How seriously should you take the reviews on Glassdoor?



How seriously should you take the reviews on Glassdoor?

In a world of ratings, stars, thumbs up’s, likes and reviews there are plenty of places to review and rate companies, the question is, how seriously should jobseekers take reviews on Glassdoor?

Lets be honest, have you written an equal number of good and bad reviews, probably not (I know I haven’t!), have you been fair with your feedback, both good and bad, again, if you are brutally honest with yourself, probably not every time! People get angry and take to glass door to get their experience and reviews in front of a huge audience. When you have a great experience with a business writing a glowing review isn’t the first thought, however, I bet when you have a really bad experience a herd of wild horses couldn’t stop you for angrily tapping your experience into some review site. 

What is concerning is that anyone can post on Glassdoor - for any company, at any point in time, with no verification that they actually work there…. have ever worked there………and all anonymously. While their guidelines state you may not ‘Impersonate another person, or his or her email address, or misrepresent your current or former affiliation with an employer’ there’s no actual way to verify.

People are more likely to post negative comments than positive ones and with that, if you are motivated enough to post something you’re more likely to be passionate about what you are posting which can lead to exaggeration and a reflection on a company which is somewhat sided to the way in which you felt at that exact moment in time which may not be a balanced view of the entire organisation or your experience over X number of years of mainly happy employment. “On average, an individual will tell 9 people about good experiences, and 16 people about poor ones.” (American Express Survey).

It’s impossible to satisfy 100% of employees 100% of the time and no one likes being let go, made redundant, being unsuccessful for a promotion or not making it through an interview process all of which could motivate someone to write a bad review (anonymously of course) which can be seen by thousands. Having spent a great deal of time reading reviews of some of our clients I can wholeheartedly say there are many reviews which I don’t consider to be a fair, balanced or honest but rather a quick, reactionary remark or comment.

As so many people we speak to in the course of what we do place huge emphasis on the reviews found on Glassdoor, does it not have a responsibility to ‘police’ the comments to ensure they are at least from someone who is eligible to write them?

The reverse can also be true:

There’s nothing to stop an organisation from creating a number of accounts with different email addresses and posting positive, upbeat, great reviews. Again, with no verification system in place the reviews would change a company’s score for the positive and could have all been posted by the Senior leadership / HR / Engagement team – although, a lot of these posts are pretty easy to spot when you read them!

All in all, with the ability to rate the experience you had as an employee of an organisation you’ve never worked for and for organisations to be able to rate themselves, how much meaning do these reviews and ratings actually have?