Glassdoor is a one-stop shop for online job seekers. It is a free jobs and careers community that offers an inside look at recruitments and companies through ‘employee-generated content’ by uncovering ‘Inside Connections’ through Facebook.
The content includes jobs available, salaries offered, tips for interviews, company overviews, ratings, etc, enabling users to browse for all the relevant information on one website.
This information is generated by job seekers, employers and companies, making it more legitimate.
A unique feature is ‘Inside Connections’, a Facebook app that reveals the connections users have at a company – employees and ex-employees – from within their Facebook friends list.
Glassdoor co-founder Tim Besse explained:
What job seekers really want is all the answers on one page. What’s the job, what does it pay, what is it like there, and who do I know who could help me?
Job seekers look for information that can help them get the right job quickly. They also want to know more about the company, its salary structure, working environment, point of contact and so on. It is these queries that Glassdoor addresses.
Claire Gordon said in her article ‘Glassdoor Launches Social Network, But Can It Beat LinkedIn?’ :
The Internet is a powerful streamliner. But job-hunting, as millions of unemployed Americans know, is still an inelegant online experience, with separate sites for job searching, company reviews, and professional networking. But Glassdoor has its eyes on the prize: a one-stop shop for all your job-seeking needs.
Glassdoor has a massive advantage over other networks as it is said to have details of more than 150,000 companies, including those listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, and featured in the Fortune 500 list, making it the biggest online repository of information on the job market.
CEO and Co-founder Besse said:
We have as many baristas on the site as we do software engineers. And that’s something LinkedIn can’t say.
Job seekers can search for positions, get a perspective on companies and check which friends have worked there. They also gain insights on a company’s recruiting process. The portal is also useful for human resource personnel scouting for talent.
As mentioned by Mashable writer Sharlyn Lauby:
If you’re interested in specific companies or you just landed an interview there, look them up on Glassdoor. Glassdoor is a community site where individuals can anonymously post the “inside scoop” on companies, jobs, salaries and benefits, based on their firsthand experiences. The comments answer the questions we’re all dying to know: Does the company offer advancement opportunities? What’s your impression of the management team? Does the company encourage in work-life balance?
The inside story of a company and some tips could be the difference between an offer and a rejection.
Through ‘Inside Connections’, every job or company throws up the number of connections a user has through his/her Facebook friends list.
Mashable writer Peter Pachal pointed out:
Now when you connect Glassdoor to Facebook and click on a company, you’ll be able to see which of your Facebook friends are connected to that company — either by being an employee or having worked there in the past. You’ll also see friends of friends who are connected, too.
The integration of ‘Inside Connections’ was based on the insight that most jobs are found through personal connections. Co-founder and CEO Robert Hohmann said that research showed that almost 60% of jobs were found through such connections.
When people look for jobs, they first turn to friends and family. This prompted Glassdoor to integrate the professional network with users’ personal networks.
Friends and family are the most trusted resource for career advice, and with Glassdoor’s Inside Connections, we are bringing together who you know with what you need to know about jobs and companies. Inside Connections allows job seekers to leverage their Facebook network to uncover where they have an ‘in’ at specific companies to help them land the right job.
Glassdoor, therefore, has an advantage over Linkedin through the social integration and through its large database of companies. As mentioned by Jon on the blog ‘Carve Consulting’ :
What’s interesting about the latest Glassdoor update is that it’s chosen to integrate the Facebook API, in a way that dramatically enhances its value proposition. Now, if I choose to log into Glassdoor using my Facebook profile, my social graph will be mapped against any companies that I’m checking out. So if I want to work at Google for example, I can see which of my Facebook friends can possibly help me with an introduction. Sure Linkedin has this feature, but it doesn’t have all the rich data on salaries and reviews from actual employees. What do you think? Has Glassdoor now become the one-stop shop for all your career research needs?
Glassdoor is more about leveraging an existing network for professional connections that most users weren’t aware of. By using Facebook, Glassdoor makes the most of a network that has over 800 million users. Glassdoor users are also younger and more active on Facebook than on other networks like Linkedin because of its serious approach.
As Besse said:
We’ve been taught to think that Facebook is just our personal or social lives and Linkedin is our professional lives, but the reality is that when you’re boots-on-the-street looking for a job, some of the very first people that you turn to are your closest friends. And what Glassdoor does is make it really easy to tap into these connections.
Instead of duplicating the Linkedin experience on Facebook, Glassdoor used Facebook to enhance its own website.
Facebook is the world’s most popular social network but does not have any business features other than the Branchout/Monster apps, so such integration works well for both.
Users connected to the influential, the well-networked and those who have a diverse set of friends will have access to the most jobs. Also, each friend that joins Glassdoor allows users to see more connections at more companies.
Glassdoor isn’t the first to turn to Facebook contacts. Branchout is the most popular one with 2.5 million unique monthly visitors, according to AppData.
This app, like Inside Connections, pulls information from users’ profiles – work history and education, in this case, to allow them to network without personal information getting in the way.
People who are uncomfortable with sharing personal information can opt for BeKnown, which lets users choose friends they want to list as contacts. Those friends must consent to be part of the list.
Tech Crunch writer Sarah Perez explained:
Conceptually, the product isn’t all that different from what BranchOut has already been doing, or what Monster.com is doing with its BranchOut copycat BeKnown. Using BranchOut’s Facebook app, for example, you can view which friends work where and who they may know at companies you’re interested in. And, like Glassdoor’s new Inside Connections, the others are also built on top of the Facebook social graph.
The difference is that with BranchOut, the goal is to create a mini LinkedIn right on top of Facebook. You can post projects, share links, post jobs, search through people and companies and grow your network. Glassdoor’s Inside Connections, meanwhile, isn’t meant to be a standalone experience. Instead of duplicating the Linked In experience on Facebook, it’s using Facebook to enhance its own website.
Glassdoor also boasts of a richer database of reviews from actual employees.
A purely social network is not the best foundation for a professional application, but neither is a purely professional network. Job portals will emerge in the social networking space to maximise the potential of social data through strategic integrations.
Though Linkedin offers a successful platform for business networking, the Facebook graph is a lot more expansive and can provide useful data.
While social and professional networks are fundamentally different, they both hold useful information and will form a potent partnership in the future.
Glassdoor recognises this. How far it succeeds in bridging the two worlds will be interesting to watch.
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