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Company A, with around 1500 employees is a subsidiary of a larger consumer Company B which is active in investments and has good market performance. I received a call from a recruiter on a job portal. I didn't do too well in the 1st coding round, but received interview call 2 weeks later. The subsequent tech interviews weren't that tough - happened over 5 days span. The hiring manager round was long, and they dived deep into my problem solving skills. Few hours later, I received a mail stating positive response and asking to share salary docs, which I did as it is common practice in India. Then, the next working day, I received a call asking about my salary expectation - which is quite high compared to my current salary, but around industry standards and I mentioned expecting a hike as appraisal cycle for the last year has started and will receive increment letter soon.

2 days later, no negotiation, I received the offer letter asking to respond in a day. I asked for another day's time, and it got accepted by the recruiter. The offer seems legit - although it does bears the letterhead of a subsidiary product of Company A, the designation is right and it mentions I'll be working for the parent company (Company A, not its parent Company B). It feels like all this is happening too soon.

I haven't yet asked about the Glassdoor reviews (3.5) & Product reviews - Twitter & social media are filled with complaints. The company has public addresses listed for other locations in the country, but not the one I've been accepted for. LinkedIn has about 100 employees listed in my location. The recruiter says, because of COVID, I don't have to join till Jan/Feb, and they will finalise address based on employee's convenience when they do open up for work from office.

Should I be concerned? How do I ask about the reviews & who to ask?

Also, questions regarding the offer itself:

  • It says offer is given I join before said date, which I know will be impossible given my notice period which I haven't served yet.
  • I am eligible for a joining bonus if I join within mentioned date. It doesn't mention what happens if I join after that. If I'm still eligible for job offer without joining bonus?
  • I need to wait to receive the increment letter from current employer. So when do I serve my notice?
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    For the 3 questions about the offer, I would strongly recommend you remove them. First they are completely unrelated to your main question about the poor Glassdoor reviews. Second, none sound answerable by anyone but the company who sent you the offer, so would be off-topic on this site Nov 4 '20 at 12:10
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    I don't have to join till Jan/Feb - 2021? Nov 4 '20 at 13:00
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    As with any online reviews, try to read between the lines. Are there any common themes? Also, some companies are big enough to have multiple departments, can you narrow it down to where you can read reviews of your duty areas? Sometimes one department may be bad with high turn overs. Impossible to say for sure.
    – Dan
    Nov 4 '20 at 16:13
  • The recruiter said we do not mention such a clause about optional joining bonus, but email and I will reply accordingly. I emailed them. They have replied saying "the offer will be valid post X date, kindly negotiate NP with your company .... so you can avail discussed benefits." Nov 6 '20 at 2:18
  • Which country is this?
    – gnasher729
    Nov 6 '20 at 7:59
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Regarding the company review on internet: no one here can confirm or deny anything, you need to make your own judgement call.

Regarding the other three questions:

  1. It says offer is given I join before said date, which I know will be impossible given my notice period which I haven't served yet.

Get in touch with them and point them the fact. Ask them to revise the offer / contract which is aligned with your possible timeline of joining (plus some buffer time, just in case).

  1. I am eligible for a joining bonus if I join within mentioned date. It doesn't mention what happens if I join after that. If I'm still eligible for job offer without joining bonus?

The company can answer the best, just ask them.

  1. I need to wait to receive the increment letter from current employer. So when do I serve my notice?

Why do you need this? How is this connected with the new job? If you're going to take up the new job, the increment letter will be irrelevant. If you're not going to accept the job, you don't need to serve notice period. What is the use-case for you to have the increment letter and still serve the notice at the same time?

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  • The recruiter said we do not mention such a clause about optional joining bonus, but email and I will reply accordingly. I emailed them. They have replied saying "the offer will be valid post X date, kindly negotiate NP with your company .... so you can avail discussed benefits." Nov 5 '20 at 6:18
  • what should I do in this case? Nov 6 '20 at 2:18
  • @ProgramSpree You should decide if the bonus is worth leaving the other company earlier than you planned. We can't tell you what is important to you; or, what is the right answer. But, it isn't like the old company is going to pay you a bonus to stay with them to the planned date; and, in some cases the old company will fire you as soon as they find out you're leaving (this is a rare, but real occurrence in USA, I'm not sure if it happens in India). If you think the new company is really a bad idea, any kind of bonus or pay increase won't be enough to make you happy. You have to decide.
    – Edwin Buck
    Nov 14 '20 at 3:16
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I mean, I would ask about the reviews. But I would've asked a lot earlier in the process. Like immediately.

I suggest framing it like you don't want to focus on any specific details, but generally you have seen a trend towards a certain type of comment. Ask them if they're aware of their comments and give them a chance to respond. You should also ask them about specific policies, workplace procedures, and benefits that would mitigate or offset some of their negative reviews.

Like if you read something about bad work-life balance, maybe they started offering flexible scheduling. Or if there's something about how there's no future, ask them about how they handle performance reviews and promotions.

Just to add some recent experiences, I had interviews for 2 different companies and some of the Glassdoor reviews were terrible. Like writing in ALL CAPS how terrible it was. For one review, a few people talked about the consultancy company fires employees when work gets low. What I asked about was tenure within the company due to their consultancy business model. Another review mentioned that there's a "bro culture". I asked the recruiter to tell me about the company culture and how they communicate this to employees.

So there are ways to ask either directly or indirectly, but I would make sure to ask early in the process when you're deciding on a role.

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