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Microsoft, Yahoo, Google Behind The Glassdoor

Apparently, Microsoft employees love their pay but aren't too wild about boss Ballmer. Likewise, Yahoo seems like a great place to work, but Jerry has lost his "mojo." These and more salacious tidbits can be found on new social slam book site Glassdoor.com. Thankfully, there is an enterprise lesson to be learned here.
Apparently, Microsoft employees love their pay but aren't too wild about boss Ballmer. Likewise, Yahoo seems like a great place to work, but Jerry has lost his "mojo." These and more salacious tidbits can be found on new social slam book site Glassdoor.com. Thankfully, there is an enterprise lesson to be learned here.


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Glassdoor is the brainchild of Zillow founder Robert Hohman and friends. The site is described as a career and workplace community where "anyone can go to find and anonymously share real-time reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs in specific companies." Employees are able to post anonymously, though I'm sure it's not hard to spot a disgruntled co-worker these days.

Glassdoor came out of stealth mode this week to mixed reviews. Some tech pundits enjoyed the honest banter. Rob Hof of BusinessWeek likened Glassdoor to user-rated travel site TripAdvisor, while others like The Seattle Times' Brier Dudley felt Glassdoor can't hold a candle to New York's Vault.com. Perhaps, but Hohman said he was starting with some specific West Coast players (Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, etc.) as Glassdoor is headquartered just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

One thing that works in Glassdoor's favor is its ability to post salaries. Whether or not they are inflated remains to be seen, but it's probably much more accurate than anything that Salary.com has posted or your own company's human resource department has in its database.

Here are some of the big numbers:

  • Google Software Engineer $96,000
  • Microsoft Software Development Engineer $96,000
  • Cisco Systems Software Engineer $87,000
  • Cisco Systems Software Technical Lead $143,000
  • Yahoo! Product Marketing Manager $98,000
  • Google Account Manager $94,000
  • Yahoo! Software Engineer $99,000
  • Cisco Systems Senior Product Manager $126,000

Salaries aside, the compelling content comes from the comments section where employees just let loose and rate their bosses.

I've never met EDS chairman, president, and CEO Ron Rittenmeyer, but he's got a 26% approval rating ... just north of President Bush.

Here's what one middle manager said about Rittenmeyer.


As I said above, either learn to trust the junior leadership you put into place or replace them. Set goals and then GET OUT OF THE WAY and allow the leadership the flexibility to execute to them. If they don't perform, release them. The micromanagement culture has to stop.

So here is the business lesson: Most workers aren't comfortable openly discussing current compensation with people at work and information collected through annual employee surveys is rarely distributed widely, according to Glassdoor. So as a result, the social site said its feedback (positive and negative) can be a better barometer of internal satisfaction and compensation in the competitive market. Not to mention, Glassdoor said it tracks data in real time, which may or may not be a benefit. In most sectors, salaries don't move too fast, but here in the Bay Area the demand for many types of software engineering skills has grown considerably during the past several months, increasing compensation packages.

Perhaps the best approach for your HR department is to alert them to Glassdoor to gauge on worker (dis)satisfaction, but continue to issue those employee surveys.

Besides, however noble Glassdoor is in its approach to distinguish itself from, say, F***edCompany.com, Hohman is obviously hoping more employees spill the beans on their bosses.