We obsess over helping companies improve their job interview process.
In order to be good at this type of work, we have to study the companies who do it well — as well as the companies who do it poorly.
But how do you know which companies excel at delivering a great interview experience and which companies can’t seem to get it right?
Well, the obvious and best source of this type of information is to ask candidates.
And when it comes to obtaining public, real-time feedback of this type, there’s no better place to look than Glassdoor.com.
CROWDSOURCED INTERVIEW RATINGS
This additional layer of information comes in the form of crowdsourced candidate and employee reviews.
Look up any company that you’re interested in and you can find a corporate overview, CEO ratings, candidate comments and employee salary data — all provided through the lens of someone who has experienced it first hand.
The great thing about this (for us anyway) is that the information is publicly available. So companies who treat employees or candidates poorly can no longer hide. It’s all there for the world to see.
As with any ratings and reviews site, you have to take the information with a grain of salt. It’s more common for a disgruntled candidate to leave feedback than a happy candidate. This can cause ratings and reviews to skew towards the negative. This is compounded by the fact that the reviewers can choose to be anonymous.
All that said…every company is subject to the same rules on Glassdoor, so overall, it’s safe to analyze the data and compare companies against each other because they’re all using the same scorecard.
So that’s exactly what we did.
OUR LITTLE RESEARCH STUDY
Taking the information that is publicly available on the site, we embarked on a research project aimed at obtaining a couple different pieces of information.
We wanted to know…
- When it comes to candidate-generated interview ratings, who were the highest and lowest rated companies in the Fortune 1000?
2. What are the candidate comments that emerged as themes in support of the high or low ratings?
The purpose of this study was to identify some insights about what the best companies do and what the worst companies do — so we can help our clients do less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff 🙂
Our study was fairly simple. We took 3 key interview data points that were publicly available on the site and we plugged them into a spreadsheet. We focused only on Fortune 1000 companies because they had a larger number of ratings, which made it easier to identify patterns and themes. Also, we filtered out companies with fewer than 30 ratings.
In terms of numerical data, we looked at…
- Feedback Volume: # of interview feedback comments collected on the company.
- Interview Experience Rating: did candidates rate it positive, negative or neutral?
- Interview Difficulty Rating: did the candidates rate it hard, average or easy on a 5 point scale?
We also poured over the comments to uncover themes that correlated back to the ratings.
HOW DOES YOUR COMPANY STACK UP?
The summaries below show some high level themes related to positive ratings, negative ratings and interview difficulty.
POSITIVE RATINGS DATA:
Average Percentage of Positive Ratings For All Companies = 62%
Companies With the Highest Percentage of Positive Ratings:
- Moog (90%)
- Devon Energy (88%)
- Apache (86%)
- Scripps Networks Interactive (84%)
- Eastman (83%)
Companies With the Lowest Percentage of Negative Ratings:
- Eastman (0%)* & O’Reilly Auto Parts (0%)
- Warner Music (2%)
- Auto-Owners Insurance (3%)
- CA Technologies (4%), Williams Energy (4%), Dow Chemical (4%)
- TOPS Markets (5%), Continental Airlines (5%), FirstEnergy (5%), Exxon Mobile (5%), Caterpillar (5%), Fleur (5%), JCrew (5%), Southern Company (5%), Devon Energy (5%)*
*These companies also appear on the Highest Percentage of Positive Ratings list (stronger positive indicator).
NEGATIVE RATINGS DATA:
Average Percentage of Negative Ratings For All Companies = 15.47%
Highest Percentage of Negative Ratings:
- ITT Corp (66%)*
- Torchmark (46%)*
- AmTrust Financial (40%)
- Verifone (39%)
- MSC Industrial Direct (38%)*
Lowest Percentage of Positive Ratings:
- ITT Corp (0%)
- Ryder System (18%)
- Super Micro Computer (27%)
- Church & Dwight (32%)
- Torchmark (37%)
- Netflix (37%)
- MSC Industrial (37%)
*These companies also appear in the Lowest % of Positive Ratings list (stronger negative indicator).
Overall Average Interview Difficulty = 2.68 out of 5.0
The 3 companies rated as having the most difficult interviews:
- Gartner (3.6)
- Stryker (3.5)
- Altria (3.4) & Proctor & Gamble (3.4)
The 3 companies rated as having the least difficult interviews:*
- Ingles Markets (1.3)
- TOPS Markets (1.5)
- Domino’s (1.6)
*There was a clear indication that retail, restaurant and supermarket chains had the least difficult interview ratings. There was less of an industry correlation for the most difficult interview ratings.
CANDIDATE COMMENT THEMES
Top 5 themes for the lowest rated companies:
– COMMUNICATION: I never heard back from the company about my status. I was told I would be moving to the next step, but it never happened.
– TIMING: I was told that I would hear back within a certain time frame, but it was not accurate.
– CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE: Interviewers were rude. Process was impersonal. Intimidation tactics used. Outdated interview questions.
– INTERVIEWER QUALITY: Interviewers were not on the same page about the requirements of the role. Interviewers not engaged.
– PROCESS: There were too many rounds of interviews with too many people over too long a period of time.
Top 5 themes for the highest rated companies:
– INTERVIEWER QUALITY: Interviewers were engaged, open and honest about the demands of the job.
– CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE: Everyone was nice and took time to make me feel comfortable.
– INTERVIEW COORDINATION: The process was well organized. They worked around my schedule.
– INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: Interviewers asked a variety of technical, experiential and behavioral questions.
– COMMUNICATION: They followed up with me quickly. I was informed of my status in a timely fashion.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE DATA ANALYSIS
We thought about doing some further number crunching to find more correlations between different sets of data.
Perhaps certain industries naturally had higher difficulty scores. Or perhaps companies that primarily hire University students naturally have a higher percentage of positive ratings. Or maybe, companies in big cities have more negative ratings and more aggressive comments.
But then we realized…none of that really matters to the candidate!
Candidates don’t look at your low ratings on Glassdoor and say to themselves, “You know, that rating is probably correlated with the level of the job title and on par with the industry average.”
All they see are the raw numbers. And they make their decision to apply (or not to apply) based on those numbers.
Finding and publishing correlations that soften the harsh ratings might help some Talent Acquisition leaders tell themselves a better story about why they have low scores, but at the end of the day…
candidates are only looking at the vanity metrics, so we need to deal with those head-on.
CALL TO ACTION
Knowing that candidates don’t care about what drives your ratings leads to a very simple call to action for companies with below average ratings…
If you don’t like your ratings, do something to improve your interview process.
Audit your experience, train your hiring teams, start using interview guides, get back to your candidates in a timely fashion, respond to comments on Glassdoor, etc., etc..
While Glassdoor metrics won’t make or break your employment brand, the data is relevant and should not be ignored. I believe as many as 40% of candidates today are checking you out during the hiring process.
And if you’d like to download this article as a PDF along with the full spreadsheet of interview data, click here