If there was a website under the category of an Applicant’s Best Friend, I’d have to say it is Glassdoor.com, but only if you remember to check it before your next interview.
Being in the training development industry, whenever I am asked to interview with a company there are usually performance issues that are driving the need for training. You see if they only need a caretaker type of training manager, I am not their choice. I am a builder and a fixer, so with that in mind, I often am being asked to interview with an underperforming organization.
While it would be super to learn about all of the challenges during the interview process, most organizations would rather you discover them after you have accepted a job offer. While this works in favor of the organization, it does not benefit the applicant. Knowing what you are about to walk into is important for deciding if you want the job, but also for negotiating an employment offer.
I always go to Glassdoor.com before I show up to an interview. I read every employee comment about working for the company, but also the comments about the interviewing process. Having this information prior to an interview allows you to frame your questions with an understanding of the reality of the working experience. It also allows you to test how open and honest the management team is with information. Yet I must say that while management often knows what is going on, I have also found at times that they don’t.
One company I looked at several months ago was plagued with bad reviews. In response, management decided to offer free tickets to amusement parks, and sporting events for favorable reviews. While the scores started to improve online, the work environment did not and so the negative reviews continued. Then the honesty started to arrive in print with employees writing about the “bribes for good reviews” and from that point on nothing positive could be taken seriously.
Another company I looked at had a pretty normal mix of employee comments, but the interviewing experience spelled out a lot of challenges. Applicants wrote about disrespect, antiquated methods and one-sided interviewing experiences. Several people noted that the questions were not targeted at competencies, but only personality.
I spoke with the recruiters that had worked for each of these companies, and they both said it was extremely difficult to source talent. Anyone that was worth their game had read the online comments and had no interest in applying for their openings. It became a reality that only long-term unemployed people would take the time to interview. From a recruiter’s perspective, some of the best talent was not available.
Glassdoor.com should be on the regular reading list of all corporate management as a way to uncover employee concerns. At the same time, people are not leaving these comments for the benefit of management, but future applicants as a Warning! With this in mind, always check out the comments before your interview. At the same time, leave comments after your interviewing experience and again after your employment ends. And 3 Cheers for Glassdoor.com!