It's time to buy something online. What's the first thing you do? According to the Pew Research Center, 82% of us think about reading online reviews.
Why should the job hunting process be different?
When you accept a new job, you're putting your career and financial future on the line. Arguably, it could be one of the most critical purchases you'll make, even if you never spend a dime to get it.
Company review sites let you read what real people — including current and past employees — think about the organization you're hoping to join.
You have plenty of websites to choose from! We'll help you decide which site is right for you, and we'll explain how to use each of them properly.
How to Research With Glassdoor
Glassdoor is one of the biggest and best-known employee review sites out there. More than 600,000 companies have listings on the site.
On Glassdoor, you can find out more about:
- Recommendations. Reviewers are asked to disclose whether they would recommend the company to a friend, whether they approve of the CEO, and how they feel the company is performing.
- Advice. Read hot tips reviewers give the management team about what should change and what practices are working.
- Salaries. Get a general idea about how much people get paid. Read information about the benefits offered.
- Interviews. Find out more about what questions employers ask each applicant. See if people who went through the process accepted a job, and if they didn't, read why they declined the opportunity.
To use the site:
- Search by company name. You'll see a search box on the home page of the website. If you know the exact name of the company you'd like to work for, start typing.
- Search by location. If you're not exactly sure of the company's name or spelling, tap in the location of the organization, and then start typing what you know.
- Sign in. You'll see a bit of information without logging in, but to read all the details about the company, you'll need to give Glassdoor your information. Create an account in seconds, or sign in with a Facebook or Google account.
- Sort your data. You can read through reviews by date, by sentiment, and more.
Glassdoor works best for:
- People researching many companies. Glassdoor has many reviews available online. If you have a long list of organizations to target, it's likely you'll find all of them listed on this website.
- Interview prep. Read what others were asked in an interview, and find out how long it takes to get a job offer. Researching the best ways to prepare can help you feel comfortable during this crucial part of the job-hunting process.
- Storytelling. Move past hard data and star ratings with Glassdoor. People are encouraged to tap out all of their thoughts when they leave reviews, and there is no character limit. If you like reading the full story from employees, this site could intrigue you.
How to Research With Kununu
Kununu originates in England, and at one point, all the listings were overseas companies. Now, American users have caught on, and there are many U.S. organizations reviewed on the site. Overall, there are 3.6 million worldwide reviews to sort through.
Reviewers are asked to rank companies on a variety of factors, including:
- Company culture
- Management support
- Freedom to work independently
- Career development support
- Job security
In each section, reviewers can provide a star rating, but they can also include comments on their thoughts about the company's performance. If you're interested in sheer data, you'll like the stars, but if you like narrative flow, you'll also have plenty of information to look through.
To use Kununu:
- Start your search. Type in the company's name in the search box on the home screen, or tap the "search" button in the upper-right corner of the website.
- Filter your results. If you're researching a company with various locations, use the city, country, or state buttons to hone in on the one you want. You can also use an industry filter to separate company names that sound alike.
- Make your selection. Once you've found the right organization name, click on it to open a new window.
- Read and refine. Use the "overview" button to read a summary of all reviews. Scroll down to read the comments in full. Select the "reviews" tab to see a summary of star ratings.
- Ask a question. If you don't see a critical piece of data, use the "questions" tab to make a query.
- Search for jobs. Use the "jobs" tab to see employment opportunities submitted by the company you're researching. When none are listed, Kununu will give you other opportunities in a similar industry.
Kununu works best for:
- Industry specialists. It's easy to compare companies within the same field of work via Kununu. Scroll down to the bottom of each review, and you'll see a "score comparisons" box that lets you jump to different companies within your preferred employment space.
- Global job hunters. As we mentioned, Kununu has listings for companies all around the world. If the idea of travel intrigues you, this could be just the site for you.
- People in a hurry. Review summaries make for quick reading. If you need a quick punch of data before a meeting, this is a good website choice.
How to Research With Comparably
Some job hunters know exactly where they want to work. Others haven't settled on a job wish list quite yet. You may know what attributes set an organization apart from the rest, but you haven't decided on names and locations yet. Comparably could be just right for you.
Employers are encouraged to join the site, submit pictures, list job openings, and talk about what makes their companies worthwhile. Then, employees add their own reviews to fill out the profile. Employees are asked to score companies based on their:
- Leadership. The employee's manager and the company's CEO both get a score.
- Environment. Employees can talk about the company's culture, their team, office culture, and how meetings are run.
- Benefits and compensation. Ratings about how much employees are paid in both salary and benefits are available.
To use Comparably:
- Search by name. If you do know the name of the organization you hope to work for, enter it into the search box on the home page.
- Emphasize culture. Scroll down, and you'll see companies ranked by the website's algorithm, based on employee reviews. Refine your search by company size.
- Focus on gender and diversity. Comparably uses employee reviews to rank companies by how well they respect their workforce. You also have the ability to refine results by company size.
- Assess leadership. Browse companies with high CEO rankings, or read about companies with highly rated teams. You'll see those options near the bottom of the home page.
Comparably works best for:
- Open job hunts. You'll find all sorts of data about well-liked companies. If you specialize in a job that almost every company must fill (like information technology), this can help you focus on organizations that will treat you right.
- Making connections. Names, contact data, and photos of people in management are listed on company pages. That could be a perk if you'd like to reach out to someone at the company before you apply.
- Finding a job fast. If you spot a company you'd love to work for, mark your interest in the company page. Comparably will notify the company that you're interested, and you may get an invitation to apply for an open position. You'll need to create a username and password to take advantage of this option.
How to Research With InHerSight
InHerSight is designed for women looking for their next dream job. All the ratings on this site are written by women and the founders suggest that they only include ranking terms that matter to women in the workforce.
Each person who creates a rating of a company is asked to talk about:
- Personal development. Were they offered learning opportunities? Were wellness initiatives available?
- Career opportunities. Could they move into management? Was there a sponsorship or mentorship program? Were coworkers helpful?
- Family support. Was maternity and adoptive leave available? Could women use flexible work hours and/or telecommute?
Users are asked to talk about how many women were in management spots. They are also invited to disclose details about the salary and benefits package.
To use InHerSight:
- Search by company name. Tap the magnifying glass at the top of the page, and enter your data.
- Search by location. Type in your zip code in the location box, and you'll see companies near you rated by women.
- Search by industry. If you're willing to relocate for the perfect job, select your field, and leave the location data blank.
- Read the data. Once you find the right company, click the company’s profile and start digging in.
- Sign up. Save time and create a profile on the site. You'll see companies that support the environment and causes that matter the most to you.
InHerSight works best for:
- Women. All of the reviews are written by women, and the company shares rankings that might matter most to women. If you're interested in working in women-led companies, and you want to ensure that you're given equal opportunities and plenty of time to support your family, this could be a valuable resource.
- Time-sensitive job searches. Find the company you're interested in, and you'll see a summary screen with star rankings. It's an easy way to find out a lot about a company very quickly.
- Media-savvy searchers. Save time with a profile, and you'll get matched with jobs that are just right for you.
How to Use Review Sites
Review sites give you insight into companies you long to work for. Make the most of your time on these sites by reading with a critical eye.
Read smart by:
- Focusing on moderate reviews. Experts say they always read three-star reviews first. Extreme reviews can be more entertaining, of course, but they may not be as helpful. A moderate review is likely to contain both good and bad information, so you can make up your own mind.
- Paying attention to listings with many reviews. Researchers say reputation scores tend to rise when a company has plenty of reviews. If there are only one or two, the overall outlook is negative. Unhappy people can't wait to share their opinions, and they tend to be early adopters of review technology.
- Watching for signs of trouble. Look for reviews that lack detail, contain too many first-person pronouns, or lean hard on verbs. Those are the touches, researchers say, that indicate that the analysis might be invalid or bot written.
- Researching the reviewer. Some review sites make profiles of their review team. Additionally, reporters say that some people make a career of reviewing everything they can. If a certain reviewer has a history of leaving rankings for plenty of companies, and they are all positive or negative, this could be a voice you should keep out of your head.
If you spot a trend in the review, make a note of it. During your job interview, you'll get hit with the dreaded "What questions do you have for us?" line. This is an opportunity to set the record straight.
Mention that you've seen online reviewers mention this problem. Ask if the reviews are accurate, and if they are, what the company is doing to address the issue. You could discover that you're worrying about old information.
If all the reviews are good and you don't have an interview yet, it's time to prepare your application. This could be a company that offers the right mix of compensation and growth that makes it ideal for you.
If you'd like to deepen your research on a company and find out about job openings, we can help. Joblist contains job postings from some of the biggest and best companies in the United States. We add more job listings every day! Search by job name or search by location.
Our website will give you a good idea of next steps that can move your career forward, and it doesn't cost you anything to get started. Try it today!
Online Shopping and e-Commerce: Online Reviews. (December 2016). Pew Research Center.
Company Reviews. Glassdoor.
Why You Can't Really Trust Negative Online Reviews. (June 2018). The New York Times.
Online Customer Reviews of Hotels: As Participation Increases, Better Evaluation Is Obtained. (March 2013). Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.
Here's How to Spot Fake Reviews With 90 Percent Accuracy, According to Science. (August 2017). Inc.
Manipulation of the Crowd: How Trustworthy Are Online Reviews? (July 2010). Scientific American.