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During my job search, I found Glassdoor to be a very useful tool for getting to know about the companies I was searching for. I'd like to give back to that and submit my own reviews to help others.

However, my most recent job is at a small company. Currently the company's listing on Glassdoor has only one review (a glowing description of the company by someone with a "manager" position, which only one person in this area has). If I were to give a review, the company would instantly know who I am based on my position and location.

If I choose to give a negative or neutral review, I'm sure they wouldn't like knowing that I wrote it. If the review were 100% glowing, the company probably wouldn't care. However, Glassdoor does have a goal of hosting anonymous reviews, so positive or negative, it does seem to go against the spirit of the site. Plus, I'd like to avoid any self-censorship from knowing that I can be identified.

How can I go about leaving an anonymous review (what Glassdoor is intended for) when the company is so small that they will know it is me?

  • First I would ask yourself what do you have to gain from writing the review. If you're willing to own up to the review being yours when/if asked by someone in your company - then sure. If not - then I wouldn't. – Amanda H Aug 21 '14 at 18:44
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    @JoeStrazzere I would like to publish an anonymous review as is the spirit of Glassdoor. While I suppose I'm not really afraid that they'll know it is me, I think that what I write would go through some self-censorship if I knew I could be identified. – Thunderforge Aug 21 '14 at 20:24
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    Post the review with long enough gap that its not obvious whether it is you or someone else? Do you have to post it now or can you wait some months?? – Brandin Aug 22 '14 at 6:10
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    It's something I've considered too, in the past. I settled for just not bothering, despite the animosity between a former employer and I. Ultimately, they might do something extreme, like sue, and that just isn't worth it. – Owen C. Jones May 11 '15 at 22:22
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    List another location? – user42272 Feb 9 '16 at 1:18
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I find Glassdoor to be invaluable in reviewing companies, though not infallible. Your issue is one I've stumbled across a few times where I've worked or contracted with a small company and want to leave a review.

Some points to consider:

  • If there's only one review on the site, the odds are no one at the company is looking at it. This would make your review less risky in my opinion.

  • If you are worried about retribution for a poor review, I would wait until you have left the company to place the review. And consider if you work in a small IT world (like a small city) and burning this bridge may come back to you.

  • Consider anonymizing your review as much as possible. Don't specify title or location. If you are asked about it, in my opinion you have the right to lie and say it wasn't you. I know that recommending lying on this site is very controversial, and I will never suggest it unless it is justified! In my opinion, every employee has the right to give other potential employees a heads-up about an employer. Your employer has no right to go after you for a review you publish on your own time and on a third-party site.

  • Don't mention any secret or company-specific/intellectual property issues in your review. That's cause for them to look deeper and may give them legal justification.

To sum it up, I suggest putting in a review, but carefully word it based on my suggestions above. Help fellow job seekers to get the information they need to make a job decision before they get hired on.

  • Actually, you don't have to lie. You can just say what all government agencies say: "No comment". – sleske Feb 9 '16 at 9:21
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    Except that saying "no comment" in this situation is basically the same as saying "yep, that was me". Politicians say this because in government work plausible deniability can keep you from getting sued. It generally is not going to keep you from getting fired, though. – NotVonKaiser Feb 9 '16 at 18:37
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How can I go about leaving an anonymous review (what Glassdoor is intended for) when the company is so small that they will know it is me?

It's not clear what your motivation for leaving a review might be, and clearly you don't want to leave a positive review, but there are several possibilities here.

  1. Leave a review anyway. Pour your heart out, assuming all the while that your employer will read the review and know that it is you. Be prepared to have a conversation with your employer should they choose to question you about your statements.
  2. Anonymize your review. Remove anything that would specifically tell the reader that it was you who wrote it. Don't include your title, or salary, your location, or any other identifiable data. If necessary, put in false information for those fields, as they likely add nothing to your narrative anyway. Then, if your employer reads it and asks the entire company who wrote it, don't confess. And if asked specifically if you wrote it, lie and say "No".
  3. Wait until you leave the company sometime down the road. Then write your review.
  4. Don't write a review. Skip your desire to write about this company.
4

First of all, I smell its going to be a bad one.

If you are so sure of being identified, and your review may hurt you within the company, I would suggest avoiding that. Anyway, all job seekers don't take reviews to their heart and are not strict believers, it is just taken as a suggestion.

If the review is a positive one, or neutral even, then getting identified is not bad at all, isn't it?

Based on new edits to the question:

If you want to follow the spirit, there are a few things you can do.

  1. Just hide one of your location or job title. This is possible on glassdoor if this will make identifying you difficult.

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  1. You can post totally an anonymous response as well without going through a self censorship policy of yours.

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With these options available, I think you can achieve what you are seeking.

3

If you are going to stay more in that company, never ever leave negative feedback. Full stop. This will only go against you. Even if you are not the single employee in that position, reducing the chances to two or three people is too risky.

You might be recognized as the author even in the future. For example if for whatever reason you unwillingly show you know Glassdoor more than your coworkers.

Legally

Your boss may or may not do anything to you. In my country he may fire you without a valid reason if total employees are < 15. Otherwise the company is not enough "small", but there could always be ways for premature termination.

Practically

You might be subject to mobbing/stalking. That is a crime under several regulations but is extremely hard to prove.

Examples of mobbing are under-assignements, or under-qualification of assignements. It is difficult to prove that such behaviour originates from an harassment.

If you are going to leave your company, you can honestly write whatever you deem useful. Please, for respect of the others before the law, don't exagerate or say false. Defamation is a crime for a reason. Be objective, keep proof for yourself, use facts

2

Personally I make it a policy to never bad mouth past employers in writing anywhere. I have run into past colleagues at new workplaces many times. It makes no sense to do something that might mean I am unable to get a job at a place I wanted to work at because ten years ago I insulted the person who is now friends with the hiring manager. Write the review, pour your heart out into into and then don't post.

I personally also would be wary of giving any credence at all to anything posted on Glassdoor. I have seen plenty of places where most people were happy but there was someone who felt put upon who posted this sort of garbage but if you knew the situation from outside, you would know he wasn't treated unfairly and the the company wasn't a horrible to place to work. Good reviews are also suspect because they could be from people who are trying to make the company look better as part of their job.

  • Plus. If a company learnt you wrote a bad review (which is pretty easy to guess in small companies), good luck asking them for a reference. – VarunAgw Mar 18 '18 at 17:48
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Leaving a review about the company on Glassdoor.com has two purposes:

  1. You want your concerns to be addressed, a lot of genuine employers do attend to employees' (ex or current) concerns if any...
  2. Your review helps other job seekers get a fair view on choosing this specific employer as a next stop in their career...

Give it a thought! Considering you are skeptical about leaving a review, shows that you are not going to write something that they will be happy about. And you did mention you are okie if they know its you. As far as I know, Glassdoor doesn't allow Employers to censor any review posted on their page but give them the option to respond. You need to be careful there what you post.

Based on in what terms you parted ways, they either should come back to you and address the concern or if they don't the review will anyways be beneficial for other job seekers. Basically what am suggesting is that there is no need to hide yourself.

But if you still want to leave a review and don't want them to know it was you, a good way is to confuse them by putting things in a different perspective, so that they don't realize it is you but you still get your review out there.

  • I personally disagree completely with point 1. Always clean your dirty laundry at home. Leaving public feedback is not a way to solve problems, it's just a way to discredit employers – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Feb 9 '16 at 7:57

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