Jul 11, 2016 | Leadership

“You will work all the time. If you’re very, very lucky you may sleep or eat.”

That’s an actual quote pulled from a review posted on Glassdoor – a site where employees and job candidates can anonymously post pros and cons about your company.

What’s that again?

Like TripAdvisor and RateMyProfessors, Glassdoor is taking advantage of the transparency revolution.  It’s a database of company reviews, CEO ratings, and benefits information that lets the world know what it’s like behind the curtain of your organization – from interview to exit.

How big is it? 

If you thought that Glassdoor was a small social media platform for people to complain about their jobs, think again.  Launched in 2008, Glassdoor has a current valuation of $1 billion.  It’s used by 34% of Fortune 500 companies, and has 30 million members from 190 countries who’ve contributed company reviews, salary reports, and photos for some 500,000 companies.

Why should I care?   

In today’s market, your job prospects are making decisions about whether to work for your organization based on information provided by others.  This year’s Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people are far more likely to trust anonymous reviewers than company CEOs.  It’s part of what Bob Corlett of HR Examiner calls the Amazonification of recruiting.

What can I do about it? 

First, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Transparency is here to stay.  The best employers use Glassdoor as an opportunity to gain competitive advantage in the market for top talent.

Second, breathe easy.  The average company rating on Glassdoor is 3.3 out of 5, and 66% are positive.  Glassdoor requires reviewers to provide both pros and cons, and enforces protocols like no foul language and NO REVIEWS IN ALL CAPS.

Third, you can follow these tips to reinforce your reputation:

 

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1. Spring for an enhanced profile. With it, you can add customized content like photos, videos, and job postings. It allows you to put your best foot forward in a way that displays your company’s culture and personality.

 

 

 

icons-022. Encourage reviews. It’s better to be proactive than reactive. Ask job candidates to post a review of the interview experience. Encourage employees to write reviews when celebrating milestone anniversaries with your organization.

 

 

 

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3. Comment. Employee and candidate reviews are considered opinion, so take them as such, and respond in a kind and genuine way. Here are some best of examples for inspiration.

 

 

 

icons-044. Reflect. If you get a negative review, take some time for the sting to pass, then reflect.  As leadership guru, Ken Blanchard says, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”  If there is a kernel of truth in the negative comments, use this opportunity to reflect and address the underlying issue.
Finally, provide outlets for employees to vent.  If they can speak up at a town hall or on a discussion board, they’ll be less likely to take out their frustrations in public.

It takes years to build a reputation. Give employees a culture they can be proud of, and the tools to help them share it with the world.

Question:  What does the concept of transparency mean to you and your organization? Is it feared or embraced?

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