DEAR HARRIETTE: I worked for a couple of years for a company that had a fantastic mission but horrible management. I couldn’t stay there because it was ridiculous how badly the management treated the staff.
A good friend of mine just applied to work at the company and asked me if I would recommend it. I feel terrible wanting to tell her to run for the hills, but I can’t recommend working there. I also don’t want to badmouth them. I discovered that they are listed on Glassdoor.com with plenty of past employees telling horror stories of what I already know. Would it be wrong of me to refer my friend to the reviews? -- Walk Away, Chicago
DEAR WALK AWAY: Your friend has asked you for an endorsement. I recommend that you share your opinion about working at the company. Keep your comments clear and factual rather than emotional. State what you liked about the experience -- and what you did not like. Be careful not to badmouth anyone. Your comments are important because your friend trusts you. Your mindful criticism is also key, given that your friend may end up working there.
You can go a step further and point her to Glassdoor.com. Let her know that she will see anonymous reviews from people who also worked there, so that she can consider more than your opinion. In the end, many people take jobs even after they have been warned about issues that could be stumbling blocks. Often, they make this choice for economic reasons. Whatever your friend decides, do not judge her. But do tell her the truth as you understand it.