What Job Seekers Need to Know About Glassdoor

As a job seeker, you know that looking for your dream job is no easy feat. More and more candidates are turning to digital platforms like Glassdoor to make applying and searching for jobs more streamlined. Glassdoor has risen in popularity because it makes your job hunt easier by bringing together a mix of company-supplied information, open positions, salary information, and employee-driven reviews. It also gives qualified candidates like you a closer look at company culture before stepping through the door of an organization. Glassdoor has quickly become a part of the typical job search process, with a reported 45 million people every month turning to Glassdoor to find a job. But with so much employer information available at your fingertips, it’s important to filter through what’s accurate, what’s not, and what you actually need to know before taking the leap into a new career. When evaluating whether a company might be a good fit for you, start by looking at these five key areas on their Glassdoor profile:

1.   Company overview

Company websites generally aren’t tailored to provide potential employees with inside information. Instead, they’re developed to highlight their expertise and attract new clients. By looking at an organization’s Glassdoor profile, you can often glean more relevant information and learn about their work style and culture. Head to a company’s Glassdoor Overview to get an in-depth understanding of their business expectations, work environment, employee perks, and the ins and outs of the work their employees do every day.

2.   Open positions and job descriptions

Glassdoor is a top resource for companies to publish and promote open positions that they are hiring for. When searching for jobs on Glassdoor, be sure to thoroughly read the job description and evaluate the company page for relevant contextual information. Though job titles may be the same between different companies, often times the actual positions they’re hiring for are unique. For example, the Director of IT at a startup may be managing a team of one, while the Director of IT at a global organization could be responsible for overseeing 100+ remote team members. Make sure to do your research and understand the skills requirements, job responsibilities, and team dynamic of the position you’re applying for as these important aspects can vary drastically across companies.

3.   Salary ranges

One of the most popular reasons that candidates head to Glassdoor before applying for a job is to try to get a sense of the salary range. Salary ranges listed on Glassdoor are from current and ex-employees, so it’s important to keep in mind that these numbers may not always be entirely accurate. For example, while an employee could list they make $110,000 per year on Glassdoor, their base salary for their current job might be $60,000, but they earned commissions and bonuses throughout their tenure that aren’t necessarily guaranteed in their role. Get a better idea of the company’s salary ranges by looking up wages from multiple job titles that could be interchangeable with the position you're interested in.

4.    Employee reviews

Another reason Glassdoor is such a popular and valuable resource is because current and past employees can leave reviews about their experience working with the company. Insights range from their feelings about the leadership team, their experience with promotions, the company culture, etc. Reviews are a great resource during your job hunt because they give potential employees a first-hand account of what it’s really like to work at that company. Does the company that you are considering have a lower rating than you expect? Don’t panic. It’s important to take employee-generated reviews with a grain of salt - consider that employees might be more motivated to publish a poor review when they are upset. A review might be a reaction to one moment rather than reflective of their broader experience with an organization. Take for example, a company that has poorer than expected rating. In this case, people either love working for the company, or strongly dislike it. However, the employees that dislike working for the organization are more motivated to write a negative review while other employees do not share anything. This has drastically impacted their Glassdoor rating, positioning them a lot lower than what it probably would be if everyone wrote a comment or review. As you’re evaluating the company, take the time to read the reviews to determine whether their complaints are a sticking point for you, or inconsequential.

5.   Company responses

When evaluating a company’s comments and reviews from past employees, pay attention to how the company reacted. Did the company reply to the comment? Did they respond in a defensive or dismissive manner? Or, did they address feedback directly in a productive way? Whatever the case might be, any sort of response from the company itself is a great way to get an inside look into how their leadership and HR team act, think, and respond to their employees.

No Glassdoor? No problem.

So, the company you’re thinking of applying at doesn’t have a Glassdoor? No big deal. Think of it as a new insight into how their company works and what they value. Maybe their culture is very low-tech—they’re traditional, analog, and not up-to-date on all the new technology out there. Or maybe it’s because they’re moving at the pace of a start-up and are too busy to focus on optimizing their Glassdoor page. Whatever the reason, it’s not necessarily a red flag that should keep you from applying for an open position. When you come across a company without a Glassdoor page, LinkedIn is a great tool to use to connect with current and past employees to learn about their experiences and better understand if the company values the same things you do (like your passion to learn or your desire to move up quickly within an organization). You can often gain relevant insights by reaching out to someone that knows someone who works at the company you’re researching.

Still looking for more information about your potential employer?

Reach out to a recruiting company, like VanderHouwen, to learn more about an organization and get access to information that is not available through online research. In addition to their in-depth understanding of hiring trends and resume writing skills, recruiters can walk you through the details of your target organization’s interview process, role expectations, and what the day-to-day culture looks like.

Find the right company for you. Get in touch with a VanderHouwen recruiter today!