Look beyond the perks and reviews to get a clear view of an employer

So, your most recent dining experience wasn’t great. The service was slow, the waiter seemed uninterested, and the wine glasses on the table had red lipstick stains on them. Your first instinct is to go online and share that negative experience with the world. Whether your intention is to blow off steam or warn other patrons that their filet won’t be worth the price, you have a right to share your experience.

If people get worked up over an expensive meal, of course the same standard exists for employers. Online employer review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed are mandatory stops for everyone on a job hunt. Granted, it’s tough to get a holistic understanding from the reviews when a dozen of them are contradictory… and there may be a reason for that.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]For those sharing their experience, 10 percent admitted they lied or stretched the truth[/perfectpullquote]

In our recent study, Fractl asked 1,096 people who have left online reviews about their former employers about the nature of their statements. Unsurprisingly, most people are only inclined to leave a review if it’s a negative one: over half leave 1 or 2 stars.

This is likely the reason many companies solicit their positive reviews from past employees who parted on good terms. It’s also worth noting that nothing is free and these positive reviews are likely coerced using some promise of repayment. Feel free to question the ethics of this approach in your own time.

For those sharing their experience, 10 percent admitted they lied or “stretched the truth”.Unfortunately, this statistic taints the merit of all online reviews because the respondents who claimed to have lied, said they did so in an attempt to tarnish their ex-employers reputation.

As of late, employers have begun working online review insurance into their employment documents, filing lawsuits against those who breached severance agreements by leaving reviews on Glassdoor and other review platforms.

Obviously, this phenomenon is something to keep in mind when approaching the world of online reviews, but as long as your employment contracts do not prohibit such reviews, it’s important to keep sharing.


The power to choose

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Many companies attempt to entice their prospective hires with promises of unlimited time off, ping pong tables, and fitness reimbursement[/perfectpullquote]

For the 90 percent of people who were honest and fair in their reviews, they are impacting the workforce immensely. Many companies attempt to entice their prospective hires with promises of unlimited time off, ping pong tables, and fitness reimbursement. While these perks often lead to increased employee satisfaction and a healthy office culture, it’s important to keep priorities straight.

Honest online reviews renew power to the workforce. In the past, it was nearly impossible to understand the scope of the position you were accepting until it was too late. Gone are the days when a 20-something year old would get a job and remain stagnant, sitting in the same chair for 40 years. Younger people are often looking for workforce diversity, growth opportunities, and inclusive workplaces. These review platform submissions allow insight into a company’s culture before you’ve signed a contract or moved miles for your “dream job”.

It would be irresponsible to accept or even consider a position without utilizing all your resources. With the internet at our fingertips, there really shouldn’t be any limit to the amount of jobs at your disposal. Any number offers could promise the same benefits and perks, given that employee satisfaction has improved baseline corporate norms and practices. 8 in 10 employers now offer flexible work structures and competitive pay is basically a given in accepting any new position.

However, a study from Wrike found that workers tend to choose happiness over pay. In fact, Wrike’s Happiness Index found that over half, or 54 perfect, of UK full-time employees have taken a pay cut to accept a job that made them happier. Really rings true to the cliche, “money can’t buy happiness”. So, if workers are putting workplace satisfaction and happiness above their literal livelihood, these reviews are arguably the most important tool we have at our disposal.

The bottom line for candidates is this: if a company looks good on paper and hits all your marks, be sure to do research on the backend before accepting. Utilize resources provided to you by past employees who lived through the experience firsthand. You don’t have to be married to the first amazing offer that comes your way because, chances are, another company can offer you the same thing or better. The people you work with and the culture within the office will grow to be more important than the perks anyway.

Main image: The Flammarion engraving, public domain