Earlier this year, job review site Glassdoor hit the headlines after it was acquired in a $1.2bn deal. The website contains over 40 million anonymous workplace reviews. The platform enables any employee to rate the person in charge of a company and was created to help job seekers to obtain insights of their potential employers and work culture.
As 2018 comes to an end, we can expect to see lists of the best-ranked CEOs. However, it’s the leaders who have the worst approval ratings on the website that are likely to secure the headlines and the unwanted attention that goes with it. But, there is an argument that this system deeply flawed.
The anonymous nature of the reviews and the lack of employee verification system means that any disgruntled employee could potentially submit multiple reviews. It is also widely reported that most people only feel the need to write a review upon enduring a negative experience.
For example, if you are reading this and have a great relationship with your CEO, I suspect that you have not left a review for them on Glassdoor. As a reader, we also have very little in terms of context when browsing reviews about business leaders.
A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs.
The result is profoundly misleading with reviews that are at completely different ends of the spectrum. Job seekers will typically encounter negative troll-like reviews or extreme praise that has been inputted by leadership teams to restore balance. In a world where we appear to be rating and reviewing everything that moves, why are sites such as Glassdoor not reviewing employees too?
The current method of reviewing suitable candidates for professional job roles is looking outdated and deeply flawed in a digital age. The employment landscape is full of exaggerated resumes littered with buzzwords, and LinkedIn profiles enable job hunters to promote their skills that are endorsed by strangers.
Meanwhile, many employers are scared to provide a negative reference of an employee because anything that is not considered to be not 100% accurate could lead to legal action. Considering that Forbes revealed that the actual cost of a bad hire is around $240,000, isn’t it time we tried a different approach.
Almost every area of our lifestyle is now impacted by online reviews. Netflix will use our ratings to determine what content we like, Trip Advisor will influence your hotel booking and Amazon’s user reviews will help you decide if you hit the checkout button on your one-click basket.
Everything from an eBay purchase, calling your bank, or a pizza delivery is also likely to be followed by a notification asking you to rate the person who served you. On a more personal level, even your future life partner could be determined by the instant review of swiping right.
There is an increasing number of positive examples of how two-way rating systems can work and help both parties such as the review systems behind the success of Uber and Upwork by building trust.
Glassdoor has already beaten a lawsuit on its publication of negative reviews. Rather than trying to silence negative reviews, are we learning that they represent an opportunity to improve? Maybe the biggest question of all is why sites like Glassdoor are not opening up their platforms and enabling CEOs to review their employees too?
Isn’t it time that we began to embrace constructive critics if it helps us grow as individuals? Or is our reluctance to listen to what we don’t want to hear the result of living inside our own echo chambers on social media where we only see a side of the world that we enjoy?
Nobody is suggesting that anyone should make a decision that affects their future career solely from anonymous online reviews on sites like Glassdoor. But, if we take a step back and examine every step of the employment process, it’s clear to see that it’s not fit for a digital age. Maybe, just maybe, we should dare to try something different and allow employers to rate employees too.
Technology is a powerful tool that has brought the global community closer together. But with great power comes great responsibility. When looking at reviews and rating systems, it’s time to evolve beyond the urge to voice our frustrations publicly and shaming a company or individual online.
The every-increasing tools at our disposal could actually be used to drive positive change. Rating and reviews could also be used to showcase your experiences in business and open the doors of opportunity for you or your business.
Tech Columnist, Writer, Blogger and Podcaster featured in @HuffingtonPost @TheNextWeb @Inc @ZDnet & LinkedIn Top Voice on Technology https://lists.linkedin.com/2015/top-voices/technology?trk=ranking-overview-b-ind#.