…then tell me it’s raining.

Familiar with this one? I can remember the first time I heard this expression – my high school baseball Coach decided we all needed a proper ripping, and as he was expressing his displeasure, one of my teammates offered an excuse. 

Oh dear.

So, Coach walks up to him with a cup of water, starts pouring it on his own leg and utters the line, “Don’t p*** on my leg then tell me it’s raining.” Crude, yes. Brilliant? Definitely. Because, try as we might to rationalize something, from an external perspective it still looks like the same thing – excuses.

Which brings us to Glassdoor.

It’s vexing, really. We’re not talking about CafePharma or an equally ridiculous flame-board. Yet a perception of fearing Glassdoor persists today. When speaking with clients, prospective clients, or colleagues, there is still an uneasy feeling of dread in the feelings of corporate leaders. Before I speak with a prospective client or employer, I’ll go onto Glassdoor to check them out, and I’m continually amazed at how few of them have made the commitment to manage their respective brand/reputation.  But let’s face it, management-types have a long history of being uncomfortable with sites like Glassdoor.com, because of all those disgruntled ex-employees just waiting to pounce. “We’re a conservative organization.” At least that’s what they’re telling you.

Guess what? They’re p***ing on your leg.

The reason? Fear of losing control. But more likely, it’s a matter of being fearful of the unknown. So they default to the easy choice. It’s akin to having your finger on the chicken-switch; that which appears to be an exposure equals a “risk,” and we all know how leaders hate to take risks. Risks are too….risky.

In the last month, I’ve met with numerous companies as I start mapping out my business planning for 2016. Almost universally, the participation in Glassdoor (and or others of the ilk) was completely in a defensive (if at all) position, relying on others to define their reputation. We’ve discussed this before, it’s the “protection vs. projection” mindset.

But some people in our industry have figured out a way to breakthrough corporate uneasiness. I had a discussion with Bryan Rice, Director of Talent Acquisition for Stryker. Somehow, Bryan managed to navigate the conservative nature of a corporate structure with a “Talent Ambassador” program. Instead of a hide and hope philosophy, Rice’s program set an expectation that employees would actively participate in Glassdoor. No scripts, no pre-written “atta boys,” just an explanation of the importance of having a presence; “Candidates expect to be able to go to Glassdoor and figure out what it’s like to work at our company.” Realize that invites positive and negative reviews to be input, which could equate to some risk. But you’ve also changed the collective mindset to one of an unafraid, transparent, confident company. And the results have been somewhat staggering; brand recognition, page views, applicants, reviews, CEO rating – the metrics are crazy good, but it took someone championing the effort, fully aware that it may even come with a few hiccups along the way.

So how do you change the lens and view these types of sites as an opportunity to use the reputation/rating sites to manage employment brand, to connect with candidates, and to make better hires?

Let’s start with the September version of the FOT Webinar entitled, Top 10 Ways To Use Glassdoor For Good (Not Evil). Join Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett (yeah, we’re bringing out the “A” Team) from Fistful of Talent on 9/17 at 2pm Eastern, and we’ll hit you with the following:

– How the the yelp-ification of America is changing the way employees and candidates think about job search and employer brands.

– The 5 Biggest Myths about company reputation sites like Glassdoor. 

– Last but not least, you’ll get a 10-step playbook on how to engage on reputation sites and become more of a Marketer as an HR/Recruiting Pro.


“Nothing to see here.”

The alternative is to keep your corporate head in the sand while others define who “you” are. Wouldn’t you rather be the one that brought those fears into the sunlight?

Might sound like the strangest advice you ever received, but quit letting them p*** on your leg.

(FOT Note: Glassdoor is sponsoring this FOT webinar. We’re happy to have them as a sponsor and, true to their commitment to transparency, they’re letting us talk about the myths and a lot of other realities HR and Recruiting pros have experienced related to Glassdoor—without restriction. That type of balance makes them a great partner.  Join us and we promise you’ll get a balanced view—no sales pitch—as well as an insider’s guide to how to use sites like Glassdoor to become a better marketer as an HR/Recruiting pro.)

Hit this link to register today!