Corporate Leaders Trolling Job Sites for Employee Sentiment

Directors and CEOs want to know if employees are digitally trashing their companies Reviews on Glassdoor

By Allison Jacobs

“It is still very much a boys club. Even though half of the sales staff are women, almost all the managers are men. All of the General Managers are also men,” says a current sales executive for Zillow in a recent Glassdoor review pictured to the right.

Online employee reviews on job search sites have long been helpful tools for employees, but top corporate leaders are increasingly finding them essential.

Evelyn Dilsaver | Board Room PreparationTake, Evelyn Dilsaver, a board director at Tempur-Pedic and Protiviti. In addition to preparing reading materials prior to board meetings, she does research on her companies by reading Glassdoor to understand the viewpoint of the employees.

And an article in Wall Street Journal article Wednesday, “CEOs Head to Web for Critiques,” points to a growing trend among CEOs mining such sites to find out what their employees are thinking.

With the Web at their fingertips, many CEOs are using career sites to get a leg up on what employees have to stay about them. By using these career websites, CEOs are able to communicate more openly with their employees by finding out what they truly think, and responding in such a way that is open to the public eye. Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, for example, has responded to about 70 reviews online, according to the Journal article.

Looking at online employee forums could be a supplement for those employers wanting to know about employee engagement. Today, 22% of companies internally survey employees quarterly or more often, 79% survey employees annually or less, and 14 percent never survey employees at all, according to a Deloitte article titled “The employee experience: Culture, engagement, and beyond.”

Responses from CEOs and board members don’t necessarily have to be game changing, but an acknowledgment is essential for good relations, executives say.

CEO Owen Tripp of Grand Rounds finds that when responding to either negative or positive reviews, it is best to thank the employees for expressing their opinions and to remain levelheaded, according to a Fortune article. Not only does this boost communication within the company, but increases the moral of the work environment.

April Underwood, Slack VP of Product | Zillow's 1St Woman Board Member

As for gender equality at Zillow, the company recently appointed their first female board member, April Underwood.

“Zillow Group’s people, culture, brands and partnerships are impressive,” Underwoord said in a statement, “and I look forward to working closely with [Zillow Group co-founder and executive chairman Rich Barton], [CEO Spencer Raskoff] and the other board members to help support the company’s continued success.”

At least the board isn’t a boys club anymore.