The coupling of the current “post-web 2.0 era” with the ongoing economic slump would seem to make for a perfect opportunity for a startup like GlassDoor, a job-seeker and career community where you can find and share information about companies, careers and specific jobs, including details like pay and interview questions.
In using the site, it’s clear that there are a lot of potentially valuable tools and resources for job seekers within, but you have to be a little bit focused and savvy in digging them out…qualities that motivated job seekers need to have in any event!
GlassDoor is arranged into three main sections: Salaries, Reviews and Interviews. Salaries, for example, can be looked at from the perspective of things like popular jobs, by industry, location, company and occupation. Digging deeper, into the Business Analyst Salaries area, for example, reveals a number of “sneak peaks” of salary ranges for business analysts at companies like Accenture, Deloitte and JPMorgan Chase. For those three companies, we’re told that business analysts at Accenture make between $44,000 and $75,000; between $36,000 and $73,000 at Deloitte; and from $34,000 to $106,000 at JPMorgan Chase.
I’m not sure how much value there is in seeing those broad salary ranges (which obviously will vary based upon experience and specific needs), but when you dig even deeper to the level of, say, business analyst at Accenture, there’s the potential to obtain interesting information that you would not ordinarily find out until a company is in the process of making a formal job offer. This includes what kinds of bonuses companies might provide (cash, stock and profit sharing), sales-based compensation and tips. The information is provided by GlassDoor community members, so there is the potential for it to be anecdotal or incorrect, but still, the insight provided could be difficult or impossible to obtain elsewhere.
While some areas of the web site are provided on GlassDoor as “sneak peaks” at present, for many selections you’re triggered to register or log in, and are heavily prompted to provide input about companies that you have experience with to augment the community’s knowledge base. (Penelope Trunk calls this “a great moment in altruism” as GlassDoor promotes “helping other people to get a job without knowing how doing so will help you.”) This makes browsing around the site while not logged in feel a bit awkward, and, overall, while looking at GlassDoor I kept asking myself questions like, “Why do I have to log in to see this?” and “Why are salaries, reviews and interviews kept in such rigid ‘silos;’ why not just create comprehensive company pages that integrate all of the content and information associated with them?”
Another impression is that GlassDoor will be most useful for people thinking about working for large companies. Large companies have the potential to get greater numbers of user-generated responses on salaries, reviews and interview-related questions, for one. Additionally, in terms of learning about what to expect on an interview, a large company is more likely to have clearly defined job descriptions and hiring guidelines that will be of use for job seekers. That said, there is great potential value for small companies as well, provided that those leaving feedback are not merely disgruntled current or former employees looking to get even!
Overall, it’s clear that the time has come for a community site that provides deep detail on company salary information, hiring practices and cultures. GlassDoor has the potential to own this space, and I’d fully expect the user interface and site architecture to further improve as the community grows.
What job seeking resource sites do you use? Share your tips in the comments.