Are GlassDoor reviews rigged?

This blog post is not meant to complain or point finger at anyone… it simply is written based on my most recent experiences.

Ratings and reviews used to mean something to me. Before joining companies, I would always try to do my due diligence of checking out the company on GlassDoor. When it came to large companies, such as Google, I found that the GlassDoor reviews were quite accurate, in that they were not over the top but quite realistic.

However, when it came to mid-size companies, I came to learn first hand that that was not the case. In fact, it was quite the opposite.. I personally found a few issues with these types of company GlassDoor ratings and reviews:

  1. One issue that I found was that the GlassDoor ratings and reviews were not team-specific. For example, if the majority of reviewers consisted of happy Engineers, the overall ratings would not reflect and/or include UX teams for example.
  2. Another dilemma I found out was that new hires would get (several) emails from HR and/or Recruiting teams, asking the newcomers to add ratings and reviews on the company on GlassDoor. Well, everyone knows that the first three or so month at a company are considered the honeymoon phase and ratings and reviews within those first few months would probably reflect the honeymoon phase than anything else.
  3. Companies, especially the mid-size ones, that I experienced seemed to put a lot more emphasis on GlassDoor reviews. Hence, as an employee you would feel, to some extend, forced to comply and add positive reviews, even though you did not feel ready to do so yet.

Thankfully, I am not one of those who can be forced to do such thing. In fact, I have never left a GlassDoor review. However, I have been feeling like a victim of our existing rating/review systems.

In this case, I fell for the extraordinary company GlassDoor reviews and joined a company most recently solely based on these ratings and reviews. At the time, I was truly looking for ‘my tribe of good people to work with” and ended up joining a company that two months in I came to regret. I had never left a company this fast (after only 6 month) in my entire career.

The glorious GlassDoor ratings and reviews of the people at the company were simply not true, in my opinion. Despite my efforts to still make things work, each day I would discover deceitful characteristics of people that left me speechless.

My guess is that, because of my blind faith in GlassDoor reviews, the disconnect between my high expectations based on the reviews and my firsthand experience was too big to handle.

Trying to make the decision between staying and leaving was filled with feelings of shame, guilt, and sadness so much so that I got sick and ended up having a (minor) accident.

During the time of healing from the accident I had some time to reflect back on what had happened. That is when I realized that no matter the consequences, I simply did not want to be associated with what i had seen and experienced.

Constantly feeling judged, excluded from the ‘inner circle’, misunderstood, and unappreciated is not the way to live life, no matter how much they pay. The moment that I confessed to myself the deceit that I had put myself in by blindly trusting GlassDoor reviews and ratings, I gave my two weeks notice, completed my projects, left, and deleted the name of the company from my LinkedIn profile.

The way I see it, the GlassDoor ratings and reviews do not have the capacity to capture feedback at the granular level, which makes it hard to make informed decisions. But then again perhaps I am one of those people whom I call the ‘customer review victims’ who put too much emphasis on reviews.

Interestingly, I have not experienced the same issue with Amazon ratings and reviews. Therefore, I have come to question whether the company GlassDoor ratings and reviews are rigged???


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