Finding a job is hard these days, amid this global economy recession. But I think this does not mean we don’t evaluate our employers before accepting an offer. Here are two useful sites for job seekers: bewww.net (China) and glassdoor.com.
bewww.net (Chinese), unfortunately it was not available inside China (GFW) these days. I don’t want to get into the politics of all this, but I felt this is an interesting web site. Like the glassdoor.com in the US, bewww.net allows users to post their opinions on employers and rate them. Now being blocked inside China, essentially it means the business being shutdown too. Because the selling point of web site like glassdoor or bewww is user generated content, being blocked means the users can not read or submit new opinions. So basically what the user can see (if they know how to get around GFW) is a static version of the web site.
Why web site like glassdoor or bewww is useful?
Just like Amazon book review feature, I believe reading objective reviews about an employer (be a company or non-for-profit) will be very helpful for us to learn about company culture, management style, etc. We don’t always have accurate information about a company we are joining, due to many reasons:
1) The company web site will always say this is a dream place to work for. On-site interview could be helpful, but remember the main focus for job seekers at the interview was trying to answer all the questions correctly. Obviously the culture of a company is also important, but easily being neglected amid other priorities. Again recession/difficulty to find a job being one factor. But even in this case, learn more about an employer (thus set the right expectation) is a good thing.
2) We don’t always have a friend in a new company. Even if we do, and we ask our friends, note what your friends like may not be what you like (or vice versa).
My personal experience
1) I felt glassdoor is more mature than bewww. One reason being American employees are usually mature than the Chinese Internet population (people who left note on web are usually born after 1980). Not to talking down the generation Y in China, I felt some of their comments are a bit offensive.
2) Because I work in software industry, I found the reviews of some CEOs of the software companies to be interesting.
3) Limits: for small companies, one may not find any entries from glassdoor. In that case, talking to potenial employers before accepting the final offer is essential. Another alternative is to find someone from LinkedIn.