What’s the Real-World Impact of Research at Glassdoor?

April 15, 2016

Nearly two years ago, I began an incredible journey at Glassdoor.

Back then, I was asked to help architect a think-tank-style research group from scratch. Our mission: Transform Glassdoor’s amazing database of salaries, company reviews, and job postings into simple, compelling research about hiring, wages, and the impact of transparency and company culture on our everyday lives and finances.

Since the launch of Glassdoor Economic Research, the response has been overwhelming. During that time, our studies have had a tremendous impact on the national conversation about jobs and the economy. Many of our research findings are becoming the new conventional wisdom in hiring and organizational culture, and we’ve quickly become a leading voice in the push for greater workplace transparency.

We started with a modest goal: Do something interesting with Glassdoor’s data. But quite by accident, our unabashedly wonky and serious approach to research has ended up having a seismic ripple effect on a host of public issues: CEO compensation, the push for salary transparency, and — most recently — America’s enduring gender pay gap.

This past week, the research program at Glassdoor reached a new milestone, culminating in an “Equal Pay Day” roundtable event in New York City with tens of thousands watching via live stream, featuring — among others — former Sen. Hillary Clinton and professional soccer star and Olympic Goad Medalist Megan Rapinoe.

Below is an inspiring video of our CEO Robert Hohman on CNBC just after that event. As you listen, think about the research being discussed. A huge number of the stylized facts in this interview began as research ideas, months ago, published by our small economic research group.

Doing economic research is expensive. And it’s hard to make it interesting to the public. But as we’ve learned over the past two years, the combination of rigorous econometric work with compelling story telling is an electric combination — one that is delivering huge dividends to companies like Glassdoor over the long run.