The Glassdoor To HR – Interview With Tim Besse – Part 2

by The Red Recruiter on May 16, 2009

SunraysthroughwindowThis is a continuation from my last bit on Glassdoor, a company that has dedicated to transparency in employment through the use of a very user-friendly feedback/participation model.  There is no doubt in my mind, after having spoken with the Co-Founder, Tim Besse, that Glassdoor will make a presence in our employment lives.

So, in Part 2, I wanted to go through a bit of the Q&A with Co-Founder Tim Besse.  It was very obvious from our phone conversation that he has a lot of passion around this product… and rightfully so.  They are putting time, energy and money into making Glassdoor a healthy forum for the free-flow of salary, company review and interview information.

Exchange with Tim Besse, Co-Founder,

The first part of the interview centered around what’s going on currently with social media and how Glassdoor fits into that picture.

The vision, as I understood it from Tim, was not to simply provide a platform for people to input data and “secret” details about companies.  Rather, Glassdoor envisions an environment where employers will participate in the conversation as well.  In order to facilitate this, they offer free accounts to HR departments.  Once the HR Representative has been verified, they will have open access to comment on everything within the system.  It was obvious that Tim believes in the power of a two-way dialogue.

This is great news for HR departments who have a concern about misleading or false information being spread around the internet.  As with other social media platforms, you have the opportunity to add your thoughts/comments on anything that pertains to your organization.

Tim was also insistent that Glassdoor is not in the business of company bashing.  Glassdoor was not intended, nor will it become, an environment for bashing companies.  As you will see if you fill out a company review, you will be asked to provide both “pros” and “cons” of working for the particular company in question.  The feedback that is submitted by users is reviewed by Glassdoor before being posted to ensure that comments side more towards being constructive than simple rants about the terrible aspects of a company.  He seemed very realistic in his desire to maintain a balance in this new environment and make sure that the conversation remains healthy.

How Does Your Company Rank?

So… the piece of the interview that interested me the most was about how company rankings are different on Glassdoor than they are in the “standard” rating systems.

With this new social media environment, it becomes next to impossible for a company to hire outside consultants to teach them how to raise their rank.  At Glassdoor it’s all about keeping it simple.  Along with a user entering the “pros” and the “cons” they are also asked to rank the company’s CEO (much like a political polling venture) and complete a short ranking poll.  Questions from the ranking page ranged from “How satisfied are you with your opportunities for professional growth?” to “Employer support in balancing between work life and personal life?”

The companies that are judged end up with a cumulative score.  What’s interesting to Tim and to most anyone familiar with the other rankings, was that many of the companies making the list are not the same as what you would find in the “standard” rankings.  Check them out for yourself, but I think that you will find it to be very interesting.

A Note For Social Media

The conversation with Tim was great.  He seems like a very down-to-earth professional who has a real passion for what Glassdoor is doing.  His intent in making Glassdoor successful is loaded with the underlying desire to make the workplace better.  At the end of the day, I can only hope that more innovators will grasp this spirit and make it a reality.

Tim was kind enough to explain how Glassdoor is also trying to make their system useful for those of us that like to play around in the social media world.  Once you are logged in to the system, you will be able to copy/paste links to their website for blog postings or any other social media related sharing activity.  While a non-member will need to register if they want to look at additional information within the site, Tim pointed out that Glassdoor put in this feature to help spread the word and the free exchange of information.  I think that it’s great!

So, go check out Glassdoor at and let me know your thoughts.  I think that you will like what you find.

Is your company ready to be judged in a very organized open forum discussion?  Do your executives know the power of social media on impacting the company brand?

Photo credit to Tambako The Jaguar

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