Glassdoor is a great research tool for any job hunter. In just seconds, a potential candidate can learn the inside scoop on a company, posted anonymously by current and former employees. The site has forced employers to step up their game, since the way their managers treat employees can actually scare good workers away.
For disgruntled workers, Glass Door can feel vindicating in a sense, allowing them to let the world know about the mistreatment they’re suffering (or lived with in the past). Overbearing boss? Underworked and overpaid? Working long hours with no appreciation? Don’t worry. You can simply type your complaints on Glass Door and get back at the company that’s wronging you. But it’s important to stop and carefully consider your actions before you start typing. Your comments could land you on the unemployment line, potentially causing irreparable damage to your reputation or career.
1. People may recognize you.
As clever as you think your efforts are at disguising your identity, your co-workers are cleverer than you think. Without you even realizing it, the wheels could be turning in the background. Your co-workers and supervisors may be whispering about the post, analyzing the wording used in it, all while you’re going about your day, completely unaware.
Even if you think you disguised all clues that you were the person behind the anonymous post, to be truly accurate about your workplace experience you’d have to give some details about your experience. You may not even realize you’re one of only a few people who didn’t get a raise last year, for instance, and complaining about your salary rut gives away your identity. If you’re part of a small startup team (I’d say anywhere between five and 50 people, or thereabouts), you probably want to avoid venting through Glassdoor altogether.
Once your boss has identified it’s you, what will happen? “Free speech” doesn’t necessarily protect you in a situation like this, especially if you’re in a right to work state, where your employer can fire you without cause. If you remain on board, you may find yourself feeling shunned or shut out of group gatherings. Take these potential outcomes into consideration before you post.
2. Technology can track you.
If you’re posting to Glassdoor on work-issued devices, including smartphones or tablets, keep in mind that your server administrator may be able to track your activity. Glassdoor may protect your identity but they can’t do anything in an instance like this, since your company owns the equipment you’re using. This definitive proof that you’re the one who posted the review could serve as documentation in your boss’s decision to discipline or terminate you.
The lesson here? In addition to stopping to consider whether or not you should post at all, consider the devices you use when you’re using social media sites to complain about your workplace. You may be leaving an electronic paper trail that could come back to haunt you.
3. Scaring employees away can hurt you.
As you type out your scathing commentary on Glassdoor, you’re probably thinking about how your words will hurt your boss, as well as the company as a whole. But what you’re really doing is making it more difficult for your company to attract great employees. This means openings may remain unfilled for months at a time, leaving your company short staffed. That’s certainly not going to be of help to you.
In addition to scaring good employees away, your business may lose its edge within its industry. In time, this could mean shutting its doors altogether or, if it’s a larger company, outsourcing some of the work. How does this impact you? Your job could be here today, gone tomorrow, leaving you wishing you had a difficult boss to complain about.
If you’re truly in a difficult work situation, instead of turning to Glassdoor to complain, use the site to look for a work environment better suited to your own personal preferences. There are likely multiple job openings listed in your own city and you can search through the reviews to get the scoop before you apply. Then you can leave your bad job behind for someone else.