Glassdoor is a website where employees, and former employees, can leave reviews anonymously for companies and can be a major resource used when researching a potential employer during a job search. While it can be a useful tool to try and understand what type of business you may be hired into, you can’t always fully trust the reviews left, and this blog will explain why.
1. There’s No Employee Verification
Firstly, anyone can post on Glassdoor for any company, and also at any point in time, because there’s no verification system in place that actually confirms the reviewer works or worked there. Their current guidelines explain that each person should only submit one review a year for an employer, and the content of the review should be related to jobs or interviews you’ve had within the last five years.
These guidelines mean that if the same person can post five reviews in five years, that will affect the companies overall rating on the website and the fact that the reviews must be within five years is something to consider; a lot can change in five years in a company.
2. No Posting Limit
Following on from the previous point, there is actually no posting limit to stop something from posting multiple times despite Glassdoor’s guidelines. This is an immediate warning sign as not only could it be an ex-employee posting several negative reviews, but could also be someone from within the company posting all the positive reviews.
3. People Only Tend to Leave Reviews When They’ve Had a Bad Experience
It’s normal to want to rant about something when you’ve had a bad experience and Glassdoor makes it incredibly easy to get your negative opinion out about an experience with an employer so it’s public. A quote from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs says, “a dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about their experience, whereas a happy customer will only tell 4-6 people”.
On top of ranting, people tend to over-exaggerate when leaving a review. This is apparent when looking through Glassdoor reviews as they’re mainly 1 or 5 stars rated, and you probably should rely on these reviews when making a decision that affects your future career. The people who write these reviews are biased; being strongly supportive or opposed towards the employer.
4. Flawed Rating System
If someone has had a positive experience, they will leave 5 stars and if someone has had a negative experience, they will most likely leave a 1-star rating. What does a star rating even mean? As there is no quantifiable data that equates to these stars, it’s all based on opinion and individual perspective, which will differ per person.
5. Reviews Don’t Accurately Reflect The Current Situation or Entire Company
Glassdoor’s guidelines already encourage people to leave reviews within five years of leaving a company, and a lot can change in five years, or even 6 months, especially in the past couple of years dealing with the pandemic. A company could have made the appropriate changes after receiving a review, but the review would still be visible on Glassdoor.
A lot of companies exist on Glassdoor under one name despite having multiple offices across multiple locations. The culture and experience in one department can be different from another, so it’s difficult to determine the validity of reviews for a company as a whole.
6. Unreliable Ratio of Reviews to Employees
One thing to consider is the number of reviews in comparison to the number of employees who work within a company. For example, on Glassdoor, Amazon has over 15,000 reviews but they have over 300,000 employees. The reviews only make up 5% of the current employee population and that’s not taking into account that a lot of the reviews are from former employees. In addition to this, people can also leave reviews after an interview, and companies of that size will interview hundreds of candidates each year.
It’s important to remember that reviews left on Glassdoor are not based on facts, are all opinions, and you will also develop your own opinions through the application process and communications with employers through the inteeview prrocess.
If you are skeptical about a company due to reading the negative reviews left online, go and see for yourself. Don’t let someone else’s judgment cloud your own.