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Half of All Job Seekers Consult Glassdoor Reviews

Erin Osterhaus
Jan 23, 2014, 5:54 am ET

Glassdoor, the careers site that offers employee reviews of companies, has been successful since its founding in 2008. The company has expanded internationally, and last year it made the news for an additional $50 million round of investment. It definitely seems that its unique offering of employee reviews has been a hit with job seekers.

But as the site grows in popularity, what impact do its reviews have on an organization’s ability to hire? Our company Software Advice, which reviews HR and recruiting software, decided to find out. We polled 4,633 job seekers to see how Glassdoor has affected their decision to apply for, and accept jobs.

Here’s what we found.

Approximately half of all respondents had used Glassdoor at some point in their job search, and most consulted reviews to find top employers before they even thought about applying at a company.

To see the full report, click here.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. Paul DeBettignies

    48%… what was the source of the pool of job seekers?

  2. Erin Osterhaus

    We used a tool produced by Google–Google Consumer Surveys–to poll the general population of the United States. The full report goes into the methodology more in depth:

  3. Larry Engel

    That’s a really good stat for Glassdoor! Looks like their hard work at building a great jobseeker experience is paying off. And Google Surveys tend to be a bit more accurate than other poll surveys. For those non-believers, read their validation white paper:

  4. Natasha Bernal

    Really interesting article — perhaps highlighting the importance of having a good candidate and employee experience! I don’t see how Glassdoor is different from a forum, especially as a lot of the comments are from anonymous users — how can users be sure that the information is accurate and doesn’t come from companies posing as employees or from employees that have left a business on bad terms?

  5. Keith Halperin

    @ Natasha: From my understanding (Please correct me Folks, if obsolete/incorrect.) Glassdoor allows companies to have the final say in a discussion, and if a company is a client of Glassdoor (at some level), then they will not allow that company’s negative information to be used in a pop-up ad of a competitor.

  6. Richard Araujo

    @ Natasha,

    There’s no way to know, generally speaking. As with any such approach you’d need a decent aggregation of reviews before it held any statistical significance, and most companies would cluster toward the middle. Quite frankly it seems most companies aren’t savy enough to know it even exists, much less pay someone to spam it with positive reviews. As for people leaving on bad terms, I see no need to keep them out of the mix. Their views may be the most insightful. Generally speaking you learn more useful information from bad reviews than good reviews.

  7. Keith Halperin

    @ Richard: At a former client, there was a Recruiting Dept. discussion on how to “game” Glassdoor. IFRIR, nothing came of it- nobody did anything.

  8. Richard Araujo


    I think a similar thing happened to me at a former employer, though I wasn’t involved in the meeting. When I pointed out the poor rating, a couple good reviews showed up in fairly quick succession that had the feeling of product rep posts of the type you see on forums or at Amazon. It’s purely speculative of course, I have no idea if that actually happened. However, what did happen is that more negative reviews appeared too. It’s the Streisand effect; trying to game the site increases the company’s visibility on the site via various mechanisms, at which point more people are likely to review the company. People the company may not want reviews from.

  9. Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Richard.
    DISCLAIMER: If you check my record, I WAS a very strong proponent of GlassDoor. (I think into some time in 2012). I mistakenly believed that they might be something like a Consumer’s Reports for job hunters- a neutral, unbiased, influence- and advertising-free resource. They AREN’T. To be fair: GD never said they were or wanted to be that- I just HOPED they WOULD be.

    Keith “*Caveat Labor Applicator- Let the Job Applicant Beware” Halperin

    * Since I don’t know Latin, this is probably highly ungrammatical. Too bad….

  10. Steven Rothberg

    I seriously doubt that half of all job seekers use Glassdoor. I’m a big fan of theirs but that’s a ridiculous number.

    According to the survey report itself, “This survey was conducted using Google Consumer Surveys. The survey included nine questions, each of which was seen by ~500 unique respondents. It should be noted that there may be a selection bias, as those unfamiliar with Glassdoor may have chosen not to take the survey. However, an “NA / I don’t use Glassdoor” option was included on all survey questions.”

  11. Todd Raphael

    I do think that its search engine optimization is pretty good Steven. So the job seeker may not have literally said to herself, “I’m going to go to Glassdoor to find top employers!” as the survey indicates. But, they may have gone to Google and searched for (for example):

    working at Peet’s
    working at Coffee Bean
    working at Starbucks

    And Glassdoor, as well as Indeed, does extremely well in the search results. Perhaps many end up on Glassdoor, and would answer a survey saying they research top employers on Glassdoor even if they hadn’t thought of starting with the site name Glassdoor.

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