November 11, 2016

Samantha Spiegel graduated from college last spring with a bachelor's degree and a lot of nerves. Finals were over, but something far more stressful was sitting in front of her—job applications. After exhausting her familial connections in the entertainment industry, she launched an exhaustive internet search. She stumbled across a branding agency that was hiring. Except she didn’t know anybody who worked there (or even anybody who knew somebody who knew somebody who worked there) who could give her insider information. So she turned to Glassdoor.

Find a job and a company that you love

Glassdoor’s mission is “to help people everywhere find a job and a company that they love.” To do this, the site offers user-generated reviews about company life as well as information about salary, key questions asked in interviews, CEO approval ratings, and benefits. Having this information upfront helps match companies with the right job seekers and job seekers with the right company.

Glassdoor’s mission is “to help people everywhere find a job and a company that they love.”

Glassdoor was created during the recession in 2007. In a recent presentation, Glassdoor CEO, Robert Hohman, shared that this marked a unique time for the job market, as many job-seekers hadn’t suited up for an interview in 20 years. Today, there is a new generation of people who don’t know what to expect. Not because they haven’t interviewed in 20 years, but because they’ve never interviewed.

What to expect when you’re applying

Today, over one-third of Glassdoor users are Millennials. Like Spiegel, they are freshly educated and looking to jumpstart their careers. But they don’t know where to start. Alexa, 22, also recently employed, shares that she used Glassdoor to gain insight about the application and interview process. “Once I applied for positions, I used Glassdoor to check out interview questions and help myself prepare,” said Alexa. “I also looked to see what other people’s experiences with the application process were so that I’d have a better estimate of when I might hear back.”

For Alexa and other Glassdoor users, information about the application process can help alleviate stress, and give a better idea of what to expect from their candidate experience. In fact, according to Hohman, 60 percent of job seekers will use Glassdoor two weeks before applying for a job to determine whether they should go through the process and two weeks after to prepare for interviews. We often hear that Millennials want instant gratification, so the waiting game can be tough. Glassdoor answers questions like, “Is my offer off the table if I haven’t heard back in two weeks?” without needing to inquire from a recruiter.

Finding the right fit

But interviews and applications are just one side of the story. Say you get an offer, how can you know that the company is right for you? Compared to other generations, Millennials are the most socially conscious. We want office friends, and to work in a fun atmosphere with social benefits. When I research positions, I search a hashtags like #LifeAt“CompanyName” to see what a true employee experience looks like. With this imagery, I can help determine whether I see myself as a member of the organization.

Glassdoor says that 79 percent of people use social media as a tool in their job search. Spiegel utilized Glassdoor to peek inside employee life by reading reviews. “I used Glassdoor to read reviews on every company I thought about applying to. Most importantly, I was looking for a great cultural fit,” she said. If you’re like me, when you are given the opportunity to ask questions of your interviewer, you open a discussion about company culture, and what about the organization the interviewer loves. Glassdoor is another method to gain insight of this nature.

Culture, though, can be a very broad term. What exactly are Millennials looking for? Here are three of the major things Millennials look for in their job search.

Growth Opportunities. For Millennials, growth opportunities are one of the most important things a company can offer. Niki, a marketing assistant, shared that, “Knowing that the people I work with value my compassion, hard work, and dedication was really important to me. I wanted to be surrounded by people who would take me seriously, challenge me, and inspire me to grow within the company.” Spiegel shared a similar sentiment about her ability to build upon her skills. “I understand that I might not be doing my actual dream work until I’ve roughed it to gain experience. That’s why an agency appealed to me because I knew I would be gaining such valuable experience.”

Balance. Work, life, why not have both? PWC reports that 95 percent of respondents from their “Millennials at work” report said that work-life balance is important to them. With lists like "17 companies with great work life balance hiring now," it’s easier than ever for Millennials to pick organizations that align most closely with what we value most. Alexa says, “One time, I used Glassdoor to research [company name] since I got in contact with a recruiter, but found out that there was no work-life balance so I just didn’t apply.”

Benefits. If we’re giving the majority of our lives to a company, we want to ensure that we are being taken care of as well. When Samantha was in the final interview round for her current employer, she turned to Glassdoor to ensure that they offered benefits that aligned with her needs. “They had great benefits like unlimited PTO, yoga, free coffee, and the usual for a young, hip company,” she said.

Tell your authentic story

Today, 61 percent of employees say that the reality of their job and company differs from the image created during the interview process. Together, interview tips, insider salary information, and written reviews on Glassdoor make the job search process more transparent. No longer does one side know everything and the other nothing, and people can ensure that they are not wasting their time on a career misfire. Companies also benefit from these reviews. With all of the resources poured into hiring, ensuring that they are recruiting the right candidates will reduce GDP wasted on poor decisions.

However, in order to reap the benefits, employees need to hop online and write about their experiences. And not just a few of them. Think about it, which would you trust more: a review site with one glowing review or a page with fifty positive reviews and two negative? A reader’s confidence in reviews increases with the amount of voices, so it is important that a company has strong employee representation. In addition to making reviews more reliable, telling your authentic story online may reveal information about a subculture at your company. Perhaps the creative team has a different work culture than the finance team—access to this specific information may help draw in better-fit candidates.

A reader’s confidence in reviews increases with the amount of voices, so it is important that a company has strong employee representation.

Employee reviews on sites like Not all employees feel comfortable leaving comments directly with their higher-ups or on employee engagement surveys, so Glassdoor may be an outlet for them, and an alternative source of feedback for employers to tap into when they are making changes internally.

Essentially, Glassdoor reviews can help promote better employer-employee relationships—from the submission of resume to your fifth year on the job. Hey, writing an online review of your company may even attract your future work spouse, you never know.

Our Millennial view series is not just for Millennials. Everyone can gain insight on these important workplace and life issues. Topics such as finding a friend in feedback, moving up, while dressing down, and sweatworking impact us all, regardless of generation.

Sara Lighthall is a content marketing intern at Zendesk and a student of life. When she’s not demystifying the Millennial generation on Relate, you can find her with her toes in the sand and a latte in her hand. See what she’s up to on Twitter: @saralighthall.