For job seekers, the internet offers a wealth of research advantages during the hunt for a new gig. Labor statistics, cost of living reports, and listicles informing you of up-and-coming industries and marketable skills are only a few examples of the job-related information available online.

Glassdoor, one of the fastest-growing job and recruiting sites, is taking job-seeking and recruiting to a new level for potential employees and employers alike. Glassdoor is mostly considered a job review site by many users, but it offers a wealth of additional data. The site also provides CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos, and more.

For employers, the data available may have positive and negative effects. The positive reviews can aid recruiting and help draw in candidates who are truly interested in open job roles. Then there are reviews left by those hoping to leave constructive criticism the organization can incorporate into growth strategies. However, for employees who feel compelled to write a negative review, the remarks they leave can tarnish a company’s reputation, the CEO’s reputation, and convince great job candidates to look elsewhere.

One CEO’s Glassdoor Strategy

Owen Tripp, the CEO and co-founder of Grand Rounds, a San Francisco technology company, takes an unconventional approach to his company’s Glassdoor reviews – he responds directly to them. Tripp believes in responding to the positive and negative reviews to express appreciation and offer his time to meet and discuss ideas and feedback. Tripp believes responding to the reviews is valuable, and his responses show current and potential employees that he takes their feedback seriously.

Making Use of Glassdoor’s Data

Glassdoor’s data gives the entire community engaging with the platform many competitive advantages – job seekers can apply to jobs with great benefits, employees can provide real-time, anonymous feedback to their company, and employers can respond and mitigate glaring issues.

For Job Seekers

Most advice for job seekers points to one important task – research. Glassdoor is a simple solution for that task. However, when sifting through company reviews, read between the lines and don’t let one bad review turn you away from discovering a potentially great, new opportunity. Notice the common perks and benefits that employees brag about. Ask yourself if the benefits and salaries listed align with your personal needs and wishes for a new job.

When issues are present throughout reviews, consider common themes and responses from the company, if any. It’s important to note that employers are not able to edit, reorder, or remove reviews according to Glassdoor’s Terms of Use. If a company’s profile is mostly (or all) positive, it could genuinely be a great place to work.

For Employees

If you’re currently employed at a company you’re satisfied with, consider publishing an honest review about the work and the benefits available to you. Job seekers may be reviewing your company and your feedback could help encourage someone to apply. As an employee, realize that you don’t have to wait until there is a problem in your workplace to offer constructive feedback to your employer.

If you are an employee or past employee that is motivated to post a negative review about your current or former employer, know that you are limited to what you can publish on Glassdoor. Glassdoor’s Terms of Use state that a user can’t publish a review that is, “defamatory, libelous, or fraudulent; that you know to be false or misleading; or that does not reflect your honest opinion and experience,” and cannot “act in a manner that is threatening, racist or bigoted, or is otherwise objectionable.” Users cannot disclose any potentially confidential information about a company’s business that could be in direct violation of non-disclosure or other contractual agreements. To post a negative review that will stay on the site, be sure that your feedback stays on the topics of work performed, benefits offered, and company culture. Glassdoor expertly recommends a simple pros and cons approach.

For Employers

For employers, the best advice when considering Glassdoor is to be an active participant in the community. By responding to reviews (both positive and negative) with awareness, encouragement, and a solution-oriented approach, your profile will showcase a self-aware and caring company. Not every company needs to be like Grand Rounds’ CEO Owen Tripp and have the CEO respond to the reviews, but consider creating a plan with your human resources department to stay active on your profile and analyze the feedback being published.

If you have employees who are great advocates for your company, encourage them to offer honest, unbiased feedback on your profile. Glassdoor’s Terms of Use states that companies are not allowed to coerce or incentivize employees to publish reviews, but encouraging engaged employees to become active in the community can create a larger pool of reviews and help illustrate that the extreme outliers are simply outliers and not as trustworthy. By positioning Glassdoor as a positive community that can showcase all of the attributes of your company and help to bring top talent to your team, employees will feel comfortable engaging with the platform, ranking helpful reviews, and flagging reviews that violate the Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.

For CEOs and other business leaders, it’s important to consider how your actions and written communications to employees can be interpreted and potentially taken out of context. Glassdoor does allow its members to write about C-suite and other senior leadership in their reviews, as long as the content is highlighting their behavior and performance at work. Personal attacks are not allowed. It’s an important reminder for senior leadership to remain professional in all business communications, including in responses made on Glassdoor, to help mitigate the potential risk of reputation issues that could continue to resurface on Glassdoor reviews.

Conclusion

While some employers may dismiss Glassdoor simply as a digital watercooler for employee gossip and complaints, there are clearly many advantages to treating the platform as a digital community and a showcase of the company’s culture. The wealth of information that employees are willing to share is invaluable and will allow you to improve the workplace benefits and culture, while easily recruiting and retaining top talent.