Employee Reviews Gone Wild
How important is employer equity? While a few business magazines and periodicals provide lists of some of the best companies to work for, job websites such as glassdoor.com are taking such reviews to a more Yelp-like granular level.
For example, Willliams-Sonoma earns an employer rating of 2.9 out of five stars on glassdoor.com based on ratings provided by 295 current or former employees. Forty-seven percent recommend the retailer to a friend. President and CEO Laura Alber received an approval rating of 49 percent.
A "Review" section sums up the 295 ratings with each review including "Pros" and "Cons," and a few providing "Advice to Senior Management." One review posted last week by a current sales associate in Manhattan that gave a three-star rating read:
- "Pros – Great discount, most of the people that work there are great and easy to get along with, flexible schedule (most of the time)
- "Cons – Management is never on the sales floor! Short-staffed and associates are abused and overworked because the management is too cheap to hire more associates to be on the sales floor. All the company cares about now is getting customers to sign up for the Williams-Sonoma credit card.
- "Advice to Senior Management – Hire more associates to work! Stop nagging about the credit card, actually MANAGE the store and not find any excuse to be in the back office away from customers."
A "Salaries" section reveals that sales associates earn on average $9.01 an hour at Williams-Sonoma with a range between $7.00 to $11.00, as well as salary data on 126 other job titles based on 386 salaries received by employees. An "Interview" section features individual reviews of the recruitment process, including typical questions. The site also includes a "Connections" tool to locate job search contacts through Facebook as well as various available jobs.
In its marketing, Glassdoor states, "What sets us apart is our ’employee generated content’ — anonymous salaries, company reviews, interview questions, and more — all posted by employees, job seekers, and sometimes the companies themselves. Now with nearly 3 million salaries and reviews, you have all the information you might need to make your next career decision."
The outside content enables Glassdoor to put out rankings of the best places to work, the top companies for work-life balance, and the highest ranking CEOs. Other sites providing similar data include careersbliss.com, salary.com, vault.com and payscale.com.
On his blog at marketingcraftsmanship.com, Gordon Andrew of Highlander Consulting said such employee review job websites could be a "PR nightmare waiting to happen" but also a beneficial social media tool. He advises companies to focus on employee satisfaction and open feedback internally; explore toning down any excessive rants on such sites; encourage happy employees to post ratings; and fix recurring problems mentioned in reviews.
- Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance – glassdoor.com
- CareerBliss’ 2012 Bliss Leap Award Winners- Careerbliss
- Glassdoor.com: Social Media Tool or PR Nightmare? – Highland Consulting
- The Companies With The Biggest Jumps In Employee Happiness – Forbes
Could you see employer review websites such as glassdoor.com positively influencing workplace environments? How are social networking tools overall changing the recruiting process? What should and can retailers and brands do to be more proactive in improving their employer reputations across social networking communities?