Glassdoor company ratings are not as transparent as you might think

It is Wednesday, January 23, 2019. In case you forgot.
Stained GlassDoor

Glassdoor company ratings are not as transparent as you might think

Glassdoor is a powerful platform for job seekers and companies alike. Job seekers turn to Glassdoor to read company reviews written by past and current employees while companies tote their rank on the “Best Places to Work” list that Glassdoor releases each year to attract talent.

With more than 50 million site visits per month, the human resources team needs to keep a close eye on their company’s Glassdoor rating. However, the lengths to which some companies go to ensure a positive rating may make Glassdoor ratings less organic than they appear.

Gaming the system

An investigation conducted by the Wall Street Journal indicates that employers often attempt to boost the number of positive ratings before the release of the “Best Places to Work” list.

For example, Bain & Company which was dubbed 2018’s Best Place to Work (for the second year in a row, which also made us skeptical), has a history of surging positive reviews in the months leading up to the release of the list since 2015.

While there is nothing in Glassdoor’s guidelines prohibiting companies from encouraging employees to submit reviews prior to the “Best Places to Work” results (as long as they aren’t coerced or incentivized with money or prizes), the investigation shows that the practice may distort the ratings of hundreds of companies.

Given the scale of companies represented on Glassdoor, hundreds of offenders hardly seems like a systemic problem but some healthy skepticism of their “Best Places to Work” list is probably warranted.
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Brendan Uyeshiro
Brendan Uyeshiro