In the September 2, 2014 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a burned employee sparks controversy about anonymous employer “reviews” on

Have you ever written about Glassdoor reviews? Based in part on positive reviews I read about a start-up company on Glassdoor, I accepted a job. This company was nothing like it presented itself to be. It was terrible. Two months into my tenure, another position came up and I left. (My rule is never to shut down the job search process until I am sure I want to stay somewhere.) It still bothered me that this company was so crappy and I felt I had been taken for a ride.

I had lookeglassdoord at the reviews in Glassdoor prior to the interview and, though there were negative reviews, there were overwhelmingly positive ones as well. I was concerned about the negative reviews, so I brought it up in my interview. The recruiter stated that the office prided itself on being different from its corporate parent, and he felt I was a good fit. So I took the job.

Here’s why I’m asking about Glassdoor. After I quit the start-up, I continued to follow the company on Glassdoor and checked LinkedIn to see what kind of turnover they had. It turned out some of the people hired during my time have since left. Strangely, when a negative review shows up, an overwhelmingly positive one shows up within a week. Interestingly enough, two of the most current negative comments say that HR is posting its own positive reviews! The recruiter I worked with left after a year. So, are these reviews worth anything? What do you think?

Nick’s Reply

I’ve never written about because I think its business is worthless except as a generator of revenue. At best, this public database of anonymous reviews about employers is a curiosity. (I’m skeptical about any kind of anonymous reviews, even on Amazon.) The very idea of a website that encourages people to anonymously critique employers is ludicrous and irresponsible. I think its use is widespread because it makes money. That fact impresses HR executives and the public, leading them all to base business decisions on admittedly untrustworthy information.

Just think about it: Any disgruntled employee or job applicant can trash a company publicly. An HR department can spam Glassdoor, singing its own praises. (It seems this happened with the company you quit.) Honest comments will get lost. Meanwhile, Glassdoor has no incentive to keep it all clean by making participants accountable. (The argument for anonymity is that people wouldn’t post honest comments if employers knew who they were. Duh. That justifies graffiti?) They make money with every posting. That’s how Glassdoor is like the job boards.

In fact, Glassdoor is a job board. (Like LinkedIn, the site uses the honeypot of “community” to lure you into an ulterior revenue model. See LinkedIn: Just another job board.) Employers pay to post their jobs. Where does the job seeker traffic come from? Job seekers show up every day that Glassdoor dangles its clever bait: “Come share your reviews and salary information — anonymously. Then look at job postings!” The revenue model is built on unverified reviews and unverified salary data. (Imagine if Glassdoor’s business model were legitimate: It would pay you for your honest reviews and salary information.)

In other words, HR departments pay Glassdoor to subsidize anonymous ratings and salary surveys. You suggested that HR departments use fake IDs to give their own companies good reviews I don’t doubt it.

The obvious problem is that, when no one is accountable for praise or complaints, every comment on Glassdoor is suspect. Your experience with the terrible start-up highlights the problem. Anyone can create an account without anything but an e-mail address. If Glassdoor were to require true identities, it would be another story. But it’s not.

Along the same lines of Glassdoor is a new app created by the founder of TheLadders, Marc Cenedella. He basically lifted Glassdoor’s concept and made it more personal. lets people post anonymous comments about their coworkers’ personalities. That’s more of a bathroom wall than even Glassdoor. I can’t wait for more lawsuits.

Reading anonymous customer reviews when you buy a camera or a waffle iron is one thing — if you make a mistake, you’re out a few bucks. But when you’re checking out an employer, due diligence is crucial. We’re talking about your career and your income. Check credible sources. Your best bet is always to seek out current and former employees at a company to learn the truth — but make sure they have real names. In Fearless Job Hunting, Book 5: Get The Right Employer’s Attention, you’ll learn the powerful “scuttlebutt” method of researching even privately held companies — by talking to their competitors (pp. 22-24).

Here’s another important tip from the same book, in the section titled “How to pick worthy companies” (pp. 10-12):

Talk to the company’s customers and vendors
This is where you will find the hidden skeletons, and you will learn who are the real decision-makers in the company. This is also where you may find a hidden opportunity. It might not be with your target company, but with one of its customers or vendors, or with some other associated company. By extending your research and meetings to such companies, you’ll get a valuable, industry-wide view — not just of your target company, but of the work you want to do.

It’s not so hard to evaluate an employer. Invest the time to do it right next time, because anonymous reviews of employers can get you into serious trouble.

Is it real, or is it crap? The reader in today’s Q&A learned the hard way that, if information smells, it’s probably crap. Would you trust anonymous reviews and salary surveys to make a career decision?

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  1. @Nick you wrote “At best, this public database of anonymous reviews about employers is a curiosity. ”

    Nick, it is not just curiosity it is plain as the nose on our faces. This applies in my opinion to all postings online, including those by individuals.

    I trust people who have something to say and say it online with their own name. I do not trust people who think they have to hide. I will take this to the extent that to me most views, clicks, posts, reviews are questionable and anon postings are therefore disregarded.

    The stupidity is utterly hilarious as I also see a vast amount of people the same who claim to never post to discussions or online under their real name are the same who will post their entire life history in detail including images on Facebook and similar social media (thinking a log-in is protecting them.) I think what these people do not realize is that these (log-in) social sites are where all the intelligence details of their personality and life are easily disseminated very easily by anyone.

  2. I’d left an accurate, detailed (both the good aspects and the downward slide due to new mgmt) review of a former employer on Glassdoor. It was a small company (about 20 staff) and mine was the first review. About a year later, someone at the company must have noticed because three GLOWING reviews appeared on the same day. All subsequent reviews have been 5-star. Perhaps the company has gotten their act together and it’s the wonderful place to work it once was . . . perhaps not.

  3. Glassdoor is a good resource but like any other should be taken with a grain of salt. I have used it as have member of my job search team as one of many inputs. I find the comments about filling with positive reviews interesting as the one complaint I hear is the site is too negative. I read the reviews and look for trends and information to dive deeper into during interviews.

    I once interviewed with a nationally recognized company that had a half dozen bad reviews about the management. I asked the hiring manager about them and he asked did they work in X Division which I said yes. He laughed and said the reviews were 100% accurate and that division head finally retired earlier in the year.

    Use Glassdoor as a resource, but do not take it as accurate or complete information.

  4. @Nick: thanks again for hitting another out of the ballpark with your q & a this week.

    I’ve seen Glassdoor and read the comments. I never noticed the proportion of positive comments to negative ones, nor did I notice the timing (I’ll have to look at that later today), but I’ve always read comments, be they from students in the form of course evaluations, customer reviews on Amazon (that’s a little different, because they’re reviewing book or movie content, a matter over which Amazon has no control), customer reviews on other online e-tailers, commentary on news articles (talk about partisan and political!) and taken them with a big grain of salt. They’re opinions, and like armpits, everybody has them. It doesn’t mean that I will have the same experiences, and often it is hard to tell if people are telling the truth, if we might just have different standards or different needs, or if someone is just disgruntled and taking to the anonymity of the internet to trash someone or something.

    It is quite different if I personally know the people posting comments or giving me scuttlebutt about a company/boss/job. Then I have a better idea of how to assess such comments, and even then I realize that sometimes I may not know everything that transpired and thus why this person gave the kind of review he did.

    If companies are paying to have positive reviews about themselves posted, then I suppose the only thing we as job hunters can do is to approach our research of companies on such sites (better still to talk to current and former employees of the companies, as well as third parties, such as vendors, contractors, etc. with whom the company deals) with the same caution you would use when making a decision re a big purchase: caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).

  5. @Nick – You state that “the very idea of a website that encourages people to anonymously critique employers is ludicrous and irresponsible,”.

    Isn’t this because of the fear of retaliation by on speaking their own truth about an employer? Also, GlassDoor will strip your review if names are mentioned.

    I frequent GD quite often because of the industry that I’m in. I want to make sure that a certain work environment is right for me if I’m interested in a particular company. What I’ve noticed is that for every bad or lukewarm review, there will be loads of 4 to 5 star reviews written by HR or someone in marketing/management.

    Even if the reviews are anonymous, it’s worth taking note of common themes that are mentioned in negative reviews because most likely those experiences speak the truth about a company’s culture especially when the 4/5-star reviews read like a PR piece.

    I also feel that when employers write fake positive reviews, it could be because they are having a hard time filling positions. Negative reviews can affect one’s decision about working at a company especially if similar negative themes are mentioned in reviews.

    • True (about glowing reviews to fill positions). I know for a fact my company wrote fake internal reviews because they could not get enough applicants, qualified or unqualified, to fill positions with less than one year turnover rate.

    • I concur with this statement – even if GD would allow you to use your name, why would anyone sabotage their career this way? This is not Yelp; this is career life and death. If you are discovered by any amateur internet sleuth in an HR or recruiting dept, your candidacy is over. Period.

      It goes back to “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” If there are common themes with things like “bad work/life balance,” or “too much micromanagement,” its time to move on in your job search. Sadly, I’ve worked at great companies with no GD presence, meaning nobody is bothering to tell positive stories, but focusing on negative ones.

      Nick has stated that the best way to get and be happy in your next job is to have inside information and know folks within the prospective company. If you don’t have that information and need or desire new employment, GD and others like it is a decent resource.

  6. I left a bad review about my last company after my contract had ended. It’s a huge company, probably the biggest in my state. It’s downright laughable to compare the mostly positive comments about this company on GD to the pages and pages of negative comments over on Indeed. Sure enough, my bad review was automatically removed. I eventually saw some comments on blogs and forums stating that GD is a scam similar to the BBB, where companies can pay an extra fee to have bad comments removed. I know there’s no proof of that, but after what I observed I have to believe it.

  7. I think Kenny does bring up a good point about the fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, to get actual honest feedback in this type of format, you open yourself up to some sort of abuse.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.

    But, I have found that Glass Door is just one data point and there are some nuggets of truth in the comments – even in the more positive reviews.

  8. I’ve used Glassdoor and take it like Yelp: read it with a grain of salt. There are clearly some plants and clearly some people with bones to pick.

    But there are some reviews that I found were quite accurate (HR never informing a candidate they moved on to other candidates, certain unique aspects of X company are still true today, etc.)

  9. I’ve left scathing reviews of several slave ships I no longer work at on and I left my comments anonymously because I didn’t want the retribution that would come down if management knew the author. I have also left good reviews and I left those reviews anonymously as well. I always look for reviews with similar or exact job titles as the one I’m reviewing. I find the website helpful but I will admit I take things said at glassdoor with a grain of salt knowing how many lazy co-workers I’ve had to deal with at various jobs.

  10. Another lesson in the hard truth — the internet is NOT the silver bullet in job searching. It is not the silver bullet in ANYTHING. At the end of the day, if you want to be successful, you have to do things the right old fashioned way, by developing, cultivating and nurturing personal relationships and talking to real live people. Yeah, it’s harder, it’s outside your comfort zone, it’s less straightforward and more iterative, but it’s the only way that works. The internet is a tool, like a hammer. You cannot build a house with just a hammer — you need skills and talents and a plan.

  11. GD has been valuable to me, and I left some honest reviews there myself. I look for reoccurring themes. All anonymous reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, but when trends appear, it is worth asking why.

    • Agree. It’s a decent resource for interview research too, and has spawned many an idea for others that have started to aggregate interview feedback. It’s a research tool, and I’ve found it valuable in my preparation. It’s less useful for smaller companies due to scarcity of contributions.

      Also, community voting keeps the reviews more honest, although it’s unclear whether voting helps with ordering the reviews.

      • In addition, I too research positions on LinkedIn, especially to understand turnover in the higher ranks.

  12. I understand what people mean when they say they use Glassdoor and take what they read “with a grain of salt.” But if you know some of what’s posted isn’t legit, how do you know WHICH parts? How do you know how much weight to put on what you read?

    I know I sound like a total cynic, but when integrity and credibility are the keystones of an information site, and we all know there’s questionable information in there, how can we trust the n-th data point? So I am a cynic.

    What’s more troubling is that humans are subject to confirmation bias – “the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses” (Wikipedia). So when we know information may be corrupt, and we also know we want information that supports our beliefs, then we victimize ourselves by rationalizing that “some” information is useful while “some” is not.

    Get my point? It’s like getting just a little bit pregnant. Either you’re influenced, or you’re not. Do you really know? And if you’re contributing to the “opinions,” are you helping anyone?

    The worst of it, I think, is submitting salary information. That’s when a job seeker helps dig his or her own grave by legitimizing data that’s corrupt by nature, and enabling employers to “rely” on it when they make you a job offer.

  13. @marybeth: Imagine if you said to a prospective employer, “I looked up your salaries on Glassdoor. Then I realized there’s no reason to trust what I found there. So to be fair to you, I want to ask you what you pay people in jobs similar to the one I’m interviewing for. That way, we’re playing on an honest field. I’d rather know I’m getting facts.”


  14. @Kenny: If some of the information posted is corrupt, why would you trust any of it, since you don’t know what’s legit and what’s not? As for posting anonymously, I understand why you don’t want to disclose your identity — but of what use is anonymous information if Glassdoor users know there’s corrupt information on the site? It’s a circle jerk.

  15. @Dave: You write “I have found that Glass Door is just one data point and there are some nuggets of truth in the comments.”

    I’m not beating you up, honest. I’m trying to get at the bottom of how we all make judgments about this. How do you know which nuggets are truth?

    Do you think someone posting untruthful information might be really good at sounding convincing?

    • I look for a common theme in negative comments on Glassdoor as perhaps the only way to get some nugget of truth about the negative side of a company off of the web (similar to the way I head straight for the negative comments on Amazon to try to construct a worst case scenario. I think the number of negative reviews may also be useful in constructing an overall impression of working for a company, with the caveat that depending on your department, your shift, and your manager, your experience may be totally different.

  16. @Larry Kaplan: I think you make your point very clearly.

  17. Glassdoor is every bit as useful and trustworthy as TheLadders.
    Using Glassdoor as a reliable source is almost as big a mistake as putting your resume on the web.
    The internet can be very useful (ie, Ask the Headhunter or it really is a jungle out there with plenty of scammers, hustlers and quick-buck artists.

  18. @ Curious. You beat me to the punch! When I read – I equate it with Although I don’t know if employers pay people to comment on companies for Glassdoor which is what happens on Yelp. You have to analyze the comments for posting times, what was said, how many people say it etc. and then use commonsense. In the end, you have to do your own research.

    I’m not familar with Marc Cenedella’s new creation, but his creations wreak like a bad infomercial.

  19. @Kenny: I agree with you re why some people choose to post anonymously. If I thought what I posted in good faith and honestly (based on my own personal experiences) would come back to bite me on the ass later (retaliation), then either I would only post anonymously or I wouldn’t post at all. Some industries are quite incestuous–everyone knows everyone else, and most have worked for the same bosses and employers at some point. If one of those employers or bosses was a train wreck, and you wanted to be honest with whomever (Glassdoor, Indeed, even your company’s HR dept. via the dreaded exit interview), and you knew that at some point you could cross paths with your soon to be former boss, or that your boss could burn you regarding future employment, I think most people would be very wary. So I get the whole fear of retaliation thing. The only ones who have nothing to fear are those who are leaving due to retirement or because they won the lottery and never have to work again. Then you have nothing to lose by posting honestly under your own name because your boss can’t do anything to hurt you. He can’t give you a bad review, or trash you to a hiring manager calling about you, or even firing you from a future job if he should later get hired at your new employer and is ranked higher than you.

    When I was in school, I remember that newer students often asked the upper classmen about faculty, courses, etc. as a way to get a sense of whether they should sign up for those courses or not. Sometimes you took the courses because it was about a topic of interest or because your discipline required it. But others, especially electives, most students didn’t want to get stuck with a dude course taught by a dud. Students who, when asked about courses and faculty, said that Prof. So-and-So was the worst professor they ever had and the course was the worst course they ever had might have been being honest. But if the same students said the same thing about all or nearly all of the faculty and courses, then I thought “probably not” because they can’t all be the worst professors they ever had and the worst courses they ever had. The problem was more likely the students, and I learned to avoid those people.

    Sometimes, too, with comments, they can be skewed to the extremes; people love it or hate it and there’s very little middle ground. Granted, sometimes those comments are justified, but I often wonder why there’s no balance. Sometimes, a company or agency is really bad, but then there’s usually other clues besides reviews on Glassdoor. High turnover, frequent, public firings, contractors and vendors refusing to do business with them or work for them, difficulty filling jobs, same job vacancies posted often.

    The fall semester began today, and today’s q & a about comments and their validity reminded me of an incident at my last job (also in academia). One of my tasks was keeping a record of all of the course evaluations for faculty and my boss. The course evaluations were given for every course, and were anonymous (so students could be “honest” without fear of retaliation from faculty, even though the course evaluations were never released to me before the grades for the semester were closed and posted). Unfortunately, I didn’t run the course evaluations, but another dept. on campus was responsible for it, and because they believed it was “mean” to require students to complete them AND because they waited until the time of the semester when students were crazed with coursework, trying to finish up, study for exams, prepare for their comps, and if it was the fall semester, then there was often holiday preparations on top of wrapping up their academic work for the semester (and with all of my students working full time), I thought CPE picked the worst time to give the students the course evaluations. Since they weren’t required, often turn out was very low. This happened to one of the better professors (tough, demanding, but engaging and fair). He had agreed to take on more students, so he had a huge class (close to 60 students), and when I got his course evals, a grand total of 4 students had bothered to complete them. Those 4 students trashed him and gave him really bad reviews. Since I read all of the faculty’s course evaluations before adding them to their files, before sending the evals to the individual faculty, and before sending them to my boss, I remembered that I didn’t give any weight to their entirely negative comments on Myles and his course. My boss didn’t read the details (re how many students were enrolled in his course and how many bothered to do the evals) and focused entirely on the negative reviews. She flipped out, burst into my office, asked if I’d read Myles’ evals (I had, and carefully), and said that she didn’t intend to offer the course to him to teach the following year (he was an adjunct, and the university really relied on students’ course evals to determine who got offered courses to teach from semester to semester, from year to you, and they factored into contract renewals and into tenure determinations (much, much less for the latter group). I said “Ann, please calm down and please note how many students were enrolled in Myles’ course this semester and compare that number to how many filled out the course evaluation.” She got the summary, looked again, and said “oh.” I told her that since the sample was so small, his evaluation was worthless. The vast majority didn’t bother to fill it out, leaving only a small number of disgruntled students who either didn’t want to do the work and didn’t want to think giving him negative reviews. Those negative reviews skewed the results if you only look at the comments. Get the bigger picture (including the stats), you can infer that most students weren’t unhappy and probably a good number even enjoyed the course. If you only get those with nits to pick and axes to grind, or who use the evals as their own form of retaliation, then you’re not getting an accurate idea of students’ opinions of him or of the course. The same is true when you only get positive comments (and those too will skew the results). The solution was to require students to fill them out, but CPE was against it, so it never happened.

    I view Glassdoor the same way–comments suggest the love it or hate it crowds, with little/no middle ground.

    • Hi – You said above that, “your boss can’t do anything to hurt you. He can’t give you a bad review, or trash you to a hiring manager calling about you, or even firing you from a future job if he should later get hired at your new employer and is ranked higher than you.” How do you know this? My husband just received a written warning solely based on an honest (nothing inaccurate or confidential) Glassdoor review. It doesn’t seem right, but would love to know specifics. Thanks.

  20. Re: Glassdoor & Yelp. Good comparison, except that the consequences of making a mistake with the former far outweigh an error with the latter. (Food poisoning notwithstanding. I might prefer a lousy job…) I guess I’m a “reviews wuss.” I don’t use Yelp, either. Tried it a few times, and when I stand back and try to balance the positive and negative reviews of a place, I realize I will probably judge it based on my assessment of the people posting. And what’s the use of that, unless I know something about them? Perhaps one strategy is to look up a reviewer’s history. But now I’m researching reviewers so I can judge reviews of a restaurant… oh, hell, just give me the menu… ;-)

  21. Ok so Nick had a bad experience and therefore the whole review thing is useless?

    Everyone knows review sites are open to abuse. What percentage are bogus… 10%? 20%? Let’s guess 20% which means 80% of reviews are legit… so instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater you just need to keep your eyes open.

    If you’re seeing a mix of bad reviews and good reviews as others have commented, surely that’s a warning sign that you wouldn’t have otherwise had?

    The fact is that reviews – whether of a product, service or employer – are useful. Should you make a decision on reviews alone? Of course not. But I for one would much prefer to be able to apply my bulls*** detector to reviews than not have anything at all.

    As for the whole anonymity thing… come on, do you seriously think someone will write anything other than a glowing review if they might lose their job or burn a bridge? Employers have done their own anonymous satisfaction surveys for decades – I for one think it’s great that everyone can now see what the results are.

  22. @Nic I go by my gut based on what I read. I agree with other commenters that you have to take some of the reviews with a grain of salt, but when I begin to see common themes of a bad nature in half of the reviews, a red flag immediately goes up.

    I’ve written 3 reviews on GD and one review I wrote for a severely toxic former employer made upper management go on a witch hunt. They blamed someone that they wrongly fired for writing the review.

    I love your advice Nick, but I’m all for keeping it anonymous when it comes to employees speaking their truth about a work environment.

  23. @Justin: I don’t think I’ve had a bad experience. I just question the fundamentals of sites like Glassdoor, and I question the basis of your own analysis. Your points just don’t make sense:

    * You guess 20% of reviews might be bogus. How do you come up with that? Why not 30% or 80%? The point is, there is no way to know. Even if people who post are sincere, how accurate or meaningful are their comments and conclusions? You don’t know.

    * Keep your eyes open. What does that mean? What does a person look for to evaluate the validity of a review?

    * A mix of good and bad reviews is a “warning sign.” How does that “mix” work? If underneath it all there are 10 positive comments and 10 negative ones, but the negatives are from angry, disgruntled employees who have no basis for their judgment of a company, the reader is left confused – not “warned.”

    * “The fact is that reviews… are useful.” No, they’re not, not if we don’t know whether they’re valid. This is the crux of the matter. When millions of reviews are posted without a source, then all are suspect. They’re not useful. Don’t confuse this with “anonymous sources” cited in news articles. In those cases, one credible source (the reporter or new source you trust) vouches that an anonymous comment is legit. Glassdoor does not vouche for anyone, nor can it.

    * I’m not advocating that Glassdoor require that reviewers use their real names. I don’t really care what Glassdoor does. I’m pointing out that this emperor is walking around buck naked and users of the site are pretending he’s dressed. Worse, HR is shoveling cash into Glassdoor’s coffers, legitimizing a “service” that’s unsound.

    I have just one point: “Feelings” and “a sense” and “everyone knows” are bogus basis for judging reviews of employers. Check any of the good books over the past few years about behavioral economics — especially Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational.” People are notoriously lousy at making judgments, especially when they’re presented with corrupt “data” that they quickly accept as legit.

    Glassdoor is just another example of corrupt judgment making, and another reason the employment market is so screwed up.

  24. If I was a job candidate researching a potential employer, I would use GD as an additional ‘extra’ tool in my decision process. If you read enough reviews, you will definitely find some useful information about the company culture in there.

    You can see trends in the positive and negative points and these trends accurately reflect the situations I’ve experienced or witnessed while working for these companies.

    I don’t doubt that some reviews are written by malingerers who were fired or HR departments singing the company’s praises but these reviews are few and far between in my (admittedly limited) experience.

  25. GD is more than just a good or bad rating though. If I’m reading a gushing review describing the company’s “amazing culture – ping pong and nerf battles on the hour” that tells me something, even if it was written by HR.

    Likewise, GD also includes reviews of the interview structure. Do I trust that completely? No. But it gives me a little heads up as to what to ask the interviewer about. If phrased the proper way, the interviewer has no idea if I read bogus information on GD. For example, I once interviewed at a company GD reviewers said had a lengthy process, including a skills test. So I was mentally prepared for that (and it turns out, those reviewers were right).

    So like the others, I don’t think it’s all bad.

  26. As an independent thinker, I’ve never really cared for reviews of any kind. This applies whether we’re talking online such as Glassdoor or Yelp, or even a business referral.

    My reason for saying that is life has become more about demanding absolute guarantees. There is no tolerance nor willingness to accept and roll with shades of gray (or grey.) Nor are surprises welcome — we have to have everything written out and Google’able in advance because if things go wrong, we’re doomed.

    I have been in too many life situations where someone or something was positively recommended, yet my experience turned out different. Conversely, I was also alerted to that allegedly would turn out awful, and it was actually one of the most pleasant encounters I ever had. It applies to wine bottles, to winemakers, to music files … and to books!

    This definitely applies to job candidates and employers too. I’ve heard some people say that Joe Candidate was a disaster at his place, only to get more interested and think, “Well, if Joe failed at your place, maybe he can succeed at mine.” And I’ve also heard of some who sounded very good who didn’t cut it at our place for numerous reasons.

    I just don’t think people give themselves enough courage nor flexibility to say, “OK, Person A had this great experience, Person Z had that lousy experience. I’m prepared to handle whatever experience comes my way, whether it’s hiring somebody or getting hired. No matter what happens, I can handle it!”

  27. @Nick: Thanks for your “common sense” on this matter.
    Generally, why waste one’s time if it’s taken with a grain of salt? Not a stellar recommendation.

  28. @Glenn

    Thank you for that observation that one candidate may not work out in one environment, but may work out fabulously in another.

    There’s a difference between being reckless and being a creative risk-taker, and if more hiring screeners would get more creative in their risk-taking, fewer candidate mismatches might be made because a dialog was available.

    Automatic rejection equals missed opportunities to secure excellent talent.

    On the subject of opinions of unknown people on managers or companies, I worked for an award-winning company for 30 years. Several hundred people passed through our doors. Many, but not all, of the best remained, giving me a front-line crew averaging 14 years of tenure. (That number would be higher save for an unexplained anomaly in our unit’s history.)

    I fired more than a few of those people. I’m sure that they’re not going to give me a very good eval.

  29. I’ve left positive and negative reviews on sites such as Glassdoor. I strive to be as accurate as possible. However, anyone who uses anonymous reviews as the be-all, end-all arbiters of future employment has a questionable sense of judgment and well, kinda deserves what they are dealt.

  30. I had long suspected that anonymous review sites were largely bogus (anonymity = no accountability), so about a year ago, I unknowingly conducted an experiment: I wrote a long a thoughtful review of a product I purchased on Amazon.

    Now, I can get a bit flowery when I write, and I came up with a number of (I thought) clever phrases in my review. I thought it was a good piece or work, and felt good about posting it.

    A couple of months later, I was reading Amazon reviews of another (unrelated) product I was considering purchasing. In one of the reviews, I recognized one of the clever little phrases that I had used in my review. I then searched for my old review and compared it with the review I was reading – they were nearly identical, despite being for two utterly different products.

    I then googled a couple of the key phrases I had used in my review and found that my review had been largely copied and reused for nearly a dozen other unrelated products.

    Who was using my work? Who knows? Who cares?

    Anonymous work is unverifiable, and can so easily hit our confirmation bias buttons, making it worthless in any practical sense.

  31. Glassdoor is a great website and certainly better than going in blind. Especially the salary postings. Can anyone say that those were posted with impunity? I think the average ego would post honestly and it really helps in bridging the gap between what you require and what you can get. Companies should not be afraid to have their decisions/salaries out in the open. The job postings side of the website is not a viable source of recruiting in my opinion and only a small part of the website but I will say it only makes sense that they would choose to include this in their business since they seek to cover the full spectrum of employment. I will continue to use Glassdoor.

  32. @Charlie: I agree with you – employers should start publishing salary ranges for jobs along with postings. It’s ridiculous to hide it. Then companies complain they’re not getting the right applicants. Let’s face it – this is a racket. They want to attract top talent that makes top dollar, then talk them down. It’s time for this to stop.

    So tell me, what happens when you trust the numbers on Glassdoor, but they’re not accurate?

  33. First off, HR Depts are a collection of the most worthless pieces of garbage in humanity: more dishonest than lawyers and dumber than realtors. As for Glassdoor, it seems like another scam outfit preying on the unemployed to collect their info & sell it to telemarketers – same as headhunters.

  34. I cannot trust anyone who thinks reviewed user-generated content is worthless whether or not it is anonymous. Sooner or later the company will realize it is better for them to work on policies than spend time on faking reviews. Secondly, the reader must exercise discretion when reading Glassdoor. It is a great strting point to research a company’s work culture but not the be-all, end-all.

    Also, Linkedin is not just a job board. I think that is a blanket ill-considered statement.

  35. What I do is compare the negative reviews on Glassdoor to the data found (for free) at

    aiHit tracks about 18 million websites and has historical change data tracked (how each firm’s website changed), so if a reviewer has said that “there is a very high turnover of senior management”, you can see whether that was just an anomoly or it has been going on for 3 or 4 years or indeed whether the reviewer is lying, exagerating or telling the truth.

  36. The problem with Glassdoor is the same as yelp – there’s no validation and they’re more than willing to post any content. One employee (?) or so called employee posted an extremely negative review naming an exec outright which was completely untrue. The poster, “former employer” , had intimate knowledge of what was going on at an executive level. Oh, and this was posted during interviews to replace another exec position.

    So, trust the site, nope! And I pointed out to GD that anyone anywhere could trash a company. Their response? We run extensive algorithms, etc.

    To quote CarTalk, boooooogus!

  37. @MaryMoon: So that’s what Glassdoor told you? Reminds me of TheLadders, which would scrape jobs from a company’s own website and list $70,000 positions as paying “$100,000+” so it would have something to sell to its paying job seekers. When the company confronted Ladders and asked where Ladders got the salaries it fabricated, TheLadders said, “We have experts reviewing all jobs – and they assign the appropriate salary.”

    Gimme a break. “Extensive algorithms” means “we make it up.”

  38. I agree with Nick. Glassdoor is piece of crap. They are there to make money. You normally see comments by disgruntled employees or someone who wants to promote their company. One of the companies I worked for is a cool company and most of us like it. Recently the company hired two employees that faked their resume and they were asked to leave. They posted nasty comments about the company which are not true (stating the company does not pay salaries, management is crap, employees do not like teh company, etc.). Glassdoor does not validate the comments or it does not contact employer to comment. They want many people to comment and that is why they let people post it as anonymous so that they can make money (from employers) and get good valuation by investors.

  39. It is like those anonymous surveys at work. They ARE NOT anonymous. They WILL track you down and fire you if you make lousy or negative comments. I have SEEN it happen. NEVER EVER bite the hand that feeds you, you have hung yourself if you do it publicly. This is SO true “First off, HR Depts are a collection of the most worthless pieces of garbage in humanity: more dishonest than lawyers and dumber than realtors. As for Glassdoor, it seems like another scam outfit preying on the unemployed to collect their info & sell it to telemarketers – same as headhunters.”

    HR is NOT your friend, its more of a gestapo entity for the company, they are NOT for you in anyway. Ask ANY retired HR person and they will tell you that if they have any lick of honesty or integrity.

  40. Glasgow is a scam, companies pay them to remove bad reviews. They removed an honest review I posted that mentioned nobody’s name and nothing in general, still it was flagged and removed. I am sure companies can get them to remove the reviews. Anyways, trust your gut and if the company seems bad, don’t work there. Just definitely don’t go off Glassdoor reviews. They are fake!

  41. I meant Glassdoor is a scam, companies pay them to remove bad reviews. *

  42. Here’s how I look at it. If most of the negative reviews are saying mainly the same thing about the particular company, even if they are former employees, chances are what they’re saying must be true. Everyone who quits or is fired from a job isn’t just another “disgruntled” former employee who’s out to get the company and the upper management. I know that to be true from experience.

    There is at least one company on here where most if not all the reviews match(RHP Properties). Almost every, if not every review states the people(person) running the company only cares about money and self, treat their employees like dirt and create a negative environment.

    All those different people aren’t likely to be telling the same lie about the same “wonderful” company. The ones who left, left for a good reason. People don’t just up and leave GOOD jobs in this economy.

  43. We had 5 employees. No reviews on Glassdoor, then we have to let a gal go – and she’s disgruntled. Within 1 week she posts 4 fake reviews. GD removed one of them because it was in the same minute as the other – but the reality is that only disgruntled employees take the time to vent online. GD is their outlet. Happy employees don’t look for an online outlet to share how happy they are. It just doesn’t work that way. So now what – I recruit my happy employees to counter the 3 fake bad reviews? No way – I leave the bad posts and let intelligent people who realize GD is only an indicator – do their due diligence. If someone passes up an opportunity at our company due to GD – they probably aren’t a good fit to work there. Do you agree?

  44. This is an interesting topic and the comments are equally interesting. An important aspect to keep in mind, this article was written by a Head Hunter (recruiter), who’s income is derived from the employers (companies), not from the employees. Therefore, it is easy to surmise that the Head Hunters support and allegiance will be more aligned with the employers (companies), not the employees.

    I often read the reviews of companies on Glassdoor and have written two factual and truthful reviews of two companies which I had worked for, on Glassdoor. I have just recently resigned from a company that was extremely chaotic and dysfunctional, where management harasses and degrades employees. Ironically, before accepting the position with the company, I had read Glassdoor reviews of the company, which approximately 95% were negative (the company has a 1.9 star rating). One week into employment with the company it was apparent to me that I had made a huge career mistake and the Glasdoor reviews were all spot on correct. I had later spoke with a few business colleagues, who are in outside sales and have dealt with this company, and they all told me I should have asked them about the company before accepting a position there, as they all would have told me not to do so.

    While this is only one example that Glassdoor reviews can be quite accurate, I am sure there are many as well. I believe that Glassdoor and other sites like it are attacked, as employers (companies) don’t like their human resources (nice name for slaves) to have a powerful voice against them. As others have commented, the human resources department is not there for the employees, but rather for the protection of the company.

  45. The Glassdoor reviews for all of the companies that I have worked for have been pretty accurate. In fact, it was reassuring that others picked up on the same positives and negatives of these places that I picked up on. I find that Glassdoor is an invaluable resource. But just like any review site, your experience may be different – no one’s opinion is 100% fact.

  46. No, they can not be trusted. My company had their managers and a few employees to post positive reviews, all submitted on the same day. When I wrote a review, saying that these positive reviews were fake, and submitted a REAL review. it was never posted and no reason given why it was not. Glassdoor is a scam!!!!

  47. I think Glassdoor is very useful and I always go there in order to get information about potential employer, to evaluate an offer or to prepare for an interview. Personally, I found it trustworthy in many occasions I described on my blog in this artcile “5 examples of why you should always consult Glassdoor before a Software Engineer interview”: As I wtore in the artcile I think main reasons of its accuracy are the anonymity and a feeling of community created by people looking for a better job.

    • Agree. I think it’s a must for tech company research too, and is always a part of my checklist. Afraid I simply do not know enough about helpfulness in other industries, where, as with LinkedIn, usefulness is based on density of contributions which may merely be lacking outside of tech, and perhaps sales and finance (and of course, recruiting).

  48. Glassdoor is a SCAM!. If you pay, you are certain to receive at least 4 star. We are a small business and we were approached by glassdoor to sell us ” a better way to profile the company” ..a marketing word for extortion!.

    bigger companies (Facebook, Amazon, etc.) are all at 4 stars and more. The reason, glassdoor is either scared of them or hoping to do business with them.. we all know the story published in the New York Times about how horrible is Amazon..except at glassdoor ..5 stars !!!

  49. In many cases you know the authenticity of a review by the content and your experience in the same industry. Is it all bad? All good? Mixed review? Are their specifics? How long was the employee there? What level of employment? How are the reviews trending? So many factors to take in and analyze but there is a value in the platform in big picture snapshot kinda way. At the very least it can help you with questions for them in your interview and if you are lucky enough some employers circulate the candidate to talk to current employees. The reviews positive or negative can help facilitate a discussion if brought up a hypothetical senario type of way. Example way to approach it: “what is the companies protocol for xyz?” “How is xyz handled?” Remember if you are a strong candidate they are trying to woo you so probably emphasizing only positive but just shows you have to be skeptical through the whole process. There are no absolute truths. The best we can do is take ALL the data process it and execute.

  50. I used Glassdoor to review a smallish company I had an interview with, found several dozen comments ranging from very positive to very negative. Several themes emerged: almost all noted low pay, about 2/3s cited long hours, about half erratic management and turnover. So I found that useful. Not much help on the interviewing process.

    I’ve posted reviews on Glassdoor, positive and negative, hoping to help others. And I did not rant nor rave.

  51. I find your article humorous, you bash glassdoor but them post about them here?

    I found Glassdoor to be very helpful, and I think anyone who has half a brain can tell when there has been a ‘fake’ review posted, it almost always has 5 stars, the description goes into very little detail and overall those ‘overrated positive reviews’ say very little or the same thing.

    I appreciate that i can post anonymously about a company i worked for. In hopes that that particular company straightens themselves out. If more people are aware of their seedy tactics, volatile environment, and more, i’d rather know that than not know about it.

    Anyway, any sight, like Glassdoor should always be taking with a grain of salt, the knowledge is there, one must weed through the comments to find it.

    my .02

  52. I think Glassdoor reviews are extremly useful and have to disagree with the author that they are meaningless.
    Getting real information from employees formerand present and real feedback is priceless , and not possible without anonymous reviews. Companies should be held accountable and before we take a job we have the right to know what we are getting into it , especially if we are giving up a job to take one.
    Hr and ceo s paint perfect pictures , often times they dont even know the work environment that you will experience and only know thier own environment

  53. @james kirk: “Getting real information from employees formerand present and real feedback is priceless , and not possible without anonymous reviews.”

    If the information is anonymous, you have no idea whether it’s “real information” or from “employees.” Lotsa luck.

    My advice: Track down and talk with real employees, current and former. This is one technique good headhunters use to check out a company. It’s a lot of work. That’s why the information has high value.

  54. >>(I’m skeptical about any kind of anonymous reviews, even on Amazon.)<<

    So am I, at least the positive reviews. That's why I typically will read only the negative reviews on Amazon when I'm shopping for a book. If they are very generic in their criticism, though most reviewers are positive and specific in their praise, then most likely the review is by someone with an axe to grind (an author of a book competing with this one, etc.). If the criticism is that the print is too small, the binding poor, or shipping got messed up, then I'll dismiss the review completely (when I buy a book, especially used and sometimes out of print, I want the content, and often don't care too much about these issues).

    I would handle comments on Glassdoor the same way. I did check out my last company to see what was said about the IT department I left. I could tell who wrote a couple of the comments, and while some of it was sour grapes, some was spot-on. I'd likely dismiss glowing remarks about a company as being planted by HR or an executive, and likely also dismiss negative comments that are short on specifics or that talk about issues that I personally don't care about (like job titles – that was a beef with a former co-worker at my last company).

    As with anything else, use discretion before relying on Glassdoor for scuttlebutt.

  55. Glassdoor reviews are not reliable at all. I understand it is a highly biased company and favors those companies which pays for its service. Plus why keep it anonymous? It is the sensational journalism not a respectable site.

  56. SO…Glassdoor is a bit like Yelp!, eh??

    As an MD, (I really AM) I LOVE to look at physician headhunter reviews. And, YES, one company in particular which bills itself as “Faith Based” (more like a Satanic Cult-LOL) gets a LOT of Five Star reviews-that the CEO twists their arm into writing-while all the REST are ONE star reviews. These are the type of scumbags who insist on repeatedly Calling me when I ask to be emailed about job opps.

  57. Glassdoor is about as useful as a drive-by shooting, and just as cowardly. Anonymity means anyone can say anything about anybody. You don’t even know if a person really is an employee (could be a competitor), much less if their information has any validity at all. Anyone who puts any credence is such is a fool, and I’d like that person’s email address so I can tell them about the the help my friend, a Nigerian Prince, is looking for to transfer millions of dollars into the United States.

  58. I used glassdoor to write a review. 15 mins later, I went back to edit and it wouldn’t take my edit, recycling my edit with bot comments of someone reviewing it from their staff. The website is not cooperative with the buttons. Very frustrating.

    On the flip side, when I was looking for work at a particular company, the reviews were accurate. Had I listened to the former employees, I could have saved myself humiliation and found a better job.

  59. I use to like glassdoor…but then I interviewed with a company that had great reviews, stated the company was an easy interview, etc. I wasn’t a newbie in the industry. I had the WORST over the phone interview with a HR guy that was SO unprofessional, he was chomping on something as he interviewed me. He was condescending and RUDE. He talked over me, he sighed like I was a waste of his precious time. I was shocked. So I wrote a very clear review of the interview. It wasn’t bad just factual of what to expect, it was immediately deleted. I did networking breakfasts and told of my experiences. Many decided to post factual but negative interviewing experiences. ALL were deleted. These were not mean, these were exactly their experiences with these HR people in this company who were HORRIBLE. They were replaced with glowing interviewing comments. And yet people were leaving that company in droves. So I think glassdoor is HIGHLY untrustworthy.

    • This is so true!! I recently heard about Glassdoor and started to follow the posts and realized that employees had written true statements about our company were deleted by our HR team. My question is if this is a vehicle for employees current and past, why are their posts being deleted? No matter how horrible the statement, it should stand. Someone in our HR department read the posts before she took a position with our company and now realizes how true the review were.

      • Consider where Glassdoor’s revenues come from. Follow the money.

  60. I was just going through Syscraft companies review on Glass Door where found recent negative feedbacks about Syscraft, and as HR of the company was wondering how come Glass door team can approve the review given by one of the ex-employee(not sure was employee or not) that too after one year, which discloses the company Policies which is confidential which might not be correct, it is completing spoiling the IT industry where any of the employee can write invalid reviews which is not even validated by the Glass Door team, it’s not only the matter company but HR is person who frames the policies for companies and must remains confidential either its in favour of the company or in favour of Employee, and i think none of the HR person will find the review mentioned must be approved by Glass door team because every problem have a solution which is sorted by a HR. If company demands to deliver assigned targets on time then it might be taken by an employee that it is pressure that does not mean that company don’t have resources, employee working with any employer for more than one year shows how comfortable and career opportunities with the current employer he would be having and then he opts to continue with the current employer, won’t be realizing after 2 .5years that any wrong decision is taken. I am not sure on what basis Glass Door team have approved the such reviews checking whether reviews are given by company employee or not.

  61. I was just reading the GD reviews of my current Company.
    I found some reviews, which are highly negative.
    And I do not think the company is that bad.
    However, some of the reviews are really accurate.
    I thikn GD reviews can be used to get a overall idea.
    People should not be believe extrem positive/negative reviews.


    I have noticed that big companies seem to be able to get Glassdoor to do things that make the company look better. I noticed one company where the recent reviews were very negative, and suddenly GlassDoor picked an extremely positive five-star review as their “featured review” and posted it at the top for everyone to see.

    I cannot say if GlassDoor just felt sorry for the poor little corporation, or if something else was done, but based on what I have seen, I would say GlassDoor’s independence cannot be trusted.

  63. Hlw sir i hve selection in ground handling staf for jet airways under glass door company…so kindly plz tell me is it fack or right…they have give me a joining latter bt i m confused for thise letter bcz its higher salery…plz kindly help me

  64. Saying people should leave their names with the reviews is unrealistic. Especially when many companies have an in house council and can easily file a lawsuit for no money. Even if the employee is honest, the company can push up the damage estimate, have the case moved into a court for a high enough award that the reviewer needs to hire an attorney to defend against the nuisance suit. Even if the company loses it is a year of that reviewers life and the possibility of not getting the court costs reimbursed.

    There is no repercussion for the company for harassing everybody who reviews them, but this would keep anybody from writing. If somebody makes a completely false claim that is provable as false the company CAN force Glassdoor to remove it. So their options are still protected.

    • Cam: The point is that Glassdoor’s business model is founded on the problem you so clearly articulate: publishing unverified claims.

  65. There are some other things about Glassdoor, one that could be a potential negative. It REQUIRES you to put a salary, review, interview review, etc in there in order to see past the first page of reviews. Otherwise, it whines that you need to contribute to get “full access” (Kinda like those old “crippleware” programs in the 1990s. So, in theory, in order to see the full range of things, people could be putting in bogus stuff just to see the information.

    Also, there is something that you mark if it’s helpful. Sadly, there isn’t a negative (as in not helpful) on Glassdoor (though Indeed does, so, though again not foolproof, it can also help if, say, a review is all positive and loads are voting that it’s NOT helpful, then you can be more disposed to think it’s a PR post and that people aren’t buying it. Similarly, if it’s a “This place sucks!” and many are down voting it, it’s a better bet that the reviewer just had an axe to grind.)

    • Similarly, on Indeed, if loads of people are voting “helpful” on a negative review, that may lend more credence to it.

  66. Here’s why I hate glassdoor. GlassDoor asked if I’d share my salary ANONYMOUSLY, and I agreed.

    After I pressed Submit, the completion statement was something like Glassdoor has posted your salary for “Your Present Company.”

    For glAssDoor to first say that it would be anonymous, and then use the current company seems bad to me. I’d rather that they just use my title and location.

    I have women friends who use glassdoor’s salary estimating tool, and then they compare their salary results to men with the same qualificiations that they know. The salaries for the women are mostly lower estimates than for the men. Glassdoor, are you carrying on supporting UNFAIR SALARIES?

    Wiosh I culd write to GlassDoor directly.


    • Maybe you should review GlassDoor on GlassDoor :-)

  67. It seems to me that it can be a useful resource to those of us looking for a job. It gives us opportunity to find out from others what the organisation is about. I would suggest if there are scathing negatives and then gushing positives, then you would probably want to take a more pertinent view of the company, the role and how YOU feel about those you met and the feel of the office/workplace. If the scathing views are truthful, then you will get the feeling at the door.

    If it is a big company, and comments are consistent with each other, then it does give you a good idea of a company. I worked somewhere that I hated and I did give a bad review but balanced it with advice. And looking at comments from others, they are pretty much the same as I gave. There are a couple of positive reviews – but I believe those to be based on the job role – but interestingly, the advice they gave to management, was the same I’d given in my negative review. So perhaps the advice to management is the key to all this.

    So, no, I don’t think comments should just be taken with a pinch of salt – I think you’ll find for large companies, the comments left will be what the person really felt about working at a company and the reader takes on a role with their eyes wider open. We all know that the advertisment for a job bears little relation to what actually happens – and most jobs you do you grin and bear them to a certain extent – but there times when a job just does not meet up with expectations in any way and you are left feeling disappointed and angry that any company can treat you they way they have treated you.

    Another thing to consider is that of the company – if they want to improve, then they need to be reading the comments as it will help them. And as to anonymous – I would guess, they will know who has given the comment and I bet, if it were so defamatory, they could probably take action if they wanted.

    Sometimes knowing what you are dealing with can help you overcome any difficulties others had with a company because you are forearmed – and if my comment can help you stay in a job and be as happy as you can in it – then my bad experience has not been in vain.

  68. Let me give you a little insight as to how Glassdoor works behind the scenes with a company’s marketing or HR departments. I was the HR Director for a 700 employee IT company who treats their employees like “crap” so naturally EEs head off to GlassDoor, Yelp, etc to vent – I will tell you there were some very scathing comments.

    So here is how GlassDoor operates. GlassDoor, having noticed the excessive negative company reviews, contacts ME to let he know what’s going on and that they have a solution. BTW we’re talking 125 negative reviews on GlassDoor alone which caught the eye of our marketing dept and company owners who were desperate to stop this online retaliation immediately. So “Anna” at GlassDoor tells me that IF we subscribe to their employer services at $2,500/year any and all company reviews will be gone over with a fine toothed comb to make sure the review adheres 110% to their posting criteria – “BTW Mr HR Director 90 percent of all reviews don’t meet our posting criteria when individually reviewed” – so you all get what she’s trying to say without really saying it.

    The big bosses pay the bribe to GlassDoor and it did work, suddenly poof no more negative reviews. Marketing filled Glassdoor with positive reviews (like 30 of them) to push back and bury the negative reviews in the timeline. Being a skeptic I write and attempt to post a scathing review “we’re sorry but your post does not meet our posting standards” along with a link to their posting criteria. Attempt #2, I write a less scathing review (using different email comp) but I follow their posting criteria to a “T” 3-weeks later no posting no notice that I violated any rules – just vanished. Attempt #3 (again different email & comp), a very positive company review and whatta ya know – posted online within 3 days.

    GlassDoor in my opinion is one huge scam and they leverage bad reviews to squeeze (ask for bribes) from employers. When reviewing a company on GlassDoor I would be concerned if they come across like they’re the modern day WIlly Wonka chocolate factory where all EEs are ecstatic to be working there – more so than if they had 100 negative reviews. If you see the company logo or posted jobs for that company I guarantee you that company paid the bribe. I have to hand it to them for finding a way to make a buck in this new world but still they are just modern day scam artists.

    And now you know..

    • Make sense to me now.

    • I tried to leave a negative review for one company I worked for… (They have had a string of layoffs… Hardly any negative reviews…

      It was not published nor did I hear from Glassdoor. I used some of the true negative comments already published in a couple other reviews, so as to improve my chances that the review would go through…

      Glassdoor pledge: “Your trust is our top concern, so companies can’t alter or remove reviews.”

      They do not say anything about not publishing comments…

      How many reviews did Glassdoor blocked for what ever reason?

  69. Glassdoor is a joke really. Myself along with an entire team of sales reps that walked out of a company decided to leave reviews of the company on Glassdoor as a means to warn of anybody that might be thinking of taking a job there. My review along with all the other reviews were 100% honest. Glassdoor has deleted every single one and there are now a host of gleamingly positive reviews in their place.

  70. There is a little known secret about Glass Door.

    Company information does not need to be current!

    I was research a company I recently left on GlassDoor. What I found was multiple errors regarding the basic company. (Note: this company has 10 jobs listed on Glass door) So I reached out to Glass Door outlining the problems:

    Company is private not public
    Company does not have 500-1000 employees its less than 300… multiple layoffs in 2016 and 17′
    They also have contract employees.
    Company sales are not in the High $$$ million dollar range stated..

    Glass door said the company had not taken control of company information? GD then modified some of the info based on public information they could find.

    Its all smoke and mirrors trying to get better job seekers to apply for a company which has serious systemic problems. (One efficiency expert who came to review the company in question said fire everyone except a few key people and move the business… I was shocked.)

    I also asked who should police company info on Glassdoor? Glassdoor of the company themselves… especially if they are paying GD to advertise jobs on glassdoor. No reply…

    • So does incorrect company information really help job seekers or is this a ploy to lure people.

      Company sales are not in the High $$$ million dollar range stated.. I was told that on the High end of the range stated was about 6x higher than last years actual company sales.

      Glass Door needs change, requiring all companies to update info. on Glassdoor annually… If they truly want to show they are ethical.

    • Ed:

      “GD then modified some of the info based on public information they could find.”

      This reminds me of when TheLadders, according to its own customers, manipulated the salaries of jobs posted on the site so they’d meet the “$100k+ ONLY” criterion.

      When an employer that did no business with Ladders complained, Ladders removed the postings. According to a company manager, two weeks later Ladders started posting the positions again. They called this “curating the job listings.” Kinda like curing fatback.

      Glassdoor is in the business of selling information. What kind of information? Do you think it matters as long as personnel jockeys are willing to keep paying for it and job seekers are willing to swallow it?

      • Hi Nick Corcodilos:

        I was informed about GD in 2013 by a Jobs group, a Junior college (small business startup classes: to learn more about other businesses and a State Job Service.

        After uncovering the bad company information and the response from GD, and finding your article. I’ve reached out to these groups because I question who’s interests this site is working for….

        Glassdoor pledge: “Your trust is our top concern, so companies can’t alter or remove reviews.”

        If GD chooses not to publish then they still meet this pledge.

  71. I find Glassdoor to be a pretty interesting site. I don’t use the salary info at all, but I think the reviews, particularly the comments are useful. Are there puff pieces and flames? Sure! So why trust it at all? Well, reading reviews for companies I have worked for, I find the overall view from the comments to be quite accurate. Good companies with good management have good reviews and few really bad ones. Companies with bad management will have lots of bad reviews and they are often of a similar nature, and no amount of good reviews can paper it over.
    GD is not perfect, but is does have value. That value is diluted, but what info on the internet is not?

    • @Lee: I don’t get it. When you find accurate comments about companies, that probably means you have other data about those companies, and the GlassDoor comments agree. That’s what makes them “accurate.” But why do you need GD comments about companies you already know that well?

      It’s the companies we don’t know well that we need good data about. How do you tell the “accurate” GD comments about those companies? I just don’t think it follows that because some GD comments are “accurate,” the rest can be trusted.

      GlassDoor seems to be an in vivo example of confirmation bias. See

      • Hi Nick: Well obviously I have a very small sampling of companies I know. And possibly I am only seeing what I want to see. But in general the tenor of the comments agrees with what I know of the companies. Companies that I thought were well run don’t have so many negative or very negative comments. Clearly I don’t need GD info on companies I already know, but it provides a check on accuracy, since they are essentially a random sample.
        This suggests to me that comments on other companies might be similarly accurate in sentiment. At least my experience does not suggest they would be skewed in the wrong direction. If the negative comments are frequently aligned on the same points, then there might be something to them. I don’t try to figure out which ones are ‘accurate’, I read them all for tone and the big picture. If there are not any negative comments, then maybe GD was bought off, but that seems damaging to their reputation.
        Very interesting article on confirmation bias. Seems to say: we believe what we believe because it is what we believe. It is a real effect, but not so real as to make all evidence useless. I liked their example of the OJ verdict. I was elated when he was found not guilty. Now I would not be elated since he looks to have been guilty. But I still think the verdict was the right one.
        I will be very interested to see what happens when more powerful machine learning programs are turned loose on GD and other similar data sets.

        • @Lee: I understand the tendency to want information about companies. We all want to know more, and preferably from insiders. But what if I told you many companies use professionals to post very convincing, carefully crafted “reviews” to make themselves look good? They’re written to have a certain tone.

          Would you know which comments those are?

          • @Nick: I am pretty sure I could not tell. But it sends some sort of signal if a company is willing to spend $$ to make themselves look good in little corners of the web like this.

            • @Lee: Small minds spend a lot of money on small stuff.

  72. Say what you want about Glassdoor, the formula works and you can tell this by looking at the facts: It ranks 106 by Alexa in most visited sites in the US, beating out Indeed, Monster, the Wall Street Journal and most other job search sites minus LinkedIn which ranks 12th. HR recruiters have gone on record stating that the reviews on their site have a profound impact on their ability to solicit talent.

    The litmus test I have used with Glassdoor reviews is reading the reviews of the companies I have worked for. I have found them for the most part surprisingly accurate for two medium size companies I have been a part of. One very good and one very bad.

    I agree with others that in no way should Glassdoor reviews be your only source for deciding to work for any company, but negative or positive reviews over a longer period of time (like a year or more) is likely to be a good indicator of a companies culture.

    Glassdoor is like social media, which may be why it attracts as many followers as it does. Whatever the reason so many people trust Glassdoor, it is best to dedicate people to manage the reviews. Potential employees read them and their decision to accept offers have been and will continue to be influenced by the reviews on Glassdoor.

  73. Glassdoor is a social media site. So does this mean that GlassDoor should allow a company to provide any data they want regarding Revenue and Company Size just so they can get better candidates?

    I know one company in particular who is less than 100mil revenue yet they want to stretch their size to show 100m to 600m in Revenue. Similarly, after multiple layoffs over a couple years they didn’t change the size of the company 500-1000, when they were actually 300 people… Even though this company was paying Glassdoord to advertise jobs, Glassdoor doesn’t require company’s post reasonable company data?

    Is it reasonable to expect companies to updating revenue & #people annually and being within 50 people and 20 mill.

    If sales drop $5 million on a 100m company it’s 5% , it means much less to a 500 mil company at only 1%.

    FYI Glassdoor Wikipedia listed Alexa rank Decrease 646 (September 2016)[1]; 2017 Alexa numbers reveal they are driving traffic so they can make a profit for investors when stock goes up for sale.

  74. I’ll throw in my two cents; like any site that provides ratings, ignore generic reviews which lack any specific criticism. Ignore reviews with glowing praise–these are almost always paid for or done as favors. Read negative reviews carefully to see if they’re about the subject or something else.

    For example, a Glassdoor review may be highly critical of a change in benefits, especially after a buyout, even though the new benefit package is still relatively good and competitive. Older reviews may also be critical of things which have been fixed. A review could also be critical of things outside the company control, like the commute.

    Check if they pertain to your field! (I once researched a company which had a weird mix of positive and negative reviews. Closer reading showed that the negative reviews were all from their manufacturing business unit.)

    Most importantly, look for trends. Check if even the very positive reviews bring up similar issues.

    • @Joe: I understand the value of looking at trends, but trends where? If you amass data from sources you know to be credible, good. But if we know the n-th review on Glassdoor may be compromised, are you saying we know which others are valid or reliable? Unless you know the credibility of the source — which on Glassdoor is anonymous — how do you calculate its validity or reliability?

      Sadly, Glassdoor has rendered all its reviews questionable. My advice: Don’t buy the lazy solution Glassdoor offers. Do the hard work of your own research using credible sources.

  75. @Nick. Cannot argue with doing the hard work like talking to the companies vendors, competition, and former employees if that option is available. I think Glassdoor should enforce companies to report accurate data, just as they supposedly delete suspect reviews. I can say that I would agree about trending data in the reviews. One disgruntled employee writes a bad review or a couple. If it’s a pattern for months or a year or more in a particular department, may be worth considering.

  76. Glassdoor is a sham. That is all pure and simple. That’s fairly blunt, but any site that takes anonymous reviews while cherry picking and gaining ad revenue can only have it’s own interest as it’s major concern. I put up a review on glassdoor myself only to have that review never even show up. Why? Because it was a huge company and my review was honestly unfavourable. Even though I used my name and tryed my best to leave an honest review, I have no doubt that glassdoor didn’t publish it because of that company’s interference. Either through revenue or some other means. At any rate, as Nick said do your due diligence when researching a company. Don’t rely on just one source as a silver bullet be all end all for the important information you need for that decision. Especially anything from glassdoor.

  77. Glassdoor is a joke of a website. It allows primarily poor employees to take pot-shots at organizations in an attempt to defame them for the shortcomings of their work performance. Allowing anyone to anonamously insult and make false claims about organizations is in my view discrimination of businesses. I’m all for real and validated claims and reporting or poorly run organizations that lack integrity or operate illegally, however Glassdoor should be called Crybaby based on the rude and irrelevant (to business) comments that are prevalent on the site! As a consultant, leadership trainer and executive of 30-years in my industry (hospitality), the responsibility of the organization in this is in hiring employees of poor quality, poor character and those that lack integrity. What invariably happens is that these individuals are released or leave on their own accord and then whine about the employer because their delicate sensibilities are hurt. Glassdoor is a disgrace as well as ANY employer review site that allows irresponsible and false claims to be waged against companies that were willing to give these individuals an opportunity to establish a career.

    • Antony…. your comment here is ludicrously one sided. How in the world can you claim that all people who leave an unfavorable review about a company are people who are simply telling lies? Those unfavorable reviews are sometimes warranted and employees deserve a platform to leave their own “reference”. This nonsense you are spouting about all company’s being part of an absolute good and that workers are always at fault and liers is total garbage.

  78. The head of HR of my company confirmed employers have a way to get rid of the comments they don’t like by filling a claim. So it makes the whole platform pretty useless.

  79. I’m currently employed at the same job/company for 10+ years but I’m interested in what the job market holds. I’m trying to get a sense of market values and that has been my primary goal for GD. IMO, the salaries seem to be all over the place in terms of my perceived accuracy. I’ve compared what I’m seeing to my own job experiences, and some reviews are close, and others are way off. I find it hard to believe that job roles I had 20 years ago are still paying the same salary. After reading some of this thread, it really seems that employers have quite a say in what gets posted. So I’m now thinking, are the GD ‘salary estimates’ real or are they planted by employers as a way for us job seekers to ask for lower salary during a negotiation?? If these salary estimates are accurate, then I might as well stop looking as I may be well compensated for my current position.

  80. I have written one negative review for a company. One thing you should know is any company can find out who posted a negative review about them by going to court and claiming its defamatory even if its voiced as your opinion & is 100% true. If you work for a terrible company that you wanted to warn others of then it is a good chance they will be the one who sues, not the good companies. I reviewed such a company. They threatened to sue me for an honest review, had the reviews removed & then posted several positive reviews about themselves. In summary, if they have to hide their negative reviews from employees they have most likely had plenty of them. Don’t trust Glass Door reviews, ratings can be bought from morally bankrupt companies.