7 Lessons Glassdoor Negative Reviews Taught Us (And What You Can Learn From Them)


“A company which delays salaries every month”
“Where certain set of employees are given preferential treatment”

Well, guess what? You may be doing all that is needed for employee engagement and motivation and yet you open your company page on Glassdoor to find all this and many more negative reviews written about you. Started a little less than a decade ago, Glassdoor has become the TripAdvisor of workplace reviews, so to say.

Boasting of about 30 million users, 10 million company reviews, Glassdoor is growing big, one anonymous review at a time. Like a TripAdvisor and a Zomato, Glassdoor relies on user-generated content that the employees (present, former and potential) post on the website.

SutraHR Glassdoor

Hence, when companies start freaking out by a slew of negative reviews on Glassdoor, it is very understandable. The possibility that their future hire is checking them out on Glassdoor is very real.

When we got hold of what was being talked about SutraHR on Glassdoor, it wasn’t one of those pleasant web pages to look at. Beyond some well-intended good, honest reviews, there was a barrage of negative, often venomous and of course anonymous posts, showing nothing but a disgruntled and harassed ex-employee. Took us a couple of days and drinks to really make sense of the larger picture coming out of the reviews that we were the monsters (pun intended, obviously).

But finally, we decided to take charge of the situation and write back the Sutra perspective. The answers didn’t come easy, a lot of points asked for a debate internally and then we wrote it all, in our voice, with all our heart.

Not that we are a pro, but here are 7 key lessons we learnt from replying to all the negative reviews on Glassdoor (in no particular order):

1. Good or bad, take it head on.

When we took notice of the reviews, our ratings were in red. From recommending to a friend to approving the CEO, there was a lot to deal with in between those negative reviews. But we took a call to take those up and reply to every negative comment.

What we learnt was very simple. We can’t just sit and let the world talk. If they are talking bad, don’t give it back in their language but answer them nonetheless.

2. The reviews don’t represent majority opinion.

Yes, as much as every single review looked like distressing and when added to a string of those, it felt like earth-shattering. Well, almost. However, like it always happens, wisdom prevailed. We learned that the negative posts were just a handful of our strength and did not in any way represent the entire Sutra. The reviews were by a minuscule percentage of disgruntled employees and our 100-plus strong team working across our offices seemed very distant from all that chatter. The reviews are definitely skewed towards the negative side and that’s something you need to accept.

3. Honesty is the best policy.

Elevators don’t work during evenings? Employees forced to work late hours? Whatever it is, just be honest. You have no idea what questions we have fielded on Glassdoor but we were sure to be explicit and honest. There was no point in camouflaging the facts or truth. If we were wrong, we admitted it. Honesty goes a long way and people can see through the fake, done-up responses by the employers.

4. Encourage current bunch to leave a review (but don’t be/look pushy).

In fact, Glassdoor also suggests this way to increase your number of reviews and that way, improving your overall rating. Your HR person can ask people in various departments to write their opinion. The idea here is for them to be honest and fair. And more importantly, as an employer, don’t force people to write. You just need to encourage people to do it and at no point be pushy.
Why are we asserting on ‘don’t be pushy’ so much? Well, for we were accused to be one, that too when our Marketing head had only politely spoken to people about it. So you never know what can come and haunt you on Glassdoor.

SutraHR Glassdoor reply

5. Take time and tact to reply, for you are being watched.

Oh believe us there will be moments reading those reviews that you would want to answer some of those in a very not-so-gentle way. But have patience. Read through them all, discuss the reviews with HR and write the replies tactfully. You are not doing it for the ones who wrote it, you are doing it for your brand image and for the prospective employees who are looking you up at Glassdoor.

6. Why so serious?

Okay, we said write tactfully. But don’t lose your sense of humor. Retain the firm, professional tone and at the same time, keeping a lighter tone isn’t that bad. Take it with a pinch of salt and don’t be preachy. While replying, we kept our tone just as what we want to be perceived as. That we could deal with some of the nastiest posts with a wit is what we came about at the end of the exercise and we aren’t complaining.

7. Bring in the change offline to score a positive goal online.

Pest control, repairing the computers, sprucing up the infrastructure, looking in to performance records for complaints of incentive not being paid and working on the free flow of communication in-between teams, we have learned that the best way to get good points online is to work offline on issues you feel need improvement.

In this day and age, any company, big or small, cannot just ignore the power of social media and Glassdoor reviews are just one way to keep your brand flag high, stay abreast with all the points being raised there, keep answering every review and be seen as a company that is earnest in handling such sticky situations despite being thrown on the back foot.

We would love to hear your learnings from Glassdoor too.

One of the best ways to have a great culture is to hire great people for your startup. SutraHR can easily help you do the same, the way we have done this for hundreds of startups & digital agencies across Asia.

Feel free to reach out to Waqar at [email protected] or +91 87 67 427 427.


SutraHR: Unveiling The Badass HR Company With A Heart ❤


A while back we decided to give ourselves a little makeover, so to say. This was something we had to do for a couple of reasons at SutraHR.
1. Space of startups is changing fast and thick in India and hence the hiring is becoming more new-age.
2. Perception about HR needs a change when the surroundings are changing.
3. We are anything but the ostrich that refuses to accept the reality.

SutraHR has been a pioneer in the startup talent acquisition space for a little less than a decade and if a leader doesn’t evolve with the changing times and lead, who will? So we decided to make a start with some things that inherently define us. Shaking up the things a little never did anyone any harm, right?

SutraHR Badass HR company

If you’re a go-getter and believe in getting shit done, #ComeToSutra

We wanted to be seen as what we exactly are. When we sat down to define ourselves in one word, the unanimous choice was “SutraHR is badass”. We thought long and hard and the more we thought about it, the more it made sense. The more it clicked.

In common parlance, badass is someone who is true to himself, who doesn’t give up, who is brutally efficient, tough and a no nonsense person.

If you know us, you probably know a few things about us. SutraHR is a company that:
– Takes risks.
– Is a tough taskmaster.
– Is brash when it comes to not settling for mediocrity.
– Always strives to set highest performance standards.
– Unabashedly rewards top performers.
– Worships doers and achievers.
– Believes in ‘get shit done’.
– Is bootstrapped because it wants to work on its own terms.
– Unwinds like life’s one big party.
– Has its heart in the right place.

And hence, calling ourselves as ‘the Badass HR Company with a Heart’ makes us extremely proud. This is what we are. Now came the next part. The manifestation of this little makeover came in the form of our website transformation because that is our face to the world.

After months of hard work, after pulling off many a late-nighters at a stretch, after additions-deletion-some more additions and after a collective team effort, we are delighted to announce the new and revamped version of SutraHR’s new website.

What’s the new place like? To start with, it is equipped with all the necessary information needed to resolve all sorts of talent acquisition query that an organization may have. We have dedicated pages on your specific hiring requirements like Bulk Hiring, CXO Hiring, Dedicated Resource model, hiring Hotshots and you can straight away sign up for these services by a click of a button. Yes, we have simplified it to give you the best customer experience.

There are also dedicated pages on the domains of clients SutraHR works with, some handy information about why we are so awesome (no, really) and why working with us is the best career move you’ll ever make. And obviously, it loads quickly and looks beautiful even when you open it on your smartphone. Try it, go ahead!

Click here to visit SutraHR’s new dotcom home and get yourself acquainted with what a new-age HR company looks like and what it brings for your organization.

A new website is just the beginning. Being badass is the new cool and we are very happy to lead the way. And like someone wise in Bollywood once said, “picture abhi baaki hai mere dost”.

Think you can survive at the most badass workplace in Mumbai? Visit our career page.

Walk-in for an interview anytime between 10:30am7:30pm, Monday to Friday or call +91 92222 13194.

To new beginnings!

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