interview process, because let's face it -- they have invaluable skills and many employers are interesting in acquiring their talent. Take this interview review for example:
If I'm a software engineer looking for a new gig and I read this review, it doesn't paint a great picture if I have to wait three weeks for a response on my application.
So there you go -- five executive insights from Glassdoor data. The ability to listen and act on this information can be pretty significant for any company, as can be the impact if executives choose to ignore it.
Transparency is nothing new, Amazon has been providing it since 1995 with product reviews. Today, Glassdoor provides that transparency for employment and job seekers. The question is: are you going to embrace transparency or fear it?