Why Your Glassdoor Score is So Important

Accountability Management Organizational culture


Story: Salesforce.com is flying high at the moment. It’s not intentionally in the award winning business, but it is cleaning up on “trophies” in a variety of prestigious and significant categories. The widely respected Great Place to Work organization has selected Salesforce as THE best place to work in both Canada and the U.S. They are also recognized as the most innovative organization in the world, which is impressive when competing against Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. At the GPTW conference in Toronto last week, a Salesforce executive, during her compelling presentation, pointed out that their research on employee retention was quite straightforward. They lost top talent to companies that had a higher Glassdoor score, and successfully recruited top talent from companies that had a score worse score than theirs. It is that clear and simple. Salesforce’s current Glassdoor score is 4.3 and Marc Benioff, the CEO, has a 97 percent approval rating. For most of the last six years, ATB Financial’s Glassdoor rating was 4.4, and CEO Dave Mowat had an amazing 99 percent approval. Last year, GPTW picked ATB as the No. 2 company to work for in Canada.

Key Point: If it can be rated, it will be rated. If it can be posted, it will be posted. To the extent one believes this premise to be true, what’s rated and posted on Glassdoor should matter greatly to leaders. According to its website, Glassdoor’s mission is: To help people everywhere find jobs and companies they love, through the power of transparency. The company’s numbers from Q1 2017, show 41 million unique users and 5,800 paying employer clients/partners. The average company rating is 3.3, on a five-point scale where 1.0 is very dissatisfied; 72 percent of employees rate their job/company “ok,” and the average CEO approval rating is 67 percent.

Glassdoor holds a growing database of millions of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more. Most of this information is shared by those who know a company best — the employees. Add to that millions of the latest jobs — the site allows you to see which employers are hiring, what it’s really like to work or interview there according to employees, and how much you could earn. According to the website, what differentiates Glassdoor from other recruiting channels is the quality candidates and the company’s influence on candidates’ decisions as they research jobs and companies.

Glassdoor’s transparency and integrity is vital, and has to be above being manipulated by trolls, bots, etc., where it might be gamed or faked. From my understanding, they have done a great job in this regard. While smart companies work at proactively encouraging favorable reviews, and are able to respond to negative comments, Glassdoor’s ratings and results are very real and demand serious attention. Would you work for a company that was more or less than___? What’s your minimum number?

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. Be aware of your company’s Glassdoor score.
  2. Read the rating/reviews, and have the leadership courage to non-defensively discuss both openly.
  3. Have a Glassdoor strategy. Not for the purpose of strategic trickery, but to really know and understand what current, past, and prospective employees are publicly declaring on this important platform. Then take action accordingly.

Aspiration: Higher than 4.5 on Glassdoor in Personal Leadership, 

– Lorne

One Millennial View: Glassdoor is definitely a useful window into what to expect from the company you might work for. I’ve been surprised to see some of the low, and high numbers from a variety of workplaces. Like with all social media, bots and trolls are likely involved, but if we Millennials are good at anything, it’s filtering through electronic nonsense.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis.