Glassdoor is a very new service founded by Robert Hohman and Rich Barton. They had worked at a number of large corporations including Microsoft and had previously founded successful companies themselves such as Expedia. Their idea behind Glassdoor was as
“…a career and workplace community where anyone can find and anonymously share real-time reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs for specific employers — all for free. What sets us apart is that all our information comes from the people who know these companies best — employees”
I’ve always been a little skeptical about these kinds of projects and services as all too often the main contributors tend to be those who are generally dissatisfied, often posting multiple times to bring down people or companies.
Glassdoor so far seems to have some good balanced contributing, and you’ll find some interesting insights into companies and people through it. However it’s easy to make conclusions based on feedback here, so I would recommend keeping in mind that only a very small percentage of company employees have actually responded.
To access the entire database you must contribute a anonymous review yourself, but if you would just like to try it out then a couple of the biggest companies such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo are all accessible with signing up.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Glassdoor is that without the bias provided by media reporting we can get a real look at how employees themselves see CEO’s and their company.
For example we often see Google portrayed as this fantastic workplace of free food, massages and a fun culture and a place engineers are encouraged to develop their own ideas. Yet looking at the employee feedback for Google and Microsoft approval ratings for CEOs’ Balmer and Schmidt really aren’t too different.
Balmer is getting a 3.9 approval rating (Satisfied!) and Eric Schmidt is on 4.1 (Very Satisfied!). Yes it’s a difference, but not on the scale you would expect of the in-need-of-anger-management Balmer image we get given from the media.
Looking through the Google and Microsoft reviews I picked up the general consensus that Google’s biggest issues are with its culture; fitting in, being part of the googley group and dissatisfaction at management.
At Microsoft the employee dissatisfaction is largely to do with its seeming inability to effectively use the talent present in the company, the feeling that the company may deliver good products but it’s not what the consumer wants and lack of communication between management and departments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.