A #SHRM16 Interview with Joel Cheesman on Ratedly

Founder of Ratedly
Founder of Ratedly

I am publishing this as a #SHRM16 post because it involves a fellow HR blogger, in fact someone that was considered the NUMBER ONE HR blogger in the world. According to one source, his blog Cheezhead was getting 50,000 unique visitors per month in 2010. As comparison mine gets about 16,000 a month currently. He was a big deal. Since that time Joel has moved on to a number of ventures. His LinkedIn profile reads like that of a serial entrepreneur. Today he is heading up Ratedly, a mobile application that tracks reviews posted by employees on a variety of sites, such as Glassdoor.
Because I have written a couple times about the move toward Rateocracy, here and here, I really wanted to talk to Joel about what he was doing with Ratedly.

Our conversation

Me: I asked Joel to tell me briefly about Ratedly.
His response:
Ratedly is a brand new company founded in February of this year. We pull reviews from dozens of sites where employees rate their employers. Ratedly provides a notification to employers, which means they do not have to go to each site individually looking for reviews that have been posted. The application allows an immediate response from the employer. Additionally the application allows reviews to be shared internally and externally in a couple of different ways. It is a Business – to – business mobile application that is designed to save the business subscribers time and money in responding to challenges to their social reputations.
Me: Why did you decide to get into this business?
Joel: The trend is that rating sites are growing. There was no competition in the mobile application business that is designed to help employers. But it is going to grow and become increasingly fragmented, as an example there is a site that is a female only rating site.
Me: Do you think this is a fad or will this tendency to rate be long lasting?
Joel: We have already opened Pandora’s box. This will not be going away anytime soon.
Me: Is this a good thing or a bad thing? What if I am a young supervisor and I get slammed on a review and then years later as I am applying for another job someone brings up that review?
Joel: That is certainly one of the issues that arise with anonymous ratings. A business rating service like Yelp! takes into consideration the credibility of  the rater. Employer review sites don’t have that kind of back up in place yet. The whole are certainly needs some policing and perhaps a way to remove the veil of anonymity that allows former, or even current, employees to blast the company. I think ultimately it will be a good thing. It will make companies do a better job of managing and get them to improve how they treat employees.
Me: How does Ratedly make its money?
Joel: There is a $149 monthly fee for the service. It is downloadable on iPhones and iPads.


I agree with Joel on the Pandora’s box analogy. I think this Rateocracy model is going to be around for a long time. People like some way to express their opinion, whether good or bad. As a company you certainly need to be aware of your reputation capital. It may mean the difference between being able to hire the best or only being able to hire the rest.
Joel will be at #SHRM16 so watch out for him and engage with him on this very important trend.
You might also congratulate him on his recent marriage.

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