There are very few people who have never have a bad boss, a job that’s a terrible fit, or a job that generally makes them unhappy. Having tough moments in your career is actually helpful—it shows you what you want and don’t want in future jobs, bosses, employers, etc. With the advent of Glassdoor and other employer review sites, though, IT staffing firms are noticing people who handle these moments in ways that aren’t healthy or positive for their careers: by leaving scathing employer reviews.
Glassdoor, Indeed, Careerbliss, and other career sites were meant for honest reviews of employers. However, leaving a negative, slanderous review isn’t really in this spirit. IT recruiters find that it can actually hurt your career a bit, too. The first problem is that these sites aren’t as anonymous as they seem. It’s easier for people to figure out who left a review than you think, especially at a small company. That means you might easily be identified to former coworkers as the person who left a nasty or unprofessional review online.
The next problem is that the tech world isn’t small, but it can be very interconnected. Because there’s such a dearth of qualified IT professionals, technical recruiters see the same people moving around the industry. In other words, that boss you worked for on a contract 5 years ago might be hiring for a role your IT recruiting firms submit you to now. If you leave a terrible review that people can link you to, you might be interviewing with them for a role later. This could very quickly disqualify you from the IT jobs you want.
Another thing to consider is the popularity of ‘back door references.’ Because of LinkedIn and other social networking sites like Github, IT staffing companies find that many people in the tech field are more connected than ever. That means if you burned a bridge with one employer, you might be getting a reference from them that you didn’t ask for—one that ruins your chances of landing a job with a future employer.
The last reason to hold back on leaving scathing reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, etc is that you never know if you might be sued. Though the chances of this are pretty low, some companies have gone after people who left reviews that seriously hurt their business. Even if these companies don’t win, the process of being sued can be costly and stressful.
For all of these reasons, IT recruiting agencies suggest taking time to cool down before leaving a negative review of an employer. It’s ok to leave honest reviews. You just want to focus on leaving constructive criticism and providing perspectives that are helpful to other job seekers. Leave out names, extreme comments, or outright lies. Post a review that is constructive, honest, and won’t hurt your future career!
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