A:

Information entered into Glassdoor.com is crowdsourced and unverified. While some of the salary information posted on the website may be accurate, some of it is not. Career seekers looking for specific salary information should browse several websites such as Payscale.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website to get as accurate a salary picture as possible.

Crowdsourced Career Site

Glassdoor, a tech company founded by Robert Hohman, Rich Barton and Tim Besse and headquartered in Mill Valley, California, burst on the scene in 2007 as a one-stop shop for people looking to make career decisions. At the time, the website was seen as innovative because it included information about companies that career seekers were looking for but could not find on other websites. In particular, the website sought feedback from insiders – company employees – about benefits, interview practices and leadership; users even uploaded snapshots of their workplace interiors.

Salary is often the most guarded piece of information held by companies, but Glassdoor lifted the veil of secrecy by making it possible for users to report the amounts of money they earned. The most important reasons users post information considered private, such as their salaries, is because Glassdoor allows them to do so anonymously.

Glassdoor also offers services to employers seeking to use the brand approach to attract talent. The company provides tools for employers to post open positions and a platform on which to market their brands. This aspect of Glassdoor’s business has drawn criticism about the accuracy of surveys, salary information and the rose-colored picture some of the site’s users paint about their employers. Glassdoor’s toughest critics assert that some employers may have influence over the information that users post about them.

Accuracy Questions

While some Glassdoor users share accurate information about their salaries, some users do not. Experts note that the website attracts employees who may be dissatisfied with their jobs, who use the website as a place to rant or vent grievances. There’s also no way to confirm which data is current and whether a company has increased or decreased a salary for a position since the time the user made the entry.

Consulting Additional Sources

Career seekers should not dismiss Glassdoor salary information because some of it is accurate; it is just not easy to know how much of it is accurate. Salary averages for positions at large corporations on the website are more likely to be accurate than averages posted for positions at small companies. Generally, the larger the data sample, the more accurate the information. Some classified ads and job postings on company websites include salary, and this information can be compared to information on Glassdoor to confirm whether Glassdoor’s salary information is accurate.

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