Posted by Linda Christensen on Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 00:00
We all know how important it is to do your homework on prospective employers during the job search.
Finding the right fit works both ways -- it’s just as important for you to know that you made the correct career choice as it for your new employer to see you as an ideal match for the role.
One key online tool gaining significant traction is Glassdoor. The firm says it is “…a free jobs and career community that offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies.” The site relies primarily on employee-generated content for company reviews, including salary information and actual interview questions that the firm has used when interviewing candidates.
No doubt, it’s a valuable resource to use during your job search, but there are a few things to keep in mind when looking at Glassdoor reviews. Here are three tips:
- Consider who’s posting reviews. Glassdoor reviews rely on social media-savvy employees. In many cases (if not most), that does not represent the majority of a company’s workforce. In addition, not everyone who does know about Glassdoor reviews feels comfortable posting them online. As a result, the information found about companies can be somewhat skewed. Another factor to consider is that when it comes to online reviews, the most motivated posters are often people who have had negative experiences. Keep this in mind when you use the site.
- Put more weight on reviews of companies with many reviewers. Glassdoor tends to be more effective for larger companies where more employees have posted reviews. For small businesses or start-ups, the overall number of reviews can really undermine the value of the tool.
- Glassdoor is just one part of your company research. No one resource can provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision during your job search. Make sure to check the prospective employer’s website, which will offer additional relevant data. Look at a firm's media section or press room to read about recent company news and events. Also be sure to look for a community relations section -- a company’s approach to philanthropic initiatives can often tell you a lot about their vision and values. Last, reach out to contacts in your network for input -- they can be a valuable source for unbiased feedback on the company.
In short, Glassdoor provides some great insight into a company’s culture and work environment, but it should be part of a larger, balanced approach to your job search.