Everyone enjoys the occasional water cooler gossip. In fact, some of the best intel around lofty corporate takeovers, heated internal vendettas, and covert job opportunities often disseminate from this corporate oasis.

Unfortunately, no one can camp out at the water cooler 24/7 without the risk of over-hydration and productivity loss. Not to mention, the level of networking that would be required to infiltrate the water cooler clans of not just your company, but those of your colleagues, competitors and potential employers.

That’s where Glassdoor comes in.

Glassdoor is a well-known career community that connects qualified job seekers with companies looking to recruit the best talent. However, Glassdoor is also wholly dedicated to achieving its crown mission: workplace transparency. In addition to posting job opportunities, providing interview resources, and salary reports, Glassdoor also serves as a forum for current & former employees to anonymously rate & discuss their employer experiences. At its purest essence – Glassdoor is your online water cooler.

Now before you start taking notes on your future boss’ favorite fishing spot, let’s pay homage to Glassdoor’s ‘pros and cons’ review format and breakdown the site’s core benefits and drawbacks.


1. Anonymity

For better or worse, people are more honest when speaking from behind a curtain. However, from a career perspective, the anonymity on Glassdoor allows current & former employees to speak out honestly without fear of repercussion from their employers. This offers job seekers the maximum potential for value, as the insights gained will be much richer.

2. Submission Reviews

To ensure reviews abide by Glassdoor’s terms and conditions, the site does have a review process for testimonials submitted on-site. By complementing automated identity validation with an actual content management team, Glassdoor keeps a strong pulse on the content circulating within its pages.

3. Salary Database

Depending on your industry, salary benchmarks can be hard to come by. By creating a free account, Glassdoor allows you to search median salaries across specific industries, titles and regions. Based on the location & title of your choosing, the salary reports will also detail median salary ranges for your title nationwide and at leading local companies in your area.

4. Career Resources

Between Glassdoor’s blog and interview portal, the site offers job seekers a wide array of career development resources. Let’s face it – very few people actually enjoy the application and interview process. Glassdoor takes some of the guesswork out of the process & places greater knowledge and control in the hands of the applicant.

5. Reviewers Are Inherently Extreme

Most people only take the time to review a product, service, or business when they are either extremely satisfied or extremely irate. If a company has amassed a small sample size of testimonials, this could lead to a very unbalanced portrayal of the company and may wrongly skew job seekers’ assessments of their potential employer moving forward.


1. Anonymity

Yes, you read correctly – anonymity is also a con. Even with a review process in place, it can be extremely difficult to trust that a handful of almost verbatim testimonials were posted by unique individuals with no front-end insight into their profiles.

2. False Sense of Security

Even if you’ve done your research, vetted the workplace environment, and brushed up on the reported interview process, Glassdoor content is still at its core subjective and biased. Before you walk into that interview, be sure you allocate the correct amount of weight to site testimonials and interview reports. Don’t ignore the information at your disposal, but also take it at face value.

So is Glassdoor your friend or enemy? As with any water cooler circle, if you keep your wits about you, stay objective and remain a silent observer, Glassdoor may provide you with the necessary intel to help navigate your next career move successfully.