Blackhawk Network

  www.blackhawknetwork.com
  www.blackhawknetwork.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Blackhawk Network Reviews

Updated June 11, 2014
Updated June 11, 2014
98 Reviews
3.4
98 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Blackhawk Network Chairman and CEO William Y. Tauscher
William Y. Tauscher
53 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Seemingly fair, hard-working group of people who get the job done and mind their own business (in 7 reviews)

  • Very successful business model, bright and dedicated team, good managment (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • There is no work-life balance for many of the employees here (in 6 reviews)

  • There is little or no respect for developers (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

30 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Stay away,

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blackhawk Network part-time

    Pros

    LOW pay and long long hours

    Cons

    I only recieved three hours of one on one training. I was told by my supervisor to lie with regard to photos to prove completion of work. She told me to cover the camera lens with my hand and take a picture of that. I was fired without warning or any notice and my supervisor told me to give her a resignation letter AS SHE WAS FIRING ME - nice try!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Insist that supervisors stay in town and train new employees thoroughly

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Awful Development Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting technology. Talented peers. Compensation is okay. Company appears to have a good product and vision for the future.

    Cons

    Where to start... extremely high expectations on performance coupled with expected use of personal time to perform research and other tasks. Lack of leadership within development teams to push back on management and promote good practices within teams. Aggressive deadlines which lead to technical debt in the code base and no interest from management in refactoring or any other work which does not lead to feature development. They say that they're agile, but only the parts that management likes. Architecture team is completely separated from the development teams so there is no real effort to improve designs. Extremely political atmosphere at the management level to the point where teams within the company can not effectively work with each other. 2 (now 3) week vacation policy but it is mandatory to use your PTO between christmas and new years, so you lose 3-4 days automatically. There is a lot of domain knowledge that experienced team members have acquired over time, but you are expected to know on day one. Extremely stressful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management knows what they want done and have good ideas. The management in charge of teams runs by a completely separate playbook so you hear one thing from CTO, but do something completely different in the day to day (CTO: "20% of effort should be spent on technical debt reduction". It never happens). It definitely feels like the political battles that wage between 'the gods' end up on the shoulders of 'the mortals'.

    Improve training! So many of your tools (service now) are completely unusable, but are essential to doing the job. Your domain (financial transactions) is not documented so you need to take your experienced members and create internal documentation and processes in order to onboard new developers.

    You know you have a bad environment (If you don't, you should read the reviews here), so you should concentrate on improving that. It seems like your other departments (sales, marketing, etc..) have good environments, why is IT (which is important to your business, if you don't already know) so awful?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Lack of transferable skills; Don't stay too long!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Specialist  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Business Specialist in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    For the majority of departments, it is a decent employer for someone fresh out of college but don't stay longer than 2-3 years or your career will suffer due to a plateau of transferable skills. If you are capable and experienced (solid skills, innovative, creative) it isn't worth staying longer than 2-3 years because you will loose momentum in the work force. Advancement opportunities are few and far between and pay increase is slight if at all.

    Cons

    Many poor business practices used that are not transferable. There is an "in crowd" and if you are not part of it don't stay longer than 2-3 years or you will be cheating your potential. My career path was delayed due to false promises and constant re-organizations of the various leaders and departments; I stayed too long (6.5yrs) which was a huge career delaying mistake myself and former colleagues also experienced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you think you are not getting paid enough, don't just stay around, find a new job. Your apathy affects others including your own.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    The worst place that I have ever worked

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Architect  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Software Architect in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Conveniently located in Pleasanton, some highly talented technical people

    Cons

    inexperienced management, politically charged environment, contractors working absurd hours/schedules, poor work/life balance..
    It seemed that there were many people in management who should never be managing people or making important technology decisions. There seemed to be a general lack of ethics throughout this company and it is by far the worst place i have ever worked

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    One of the worst companies I've worked for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance Department  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Finance Department in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    thinking...still thinking...oh yeah, it was a short commute and tenure

    Cons

    the people are the absolute worst - backstabbers and bad people with poor skills - lack of competency, arrogant idiots who THINK they are something special and really aren't, people in positions of power who have NO ability to manager others yet they think they are just the greatest "managers"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    wake up...smell the coffee...no one wants to work for you...get a clue...retire

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Politics, Politics, Politics...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The company has a lot of potential with its network and products.

    Cons

    Too many to list. The environment is toxic. Many senior leaders are toxic. See all the one and two star reviews talking about politics? They are true. During my tenure here my health literally deteriorated to the worst it has ever been. Teamwork is a foreign concept. Political assassination is the norm. Read the review titled "Caveat Emptor" below. It describes the company perfectly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Caveat Emptor - Let the Prospective Employee Buyer Beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Employment at Blackhawk is better than no job. Take this for what it is worth.
    - There is opportunity for advancement as long as you deliver and are associated with the right groups.
    - There are some very talented and driven individuals on the team, as in all organizations.

    Cons

    - Workloads are extreme for the vast majority
    - Employee retention is a big issue. Overall, the large majority of employees are miserable. The problem with employee retention is not due to bad hiring as implied, rather it is due to the off putting culture and less than favorable management approach.
    - Beware of cliques. There is an "in group" at all levels and if you don't fit in, you may have a real hard time achieving your goals.
    - The Senior Management team has strained internal relationships; thus, frequently making it hard for the staffers down below. I believe more collaboration, respectfulness, humility and less arrogance could be better formula.
    - Legacy staffers are highly valued, at times, to the detriment to the company; because they can hold tight to old ways of doing things and not embrace change that is required in the maturing business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read and react the reviews on Glassdoor. There are so many negative reviews that there must be some truth to that which is being said. You have a great business proposition, now strive to make positive changes and turn the culture around so that individuals can thrive for the long term.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Extreme politics & Turmoil

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Location. Less commute if you stay near pleasanton.

    Cons

    Extreme politics.The culture [not sure if it is a disrespect to this word to use in the context of BHN] inside is terrible. The mid levels managers does not have any clue of the technology side or management side. They are forced to act in favor of their directors\direct managers who are no different than their direct reports. The founder and people of the same level have great ideas and business model of the company is good. Quite unfortunately it is currently being manged by bunch of people who does not have neither technical nor managerial capabilities.

    There is zero value for the years of experience a prospective employee bring on board.

    If you are planning to join this place, I would strongly encourage to use any other potential options to hang on for some time and find a job elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Peform a much needed deep cleansing if you would like truly transform this company around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Extremely Political and Cliquish

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Manager  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Software Manager in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Location. If you live around the tri-valley area.

    Cons

    1. Political cesspool. The political culture has been there for too long to change. You have someone with just a few years of IT experience gets promoted all the way to the top simply because being able to "talk pretty" more than anything else. When a company promotes an individual like that it does 2 things: 1. It shows as long as you can talk and play political games you get ahead. 2. It promotes the political culture and worsens the problem. As a result, almost every manager has to learn how to play the game to survive so they learn from their boss - undercut peers when they're in the way, get ahead by stepping on other people, haze their employees to get whatever they want.., etc. The list just goes on and on. And when you look at the problems and try to understand the root cause, you realize they all start from one source. The only way to advance in this organization is by playing their game and get into the clique. You may say it's more or less the same in every company but trust me, you have seen nothing yet unitl you join BHN.

    2. Inexperience managers. The number of managers at this small company is simply amazing and because of the fact they're inexperience, they can't or don't know how to stand up to their bosses and eventually succumb to the sickening culture and become of the problems.

    These are the two major problems with BHN and everything negative about this place seems to derive from them. So you have low morale, employees feeling disrespected, overworked employees, public hazing and bad mouthing...

    If you're considering joinin BHN, do yourself a favor, ask around before you make the decision.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you really care about this company and want to do better yank out the bad apple from the top. It's poisonous.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great Company but bad and incompete People to work with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Pleasanton, CA

    I have been working at Blackhawk Network full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great company and culture. Very good business modal.

    Cons

    Very bad and incompetable people as Manager's
    No Benefits
    Too much of politics for the size of this company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage Employees
    Being a top level manager doesnt mean you should not interact with lower level staff.
    All Employees are profecianally qualified, come out of Safeway kind of mentality by thinking lower level employees are like store clerk and school dropouts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Worked for Blackhawk Network? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.