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Can You Always Trust Glassdoor Reviews?

April 13, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

I tend to monitor my company’s glassdoor page. Mostly because it shows the evolving personality of the company and how happy my coworkers really are. From my point of view, I can spot right away the people who were fired and left a negative review. I can also spot the people who are management’s favorites and would never say a bad thing about the company. Some people do see things honestly, but for the most part, I feel like the reviews are split between people who left on bad terms and people who were asked by management to leave a good review.

So this left me with the question, can you trust Glassdoor?

I do think you can sometimes. Just because a company has one five star review, it doesn’t mean they are perfect. It does give you a good idea of what to expect, though. You can pretty much bank on the fact that it isn’t a horrid place to work. I think when a company begins to accumulate reviews is when the honesty levels start to skew.

I dug around and found this post about Glassdoor. The honesty behind these anonymous Glassdoor reviews are questioned by this blogger, Ask the Headhunter.  He says, “Any disgruntled employee or job applicant can trash a company publicly. An HR department can spam Glassdoor, singing its own praises..” He continues by questioning the anonymous reviews and wonders the truth to them.

I don’t question the need for anonymity on Glassdoor (hey, I’m anonymous, so I won’t judge). But my questioning comes from the fact that just because someone had an awful experience somewhere, doesn’t mean you will too. But like somew people who commented on the above mentioned article said, if you see a common thread, that’s where the truth is.

But like this other article says, “When you fix the underlying problems, your Glassdoor reviews will change all on their own.” A sudden turn around in reviews, though, probably isn’t a sign that the company has changed. I noticed a surge in positive reviews once I spotted that my employer’s rating started to drop. It’s plunged again thanks to the latest one star review.

All of this still leaves me wondering though how much you can trust Glassdoor and what it says about companies. I don’t think you can really trust the all-good-nothing-bad reviews. But is it just me, or do you trust the mostly-negative review? If a company has 75 reviews and teeters towards a one star, I’ll stay away from it like the plague. If it has 5, 5-star reviews, I’ll also stay away from it. Me, I like a good healthy 3 star, 3 and a half star review. It’s reasonable and you can usually weed out the really honest ones.

Have you ever written a Glassdoor review? Has Glassdoor ever influenced you to take a job or reject a job offer? I want to know your thoughts.


1 Comment »

  1. As the founder of an anonymous review site, I stumbled across your blog (which I think is a great idea, btw) and saw this post about Glassdoor. To weigh in, I think anonymous review sites for employees are no worse or better than any other anonymous review site that people use to make daily decisions (e.g. Yelp, Amazon reviews, TripAdvisor and many, many more). It would be foolhardy to make decisions SOLELY on the basis of a single anonymous review. On the other hand, ignoring a chorus of voices that consistently are negative is probably unwise. focuses on employee reviews for women — by other women. Our members typically share helpful information and while there seems to be the occasional disgruntled employee or overly enthusiastic company rep, most women on our site appear to say pretty balanced things. I don’t know if that’s the case on other employee review sites, but having read every single review on our site, I know that to be true on ours.

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