I’m not going to lie, when I heard that people in HR at Author Solutions were asking employees to go to Glassdoor.com and submit favorable reviews, I laughed so long and so hard that the muscles in my belly literally ached. I mean, someone get Scott Adams on the phone, because this is the stuff Dilbert is made of.
Because they’re only now begging employees to talk nice about them, I have concluded three things:
- HR wasn’t at all concerned with the scathing reviews until I called attention to them here and here,
- Things are getting really tense around Author Solutions, what with that sale looming and all, and…
- I’m a badass in the tenacity department.
Now, several people have asked me if it’s against Glassdoor.com’s Terms of Service for HR to be “asking” current employees to submit favorable reviews. It’s a really, really good question. Sadly, the answer appears to be no.
You’d think that coerced reviews would be frowned upon by the website, considering it needs to be taken seriously by employees and job seekers to maintain any sort of authority in its niche. Here’s the thing: anonymous reviews are awesome because they protect employees from vindictive bosses, but anonymous reviews are also bad because Kevin Weiss himself could sign up for an account (or two or seven) and leave a glowing review of the company if he wanted. How does Glassdoor police something like that and still provide anonymity to users?
So far, HR’s suggestion that employees leave favorable reviews hasn’t led to any systemic review tampering on the site anyway. Even the writer of recent four-star review “It’s a good job, but not a career” spends more time discussing the cons and frustrations of working for the company than talking about how great it is. And while that same employee approves of Kevin Weiss, he or she still only awards two stars to Author Solutions under “Culture & Values.” To me, that says a great deal.
Sources reveal to me that morale inside the company, specifically at Indiana offices, is terribly low anyway. Those that fear their jobs might be outsourced to the Philippines probably don’t see much point in posting happy reviews just to appease the execs. And anyway, who could be happy dealing with angry customers, shoddy office equipment, and an apathetic executive management team all day, every day?
But reviews do matter to job seekers, so I just want to take a second to address Bloomington and Indy employees directly:
I know you work with some good-hearted, knowledgeable professionals, and I’m not asking you to leave bad reviews or even leave reviews at all, but if you do? Don’t sugarcoat it because you fear HR or fear your boss. Just tell the truth—whether its good, bad or anticlimactic.
And cheer up! Because you and the rest of the internet get to watch this hilarious video of Kevin Weiss (CEO), Joe Steinbach (General Manager, Cebu) and Bruce Bunner (VP, Global Sales & Marketing) line dancing on the beach. (At least until someone starts giggling and it gets yanked from YouTube. If that happens, don’t worry. I have another present for you guys.)
Because at Author Solutions you can either earn a living wage
or have a beach party…but you can’t have both.