As the interweb becomes more and more sophisticated, the tools for your average joe, sitting in cube-land, seemingly multiply, as well. You have veteran sites like salary.com where your most disgruntled can do some misguided salary research and come up with reasons why you should be paying them more. (Of course, they don’t understand quartiles, or what TCC is, nor what their current TCC is… but I digress.)
Then, there’s the good ole vault.com, the original employee rating website where it seems that all who were not offered jobs, or were laid off, let go, burned, made the scape-goat or just had a really horrible boss and want the entire world wide web to know about it will put their ratings of their interviewing/work experience there. And on Vault, these unhappy souls will also stay on top of the chat boards whilst drinking inordinate amounts of haterade, only to follow up the excessive hating with throwing up all that nastiness onto Vault.
New to the game is glassdoor.com which launched a few weeks ago from the brilliant minds (and deep pockets) who brought you Zillow and Expedia. Check out HR Lori’s take on the site here, and KD’s take here. Glassdoor is being heralded as a newer, robust version of Vault, but free, and its initial focus is on Silicon Valley whereas Vault is heavier on professional services firms.
As much as I think these sites are like the equivalent of Eopinion and Tripadvisor where it seems only the really, really disgruntled put up their ratings of whatever it is they are pissed off about, I still think there’s some value to these tools. Don’t ya want to know what people are saying about you and your organization? Even if it’s a bit unfounded? Sure, the most active posters and visitors to these sites might be the really pissed off types, but I think recruiters have got to know what candidates could be reading and what they may perceive as being your organization’s weaknesses.
You Google your candidates and your candidates are googling you. There’s no doubt about that. I’d also recommend that you should know who your enemies are and what’s being said about them too, because those you want to hire aren’t just talking to you. Know what they may be encountering when it comes to your competitors.
So, I say, go to Vault, Glassdoor or whatever the next big site is, put on the thickest skin you have, and read up. Read everything out there that’s being said about your organization. Heck, even set up Google alerts so you know in real time what people are saying about you on the web, in the blogosphere or in chat groups. And once you’ve done those things, prepare yourself to defend, or just begin proactively setting up your offense for your organization.
Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don’t be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she’s still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life… she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat.