Everything you need to know about Glassdoor, the new (transparent) jobs marketplace

16 June 2016 -


The combination of social media, the internet and job-hunting has revamped the dynamics of recruitment and talent management

Jermaine Haughton

As the name suggests, Glassdoor offers a transparent view to job seekers of the companies, industries and sectors they are most interested in.

Whether applicants are experienced practitioners with a packed CV, or a school leaver taking their first steps on the career ladder, the Glassdoor website and its accompanying app provide users with key insights on everything from the average salaries offered at a firm to the organisation’s culture and workforce happiness.

Like competing jobs websites such as Monster and TotalJobs.com, Glassdoor also has a job search facility that allows users to insert the job title or role they would like to view, and see what related jobs are available in their geographic area of choice.

The site also includes other popular features most notably, the ability to post and read reviews on employers, access to the average salaries for each position at a firm, and common, yet critical, interview questions.

Candidates can even see what companies look like through an array of photos. All of which is left by employees at companies anonymously.

Switching careers

Jeffrey Mensah, who switched from PR to a marketing position after spotting an advert on Glassdoor, said the array features on the site were part of the reason behind the success of his move.

“The clear and simple layout made the whole process much less stressful, plus the opportunity to quickly cross-reference the company profile with the reviews of others who have been at the firm helped me get a feel that I am suited to the position,” he said.

Salary is perhaps the main criteria of accepting or declining a job offer, yet in the past companies of all sizes have kept a tight lid on the average salaries earned by their staff. However, Glassdoor, like other pay surveys, allows workers to assess whether they are being underpaid or overpaid.

Providing a clearer picture of where an individual stands within their industry remuneration-wise, users may see a quick overview of the average salaries for various positions around the company, as well as how many people have submitted salary information to the Glassdoor database.

With salary information for a large company able to be filtered down according to years of experience and location, users can look at more extensive information about salaries, including details of bonuses, cash, stock options, profit sharing, commission and tips where applicable.

HR manager Robert Greaves, who works for recruitment firm Inifinity, believes employers should embrace pay surveys and use it to provide competitive offerings to their existing and prospective talent.

“Salary surveys help companies to structure their compensation in a way that ensures internal consistency and meets industry standards,” he said. “With the knowledge of what other employers are paying, bosses can negotiate a suitable salary with a more precise understanding of what limits he/she can reach.

“By setting the right compensation package, organisations will have that competitive advantage and employees will be attracted, retained and motivated to work in such a workplace.”

The power of reviews

Glassdoor’s review section displays a respective company’s information alongside an average star rating out of five, and a number of comments and ratings from anonymous reviewers.

Each review indicates whether the reviewer is a current or a former employee, the date of the review and then some reviewer-submitted pros and cons of working at the company.

While anonymity allows reviewers to be totally honest, users must handle the reviews with some caution as both overly positive and negative rogue posts may have passed through the system.

Nonetheless, research shows that online reviews can play an important role in determining the decisions of readers, with negative reviews potentially dissuading them from applying to a particular company.

In one study, out of 4,633 random job seekers surveyed, 48% had used Glassdoor at some point in their job search.

The study also found that 60% of job seekers would not apply to a company with a one-star rating.

Project manager Louise Lewison found the access to reviews, company info and salary information crucial when she accepted an offer to work in Germany after more than six years working in her hometown Newcastle.

“Moving to another country is nervy enough, without worrying about a new job, meeting new people and working in a different environment and culture,” she said. “As well as allowing me to find more information about potential positions, Glassdoor was also an extremely handy tool for giving me a glimpse of what the company culture is like, what I am worth on the current market and how others have found working there.”

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