Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Much Do You Make?


For those seeking a new job, honest information about salaries and workplaces can be near impossible to find. Taking a "give to get" approach to the problem, Glassdoor is a new site that aims to provide a thorough insider's look at what it's really like to work at a company, both financially and otherwise.

Launched into beta last week by two friends who worked together at Microsoft and Expedia (one of whom went on to found Zillow, which we've written about before), Glassdoor's operating philosophy is "You tell me yours, I'll tell you mine" as it gathers real-time reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs in specific companies. Users begin by anonymously contributing a review and/or salary survey for their current employer or any position they've held within the last three years. (All users must provide a verified email account, and all reviews are hand-inspected for authenticity by Glassdoor, it says.) In exchange, Glassdoor gives them free access to nearly 32,000 reviews and salary reports for more than 7,000 companies representing more than 80 countries around the world—and counting. Users providing feedback are asked to take a balanced approach—providing both pros and cons along with advice to senior management—as well as rating companies on a range of workplace culture factors, including work-life balance, fairness and respect, employee morale, and senior leadership. And unlike most salary services that report just aggregated information, Glassdoor provides details of salary, bonuses and other compensation for actual positions and titles at specific companies, letting users compare the earnings package paid to a software engineer at Google with that earned by one at Microsoft, for example. Glassdoor also aims to involve employers through an employer advisory panel, periodic surveys and focus groups for the site.

Glassdoor hopes to become the TripAdvisor of the workplace, it says, and it's currently allowing visitors to preview all available data for four “sneak peek” companies: Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!. Robert Hohman, cofounder and CEO for the California-based site, explains: "We've built Glassdoor to make it easier for anyone to peek inside the walls of a prospective employer—or even the next cubicle—to get information that will foster more productive conversations and lead to better career decisions. Glassdoor's employee-generated content provides a level of transparency in the two key drivers of employee motivation—compensation and culture—that is not available from any other source.”

For those who hadn't noticed, the era of transparency tyranny (and transparency triumph) has arrived. Yet another stone turned!

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