Glassdoor.com Offers Yet Another Source of Pay Data for the Masses

Date June 12, 2008

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Doesn’t the world already have enough unverified and/or less methodologically rigorous sources of pay data for the masses? Apparently, the newly-unveiled Glassdoor.com doesn’t think so.

We already have Vault.com, Salary.com, PayScale.com and others to provide data-thirsty workers ammunition to “verify” their under-compensated belief systems and to complain to their employers with (of course, if the “data” shows them “fairly” compensated, then no one ever hears about that!). Vault.com, for instance, has been supplying employer pay data “intelligence” for about a decade already.

Glassdoor.com is brought to you by some of the same folks that founded Zillow.com, a truly revolutionary and “disruptive” technology venture that blew the lid off real-estate valuation. Zillow isn’t perfect either, but at least they use real and verified data (publicly available real estate sale and tax records).

Is Glassdoor.com the same revolutionary or disruptive technology as Zillow.com? This compensation consultant certainly doesn’t thinks so, unless I’m missing something (it wouldn’t be the first time!). Self-deprecating humor aside, collecting anonymous incumbent-supplied data and presenting it as accurate and statistically-relevant/representative data isn’t new, and it isn’t valid either.

I won’t bore you with my long-winded recitation on why real compensation professionals rarely ever use these data sources. Let’s just say that most compensation professionals tend to want more methodologically-sound data sources than websites that offer incumbent-supplied data and/or “proprietary” (i.e. secret) data sources or methodologies.

OK, I’m getting off my soapbox now…

(This post supplied by Doug Sayed, SPHR, CCP. Doug is principal consultant at Applied HR Strategies, Inc. a strategic compensation consultancy based in Kirkland, WA. Doug is also an instructor for WorldatWork, teaching market pricing across the country. He can be contacted at 425-827-3881 or doug@appliedHRstrategies.com, or via www.appliedHRstrategies.com).

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