So who wants to talk about the work environment at X Enterprises (fictional brand name)?
Are you interested in sharing your views about the company you work for?
Are you willing to discuss how the company treats its employees?
Are you willing to share your negative views with people who might want to join the company in the future?
Is social networking safe enough to try something like that?
Will your job be jeopardized if you participated in such discussions?
These are the questions that came to mind when I first heard about a new company called Jobrap.
Of course, I could go on and on about other issues that make my skin crawl at the very thought of my employers discovering that I have shared a trade secret (even inadvertently) or commented negatively about the company, its policies or its associates. The questions might be very different in your situation, so I won’t add to that list and let you scratch your head with your own hands.
Jobrap.com is a platform that aims to allow prospects to interact with serving and former employees of companies and industries in an informal conversation. This gives the potential future employee a glimpse into the ‘real’ company instead of the traditional (envision, hope and experience) experience. These kind of socially enabled job exploration technologies have been popular as of late, with companies like Glassdoor emerging.
The platform intends to allow you (the potential candidate) to open a discussion and invite people within your social network to join the debate. The people you invite will be able to invite others within their social circles to the discussion board.
While the social platform may enable the job seeker to get an insight into the company before they join, one must remember that opinions can diverge wildly. For instance, one engineer may consider a certain policy acceptable, while another may call it superfluous; one manager may think the CEO is an angel while another may question his or her ingenuity.
The creators of Jobrap claim they are a free service and do not collect any user information and allow users to connect via their social network accounts (Facebook and LinkedIn only so far). Registration is quick and hassle-free. However, since the platform is in its budding stages, you may have to start discussions and be the pioneer. Once again, I have my reservations about it, even if it helps me or others wanting to dissect and investigate different jobs and employers.
On the bright side, you can control some of the settings in order to keep your email, company, and job titles behind the curtains. You can also sign in with your email, thereby disconnecting from the social network link. On the homepage, you will also find the most recent comments, some of which may entice you to jump in. This is merely to give you an idea of the future. The present comments and links are non-functional.
The company search may be limited to the US presently because the location space requires a local zip code. If you’re looking for positions in the same company nationwide, leave the location box empty and start your search. You may also simply enter the company name and all available vacancies appear, 10 at a time per page.
The universal fact remains that your identity and privacy are never fully guaranteed even if you believe you’re using the most secure social network on the planet. Therefore, the risks involved in Jobrap may only be similar to the ones you’re taking when logging in to your favorite social network – just be sure, as elsewhere on the web, that you are not sharing anything that you wouldn’t want others to know.
Will employees be willing to share the inside scoop? It remains to be seen. But the technologies to enable and promote such discussion are being rapidly developed.