All is fair in Internet Reputation

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A few months ago we posted a blog about Honestly.com, a website that allows employers to rate employees and potentially rate them poorly on a public forum. But let’s be fair here as employees aren’t the only individuals in the workforce that are challenged, questioned or even attacked on the internet. On the other side of the coin rests GlassDoor.com, a website that touts itself as “as inside look at job and companies” that allows employees to anonymously rate their employment at companies, give details on their salaries, write about the office environment, the interview process and just about anything else they want. Previously, we questioned the ethics of posting on Honestly.com about employees and their performance. After all, there are so many factors to consider – whether or not the person rating is actually being honest or holds a strange vendetta against the employees, whether or not the performance at an old job that might have completely different requirements and a completely different environment is even relevant to a new job, and the list went on.

How do they define themselves?

“What is Glassdoor?

Glassdoor is a free career community where anyone can find and anonymously share an inside look at jobs and companies. What sets us apart is that all our information comes from current and former employees, interview candidates, and even the companies themselves. Now with more than a million salaries, company reviews, interview questions, office photos, and more, you have all the information you’ll need to manage your career and make more informed career decisions.

Plus, with Glassdoor’s proprietary JobScope™ technology job seekers have a new way to browse job listings and get instant, in-depth details about thousands of companies, including reviews from employees, salary information, recent news coverage, and more.

No other career or jobs site offers such detailed information about specific jobs at specific companies – all for free.”

But taking a closer look at GlassDoor.com prompts us to ponder the same questions. Is it possible that an employee just never got along with his or her superiors and is now writing to give the company a bad rep? Is it possible that their job requirements did not merit the salary they were expecting; giving them an excuse to post that the company employees pays poorly? GlassDoor.com, just like Honestly.com, allows people to give companies (instead of employees) a numeric rating based on whatever factors the person posting comes up with, as well as a list of pros and cons about the company. While for the most part, it seems as though people writing the ratings include valid pros such as benefits for full time employees, and cons such as work/life balance is tough, because people rating are allowed to basically write whatever comes to mind, this gives room for the same type of personal attack as Honestly.com does. Of course, just like Honestly.com, there are watchdog measures put into place to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen frequently, but it only really needs to happen once to damage an individual’s or a company’s reputation. Aside from that, just because GlassDoor.com sees the post and erases it, doesn’t mean that no one else saw it and maybe posted it to their site, blog, etc.

The one ethical advantage GlassDoor has over Honestly is that GlassDoor does allow employers to fight back in way, using their own Public Relations. The site contains a “For Employers” section where, for a fee, employers can create a profile or job postings on GlassDoor that can “Tell your company’s story with an Enhanced Employer Profile. Highlight your employment brand, promote your latest job listings, and get access to advanced analytics and competitive benchmarking.”

As a professional, do you believe that the one redeeming factor on GlassDoor.com is enough? Does GlassDoor cross the same ethical lines as Honestly.com, or are they different? Is one more or less ethical than the other?

As a company, are you concerned about your reputation on the internet considering there are sites like GlassDoor that allow potentially disgruntled employees to post poor ratings?

As an employee, have you ever posted anonymously to GlassDoor or used it to research a company before applying or interviewing? Have you ever used GlassDoor.com to specifically look up salaries that a company might pay?

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About Kate Gamble

Known to have her hands in a ton of things at one time - Kate is a confessed news junkie and proud Dean’s List grad. Whether she’s working the PR or HR side of her brain, her computer’s mouse or her Dremel (she makes handcrafted jewelry too!), Kate delivers the energy, commitment, and detail-orientation that are a perfect mix for Alstin.