Every once in a while, I’m talking to a job seeker when something happens that I’m not expecting. It’s especially surprising with the job seeker doesn’t currently have a job and is unemployed.
I’ll say, “What about this company? They’re hiring! This looks like a great job opportunity.” Without missing a beat, the unemployed job seeker will say, “You know, their company reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed are terrible! I’m going to pass on that company. I would rather be unemployed.”
Can you imagine? Someone who is desperate to find work is so turned off by a company’s negative reviews that they won’t even take the time to apply there. Let that sink in for a minute.
It’s almost like someone driving cross-country, who’s looking for a hotel to stay the night in. They come across a hotel, and look up their Yelp review. It’s terrible and mentions bed bugs. Without a second thought, the driver decides that sleeping in their car would be a more desirable option than staying at a hotel with a bad online review. They don’t even take the time to stop at the hotel to check it out. They just keep going.
From an employer perspective, I get it. The company reviews are frustrating. Big job websites are there to help out when you want to pay to put job ads on them. But, they’re not willing to hear your side of the story when it comes to company reviews. And, not every employee is leaving fair and unbiased reviews.
I hear you. In the same way that Yelp reviews aren’t always fair and unbiased, neither are employee reviews. The good news is, most people know that. Most consumers (and job seekers) are looking for what the reviews say on average.
And, this is the thing. The big job search companies can’t edit reviews, or they wouldn’t be a credible source for job seekers. If they weren’t credible, job seekers would stop using them to find jobs, and they would never see your job ads.
The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to influence the average review. Take the time to read your reviews closely. What do people like, and what turns employees off? If you find a common theme, think of it as an opportunity for improvement. It’s like receiving a performance review. It gives the company specific goals to improve upon.
But, whatever you do, don’t ignore your company reviews. They will show up online. Your future employees will read them.
Picture this. You have a number of bad reviews. Every job seeker with any alternative choice will go to another company. That means that the only applicants you’ll be left with are those who have no other options. Now, that sounds like a real nightmare.
Embrace your company reviews. They’re a place for you to showcase your strengths, and attract the best candidates.
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.
If we learned anything from 2017, it’s that there’s more going on behind the doors of Corporate America than we thought. What initially started as a few rouge senior level executives showing their birthday suits to employees ended up revealing a much larger problem. The issue was far more widespread than we may have realized.
Who could have guessed what momentum the #metoo movement would have? It seems that people from far and wide (and from all different backgrounds) can relate.
As shocking and disappointing as this new reality is, there’s one very positive thing coming out of it. It’s getting us talking. We’re talking to each other about our experiences at work. And, it’s getting us to rethink what we want in our workplace.
As a young engineer, I remember how odd going to work felt. Not only did I feel different than my coworkers, but they thought that I was different than them too – and they told me so, through their words and their actions. I remember bringing this confusing topic up to loved ones who worked in different industries. I often felt dismissed. “This problem has already been solved,” was the message I received back. So, like many other people, I learned to work around the problem.
But now, we’re talking. And, we’re aware that maybe there’s still some work to do. And, we’re thinking about what we want – and who we want to be in the future. Although the public dialogue we’ve been having isn’t perfect for lots of reasons, it’s a start.
2018 is a great year to think about what a healthy workplace looks like to you. Where do you really want to work? What values do you hold dear, and do they align to the corporation’s values? Is your boss someone you respect? And, even if your company treats you well – do they treat your coworkers with respect?
Very often in business, there are things much more important than money. Yes, we go to work each day to receive a paycheck. But, it’s so much more than that. On some level, it’s our identity. Where we work and who we work with shapes who we are. It shapes what we think about.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather make a little less money and work for an organization that I believe in. And, I definitely don’t want to work for a company that isn’t treating everyone fairly and with a basic level of respect.
If you’re still feeling the shock of 2017, 2018 may be a good time to check-in with yourself about your company.
Does the company offer a product or service that you believe in?
Do you feel like you’re doing purposeful work?
Does the company treat all of its employees with a level of respect and equality?
Do your personal values align to that of the company and its executives?
Many times, these are things we forget to think about when we’re searching for a new job. In the moment, we may just want to land an offer.
But, when there’s a little downtime, it’s always a good idea to think back and reflect. Is this company a healthy place to be? Is this how I want to spend my life?
And, if the answer to these questions is no… it may be the right time to start looking. After all, January is the perfect time to kick off your new job search and your new you!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.
Being happy at work is an essential part of career fulfillment. Sometimes, it seems we spend more time researching where to eat the best hamburger than where to work. Much like skipping restaurant reviews, failing to research a company can come back to burn you later. The good news is that you no longer have to know someone personally to get the scoop on a company.
There are many employment related websites, including Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com, where current and former employees can leave anonymous reviews about their experiences. If you read the reviews, you’ll often notice patterns. Much like hotel reviews, those who leave reviews are either very happy or very unhappy. Have you ever noticed that many hotel reviews are left by customers who had some kind of awful experience, like bed bugs or dirty sheets? Typically, to be motivated to take the time to leave a review, an employee (much like a hotel guest) must have extreme emotions about the place where they work.
Glassdoor recently released a study on this very topic. They wanted to take a look into how balanced online employer reviews really are. Glassdoor’s study wanted to find out whether their site provides more or less balanced reviews than other review sites. In other words, are all of the company reviews very negative or very positive, like the hotel reviews.
If you’ve used Glassdoor before, you already know this. The site is free. But, in order to use it, Glassdoor requires you to leave some type of feedback on a company where you have worked (past or present). Glassdoor uses what they call a “give to get” policy. In other words, it encourages everyone to leave a review – not just those who are unhappy. As you may have guessed, this policy encourages people to leave reviews that are more neutral in nature.
“This study gives strong evidence that company reviews on Glassdoor are more balanced because of the way they are collected. The policy creates incentive for people to contribute to the site, who may otherwise opt out. It should help quell misconceptions that employees only provide really positive or really negative opinions about companies on Glassdoor. The data show that’s not the case — Glassdoor’s give to get policy creates a more balanced picture of companies,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist.
Another great feature on both Glassdoor and Indeed is this. Although the websites have a financial relationship with hiring companies (companies pay them to advertise their jobs), the sites don’t allow employers to edit employee reviews. In other words, just because an employer doesn’t care for a particular negative review, Glassdoor and Indeed won’t delete it. The company must face the review and correct the problem directly with the employee.
In order to increase the odds that your next workplace will be a positive one, don’t skip the company reviews. They’re there to help give you a little insight into what it’s really like to work at a particular company.
Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.
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