General/Miscellaneous Archives

Did You Read about Glassdoor.com . . .?

Published on February 12th, 2019 by Alan L. Sklover

Sklover Working Wisdom glass door

Wall Street Journal Analysis: “Companies Game Glassdoor Rankings”

According to a recently published report by The Wall Street Journal, there’s good reason to doubt the credibility of Glassdoor employer rankings that so many employees use to decide which employers to work for.

“Glassdoor’s company ratings,” including their annual ‘Best Places to Work’ awards, “are a powerful weapon in job recruiting, giving companies an incentive to inflate them.”

Some employers admit pressuring their employees to post rave reviews; some employers admit only “suggesting” they do so.

While Glassdoor claims that it tries hard to limit companies from “ballot stuffing” their Glassdoor reviews, it remains an undeniable fact that the “real” customers of Glassdoor are employers, who advertise on the site, and who can even, for an additional fee, have Glassdoor refuse to place ads for job openings from their competitors. Glassdoor also charges employers to customize their pages and promote their open positions.

Like other “ratings” websites, like Yelp and TripAdvisor, Glassdoor suffers from the gross conflict of interest at the very heart of its business model: the rated employers are Glassdoor’s best clients. As the old saying goes, “No one bites the hand that feeds them.” Some employers pay Glassdoor as much as tens of thousands of dollars each and every month.

A mathematical probability analysis performed for the Wall Street Journal by statisticians at Columbia University and the University of Washington found it nearly impossible to explain significant “spikes” of votes and ratings changes at Glassdoor over short periods of time . . . especially in October of each year, just before Glassdoor calculates its annual rankings.

In the summer of 2018, one employer, Guaranteed Rate, Inc., had a poor rating of 2.6 stars out of 5.0. After its CEO, Victor Ciardelli, instructed his team to tell his employees to flood Glassdoor with positive reviews, its Glassdoor ranking jumped from a dismal 2.6 to a delightful 4.1.

Employers LinkedIn and Anthem Health have admitted they “encourage” their employees to submit positive rankings. Five star reviews of employers have almost doubled over the past five years.

A message to all working people who consider Glassdoor’s rankings when making employment and career decisions: consider other ways to make those decisions, and consider any Glassdoor ranking suspect, at best.

Bad data “in” leads only to bad decisions “out.” Know the Difference. That’s part of both our job and our joy at SkloverWorkingWisdom.com™

Need a model memo or letter to transmit a request or complaint? A good checklist or form agreement? For a complete list of our Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Sample Agreements, Just [click here.]

Interested in Membership? It’s free, and has advantages, including discounts on our products. Just [click here.]

Need a private telephone consultation? Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can usually be accommodated.

Your Path to Dignity at Work”™

© 2019 Alan L. Sklover All Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

Two (or More) Job Opportunities? – 18 Elements of Comparison – [Part 2 of 2]

Published on June 19th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

Difficult Choices

 
“It’s not hard to make decisions
when you know what your values are.”

– Roy E. Disney

NOTE: This is Part 2 of 2 of this Newsletter. We have divided it in half due to its considerable length, befitting its importance to so many employees. Last week we presented Elements of Job Opportunity Comparison 1 through 9; This week we present Elements of Job Opportunity Comparison 10 through 18. (Click here if you want to review our First Installment before reviewing this one.)

ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Danielle, a senior marketing executive, was quite unhappy in her job. Her employer’s management was extremely dysfunctional. Sales were soft for many reasons, and, of course, much of it was blamed on her and her team. With 21 years experience, she knew her team was running on all cylinders, but even great marketing can’t undo an outdated product, an insufficient marketing budget, and almost daily interference with marketing decisions imposed by the CEO’s wife.

Without her reaching out, she was contacted by a recruiter with a very intriguing opportunity, with (a) better salary, (b) but lower bonus opportunity, (c) greater retirement benefits, but (d) later retirement age, (e) a new, exciting product line to market, but (f) a small marketing budget that gave her limited discretion. The position also came with a three year contract, but it required relocation to a city she’d never before even visited. A confusing list of advantages and disadvantages, positives and negatives.

To say it was a hard choice to make would be an understatement. Danielle knew the positives and negatives of her “bird in the hand,” but didn’t know what she would experience with the “two in the bush.”

Working with Danielle was one of my favorite client experiences. It involved first identifying, and then weighing, her personal values, career planning, life goals and difficult choices.

In the end, she made the move to the new job, and fortunately has never looked back. In hindsight, it was surely the better choice, but as they say, “Hindsight is 20-20 vision; the harder ‘sight’ is ‘insight.’”

These days many people face this dilemma, as company after company seeks to improve its human capital, expand, or just “see what is out there.” If you are in this situation, or if you receive two job offers, the decision between or among your available job opportunities might be a difficult one. Even if you find the decision an easy one to make . . . are you sure you considered all of the factors that are wise to take into account?

LESSON TO LEARN: Depending on your personal preferences, brand and skillset, as well as whether we are in “good” or “bad” economic times, it may seem that job opportunities are depressingly scarce or wonderfully abundant. Whether job opportunities are scarce or abundant, employees often have occasion to decide between (i) leaving their jobs for other offered positions, or (ii) making a choice between two or more new positions offered to them at one time. It is common that comparison of two jobs, or two job offers, can be a difficult thing to do. It is often an “apples vs. oranges” comparison, and can get quite confusing. And, so, we offer you the same list that we offer our clients to make these difficult “apples vs. oranges” comparisons.

The list we offer below has another, somewhat unintended, advantage: It may remind you of one or more job opportunity components of comparison that you had simply not even thought about. Like a checklist of sorts, it may bring to the surface of your consciousness something that had been lurking in your mind, heart and soul, that had not yet come to the surface of your awareness.

For those facing the need to make a choice between “take this job or take that one,” below is what our clients have found to be the most important elements needed to compare, and a simple way of doing so. It is not scientific, it is not foolproof, but most of my clients who have used it reported back to me that it was extremely helpful. Hopefully, it will be for you, as well.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: When you need to compare two or more employment opportunities – whether it’s a choice between two different offers, or remaining in your present job, or accepting a new offer – you need to make your decision wisely, prudently and carefully. For that reason below we present these common elements of job opportunity comparison as a “tried-and-true” method of doing so.
Read the rest of this blog post »

Two (or More) Job Opportunities? – 18 Elements of Comparison – [Part 1 of 2]

Published on June 12th, 2018 by Alan L. Sklover

Difficult Choices

 
“It’s not hard to make decisions
when you know what your values are.”

– Roy E. Disney

NOTE: This Newsletter is of considerable length, befitting its importance to so many. For this reason we are presenting it in two installments, this first including Elements of Comparison 1 through 9, the second including Elements of Comparison 10 through 18. The second installment will be published next week. “Stay Tuned.”

ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Danielle, a senior marketing executive, was quite unhappy in her job. Her employer’s management was extremely dysfunctional. Sales were soft for many reasons, and, of course, much of it was blamed on her and her team. With 21 years experience, she knew her team was running on all cylinders, but even great marketing can’t undo an outdated product, an insufficient marketing budget, and almost daily interference with marketing decisions imposed by the CEO’s wife.

Without her reaching out, she was contacted by a recruiter with a very intriguing opportunity, with (a) better salary, (b) but lower bonus opportunity, (c) greater retirement benefits, but (d) later retirement age, (e) a new, exciting product line to market, but (f) a small marketing budget that gave her limited discretion. The position also came with a three year contract, but it required relocation to a city she’d never before even visited. A confusing list of advantages and disadvantages, positives and negatives.

To say it was a hard choice to make would be an understatement. Danielle knew the positives and negatives of her “bird in the hand,” but didn’t know what she would experience with the “two in the bush.”

Working with Danielle was one of my favorite client experiences. It involved first identifying, and then weighing, her personal values, career planning, life goals and difficult choices.

In the end, she made the move to the new job, and fortunately has never looked back. In hindsight, it was surely the better choice, but as they say, “Hindsight is 20-20 vision; the harder ‘sight’ is ‘insight.’”

These days many people face this dilemma, as company after company seeks to improve its human capital, expand, or just “see what is out there.” If you are in this situation, or if you receive two job offers, the decision between or among your available job opportunities might be a difficult one. Even if you find the decision an easy one to make . . . are you sure you considered all of the factors that are wise to take into account?

LESSON TO LEARN: Depending on your personal preferences, brand and skillset, as well as whether we are in “good” or “bad” economic times, it may seem that job opportunities are depressingly scarce or wonderfully abundant. Whether job opportunities are scarce or abundant, employees often have occasion to decide between (i) leaving their jobs for other offered positions, or (ii) making a choice between two or more new positions offered to them at one time. It is common that comparison of two jobs, or two job offers, can be a difficult thing to do. It is often an “apples vs. oranges” comparison, and can get quite confusing. And, so, we offer you the same list that we offer our clients to make these difficult “apples vs. oranges” comparisons.

The list we offer below has another, somewhat unintended, advantage: It may remind you of one or more job opportunity components of comparison that you had simply not even thought about. Like a checklist of sorts, it may bring to the surface of your consciousness something that had been lurking in your mind, heart and soul, that had not yet come to the surface of your awareness.

For those facing the need to make a choice between “take this job or take that one,” below is what our clients have found to be the most important elements needed to compare, and a simple way of doing so. It is not scientific, it is not foolproof, but most of my clients who have used it reported back to me that it was extremely helpful. Hopefully, it will be for you, as well.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: When you need to compare two or more employment opportunities – whether it’s a choice between two different offers, or remaining in your present job, or accepting a new offer – you need to make your decision wisely, prudently and carefully. For that reason below we present these common elements of job opportunity comparison as a “tried-and-true” method of doing so.
Read the rest of this blog post »

“Can I decline a job offer I already accepted without ‘burning bridges?‘”

Published on July 1st, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

Question: Please, Alan, I want to know how to write a resignation letter to a new employer who made me a job offer. I accepted it, but before I started the new job, when I resigned, my present boss gave me the same package to stay.

I want to keep on good terms with this company that gave me a job offer, and get consideration if this employer has a new job opening in the future.

Kimaryo
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Answer: Dear Kimaryo: I understand your predicament, in fact, I was once in your situation, myself several years ago, as a younger lawyer. And because I have been an employer for over 30 years, I have been on the “other side” also. While you cannot be certain that the employer whose offer you accepted, and are now declining, will consider you for other jobs in the future, you can do your best to achieve that result. Nothing is guaranteed, except that if you do your best, that is the best you can do.
Read the rest of this blog post »

“Motivate Before You Monetize” – A Workplace Negotiation Pointer

Published on April 22nd, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“You can get everything in life you want if you will just
help enough other people get what they want.”

– Zig Ziglar

ACTUAL “CASE HISTORIES: Over the years, we have noticed a certain dynamic during the course of negotiating workplace issues that is surely worth sharing. We usually begin negotiations by addressing the employer’s concerns, but our clients want, instead, to start off by raising their own concerns, first. We have found that, when we first raise our clients’ “wants” instead of first discussing their employers’ “needs,” things don’t go as well. And, so, we often counsel our clients, before going into negotiations, this simple thought: “Motivate Before You Monetize.”

Case History 1: We had begun negotiating an employment contract for a senior executive. As is commonly the case, our client wanted a long-term agreement, which represents considerable job security. She decided that a firm 3-year term of employment should be the first item of discussion, and perhaps even a condition to the discussions going further. The employer did want to go past a 2-year commitment. Quite needlessly, that issue ended the discussions altogether, because, I believe, we “monetized” before “motivating.”

Case History 2: Another client had been promoted, and was offered increased stock options as part of his new compensation package. He felt the number of stock options was not what he had expected, and expressed disappointment. We counseled him to focus not on the number of stock options, but to begin first with a discussion of what metrics of success in his work would trigger the vesting of his stock options, because that is what his employer was most concerned about. In our discussion of the metrics of success, we ended up agreeing upon a formula for triggering options grants and option vesting for different levels of success that would ultimately give our client more options than even he wanted to ask for. Talking about success, that is “motivating,” led to an easier time “monetizing.”

Case History 3: We were negotiating a severance package for a client. We began by discussing what our client’s legal claims were, and their probable enforceability. We were focused on convincing the employer that the way our client had been mistreated during employment justified the better severance terms at the end of employment. Our client became quite impatient that our discussions were focused primarily on “why” he should be treated better, and not focusing on “how much” better severance he should receive. Acting without our knowledge, he spoke directly to his employer on the subject, and demanded a hefty increase in severance. His doing so was not helpful, to say the least; in the end, we believe, it resulted in a smaller severance package. Lower motivating so often leads to lower success in monetizing.

LESSON TO LEARN: The observation that underlies our advice to “Motivate Before You Monetize” is this: Employers are more flexible, more generous, and more understanding of your needs and desires after – and not before – they are confident that you are flexible, giving and understanding of their needs and desires.” So, before you raise your “numbers,” explore their “needs.”

And, conversely, “First impressions are lasting impressions.” That is, if employers are first confronted with requests that initially seem audacious, one-sided, larger than they had anticipated, and not directly related to their achievement of their own objectives and goals, they are often turned off from the start of discussions, and sometimes irretrievably so.

What you want, need and feel you deserve in a negotiation is surely on your mind as you enter into that negotiation. But holding that off for the moment, and addressing your employer’s wants, needs and feelings of what they deserve, is a wise move, indeed.

Monetization – that is, speaking in terms of numbers of dollars – should wait until employers are most receptive, and they are most receptive when feeling greater confidence that their needs come first.

There is a Yiddish saying that “God gave us two hands, one to give and one to receive.” I have always noticed that the “give” in that saying comes before the “receive” in that saying. Keep that in mind in your own workplace negotiating, and you may observe how well that works, as we have, over these many years.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: In your own workplace negotiating – whether it is about a new job, a promotion, transfer to a different department or location, compensation, performance reviews or performance improvement plans, the resolution of claims of harassment or discrimination, severance, or anything else – address, discuss, explore and seek to resolve your employer’s concerns, desires and needs before your own, especially when your desires and needs are set forth in dollars and cents. That is, “Motivate before you Monetize.” Here are some thoughts to help you do just that:
Read the rest of this blog post »


Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 35 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

Receive All Our Posts - It's Free!

Monthly Newsletter, Discounts, Events