Employer 411?

S. Dale Morrey sdalemorrey at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 15:33:08 MST 2012


Can someone please cross post this to other lists that might have
members who wish to participate?  I'm only subscribed to PLUG at the
moment.

A locally focused employer review site has been asked for so many
times, there is clearly a need for it.
I think honestly that glassdoor is close to what is needed, but is
taking the wrong approach.

I interviewed at a place with abysmal rankings on Wednesday.  I took
the grand tour and met a ton of great people there.  All of the
current workforce appeared genuinely happy to be there.  It is my
belief that if the reviews on glassdoor were accurate at the time they
were written, they aren't any longer and thus those older negative
comments ought to be removed or downmodded in some fashion.

Instead of a permanent wall of anti-employer graffiti, what we need is
a living breathing organization that takes a neutral stance and
provides only facts and allows for an employer rebuttal system.
Unfortunately, that would be a sort of journalistic endeavor and would
require immense resources to keep current.  So I have an alternative
proposition.

I have the hosting capacity, and at the moment I have the bandwidth to
lead a project like this.  I'm also an IT Management, MBA candidate
and this would make an excellent final project so I can get that dang
degree.

I consider myself to be a decent programmer and although I'm mostly a
systems level programmer, I have worked on a number of website
projects.  Truth be told I have no real skill at the design portions
of a website, look & feel etc.  I have access to that type of talent
but it would cost me money that I don't have right now.

So here's my suggestion.  If I can get at least 4 more people
interested in actually contributing resources, (time & talent).  I'll
finance the creation of a non-profit endeavor to provide a living
breathing review service such as the one we have been talking about.

At least initially I envision it looking a bit like a blend of Ebay &
Amazon's feedback systems.  Unlike glassdoor, employers will be
allowed to directly participate, but we will protect the identity of
commentors by creating a delay of at least 30 days from the time a
comment is posted until the time it is shown publicly and thus
available to employers for review and rebuttal.

During that initial 30 day period, the feedback would be available to
"job seeker" subscribers, just not publicly visible, nor would it be
visible to "employer subscribers".  All comments would be anonymized.
After a calendar year, any negative feedback would drop off, positive
feedback would remain indefinitely.  Rankings would be permanent and
would be the mean average of total feedback scores.

We could rank on a defined set of metrics plus an overall holistic.  A
cooling off period of course would need to be enforced so that the
recently unemployed, don't get overly hot-headed.  I think allowing a
comment to "cool" for 30 days then requiring the initial submitter to
"confirm or edit" before allowing the post to become public would
probably be sufficient.

We could prevent trolling & astroturfing by requiring that a person
about to post as a former employee on a company, have that company
listed as an employer or former employer in their LinkedIn profile, or
something similar.  I believe LinkedIn has an API that would allow
automation of this process.  Furthermore if an employer is removed
from someone's linked in profile then we must assume the post was an
astroturf and remove the comment and it's ranking.

I think it would be a good idea to provide not only a company by
company review, but also a department by department review.  As a
contractor, I've personally worked in a cross-departmental capacity
within an organization and have seen one department literally at war
with another department.  It was umm, shall we say interesting, to be
treated as some sort of missile being lobbed across cubicles.  Of
course upper management was completely clueless about this.  Discord
like that can lead directly to an organizational failure. I can see
this feedback system providing invaluable insight for decision makers
as to what's "really going on" in their org.

Since the whole subject is completely off topic for the list, let's
take any further communication on it out of band.  If you're
interested in participating shoot me an email sdalemorrey at gmail.com,
I'll get a mailing list up and send you back a link to subscribe.


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