Should you rate your employer on Glassdoor?

Is honesty always the best policy?
Is honesty always the best policy?
Image: Reuters / Matthew Childs
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Dear Critic’s Choice,

Sharing your thoughts on sites like Glassdoor is helpful to job seekers. It can help them get a sense of an employer’s social norms, potential red flags, and the corporate culture.

Do be aware, however, that as anonymous as postings may seem, and as tempting as it may be to vent (will Joe ever stop eating your food out of the refrigerator?), putting these reviews in a public forum can expose you to potential hazards.

Often, it’s best to live by the old standby: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it, let alone in such a public forum.

If you do feel compelled to say something negative, it’s important to be aware of slander and libel, as well as corporate policies that may prohibit the sharing of certain information, including on social channels.

Also be mindful that if you post comments or describe specific scenarios using certain turns of phrase, perspectives, or positions on issues, it may be easy for others to recognize your voice.

You can certainly speak your mind within reason on sites like Glassdoor. Just know that anything posted privately online has the potential to go public, and anonymity isn’t necessarily a guaranteed right on Glassdoor’s forums. Some best practices:

  • Don’t make statements that can’t be proven
  • Keep postings strictly to former (not current) employers
  • Stick with facts over opinions
  • Be as fair and objective as possible
  • Stay compliant with organizational policies
  • Consider whether it’s really necessary to share this information

You should be just as fair and professional when critiquing a job as you are while you’re doing it.

Scott Steinberg is the author of The Business Etiquette Bible.

Do you have a workplace etiquette question? Submit to Scott by emailing work@qz.com.