How to Get a Job: Use Glassdoor.com

Mid-year numbers are in with all indications pointing to a tighter job market. GDP has all but stalled, consumer confidence is down, and concerns over an increase in unemployment remain strong. 

And yet, the biggest challenge in this economy is finding right employee/employer fit. Job hunters worldwide are looking at new avenues to assess the quality of a company and turning to Glassdoor.com for employee insights as a guide for their next career move.

Glassdoor provides a unique peek under the proverbial covers in any company. The site is free and all postings are anonymous providing the employee and job seeker the opportunity to promote a great company or give fair warning on companies "mired in quicksand." 

Glassdoor’s rating system is simple. The first step is the overall rating of the company. Each reviewer ranks the company on a scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. If you find that the employees are largely dissatisfied, you may be walking into a challenging situation. If the employees are overwhelmingly satisfied, the company is definitely doing something right and your chances of having a positive work experience increase. 

The reviewer is then asked to provide a title of the review (the headline). Pay close attention to the number of negative to positive headlines for each company. If you see more headlines starting with “Great Place To Start,” “A Long Road to Nowhere,” or “Dead End to Any Career” you may find that the company has internal struggles that are left unaddressed and you could be entering a toxic work environment. 

Conversely, companies with the majority of the reviews starting with, “I Love My Job,” “Great Training and Gradual Learning Process,” “Great Company, Would Work There Again” clearly indicate the employees are/were extremely satisfied with their experiences as an employee for the company.

Once the headline is set, the employee is asked to list the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of a company.  Pros range from perks, to benefits, great co-workers, etc. Cons range from high-employee turnover, long hours, lack of corporate direction, deteriorating corporate culture, and a horrid work environment. Pros and cons provide insight on what you may be walking into.

The next review is the most important, “Advice to Senior Management.” This is the employee’s opportunity to provide feedback on what senior management should do to make the company better. Red flags to watch out for include, “Bring in outside consulting firms to assess your business,” and “You have lost more than half of your real talent. Stop bleeding out your best resources. No company can really grow while losing so many good resources.”  

Negative impressions rarely reach the top of the food chain and impact the overall working environment. Satisfied employees will leave comments like, “Keep up the great work,” or “Pay could be better.”

After the review has been set, the employee is given the option to rank the company in the following areas: career opportunities, compensation and benefits, work life balance, overall ranking of senior management, the company’s culture and value system, approval rating of the CEO, if they would recommend the company to a friend, and the company’s 6 month business outlook. 

There is also the opportunity to share information about the job itself, including if the job was full time, part time, contract, or an intern position. The reviewer can elect to list the job title, city, and tenure with the company that you -- the job hunter -- can use to fine-tune your research on a job specific and/or market basis.

Times are tough, and we’re definitely in an environment where job seekers need to be aware.  Glassdoor.com is yet another tool in your job seeking toolbox and your efforts to find the right employment fit.