Should Glassdoor Reviews Influence Your Next Career Move as a Marketer?

If you’ve ever actively searched for job openings or were just curious to see what it would be like to work for a specific company, you’ve most likely come across Glassdoor. Glassdoor is an anonymous online review site that allows workers to evaluate and rate their employers. You may have also been advised to approach sites like Glassdoor and other anonymous review sites with caution.

Whether you’re a marketer looking for a new opportunity or wondering how the work environment is at a competing company, should you let Glassdoor reviews influence your decision of taking a new marketing job?

To make it simple – yes. All factors impacting a possible job opportunity should be taken into consideration. Any tool to help determine if a job is right for you should be taken advantage of to prevent any unfortunate mid-life career crises.

Glassdoor is one of many tools marketing professionals can leverage to gauge the circumstances of a possible career move. However, it’s important to proceed with caution.

Combatting the Dark Side of Anonymous Review Sites

Glassdoor and other anonymous review sites have pushed companies and organizations to be more accountable. They have the power to expose hostile or low-quality work environments and reward those who do it right.

We’re in the midst of a rapidly-evolving digital world where people resort to the Internet for everything, including reviews and opinions from complete strangers. Take Yelp for example – you’re probably not going to trust a restaurant that has less than a two-star rating, whether you know who’s rating it or not. According to BrightLocal, over 80% of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. People trust the opinions from strangers more than they do from corporations; but it’s important to consider the validity of reviews, especially if they’re anonymous.

This is where one of the dangers of anonymous review sites like Glassdoor presents itself. Anonymity comes with a lack of accountability, creating an environment open for exploitation. A terminated employee or an individual with a vendetta against the company could easily post exaggerated negative reviews, while an unethical company could fabricate positive reviews. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for Glassdoor to combat this and filter every fabricated review out from the honest ones.

It’s up to you to rely on your instinct and experience to distinguish the honest reviews that provide valuable feedback from the fake ones that don’t serve any meaningful purpose at all. If you see a common pattern occurring within the reviews over a long period of time, you should pay close attention to it and take it into consideration. But occasional outliers that are extraordinarily positive or negative can often be disregarded.

Look Beyond the Surface

The most obvious metric of ranking of employers on Glassdoor is a five-star scale. It’s hard to miss; it’s one of the first things that catches our attentions on an employer’s page:

However, this can be skewed as your personal preferences and interests most likely differ from others’. For example, consider a company that receives a complaint that they focus too much on group projects and team development. The complaints who prefer to work alone and those who find themselves more productive working independently on projects. However, if you thrive in a group and collaborative environment, this company may be a good fit for you.

When evaluating a new marketing position, it’s important to get an accurate job description so you get a clear understanding of the responsibilities and other important factors. Do your research beyond Glassdoor reviews to assess if a certain position would be the right fit for you.

It’s also important to consider the position’s place in the business structure. If the position you’re considering revolves around many low-wage workers or call center agents, there are most likely going to be an abundance of complaints from entry-level employees. For instance, the Walmart’s score could be dragged down by its huge number of retail employees who may be unsatisfied for whatever reason. But the corporate environment where a marketing job might be could well be a much more positive experience.

Don’t Let Glassdoor Alone Cause You to Miss Out On an Opportunity

While Glassdoor is a great tool to leverage when considering a marketing job opportunity, it’s important to never solely base your decision on anonymous reviews. You should thoroughly explore the circumstances of a position using all available resources including your own expertise and experience, before coming to a decision.

If you have any concerns about a low score or negative review on a site like Glasdoor, feel free to ask about it during the interview and recruitment process! Give the employer a chance to share their side of the story and any actions they might be taking to improve their workplace!

We often see that many candidates refuse to partake in a preliminary discussion or initial interview because of a bad review. This is a big mistake. Turning down the opportunity to learn more about a position can turn out to be a huge blunder in the long-term growth of your career. Don’t let review sites like Glassdoor prevent you from learning more about a new job opportunity – you could miss out on a great one.