29 Jan 2015

Glassdoor and The End of Sales Hiring as We Know It (Part 1)

Glassdoor

Today close to 50% (48% actually) of job seekers use Glassdoor at some point in their career search which is having a profound impact on sales hiring. As I shared in a previous post on LinkedIn, (found here) less than 20% of consumers believe a company’s claims about themselves. On the other hand, 92% of consumers trust their peers’ reviews of companies. This trust in what our peers say is the platform that fueled Amazon, eBay and Yelp’s success. Now Glassdoor is bringing peer reviews to recruiting and we’re seeing a huge impact on sales hiring. Through Glassdoor, potential employees can read about their peers’ experiences with interviewing and working at a given company.

Glassdoor is obviously onto something as they have raised almost $100M in funding and have positioned themselves for an upcoming IPO. More important to the talent community, Glassdoor has quickly established itself as the go-to resource for job seekers looking for insights into the working conditions for a given company. With 27M registered users, reviews on over 340,000 companies and an annualized growth rate of 160% over the past 3 years, Glassdoor is here to stay. If your company hasn’t been reviewed on Glassdoor yet, don’t worry, it’s coming.

In addition to company reviews, users can see self-reported salary ranges, interview tips and an approval rating for a given company’s CEO. Glassdoor’s goal is for “the majority of job searches in the US [to] end up utilizing Glassdoor.” Given that their founder Rich Barton also co-founded Zillow and founded Expedia (cue up the Rod Stewart song “Some guys have all the luck.”) I see that goal as very attainable. As of Dec 2014, Glassdoor’s website traffic has passed CareerBuilder and will soon pass Monster’s.  Transparency into your company and it’s sales hiring process is here. And this is what transparency can look like:

“Run Away!! This company’s only focus is what company will be acquired next. ”

Ouch!!!

The quote above is the 1st review on the 1st page of reviews for one of our clients. Overall the company is rated quite favorably but it’s pretty hard to miss a review like this. With the average online user having an attention span of 8 seconds (yes, 8 seconds) it’s not a stretch to see the potential significance of Glassdoor reviews on your company’s sales hiring brand.

The Impact of Glassdoor on Sales Hiring.

Here at Sales Talent we have seen first hand the impact that Glassdoor has on attracting top sales reps. Simply put, the savviest sales professionals avoid companies with overall negative reviews. Those companies find themselves left with a diminished gene pool of  sales talent to recruit from. Essentially, these companies are left to hire the“best of the worst.” Because of this, Glassdoor is a major consideration for Sales Talent as to whether or not we’re comfortable representing a client.

A few facts:

  • The average company rating is a 3.2 (out of 5 stars)
  • 2/3rds of reviews are positive (3 or higher)

This contradicts a common perception that Glassdoor is only a rant site for bitter former employees to vent. Glassdoor recognizes that there’s a lot of misperceptions as to what the site is and what it isn’t. You can read more at Glassdoor Myth Busters. They also have a very good Blog for Employers that has lots of useful tips for managing your Glassdoor sales hiring brand. Topics range from hiring brand best practices to insights into attracting and hiring the best and brightest. Their blog is an excellent place to start your journey with regards to understanding what Glassdoor means to your hiring brand and how to leverage the positives that comes with employment transparency.

To that point, the savviest of employers are embracing this transparency into their sales hiring process. From Glassdoor reviews comes critical feedback that just might give your company the opportunity to become a better place to work.  To that end, I suggest that if your company is big enough that you’ve been reviewed on Glassdoor, you need to manage your image. This means that you need to: (1) have someone within your company responsible for monitoring your brand, (2) have that person follow that blog and (3) review the various ebooks that Glassdoor has compiled beginning with Employer Branding for Dummies. Trust me, they’ll have a lot to learn. Once they do, they’ll able be able to bring back invaluable information into what your current, former and potential employees think about working for your company. There’s a big positive here as company led exit interviews sometimes gives you feedback that makes you feel good about where you work.  Glassdoor usually gives the painful truth.

What I find most interesting about Glassdoor is that it’s company agnostic. The best employers gain a competitive advantage and the worst are punished in the hiring game. Personally, I see transparency a good thing. Almost every day, I use peer review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. With recommendations from these sites, I now look forward to traveling to new cities as I can spend my money with confidence. If I care enough to see what others are saying about a cup of coffee, imagine how important it would be to potential employees to have an insight into what it’s like to work at your company. Like it or not, there’s an all-out war for the most talented sales reps. In the past, the employers held most of the power. It’s a totally new game today.

Next week in Part 2, I’m going to share tips on how to establish, repair or boost your Glassdoor sales hiring brand.  If you think this is something to put on your radar for 2016 or beyond, think again.  Your business just might go the way of a restaurant loaded with poor Yelp reviews before then.  See you next week…

 

 


Chris Carlson

President and founder of Sales Talent Inc, a B2B sales recruiting firm. We place sales reps, sales engineers and sales leaders across North America. Employers can inquire about our sales recruiting services. Candidates can view our current sales openings.