Beware Employer: References Online Tell All

Your Secrets Are Out: Employees Share Online

By Bridget Quigg, More and more, these days, employees are spilling the beans about their employers online. While Facebook isn’t the most intelligent place to comment on an employer, career websites, blogs, job listing sites and more are seeking the inside scoop from current and former employees of organizations. PayScale has covered one angle of this trend for many years, salary data. But, now we’re branching out and making more of an effort to reveal employees’ answers to the question, “What’s it like to work there?”

Is your competition planning to hand out raises in 2011? Hire new talent? PayScale surveyed them to find out and now we’re giving you their answers. Download PayScale’s Compensation Practices Survey for 2011 and get up-to-date on your market.

This week, PayScale released a new feature that allows job seekers to compare employers. With this resource, potential employees are able to see the typical vacation weeks, stress levels, benefits offered, and many more facts for up to three companies at a time. For example, an applicant could see that Microsoft employees report an average of 3.0 vacation weeks per year, while Amazon employees report only 2.4 weeks. Or, that women make up 24 percent of the work force at Monsanto Company, while they are 45 percent of the team at Pfizer, Inc.

Armed with this information, job seekers have a much better idea of what they are gaining, or losing by picking a particular employer. They can even drill down to a particular job and compare employers for that job.

And, employers get to know about their employees’ experience. For example, PayScale provides information about stress based upon the percentage of employees overall at a company who report a certain amount of stress compared with the percentage of employees of who report that same stress level at another company. Are most workers wound up or chilled out a company? Potential employees want to know.

What does this mean for you as an HR practitioner or company owner? It means that as the economy warms back up and competition for talent gets tougher, you’ll have to monitor your image as an employer. And, if you want to shift your company culture by hiring more women, for example, you’ll need to address your current employee mix with job applicants and explain your plans to make things change. They’ll already know your current make-up compared to your competitors.

We live in a world where everyone can be watched more easily. What do you want people outside of your company to see?

Below is an example of PayScale’s company compare feature. All data is collected from former or current employees of each company.

For employees at Monsanto Company:

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 3.56.01 PM

For an Information Technology (IT) Consultant at Microsoft:

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 4.05.57 PM

More from Compensation Today:

Do you have a topic you would like Compensation Today to cover? Write us at

More Resources from PayScale:


Check out these related posts