Employer Review Sites: What’s being said about your small business?

It’s 2019. We’re living in the information age. There is so much information out there that one could argue it’s a little too much. A small business owner may feel like their business is constantly being scrutinized by a potential online ranter. You risk receiving negative online reviews from customers having an ‘off’ day. But, what about disgruntled former employees? What if someone who previously worked for your business writes negatively on employer review sites? Could it hurt you when trying to find good employees?

Popular Employer Review Sites

What’s an employer review site, after all? Are you familiar with the websites that allow employees to rate and critique your business and your management style?

Not all business owners are aware of all of the places in which information can be shared about their company. It’s important to know what is being said about your business and where when you’re a small business owner. The reasons are two-fold. First, you can only improve upon the problems you’re aware of. Also, you can only have a conversation go in the direction you’d like it to if you know where that conversation is.

Conversations are happening about your business online. And it may be on some of the employer review sites listed below. Here we’ll dissect the different employer review sites. In another post we’ll go into ways you can put your business’ metaphorical best foot forward.


Glassdoor is one of the biggest sites known for employer reviews. The sheer volume of reviews available really sets them apart. The site was created in 2008 to increase transparency about workplaces. It now has grown to forty-five million reviews, salaries and insights over the last eleven years. Additional features include a personal salary calculator, answers to interview questions, and a thorough job listing database.

Glassdoor was the first company to allow the public a peek into average salaries. This created a more even playing field and set up employees with the upper hand when seeking employment.

Companies on Glassdoor

Each company has a landing page that can be found through the search feature on the Glassdoor Company Reviews tab. An overview of the company may include information such as the company website, where they are headquartered, the amount of employees, the year they were founded, and the type of business they run. You may also find the industry the business is in, their revenue and competitors, along with a brief summary.

Employer Reviews on Glassdoor

Ratings are done on five-point scales.

Categories include:

  • Comps & Benefits
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Overall

Reviewers also have the option of ‘Recommend to a Friend’ or ‘Approve of CEO.’ These both read as a percentage on the company’s landing page.

Reviewers indicate whether they are a former or current employee. They are then asked about the title held at the company. Despite this, the review can be left anonymous. Information to be filled out includes five word pros and five word cons, and advice to management. This discourages disgruntled former employees from going on rants. It also allows website users to get a quick glimpse of the company without spending too much time sorting through individual opinions.


Indeed was founded in 2005 as a pay-per-click job listing site and has grown to be the #1 job site in the world. The company, now owned by Japan’s Recruit Co. Ltd. is also now affiliated with SimplyHired, Job.com. Beyon, GetHired.com, Looksharp. Jobtarget, LiveCareer, Kijiji, career, jobster, startwire, juju, jobrapido, careerbliss–the list goes on! That makes room for a huge database of job listings around the world. It also means one small business’ job posting can be seen on many websites.

Seems like it’s the site to go to when you’re looking for a job listing. But what about Employer Reviews?

Companies on Indeed

Each company on Indeed has a unique landing page that represents a company. The landing page is a snapshot of the business that includes the average rating of the available categories and some selected reviews.

There are also other tabs that you can explore on a business’ Indeed page. The second, after Snapshot, is Why Join Us, a business can fill out this space to explain some of the benefits of working for them and some of the values that business seeks to uphold. Following that is Reviews, and Salaries. There’s also a tab for Photos of the workplace and team. Jobs has some current job listings available. The next tab is a Q&A where questions about the business can be asked by potential employees interested in the business and answered by former and current employees.

The final tab is titled Interviews. Notes on the interview process are gathered in this section through a percentage as well as an average-answer rating system. This allows potential hires to know what to expect in the interview process and it takes a bit of the edge off. Below is a screen clip of how that is broken down.

Employer Ratings on Indeed

Like Glassdoor, ratings also use a five-point scale system for many of their categories.

Categories on Indeed include:

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Compensation/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Culture

Questions asked of reviewers include:

  • Would you recommend this business to a friend?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how likely is it that you would recommend this business to a friend?
  • How would you describe the working culture at this business? (Options available to be selected are: relaxed, quick-paced, stressful, collaborative, competitive, slow-paced, not sure)
  • On a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent), how would you rate your most recent manager at this business?
  • Do you think you are/were paid fairly?
  • Do you feel like your salary was enough for the cost of living in your area, yes or no?
  • Why did you or why would you leave your job at this business? (Options available to be selected are: lack of career advancement, low salary or benefits, poor management, working hours, had to relocate, it was a temporary job, something else, and I don’t intend to leave)
  • Which benefits did you receive?
  • How many paid vacation days does this business provide for your role?
  • What was your employment status?
  • On average, how many hours per day did you work?
  • How many hours per week did you work?
  • Rate the CEO

Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work is another resource for job candidates to research the work environment of a company. It varies greatly from the two other employer review sites mentioned thus far primarily because markets toward the business owner rather than the job seeker. Great Place to work encourages the business owner to certify their business to begin a process of comparing your workplace culture with that of businesses that are the “best in the world.”

The process starts with surveying your employees over a two-week period, then utses the details you provide to create a complete culture brief. If you meet the research-based criteria, your business is eligible to be certified as a Great Place to Work.

Great Place to Work doesn’t have individual commentary from previous employees. This is great because you don’t have to worry about a toxic employee coming back to haunt your business. The certification comes with some clout, and they do boast that all of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For are Great Place to Work certified. Unfortunately, this will come at a cost to your business, unlike the free databases of employer reviews on other sites.

Companies on Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work’s ratings work on a percentage scale.

Categories include:

  • Employees say this is a Great Place to Work
  • When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome
  • I’m proud to tell others I work here
  • I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community
  • People celebrate special events around here
  • Our facilities contribute to a good working environment

It then uses notes from the employee survey to create a word cloud of most common comments made about the business. Here’s an example:

image via Great Place to Work


Comparably is a relatively new resource for employer reviews, but it outshines others listed prior because of the amount of specific data it shares along with the beauty of its interface. It isn’t easy to make a grand mass of information seem readable and comprehensible in one fell swoop, but Comparably does this with colorful graphs and badges that a visually pleasing.

Companies on Comparably

Companies on Comparably’s employer review site have a landing page that is visual heavy. The top has a space available for an image banner, and then there is an icon space for a logo, similar to Facebook’s timeline format. You’ll find out right away how many employees from the listed business have participated in the employer review process. And there you’ll also find how many total ratings they have for the business.

screen grab via comparably

There are tabs to delve deeper into specific categories about each business on Comparably, similar to Glassdoor and Indeed. However, these categories go into further subcategories as well.

Categories and Subcategories

Under the Culture category alone, you’ll find Demographic, Team, Company, and Daily Life. Demographic breaks down into further subcategories that hold specific data about Diversity, Environment, Women at the company, and Retention. You’ll also find information about Team. Team information includes the CEO Rating, Manager, Team, Executive Team, and Leadership. Within Company, you’ll find Outlook, Compensation, Professional Development, and Perks and Benefits. Daily Life goes into detail about topics such as Office Culture, Work Culture, Meetings, eNPS and even Happiness. Culture is a hugely important topic that incoming employees will have a lot of curiosity about. Comparably really takes the cake in delving deep into this data.

screen grab via comparably

Comparably goes into detail about a wide range of topics. Then it goes into detail about each. Each of the following categories and subcategories have a landing page similar to the one above for happiness.


According to their website, FairyGodBoss was created by women, for women. The founder started the website when she found herself seeking employment while she was pregnant and hiding it. Because of her unique circumstances, her job search was hyper-focused on benefits. Maternity leave and paid time off were especially important to her during this search. Thus, FairyGodBoss was born to cater to women who place great importance on topics such as maternity leave, paid time off, and sick days.

FairyGodBoss is unique to the other employer review sites discussed thus far because it offers advice tailored to women in the workforce. It also offers networking opportunities and job fairs in addition to crowdsourcing information about employer reviews.

Companies on FairyGodBoss

Each company landing page prioritizes what the company can do for their employees. It’s apparent that these companies are looking to hire the best because they provide competitive benefits.

If you prioritize a flexible work schedule, paid maternity, paternity or adoption leave, childcare or maximum vacation days, you can find this information quickly through the benefits tab.


Careerbliss differs from previously mentioned employer review sites because reviews come from the perspective of not only previous employees, but also recruiters, direct employers and job seekers.

The website also breaks down employer reviews into reviews about the specific position, rather than the company as a whole. This is valuable because the experience of a person who works in one department can be greatly different from one in another due to different direct reports, different tasks, and different allocation of budgets within the company.

Apply this to your small business

What do all these employer review sites have to do with your business? Well, the things written about your company can make or break your hiring efforts. You need to see what is being said.

Now, try this…

Visit these employer review sites! See what, if anything, has been said about your business. Fill out information about your place of business. Encourage your current and former employees to write reviews for these employer review sites. It can help grow your business’ reputation.