Gaming Online Reviews And How To Get Real Reviews
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Recently, a stream of negative reviews was posted by employees of Guaranteed Rate Inc. on Glassdoor, which is a company-ratings website. A one-star review was posted with the words, “An American sweatshop.” That was followed by another that declared “Worst company to ever work for.” The rating of the company, which is determined by employee feedback, dropped to 2.6 stars out of a total of 5 on Glassdoor.
It was reported that Victor Ciardelli, CEO of Guaranteed Rate, became concerned about the impact of the negative review on the company, and as such, his team was instructed to enlist employees who are likely to post positive reviews. These employees eventually posted hundreds of five-star ratings on Glassdoor, pushing the company rating to 4.1.
In the highly competitive job market that exists today, Glassdoor has become a vital arbitrator of employee sentiment. An investigation in the Wall Street Journal highlights employers can manipulate it by attempting to sway opinions in their favor.
An evaluation of millions of nameless reviews posted on the website of Glassdoor identified over 400 companies with remarkably large single-month surges in reviews. Some companies have had numerous spikes.
The analysis in the Journal shows that during these floods, the ratings were usually excessively positive in comparison with the surrounding months. The problem with Glassdoor echoes the difficulties faced by other Internet rating platforms that are endeavoring to maintain the trust of the users by making sure their rankings are real. Local business websites Yelp Inc, Amazon.com Inc., and TripAdvisor Inc. all have had to stave off attempts to game ratings and reviews.
Company ratings on Glassdoor are a powerful force in job recruiting, providing companies with motivation to inflate them. According to SimilarWeb, a web-research firm, the website gets approximately 60 million users each month from individuals who want to determine where to work.
According to Andy Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement firm, Glassdoor is by far the single most dominant company reviews website. He has stated that applicants can be discouraged by low ratings. He goes on to say that this is particularly true nowadays, with joblessness at historically low levels and businesses are fighting to attract and retain good workers.
In the analysis done by the Journal, five-star ratings jointly comprised 45 percent of reviews in the period where the review number surged, in comparison to 25 percent in the 6 months before and after. While the data alone cannot determine what contributed to each spike, a statistical test reveals the possibility that so many would tilt towards positive by chance is tremendously improbable.
Renowned companies with large spikes included LinkedIn, a professional-networking site; Slack Technologies Inc., a messaging-app developer; Anthem Inc., a health insurer; Clorox Co., household-products maker and Brown-Forman Corp, Jack Daniel’s maker.
Spokespeople for Anthem, LinkedIn, and Slack have stated that their companies have motivated employees to provide feedback. A spokeswoman from Brown-Forman said the company does not have a formal scheme to solicit reviews. Clorox did not comment on the matter.
In certain cases, businesses have encouraged loyal staff members to post reviews as a component of a promotional campaign. For example, SAP and SpaceX galvanized their staff to post reviews to be included in Glassdoor’s yearly ranking of the best workplaces.
Based on interviews with existing and former staff members, Guaranteed Rate and other companies have coerced employees to post positive reviews to elevate poor ratings. In a written statement, Mr. Ciardelli said he and his management team believed Glassdoor ratings were not an accurate reflection of the work environment in the company; therefore employees were asked to post reviews.
A spokeswoman from Glassdoor has stated that the company provides an avenue for individuals to read opinions that are fair and balanced about businesses. She goes on to say individuals are not afraid to speak out, making the staff member as powerful as the boss.
Based on the analysis of over 4.3 million reviews, in recent years, Glassdoor reviews of various large companies have been increasingly positive. The Journal examined approximately 8500 companies with a United States presence with a minimum of 100 reviews.
In an evaluation conducted in December 2018, five-star reviews amplified to 28 percent of the total reviews, which is up from 17 percent in January 2013. One-star reviews roughly remained flat, while two-star, three-star, and four-star reviews dropped. Columbia University and the University of Washington Statisticians assisted the Journal in developing its methodology.
The spokeswoman from Glassdoor stated that the typical rating across all companies has remained steady at roughly 3.4 since the launch of Glassdoor in 2008. Reviews are hosted by Glassdoor for over 800,000 businesses, thousands of which merely have a small number of reviews and were not significant enough to be included in the analysis done by the Journal.
Reviews are posted by users and responses can be posted by companies for free. Companies are charged between a few hundred dollars and tens of thousands of dollars monthly by Glassdoor to promote open jobs and customize their pages. Paying clientele can feature a positive review on top of their page, post promotional videos and pictures and prevent jobs from rival companies from appearing on their page.
Every year, traffic and a surge of reviews are driven by Glassdoor to its website by ranking hundreds of CEOs and companies in five countries, including the United States. The “Best Places to Work” prize is promoted by many companies in news releases because it assists with recruitment efforts.