Why Tech Professionals Shouldn’t Leave Scathing Employer Reviews

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!

IT job search advice
Think twice before potentially burning any bridges with a terrible review. Photo credit: picjumbo_com via Pixabay.


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How to Use Employee Reviews in Your Job Search

When you’re working with IT recruiting agencies to find your next role, they will usually tell you to do research on companies you’ll be interviewing with.  You probably are already doing basic Google searches and checking out the company’s website.  Many IT staffing companies find that candidates are also checking out reviews for potential employers on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Vault, Careerbliss, Google, or other sites.  If you like to peruse Glassdoor or similar sites before you interview for IT jobs, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1.       Don’t take it all at face value.  IT recruiting firms would suggest you remember that people are more often moved to write negative reviews than positive reviews.  When people are happy at their employers, they don’t always take time to leave a review with all the benefits of working at their company.  Whereas disgruntled employees are absolutely more likely to sound off on everything they’re unhappy about.

2.      Ask your technical recruiters questions first.  It’s much easier to talk to your IT staffing agencies honestly about any concerns or questions you might come up with after reading a company’s online reviews.  When you ask an employer, you have so much at stake.  You risk appearing less committed to the job, less professional or even offending your interviewer.  Your IT recruiting companies want to make sure you land in an IT job that works for you.  If you have a concern about a company after reading its employee reviews, your IT recruiters will want to make sure it’s addressed or that you don’t interview for a position that wouldn’t be a good fit for you.

3.      If there are things you love about a company’s Glassdoor company reviews, IT staffing firms suggest you take notes about it.  Bring them with you and mention them to your interviewer when you talk about why you think you’d be a good fit for a company.  Interviewers will love to hear specific examples of why you think their corporate culture is a good fit for you.  A great hire isn’t just about filling a job with somebody who has the necessary skills.  It’s also about hiring somebody who is interested in the work and happy with the team, company, and corporate culture.  Happy employees are the often most dedicated and productive assets a company has!


Employee reviews IT jobs
Remember that happy employees give company reviews less frequently than unhappy ones. Photo credit: kropekk_pl via Pixabay.


Answering ‘How Would Coworkers Describe You?’ in IT Interviews

Sometimes in IT job interviews, you might be asked how your managers and coworkers would describe you.  IT recruiters and IT staffing companies come across plenty of candidates who feel uncomfortable answering this question—or just don’t know how to.  Here’s how you can prepare to answer this question—and maybe land yourself the next IT jobs you interview for!

Start by asking your technical recruiters and IT recruiting firms a few quick questions before the interview.  You’ll want your IT staffing agencies to tell you what qualities are important in this role or in the company’s corporate culture in general.  Make a list of these for yourself, then think about what qualities might apply to you.  If you see any on this list that you think apply directly to you, then highlight those.

Now think back to any performance reviews, letters of recommendation, and general feedback you’ve gotten in your current and previous jobs.  Has anybody mentioned these qualities?  Write a quick note about it for yourself.  If you can’t think of any examples of people directly mentioning it, your next best bet is to think of times when you did something for somebody that demonstrated one of these qualities.  Jot down a quick note for yourself about that moment.

The last step is to practice actually talking about these qualities as though you were speaking to an interviewer.  While your IT recruiting agencies don’t want you to sound robotic and over-rehearsed, it’s good to practice answering questions a bit before the interview so you feel comfortable doing it.  You also won’t really be able to refer to your notes on this, so it’s good to practice so that you can remember the salient points.

IT job interviews questions
Make a list of qualities your IT recruiters think are important to this IT job. Photo credit: Caleb Roenigk via flickr.