Who’s opening your Glassdoor?

A little over a year ago I sat down with my leader and our communications manager to discuss my new role and a particular platform they’d like me to take responsibility for; Glassdoor.

If the truth be told, I knew very little about it. I’d seen our rating suddenly appear within the careers pages of our website and, given my curious nature, I clicked through to see what it was all about. The page was unappealing, the reviews were scarce and I couldn’t help but think we’d placed ourselves uncomfortably into the firing line.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

In the weeks that followed I began my research into the platform and drew my comparisons to sites like Amazon and TripAdvisor. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to buy a new product or book your next holiday you’re going to be checking the reviews first, right? So why wouldn’t you be doing the same for your next potential employer?

Looking for a new job is practically a fulltime job in itself, so it’s no wonder that job seekers are actively pulling on all resources to help them in their quest to find their next role.

A colleague once asked me if I’d be worried about seeing negative reviews on our page, I responded with: “I would actually welcome them”. Allowing them enough time to digest what I said, I pleasantly smiled back to the ‘are you serious’ framed stare and followed up with: “Hearing people tell us what they really think about working here, whether that’s good, bad or indifferent, helps us to improve as an employer, helps us to learn from what people are saying about us and helps us to adapt”.

We’d be naïve, as an employer, to think everything is perfect. Glassdoor is a channel for colleagues and former employees to share in their experiences, and anonymously too. This gives assurance to the person posting the review but also credibility to the audience, and employer, of what has been said.

Bromford is still relatively new to Glassdoor but already we’re reaping the rewards of investing in our profile. In 18 months we’ve increased our review numbers from 11 to over 80, with the average employer rating up from 4.1 to 4.6, and in 2017 we were credited as being the 3rd Best Place to Work in the UK by Glassdoor, our first ever placing in the award, ahead of the likes of Facebook, Salesforce and Apple.

If you’re new to Glassdoor, or yet to join, here are my top 5 tips to get you going:


Have a presence

The reviews will be there, even if you’re not! Adopt your page (it’s really easy to do) and start to build your company brand within the profile. This is your opportunity to share your story through company updates, blogs, photos, videos, and by the reviews that are posted about you!


Respond…to everything

Nobody wants to see a bad review about their organisation but they do get posted, and ignoring them won’t make them go away. In fact, if you don’t respond you’re probably doing even more damage to your reputation by not acknowledging somebody’s grievance or opinion. So be polite and let them know you’re listening. Don’t sit on it, make a point of responding promptly and learn from what they have to say.


Encourage colleagues to get involved

Your colleagues are your company’s biggest advocates, and the custodians of your culture, so make sure you engage them. Just because Glassdoor has the best part of 6 million monthly active users in the UK, don’t assume that all of your workforce know what it is and how it works. Give them some narrative and explain the benefits of capturing their views.


Don’t forget the ones that got away

Colleagues will leave you, that’s inevitable, and there’ll be some that never quite get through your door and make it to day one. Both of these sets of people can provide you with some invaluable insight – so reach out to them! You could use your ATS to generate emails to candidates who apply for your roles who you could ask for feedback about your recruitment process, and your HR team could screen your leavers for you, how you do it is entirely up to you.


Share the feedback

Make sure you communicate the learning from your Glassdoor profile with the rest of your organisation. Somebody posted a glowing review about a role they had in the maintenance team? Let the manager know. Is someone unhappy about the interview process they went through? Let the recruiters know. Are people loving the benefits you offer? Let HR know what people are saying – and promote the comments via social to let potential candidates know what employees think! But make sure you look beyond the reviews, you’ll be collecting a whole host of data from your profile which is invaluable to your Talent and Resourcing strategy and will help in the build and management of your company brand. Candidate demographics, job clicks, page visits and followers are just some of the things worthy of your attention.


Glassdoor’s growth in the past couple of years has been pretty phenomenal, something you cannot afford to ignore. If you do, it’s likely that your competitors will have a profile and before long your colleagues and future talent will be looking over their shoulders to see what’s being said about working there. So maybe now is the time to look at that page of yours.



Once a Leader, always a Leader

Follow the leader

Leadership is something that’s very relevant in my life right now, both at work and for me personally. Here at Bromford I’ve recently completed the first part of my Living Leadership training which is designed to deliver our core strategic objectives:

  • Delivering A Role Model Service
  • Creating A Great Place To Work
  • Leading Innovation and Change

With an itinerary that covered topics ranging from Fierce Conversations to Getting to Yes and Knowing the Numbers to Leading Change, I knew this was going to be a journey that I could look back upon to help me improve my leadership qualities. My next steps see me walking within our Talent Academy; a 12 month journey which was launched on 16th August by our CEO Mick Kent and special guest Jeff Grout. You might ask; why so much learning? Before I answer that let me share a Mahatma Gandhi quote with you that Mick used in that opening session:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”

We should use every opportunity we are presented with to enhance ourselves and build on our personal development, Mick himself will be the first to admit; “we are all trainees”.

For me Leadership is about how you portray yourself, how you represent the organisation you work for and the influence you have on others. And you don’t need to be directly managing anybody to be a leader. My current secondment means that I don’t have any direct responsibility of a team but I do feel that I’ve always got a wider team at heart. I feel that I have a duty of care to anyone who may turn to me for help, advice or support within their work – and even if I don’t know the answer to something I’ll always do my best to point them in the direction of somebody that will. I always try to do my best for others, encouraging their work and demonstrating a positive attitude when I’m around them, if I don’t then I would feel as though I’ve failed the people who turn to me and I’d even feel as though I’ve failed myself.

John Terry was recently stripped of the England captaincy after he was found guilty of racial abuse by the Football Association. But despite his actions he is still seen as a role model to many young Chelsea fans up and down the country and most probably in many countries around the world too. Chelsea’s recent dip in form, which led to the sacking of manager Roberto Di Matteo last week, is said by some to have been contributed to by John Terry’s absence through suspension and injury. Whatever your opinion of John Terry, rightly or wrongly, he is a leader. On and off the pitch, inside and outside of football, people watch his every move and a number of people look up to him for inspiration, guidance and support. So John must always be at his best, if not for his own sake most definitely for others.

Andy & Paul

I’m not posting this saying I want to be the next John Terry, I’m not the best at football for starters (although I’m told I do resemble Paul Scholes in the looks department) but we can take something from his situation. John Terry has achieved pretty much everything a footballer would dream of having captained his team to Premier League glory, lifted the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Community Shield. He’s won the Champions League, PFA Player of the Year and captained his country – but is John Terry the best player in world; no. Are there things he wishes he would have done differently; I’d say so. Is he still learning; most definitely!

Leadership is a journey that’s one for all, not all for one. You can be at the very top of your game but if you’ve not careful things can come tumbling down very quickly around you. If we want to achieve amazing things in our careers we cannot afford to become complacent. We need to surround ourselves with fantastic people, have a willingness to get better at what we do and we must use our experiences to help one another. Even when our circumstances change we must remain true to ourselves and one another. If we want to be better leaders we must continue to learn. I believe that we must act on the basis; Once a Leader, always a Leader.

The Masterplan

I’ve been blogging for a couple of months now and felt the timing was right to give you a whirlwind tour into my life and how I’ve ended up doing what I do today.

From an early age I loved to draw, I’d always be picking up pad and pen to scribble and copy pictures of my favourite football player or character from Transformers. So I applied this enthusiasm into my education and pursued a career in Art & Design. I studied through my GCSE’s, took A-Levels, plodded through a year at Art College and then came away from University with a degree – all of which led me to a career in social housing, eventually!

When I was 21 I had to seek my own housing options and was made up to be offered my first Housing Association property. It was a comfortable 2 bedroom flat which I shared with my girlfriend and we furnished it with hand-me-downs from family. Over time we started to replace a few bits and pieces with things we were able to buy for ourselves and with help from our friends and parents we decorated throughout, adding new fixtures and fittings along the way. I wasn’t brilliant with DIY (my wife will tell you I’m still not) but we had help from others where and when they could spare us the time. I was happy, I had a girlfriend (who is now the very same wife who criticises my DIY attempts), a flat I could call my home and a university degree – although sadly I’d been unable to secure a job, hearing the constant sound of; “we love your work but we’re looking for somebody with a little more experience”.

Throughout school and university I worked in a hotel kitchen washing dishes and mopping floors. I worked in a warehouse order-picking for a major high-street supermarket and tried my hand working in a call centre for a high-street bank. I then came to learn about Bromford back in 2003 when I took up the opportunity to work in the Customer Service Centre. I’d hoped that this would give me the vital office experience that I craved to help me with those set-backs I’d had pursuing my career in Graphic Design. In honesty I saw a job with Bromford as more of a stepping stone for me, a chance to earn some valuable office experience that I could use in future job interviews – little did I know that Bromford would actually shape my career path!

As I’m about to turn into my 33rd year of youth I look back over these experiences and wonder whether all of these were in fact all part of the master plan for me. In my spare time I love listening to music and followed Oasis over the years, I share with you below some lyrics from their track ‘The Masterplan’:

“I’m not saying right is wrong

It’s up to us to make

The best of all things that come our way

And all the things that came have past

The answer’s in the looking glass

There’s four and twenty million doors

Down life’s endless corridor”

I’m not asking you to go reciting the words of Noel Gallagher but I do wonder whether my future was already mapped out for me and if in fact my longing for a career in Art & Design was just my creative bloods getting flowing for something beyond graphics and drawing. Those job application refusals; were they because I was never destined to follow that path and instead my longing for ‘office experience’ was me bedding myself into an organisation I’d grow to love? Me opening the door to my very own Social Housing home for 5 years; was this to give me a taste of what it’s about, to learn from those experiences that I would then take with me to use in my job today?

I look at my past not pondering over the things that could have been but instead to learn from the experiences. It was unbeknown to me at the time but I do now firmly believe that these were in fact my windows of opportunity, corridors of choices and doorways to success. If then my future has already been mapped out for me perhaps I’m just making decisions that are leading me to an inevitable outcome – if we are all part of a master plan, I’m making the most out of mine.