Some years back in 2007, as Rich Barton, the real-estate Web site Zillow CEO was getting ready for the company’s annual review, he wanted to get reviews on every worker’s performance to know who deserved a raise. He wanted to print a spreadsheet of all the workers’ salaries and stock options that were on his computer. Unfortunately, instead of sending the spreadsheet to his personal-printer, he sent it to the open plan office printer. This would have made it go public, and although his assistant was ready to stop the mess, the event remained fresh in Barton’s mind.
In the mid-nineties, Barton was running in a travel business unit, and he then introduced the idea of individual purchasing their tickets from the internet other than having to go through agents. People were afraid of feeding their travel information to the computers, and they would inquire on the cost and schedule of their flight from the respective travel agent.
Barton, however, convinced Bill Gates to bring out Microsoft’s travel unit as a product and company by itself named Expedia. This together with other sites was able to change the travel field. It made work easy for everyone as they could get information online and choose the best deals and later buy their tickets online. It also reduced their ticket prices since they did not have to pay commission to the travel agents.
Another company later acquired Expedia, and that is when Barton left and started Zillow. Zillow had a feature which helped users to calculate the data from listings, and it was easy for people to know how much a place may cost just by the look of it online. Barton realized that the Internet was changing the world and made everything more comfortable considering how it worked for Expedia and Zillow. It empowered individuals with information and tools that they did not have before.
Later, Barton shared his idea with Robert Hohman. He used the approach and launched Glassdoor in 2008. It is now the second best rated and most popular Job Web Site rated, after Indeed. It helps in job listings but also provides a site where people can share their salaries and can share anonymous reviews about their workplace.
A study by Software Advice proved that most job seekers in the U.S, who amounted to 50 percent, read workplace reviews from Glassdoor to know the working condition and environment before applying for the job. Other than providing listings and reviews, Glassdoor also sells profiles that look like Yellow pages ads. It also offers bare-bone website pages for companies that get review allowing them to appear on top of Google search results.
Glassdoor also takes the responsibility of dealing with threatening reviews like rape or a case where an angry employee decides to leave negative reviews to destroy the reputation of the company. Glassdoor believes that there is an easier and better way for companies to raise their employees’ engagement. It feels that it is wrong for employers to pay or offer incentives to their workers to get positive reviews. Glassdoor assures them that it will remove the positive reviews where it has evidence that the workers were paid or bribed to provide them.
Glassdoor aims at turning or changing the corporate power dynamics for the better by ensuring that all the reviews made online are genuine and that nobody is forced to write what they write. The reviews are anonymous, and anyone can choose Glassdoor especially if the reviews are positive and made willingly.