On Glassdoor (as a CEO)

I literally don’t know how to use Glassdoor – it makes me feel stupid and desperately incompetent, every single time I log in.

I’m not joking – the most intuitive and easiest thing that I’ve been able to do on their website is delete an old account:

Thankfully this was easy, which is a surprise.


This is what your dashboard looks like when you login; I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do and I’m immediately overwhelmed with choices.

Seriously, wtf.

Funny, it’s reminiscent of Yahoo’s homepage in the early 2000’s:

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad… this one is from 2008.

And then if you want to build out your profile you may encounter this archaic workflow:

Wait, seriously… wtf.

Exporting a .PDF document via LinkedIn (I hate this service too) and then uploading it manually is pretty ridiculous considering all of the possibilities via LI’s API! Why I’m doing this manually makes no sense.

(I’m actually surprised how nicely the export came out via LinkedIn, but, that’s neither here nor there.)

But the thing I was most interested in was either establishing an “official” business page (a’la LinkedIn) or at least beginning the process of figuring out how to populate our official page with accurate and relevant information.

This didn’t lead me anywhere useful.

Sadly, it took me two days to actually figure out how to do this! I thought I’d be able to “represent” the business and create a new page, but, I never found that direct and obvious option.

Seriously, how hard is this.


Instead, what I think you need to do is to create a “new review” on the business and if it doesn’t exist, then, you create a new profile of it:

I accidentally found this option. 🤔

I chose the “Benefits Review” because that felt like the quickest way to establish a new business without giving it an “official” Company Review (which would be overly biased and useless for folks to read).

I was not prepared for this:

I nearly died on this page.

What I was hoping to do was to simply share that my company posts our benefits publicly via Notion (we first used Trello):

Check it out here!

And, of course, I gave our company 5/5 stars! I mean, why would I do anything different? 🤦🏻‍♂️

We legitimately have some pretty amazing benefits…

I got all the way to the end and the system choked and never actually saved my review and at this point in time I’m not motivated to go back and do it again.

What in the serious fuck.

So, that’s essentially what my experience has been with Glassdoor after having spent more time on the service than I ever have in my entire life.

And, I leave with a terrible taste in my mouth, knowing that I’m going to eventually spend even more time on this site, making sure that things that are posted are accurate and true while managing my own psychology around the product itself.

This is probably my biggest gripe about Glassdoor on the whole – you already have an incredibly-weak if not outright confusing product experience that is already emotionally frustrating!

Add the social and psychological pressure of knowing that you, the Chief Executive Officer, are being publicly graded, and you realize that there’s nothing enjoyable about any of this.

At least I don’t have the pressure that these CEOs have:

Oh, fun.

I simply can’t imagine anyone having “fun” on the Glassdoor website – it feels like an absolute boorish and infantile chore.

Sadly, this is something that I’m probably going to have to care a lot about as our small project evolves into a more formalized business and as we continue to grow our staff and team.

Or maybe… just maybe… I can build a culture in my company that fundamentally rejects websites and rating services like these; that would be kind of neat.

Just kidding… … …

Regardless, isn’t it curious that I’m actually thinking about how to actively discourage my team to avoid Glassdoor?

The reality is that I would never mandate my staff to use (or not use) a website and digital resource that they may feel is valuable to their careers! I hate the idea of being constrained myself so I’d never put that constraint on anyone else!

But, it does mean that I need to think through how I (inevitably…?!) engage with Glassdoor as the CEO of a company and what that means.

It also does make me wonder what usual the tipping point is for a corporate / business account to be created… in other words, how many employees does an organization typically have before the first review appears on the site?)


Because you certainly don’t want to be this guy:

via Vox

Here’s what happened:

A new survey from the job rating site Glassdoor shows that Zuckerberg’s popularity is declining at Facebook, falling from 16th place among US CEOs to 55th place.

But the reason it’s only a “sort of” is that he is still broadly popular with Facebook employees, with a 94 percent approval rating, at a company that prizes loyalty to the CEO. Still, it’s down — and especially so given that, per Glassdoor data, he had the No. 1 rating slot as recently as 2013.

via Vox

Ugh. Tim Cook’s rating is sliding too:

Tim Cook was the highest rated chief exec on the list back in 2012, with an approval rating of 97% – even higher than Steve Jobs’ 95% the previous year.

His journey since then has been a mixed one, falling to #18 in 2013, holding steady in 2014, climbing to #10 in 2015 and #8 in 2016. That rising trend ended in 2017, with a slide down to #53 based on an approval rating of 93%, and only just remained in the top 100 last year at 96th place.

via 9to5mac

Hey, but VMWare’s boss is doing swell… for now, at least:

In last year’s survey, Gelsinger was ranked 78.

Since then, his company has become a critical component of Dell Technologies Inc., its majority shareholder. 

In April, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a partnership with VMware, aiming to bring more of the latter’s customers to its own Azure cloud computing service, emulating a 2016 pact with Amazon.com Inc.

He’s now ranked #1 in 2019.

via Bloomberg

So, what does a Chief Executive Officer do with sites like Glassdoor? I think you either, ultimately, fall into two camps:

  1. You ignore it completely.
  2. You “try” to “manage” it.

Both seem terrible, but, it is what it is.

My plan (if I have one) is to simply respond candidly to any feedback that we get (when we get it) and to do my best to be civil and respectful; that’s about it.

Until then I’ll just wait for the first review to hit and I’ll spend the rest of my time building something that people want, hiring amazing folks to work on really hard (but important!) stuff, and making people the priority over everything else:


I think (naively?) that this will ultimately bear the type of fruit that we want to see, which will be much more powerful and sustainable than any CEO rating on any review site.