Glassdoor, the TripAdvisor-style employee review and rating community for organisations, closed a $70 million fundraising round last week.
It’s an important piece of news for the public relations profession that has received surprisingly little attention.
The Glassdoor community is a reputation management platform for any organisation in the business of hiring people, as well as a jobs’ site.
It is used by jobseekers looking to discover what it’s like to work for an organisation, or to research salaries and interview questions, for example.
There are more than 7.5 million pieces of content such as reviews, salaries, and interview reports, on 340,000 companies.
Glassdoor reportedly has 27 million members worldwide and 20 million unique visits a month, half of which are from a mobile device.
I had chance to record a podcast interview with Joe Wiggins who leads public relations for Glassdoor in Europe, and explore the opportunity for organisations to engage with the community.
If you believe that employees are the most important stakeholder for an organisation then Glassdoor is a critical media and organisations would be wise to engage with it as part of their public relations and human resources efforts.
Google clearly shares this view. Its venture capital arm, Google Capital, led the funding round alongside current investors including Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Tiger Global Management.
The new investment will be used to continue to invest in growth areas and expand its global footprint; currently around 75 per cent of traffic and content is US focused.
The best advocates for an organisation are almost certainly the people on the payroll. Yet most organisations do little to encourage employees to engage about their organisation in social forms of media.
Organisations with few or mainly negative reviews are inevitably viewed less favourably than those with richer profiles.
Glassdoor reflects “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of organisations according Joe Wiggins. It’s what employees say about you once you’ve left the room, he said.
Public relations and human relations practitioners should take a proactive position to managing an organisation’s Glassdoor profile both as part of their employee engagement but also directly within the community.
31,000 employers have taken advantage of basic analytics and community management on Glassdoors for free, and a further 2,000, including my own employer Ketchum, pay for services and to add content to their profile.
Reviews from employees or candidates are anonymous but Wiggins said there are high levels of verification and typically around 10 per cent of content is rejected. This editorial intervention also ensures that employers can’t post fake reviews or game a profile.
Employers have the right to reply and should apply best practice community management to engagement.
If your organisation hasn’t taken Glassdoor seriously before now I suggest that last week’s investment is a $70 million wake-up call.
Podcasting is a relatively new thing for me. I’ve started recording short interviews like this with people that I meet or who are part of my network. You can access it on Soundcloud, via your favourite podcast app, or iTunes. Let me know what you think and thanks for listening.
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