Achieving five stars on Glassdoor for an organization is the equivalent of a restaurant receiving 3 stars from Michelin Guide.
But based on an explosive Wall Street Journal expose, all that glitters at Glassdoor is most certainly NOT gold.
Here’s Peppercomm Partner Deb Brown’s POV. Personally, I’d give it 4.5 stars:
What happens when your entire business model is questioned? That’s what happened to Glassdoor recently when the Wall Street Journal published an investigative report titled, “How Companies Secretly Boost Their Glassdoor Ratings.” That title has to hurt, especially when on its website, Glassdoor states, “Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency…”
To be fair to Glassdoor, employees who are upset at their former or current employer are probably more likely to post negative reviews than content employees posting positive reviews. And when “all” employees are encouraged to write reviews, are they all truthful or feel pressured in any way to write glowing reviews, even though they are anonymous?
Glassdoor does have policies in place and monitors reviews. But, that’s obviously not enough and its reputation is at risk. How can the public trust Glassdoor when looking for a job? How can companies that have accurate ratings compete for talent if their competitors are secretly boosting their ratings?
Glassdoor needs to immediately address this issue. It needs to admit fault, put stricter policies in place and explain how it will enforce them. If Glassdoor is revising its policies, then it needs to create a campaign articulating these critical changes in order to regain trust. The company should use an outside firm to help them develop this and communicate it. The CEO should proactively do interviews, be transparent about what needs to change, and how these new changes will be enforced. The company should also reach out to its most important clients to show it is committed to these changes.
In addition, Glassdoor knew this investigative report was coming out since a spokesperson was quoted. The company should have made sure it was completely prepared. If it was prepared, I didn’t see evidence.
And, one has to wonder how Glassdoor employees would rate their employer after reading this story. This reputational issue is both external and internal. If he hasn’t done so yet, CEO Robert Holman needs to hold an all-hands meeting with his employees.
The bottom line is the company is built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency. Glassdoor can’t ignore the article and must be transparent in how to fix this issue to safeguard – and rebuild – its reputation.
Otherwise, a competitor will see an open door…if it hasn’t already.