Glassdoor hurt its brand via sloppy integration

Glassdoor hurt its brandOk, this is hard­ly the first time that Glass­door hurt its . Just scan through the com­pa­ny’s his­to­ry and you’ll find plen­ty of exam­ples where the ten­sion between user anonymi­ty and com­pa­ny enmi­ty clashed over the site’s land­mark employ­er reviews. The com­pa­ny has been ordered to ‘out’ users to spe­cif­ic com­pa­nies, but just as often it has man­aged to keep anony­mous user info pri­vate.

But this time seems dif­fer­ent. Why? Let’s take a look.

Back in 2021, Recruit – Glass­door’s par­ent com­pa­ny – acquired Fish­bowl, a LinkedIn-like plat­form. Unlike Glass­door, Fish­bowl required its users to ver­i­fy their iden­ti­ties. In 2023, the plat­form was inte­grat­ed with Glass­door – and with it, along came the iden­ti­ty ver­i­fi­ca­tion require­ment. The fum­ble? Well, Glass­door auto­mat­i­cal­ly signed up every sin­gle one of its users for Fish­bowl. Guess ? The Glass­door terms and con­di­tions were changed as well, and sud­den­ly every Glass­door user saw that the ser­vice “may update your pro­file with infor­ma­tion we obtain from third par­ties. We may also use per­son­al data you pro­vide to us via your resume(s) or our ser­vices.”

Not very cool for a brand that was built on user anonymi­ty, me thinks.

It seemed inevitable that the whole thing would blow up soon­er or lat­er. And it did. As per this good run­down from the at the AIM Group, a user dis­cov­ered that her iden­ti­ty was no longer pri­vate on the plat­form, the sto­ry spread, and Glass­door hurt its brand. Again.

So what’s the les­son for the rest of us? First: if you build your brand on a spe­cif­ic promise to users – such as anonymi­ty – you need to stand behind it. That includes being aware of when your brand promise is threat­ened by your own actions – such as an acqui­si­tion or inte­gra­tion. If you’ve acquired ser­vice or job board, make sure the inte­gra­tion works tech­ni­cal­ly – and also make sure that it inside your own brand promise.

Sec­ond: if you screw up, act quick­ly and con­fi­dent­ly to fix the prob­lem. It’s not at all clear that Glass­door has a long- fix for this par­tic­u­lar screw up – because they have plen­ty of finan­cial incen­tives to know who their users are. Guess what? If they don’t resolve this, they are going to users!

Glass­door hurt their brand. But you don’t have to – learn from their mis­take!

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