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Love Your Work? What About Love At Work?

Yes, the title is somewhat of a teaser, but we do have data to share about love at work, as well as other topics from the website Glassdoor, an Internet site which posts reviews of employers and shares data on salaries by occupation and employer. The site collects a great deal of information from a very large global audience on a wide range of topics and publishes its analyses periodically. This edition of the Peel Halton Insights Report will review several issues:
  • What is the impact of different recruiting methods on hiring?
  • Do difficult job interviews lead to more satisfied workers?
  • Do “Best Employer” companies do better in the stock market?
  • Is money what makes employees happy?
  • Who is more likely to find love in the workplace?
What is the impact of different recruiting methods on hiring?[i]
The short answer is: employee referrals are more likely to lead to an accepted job offer.
Glassdoor relied on a sample of 441,000 job interviews in the United States between 2009 and 2015. 42% of the interviews came through on-line applications, 10% through college or university referrals, 10% through employee referrals, 95% through recruiter referrals, 8% through in-person connections (such as meeting a company representative at a job fair), and 2% through staffing agency referrals. (Another 4% were “Other”.)
Glassdoor calculated an average likelihood of an accepted job offer, based on all methods of recruitment. It then isolated each type of recruitment and compared the likelihood of an accepted job offer. On that basis, employee referrals had a 2.6% - 6.6% greater chance of an accepted job offer. The other results were as follows:
  • Staffing agency referral: -0.5% to 5.3%
  • In-person connection: -0.1% to 3.9%
  • Recruiter: -11.4% to -7.4%
  • Applied on-line: -15.0% to -11.4%
  • College or university referral: -17.9% to -13.6%
A negative result meant that this referral type resulted in a lower chance of an accepted job offer than the average figure.
Do difficult job interviews lead to more satisfied workers?[ii]
The short answer is: Up to a point.
What is a difficult job interview? One where job candidates are asked to solve brain teasers, business problems or answer behavioural questions. Looking at data from six countries, Glassdoor has determined that a 10% more difficult interview rating is associated with a 3.5% higher overall employee satisfaction. However, that correlation drops when job candidates rate an interview at the highest level of difficulty. Chart 1, taken from the study cited in the endnote, shows that for results from six countries (Canada included, the red line), job satisfaction rises with the degree of difficulty of the interview up until a score of 4 out of 5. For interviews ranked at the highest level of difficulty, a score of 5 out of 5, the job satisfaction rating dropped considerably.
Chart 1: Link between job satisfaction rating and degree of difficulty of the job interview

Do “Best Employer” companies do better in the stock market?[iii]
The short answer is: Absolutely.
Glassdoor examined two groups of companies, each of which represented “best employer” companies. A portfolio of Fortune magazine’s “Best Companies to Work For” outperformed the S&P 500 (the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the United States) by 84% between 2009 and 2014. A portfolio of Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” similarly outperformed the overall market during the same period by 116%.
These findings strongly suggest that employers who provide workplaces in which employees enjoy working are also workplaces that produce the greatest profit. Investing in attractive workplaces pays off.
Is money what makes employees happy?[iv]
The short answer is: Surprisingly, no.
Surveys show that employees who earn more are more likely to have higher rates of employee satisfaction. Glassdoor research suggests that a 10% increase in an employee’s salary will result in a one percentage point increase in their employee satisfaction rating.
However, when it comes to identifying what contributes to employee satisfaction, wages are a far less important factor compared to a number of other considerations. Chart 2 illustrates the degree to which different factors contribute to an employee’s satisfaction. By far, a company’s culture and values have a far greater influence, followed by career opportunities. On this list, compensation and benefits actually come in at the lower end of the scale.
Chart 2: Impact of factors on employee satisfaction

Who is more likely to find love in the workplace?[v]
The short answer is: jobs where there is a higher degree of social interaction, as well as jobs which tend to be lower-skilled (because these are jobs that are more likely to be filled by younger people who are more likely to be single and looking for romance).
Glassdoor suggests that the following industries experience more workplace romances:
  • Real Estate
  • Entertainment
  • Transportation
  • Food Services
  • Retail Trade
On the other hand, the following industries appear to report fewer people finding love at work:
  • Healthcare
  • Non-profit
  • Government
  • Legal Services
  • Information Technology
  • Education
What this information means for job seekers and career choices
  • Cultivate opportunities for job possibilities at workplaces where your personal contacts (friends, relatives, neighbours) are employed. Asking them for referrals, or simply letting them know you are looking for work, may lead to the kind of referral that is more likely to result in a job offer. (It might also help your personal contact: some employers offer a bonus to employees who refer a job candidate who eventually gets hired.)
  • Don’t be put off or intimidated by a more difficult job interview – it appears it is more likely to lead to a better job match, resulting in a higher level of job satisfaction in that job. But if the job interview is very difficult, you may wish to reconsider whether you would want to work at that firm. Perhaps you can ask around to find out how current workers feel about where they work.
  • Learning more about a company before you choose to work there will help you decide if it would be a pleasurable work experience. Obviously your wage rate is important, but finding out about other factors, such as the company’s culture or the prospects for career advancement, will likely have an important bearing on your overall job satisfaction.
  • If we could predict where people could find love, we would have a completely different website!
[i] Andrew Chamberlain, “Why Interview Sources Matter in Hiring: Exploring Glassdoor Interviews Data,” Glassdoor Research Studies, August 12, 2015 <>
[ii] Andrew Chamberlain and Ayal Chen-Zion, “Do Difficult Job Interviews Lead to More Satisfied Workers? Evidence from Glassdoor Reviews,” Glassdoor Research Studies, October 29, 2015 <>
[iii] Andrew Chamberlain, “Does Company Culture Pay Off? Analyzing Stock Performance of ‘Best Places to Work’ Companies,” Glassdoor Research Studies, March 11, 2015 <>
[iv] Mario Nunez, “Does Money Buy Happiness? The Link Between Salary and Employee Satisfaction,” Glassdoor Economic Research Blog, June 18, 2015 <>
[v] Morgan Smart, “Finding Love At Work: Patterns in Glassdoor Data,” Glassdoor Economic Research Blog, July 29, 2015 <>
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