Glassdoor Shifts Focus as Employers Push Hunt for Star Workers

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By Genevieve Douglas

Glassdoor is shifting from a platform for workers to review companies to an active recruiting site. Why? Organizations are increasingly realizing employees are their most valuable asset and are seeking ways to find the best ones.

The war for talent is driving businesses to change how they approach recruiting because there is a relatively small pool of exceptional workers who can transform a business, Robert Hohman, chief executive officer of Glassdoor, told Bloomberg Law in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Sausalito, Calif., Feb. 26. “Employers are the ones who are on their back heel now, and they’re having to define who they are, what they stand for, why someone should want to join them, and they want to differentiate themselves.”

Glassdoor’s contribution to this evolution has been transparency, Hohman said, starting with creating a platform where employees and job candidates could give detailed information on what it was like to work for a company, interview with a company, or leave a company.

Employers that may have not embraced Glassdoor’s platform in the beginning now understand the value that transparency can provide in today’s recruitment landscape, he said. When Glassdoor launched, “a lot of employers were very uncomfortable with what we did,” but about five years ago, those sentiments changed, Hohman said. Now employers see the value in bringing transparency to their work environment.

“The biggest thing we’ve managed to pull off is to create this community where it’s truthful but it’s constructive. It has not devolved into a cesspool or a rant site,” Hohman said. “That balance is very, very tricky.”

From Reviews to Recruiting

“Our mission hasn’t changed since our founding. It’s to help people find a job at a company they love,” Hohman said. Today, however, helping someone find that job includes helping companies find that right person.

Glassdoor data revealed that more and more job seekers were using the site to find work and saw that their access to company information could be invaluable in the recruiting process. In fact, 83 percent of Glassdoor users now report that job searching is their No. 1 reason for visiting Glassdoor.

Glassdoor is offering job advertising and employer branding services—which make up the majority of the company’s revenue—including recruiting solutions, job advertising, job posting, and employer branding. The company currently has more than 6,400 employer clients, including approximately 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

HR’s Evolution

Evolution in recruitment strategies isn’t just changing how Glassdoor does its job but also how human resources departments operate. HR departments are increasingly using marketing strategies to attract and retain top workers and are also investing in analytics to figure out where resources can be used to optimize hiring efforts, Hohman said.

Fundamentally, HR needs to embrace that it must become a strategic arm of an organization instead of the administrative and compliance-focused department of the past, Hohman said.

More and more CEOs are waking up to the realization that they have “an acute talent problem,” and working with HR leaders can help them begin to overcome that challenge, he said.

“CEOs know precisely what strategy they need to execute to win, but they don’t have the talent to do it,” Hohman said.

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