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How Glassdoor's reviews help you find your dream job

Sarah K. White | June 5, 2015
People love reviews. Just look at Amazon, TripAdvisor or Yelp. And now, the public's growing desire for reviews has extended to the job search, as evidenced by Glassdoor's steady rise in popularity since its launch in 2008.

Zupan gives the example of a CEO who may have a lively personal life, but if that CEO isn't bringing it into work and it isn't affecting the day-to-day operations of the business, then Glassdoor would not consider it a workplace issue. However, if that same partying CEO starts coming into the office hungover, and is having a direct impact on the workplace, Glassdoor thinks that is something job seekers deserve to know.

Are the reviews trustworthy?

Several measures are place to stop people from posting inflammatory and unfair reviews, but what stops HR from creating false accounts and leaving positive reviews?

While Glassdoor can't speak directly to this issue, because it's more difficult to identify falsified reviews over defamatory reviews, the question has come up in the past. In a CBS article, an employee spoke out about how his company strongly encouraged its employees to write positive reviews. In a Quora thread, people discussed theories on falsified reviews written by overzealous HR managers. But it's all largely anecdotal, and for every false review on a company's page, you will find another review questioning the legitimacy of overly positive reviews.

That's the checks and balances that Glassdoor emphasizes, that if either employer or employee leaves false representations of a company, any employee or company representative can respond to the accusations. Not to mention, one review — positive or negative — won't make or break a job seeker's decision. The average users reads at least seven reviews before they make a choice, Zupan says. "What I've seen happen in some situations is that if a company isn't as great as the reviews say, then people in that workforce will then also leave their own reviews, and you will see this counter-balance," says Zupan.

So as long as you are reading a large breadth of reviews — good and bad — you should be able to get a general feel for the overall company culture; even if the company is posting false reviews.

What about anonymity in small companies?

Since the site is largely anonymous, there are a number of precautions for employees of small businesses who might not be comfortable leaving even their job title. And, similarly, in a larger business with small departments, employees might feel too exposed if they leave a review with their full title, so users can choose to leave out certain details.

And if the company is smaller than 25, you can leave out the title all together. These protections help keep reviews anonymous and let employees feel more secure when it comes to posting their impressions of a company.

How companies deal with negative reviews

 

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