Quite honestly, it’s amazing that a site like this hasn’t come along sooner. In a world where almost every industry, product, and profession is being thrown open to full unadulterated critique, courtesy of the Internet, GlassDoor is the first mainstream site I’ve seen (aside from one that peaked during the dot-com era and that had a rather tasteless name…) focused on providing full disclosure around what it’s actually like to work for various companies. If you wanted to know what current employees think about Microsoft, Boeing, or Safeco Insurance, for example, you can get a pretty good feel for it via this site.
How does it work? It’s pretty simple, actually. Upon visiting the site, you type in the name of any company you wish to investigate (at the moment the database is still limited mostly to large employers) and you’ll instantly get back a synopsis that includes the average Satisfaction Rating of company employees, some summarized comments from people who work there, and a breakdown of the salaries the company offers for various job titles. Actually, let me rephrase that. In order to see these detailed numbers or opinions, beyond a superficial level, you’ll first have to provide your own anonymous rating of your own current employer — or share your own salary data, if that’s the type of information you’re after. In this sense, the site is more or less an “information exchange” where you trade your own career info in order to review data shared by others, which certainly presents some quality control issues, but has been proven to work fairly well by other sites using a similar peer-based sharing model.
Ultimately, GlassDoor may turn out to be one of the top resources for job seekers, offering a transparency into companies unmatched by any other data sources out there. In an ideal world, in fact, sites like this may force some employers to clean up their act, lest the word spread far and wide that they aren’t very hospitable to their employees. Then again, there are dangers and abuses to be mindful of, as well, since we all know that information like this isn’t validated in any way — and that the people who gravitate to these kinds of feedback sites tend to traffic in complaints, not compliments, by nature. So have a few grains of salt on hand when you check out GlassDoor, but check it out, nonetheless, since it truly is one of the most intriguing career-related sites to come along in quite some time!