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In a world of digital anonymity, posting a fake review or rating about a company is not difficult at all. “Why should I trust online company reviews,” is a question that has been plaguing job seekers for years now. It is a serious concern, since the past crackdown on fake reviewers on several online employee review sites.
There are a few ways you can always spot the fake reviews and winnow out the genuine ones from the clamor.
1. No verification system
There are review websites that don’t reinstate employee verification systems. Only find the ones that allow one post per individual and has some form of employee verification for each one of them.
2. Don’t just pay attention to the negative opinions
People tend to complain only after a terrible job experience. Company review sites often garner the wrath of ex-employees, disgruntled customers, and ranting managers. They do not write positive reviews unless the company implores them to do so.
3. What’s the rating system?
People often rate a company 3 out of 5 stars, but why? Do they find their experience average or are they satisfied with the experience, but they could do with some more incentive? Since there is no corresponding translation for this grading system, attaching meaning to the rates are almost impossible. Almost all fake review sites and profiles offer only 1-star or 5-stars.
4. Do the reviews represent a team or a company?
For many reviews on the most highly rated review sites, it is impossible to tell if people are writing about their experience in the company or as the part of a small team. The experience will vary depending on the team members and leaders. If the company you are looking at operates from multiple locations or has several groups, the employee cannot possibly speak about all of them.
5. What’s the ratio of reviewers to employees?
That is something most potential employees do not consider. While you are checking out the reviews of an enterprise, know that only 5% of the job holders go ahead and write them. Therefore, even if you find 100% negative reviews on a job position or a team, there is a strong reason for you to doubt their credibility.
Always do a double-check on the company reputation at a bigger scale. If necessary, check out five different review sites before you form an opinion. It is common for employers to pay their employees to write positive reviews, just as it is common for ex-employees to criticize an employer. You need to consider both sides of the story, and that can be hard. One way to add some sense to this madness is by conferring your LinkedIn contacts for valid information on the companies. Check your connection with your potential employer and find the people in between. If necessary, hold an information interview with them to find out all you can.
Over 50% of the job holders in the US repent the job decisions they have made in the past. More than 65% are dissatisfied with their responsibilities at the workplace, currently. Not being smart about trusting job reviews can only help you boost those numbers.