Peer Reviews, Glassdoor and the B.S. That Goes With It All

Last week I shared an article on my Facebook wall from titled, “The Disturbing Influence of Glassdoor“. The writer, Phil Strazzulla, argues that we all need to pay very close attention to the ratings on Glassdoor because they influence job seeker perception of what it’s like to work at a particular company. He urges to not let your worst employees define your brand using Glassdoor, even though he acknowledged that 1/3 of reviews on Glassdoor are negative. At the end of the day, if the majority of reviews were positive Glassdoor wouldn’t have a business model — they wouldn’t be able to leverage hidden data to scare prospective clients into wasting their money on their platform.

Here’s Where His Argument Breaks Down

Yes peer reviews are very influential to buying decisions, whether it be a new tablet, car, vacation or prospective employer. It’s how you feel that matters, and this is heavily influenced by information that you perceive to be reliable and accurate, from your peer group. Ask yourself this question. Would you say that a review on the company you work for is the same as a review on a tablet that you own? If you say “yes” you need to go give your head a shake. Of course NOT! They are not even in the same ballpark.


What is the potential impact, both negative and positive, of leaving a review on your current employer versus a tablet? HUGELY different. For a tablet that costs $350 the potential consequences are no better than nil and none. What about a review of your current employer that may be perceived to be negative? Why on earth would you throw yourself under a bus by publishing a public review disparaging your current employer? Even if what you say is 100% true and accurate, the consequences are huge, so why would anyone in the right mind risk it? Now, of course if you have left the organization then you may evaluate the level of risk to be far lower and be willing to publish a review. Or, you do feel very strongly about your employer and leave a glowing review. Whatever the case may be, the logic that peer reviews are equal when you compare a company as a place of work and a product like a tablet is absolutely ludicrous.

Better yet, if you are a job seeker and you implicitly trust what you read on Glassdoor then I wouldn’t want to recruit you to the company I work for and represent anyway. The validity of what you’re reading is so low you might as well get your information from the National Inquirer and call it a day.

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