By @SimonCocking. Interview with Diarmuid Russell, Head of International for Glassdoor, The free inside look at jobs and companies. Company reviews, interview Q’s, salary details and jobs. On a mission to help people everywhere find jobs they love.

Diarmuid Russell Aug 2013 (1)

Describe the company?

Glassdoor is a new way to help people find a job and for employers to recruit top talent. We bring transparency to the world of work by providing jobseekers with employer reviews, ratings, photos and salary information so that they can find a job and a company they love.

We launched in the US in 2008 and have expanded rapidly across Europe in 2014 and 2015, including the recent launch of our Irish site, www.Glassdoor.ie

How are you different?

We’re different from other job sites because we don’t just provide comprehensive job listings – we also give them all the other information they need to decide if a job is right for them, including reviews of the company culture and salaries. And we then help candidates through the process, by providing reviews of the interview process and information about benefits and salaries to help them negotiate their offer if they are successful.

Providing all this detailed information in one place is something jobseekers simply can’t get anywhere else. And it’s also great for employers because they can communicate their employer brand values through our Enhanced Profile and get access to the informed and motivated jobseekers who use our service.

Why will the company / product do well?

People increasingly rely on reviews in today’s world to make decisions about products and services, and job seeking is no different. If anything, it’s much more important as deciding where to work is a far bigger decision than choosing a hotel or a new TV.

And that desire for the information we provide is reflected in our traffic growth. We’re already the fourth largest career site in the US according to Comscore and are growing faster than competitors such as Monster and LinkedIn.

This rapid growth is mirrored in the UK and Ireland where we’ve seen strong traffic growth over the past year since staffing up our London office.

Our products allow employers to engage with the career-minded people who visit our sites – we already work with approximately 3,600 clients across Europe and N. America and our new Dublin team will be building upon the success of our London team working with clients across all industries from finance to retail to technology.

In Ireland specifically, we already have a lot of information on the local offices of major tech employers such as Google, Dell, IBM and Cisco as well as on Irish Headquartered companies such as Accenture.

Where are you based?

Our office premises (for the first few months) will be at Regus House on Harcourt Road, welcoming our inaugural Dublin team of 13 employees. We are all super excited to be moving in on 1st February and, as we grow in size over the year, we’ll be keeping an eye on the Dublin real estate market for a suitable longer term home. I’m not in a position to comment on the broadband yet, but our needs in Ireland are relatively modest, as our team just needs access to cloud based applications like Salesforce and Gmail.

When was the company launched?

The company was founded in 2007 by three former Expedia execs who had seen the disruption and benefits that transparency had brought to the travel industry and wanted to do the same for jobs – current CEO Robert Hohman, Rich Barton (who also founded Zillow and Expedia) and Tim Besse. We launched www.Glassdoor.com as a global site in 2008 and started to roll out localized international versions of our site and apps in 2014. Our global HQ is in Mill Valley, San Francisco and we only opened our London office in 2014 with Dublin following now.

What type of people are you trying to attract to your product?

Jobseekers come to our site to make better decisions about where they work – as a result they tend to be more career-minded than average. Work matters to them, so they want to be well informed about which jobs to apply for and well prepared when they come to interview.

Because the people who come to us have an attitude towards work, it’s hard to pigeon-hole our typical user into a specific demographic or industry niche – we’ve helped our clients hire people into a wide range of occupations including healthcare, transportation, government, retail and technology. One thing we do find is that the household income of our users skews above average – maybe that’s because the information we provide helps people be more successful in their careers?

We also want employers to join the community – jobseekers love it when an employer shows their engagement by responding to reviews, and they also value being able to look at an employer’s messaging alongside reviews from current and former employees. It’s free for them to get an Employer Account and over 60,000 employers worldwide have already taken this first step.

Tell us about your team?

In a word, they’re amazing. I’ve personally interviewed everyone joining our Dublin team and have been incredibly impressed by the depth and diversity of talent we’ve been able to attract. We’re leading a revolution in the employment space, and that seems to strike a chord with lots of people who’ve been inspired to join us.

Our initial focus is around building sales, marketing and customer success teams in Dublin – we’ve already hired 8 people locally with experience from employers like Yahoo!, LinkedIn and Oracle and will be supplementing this team with 5 experienced Glassdoor employees on secondment from London and San Francisco.

We’ll continue hiring throughout this year and expect to grow to around 100 people over three years.

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

The number one goal is to become the biggest jobs site in the world – period. We can’t put a time frame on that, but we’re certainly heading in the right direction. International is going to play an important part in this – we’re really happy with the user growth we are seeing in our 7 European markets, as well as our initial commercial success in the UK. I’m looking to continue to drive user growth across Europe and continue to build our customer base.

As for product, we’re always looking for ways to improve our offer to jobseekers – as an example, last month we launched an innovative new job search experience which integrates the search process with company reviews and salaries, enabling job seekers to quickly determine if a job is the right fit. This is just another demonstration of the revolution we are driving in recruiting, as employers (now more than ever) will be judged by reviews and other user-generated content at all times.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

I love my phone – it’s an HTC One and it’s rarely out of sight. I’m a keen cyclist and I love the Strava App – it brings out my competitive streak and is always pushing me to try harder, which has been great for my fitness. And of course, whenever I hear where someone works I’m quick to pull their company up on the Glassdoor app.

I’m also a big fan of Sonos, which I use with Spotify and TuneIn. We’ve now almost always got Radio 4 on the kitchen in our San Francisco house, which is a great way as an expat to stay connected to home.

And finally, though it’s not technically a tech gadget, I recently bought a new road bike with Shimano’s Di2 electrical gear shifting. It’s amazingly precise and means I can focus on beating those Strava times rather than fine-tuning my gears.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

The one tech gadget that would revolutionize my life as Head of International for Glassdoor is the babel fish from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I need to understand what people are saying about Glassdoor in all the countries we operate in – we’re already in four languages and that’s only going to grow over time. Technology has come a long way since I was doing a similar role at Expedia 10 years ago – Chrome’s ability to auto-translate web pages is fantastic. Now if I could only hear a conversation in a foreign language in English… Pretty sure this is coming soon, just not sure when…


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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