TripAdvisor

www.tripadvisor.com

TripAdvisor Reviews

Updated February 27, 2015
Updated February 27, 2015
24 Reviews
2.0
24 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
TripAdvisor President and CEO Stephen Kaufer
Stephen Kaufer
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work life balance, fun atmosphere, they try hard to please employees with functions and swag (in 17 reviews)

  • There is free lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays (in 31 reviews)


Cons
  • Poor performers are consistently promoted due to "friendships" they have with senior management (in 9 reviews)

  • So far, so good with work-life balance (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

24 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Disingenuous

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart CEO
    Global leader in the space
    Great, high-margin, sustainable business model
    Known and trusted brand worldwide
    Growing
    Bright, experienced, talented and motivated colleagues
    Usually there is good work-life balance, interrupted by bursty but fairly regular insane stretches

    Cons

    An obsession with measurement leads to missing the bigger point all too often and driving perverse incentives as well as a silo'd, unhelpful org structure. A few examples - a product team wants to experiment with a promising new feature, and suspects it would drive more user engagement. But if that metric has not been previously identified as important or is difficult for someone in sr management to understand, then either the project will get killed or won't be applauded. Meanwhile a minor turn of the screw on a revenue-generating feature will require an all-hands on deck effort ironically without any holistic analysis of the ROI of that effort. In other words, hooray that we raised revenue on that feature by .5% but at what cost (direct cost and opportunity cost)? No one knows, because no one measured it. Further, you have sales or BD teams feverishly optimizing around their singular metric and potentially squandering a customer or partner opportunity for a value trade that is sub-optimal. If teams had better alignment and communication, TA could figure out the best first home for a customer and partner and work out the most logical order to grow that customer and mutual value. Sr management rarely cares about nor addresses this conflicts, it takes a few employees who care about the bigger picture - at direct personal cost to their own short-term success - to effectively do the right thing.

    Lots of hiring but without any evident positive effect on the process and products. One eng group has grown 2-3x over the past year, and the release process is totally chaotic and broken. Honestly things worked better when we had a few great engineers vs this mess of people all stepping on each other.

    The company constantly says that it is metrics-driven and a meritocracy, but when a team or an individual delivers on and *exceeds* stated goals (in some instances by 50%-300%), there is still unbelievably wide latitude given to management with annual reviews, awarding bonuses, and advancing employees -- coupled with the most opaque system I have ever witnessed. Zero transparency on the review, comp and bonus process. People should not be shocked during their annual reviews, especially when they over-deliver; they should be thanked and properly compensated. And - it should go without saying - employees should have expectations properly set by managers well ahead of the annual review. Much more training is needed here, and it needs to be pushed aggressively as a cultural norm to have open and host feedback with regularity.

    Majority of the focus in on a few small teams to eke out teeny tiny improvements to optimize revenue

    The weekly reports and product reviews talk about +.3% wins and similar micro-steps, which on the one hand makes sense for this relatively mature company, but also is about as dull as dirt in terms of interesting projects for smart people to work on longer term career objectives

    Promotions are virtually nonexistent, but the company is happy to ask already-busy people to take on additional roles during times of turn over.

    A lack of interest in retention has led to high turnover by really talented people up and down the seniority spectrum.

    There has not been a head of HR in well over a year, which speaks volumes about where the priorities and values rest.

    Lack of any organized effort to integrate acquisitions - teams, products, assets, etc.

    New opportunities (revenue, tech, partner) have no logical evaluation process or home / team. You could take a promising oppty to 3 different teams without any commitment or next steps from them. As a result, Trip misses out all of the time on being early to market in new areas and then turns around and blames people internally for not being part of the "cool new thing." Also very US-centric sr mgmt team POV. If they have heard of the company or technology personally, then they (sometimes) rally behind it, but if it's huge in a foreign market, good luck getting anyone's attention until it's way too late to structure a substantive agreement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management should launch an aggressive and humble 360 degree audit of itself and the talent at Trip.

    This has been said before, but the exec team should take on a listening and learning perspective and assume it has strayed quite seriously in serving the broader team.

    Forced ranking systems have been shown to be inherently flawed again and again across the market. What do I do if I have a team of rockstars, do you really want me to force rank someone great into a "needs improvement" category who has outperformed? On what basis?

    Metrics have their place, but if they create perverse incentives, gamification of the system, and overly-complex matrices and endless reports that absorb employees' and managers' time (versus the work they should be doing), it's time to reconsider them. Also, if in some cases the reporting systems are unreliable, why are we tying incentives to them at all?

    When the financial incentive to refer a new employee outpaces the likely bonus available to an existing employee, you can imagine what kind of motivators and messages that delivers.

    Hire a competent COO STAT.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 11 people found this helpful  

    Good place for a starting engineer

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

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    --Development--
    For engineers who are just entering the workforce, TripAdvisor is an awesome place to start a career. The mandate of full-stack development allows engineers to gain crucial experience on many common, though somewhat antiquated, coding frameworks. At TripAdvisor, there are plenty of examples of winning strategies and failing strategies. Observant engineers will learn as much about what not to do in software development as they will about what to do, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Experience in both frontend and backend development, along with guidance from talented fellow engineers, will set engineers up well for their next employment jump.

    --Benefits--
    TripAdvisor employees get a $250 once per year personal travel bonus to help compensate a hotel stay or plane ride. The medical package is good for single employees and decent for employees with families. There is free lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

    --Culture--
    There are a lot of very smart people, engineering and otherwise, who are social, friendly, and inviting of newcomers.

    Cons

    --Environment --
    TripAdvisor prides itself on moving quickly, our motto is "Speed Wins". Sadly, that motto is more often used to justify making poor design decisions to quickly finish small projects than on identifying new trends within the industry and acting on them. As a result, many sections of the codebase are in disrepair. Poor code from previous projects often hinders developers' ability to achieve the goals of their current projects and are frustrating to encounter on a deadline. Upper-management is also reluctant to spend money and man-power fixing problems that slow down development.

    --Compensation--
    TripAdvisor is a good place to start a career, but it is not a good place to continue one. Hard work is rarely rewarded and the pay raises are relatively flat. Last year's bonus cycle brought modest pay raises that were about on-par with cost of living increases. The realization that new hires are compensated on par with or better than employees who have been around and know the codebase creates morale problems. Many engineers here take this is a signal from management that unseasoned engineers are worth as much as current engineers and that career advancement is limited.

    --Benefits--
    Although the company has offices around the world, engineers are discouraged from visiting them. It isn't that the benefits here are bad, it's that there is nothing that really stands out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Prove to employees that we are worth keeping around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 13 people found this helpful  

    So much potential but unhealthy work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Newton, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Newton, MA

    I worked at TripAdvisor full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fun subject matter, consumer recognized brand

    Cons

    Poor talent management, micro-management from the top leads to lack of empowerment, limited career growth opportunities, lack of integrity and honesty throughout management, very poor recruitment.

    Generally - the company is laughably out of touch with current employees and culture - just one read of all the HR responses on Glassdoor touting access to the CEO and that Trip still operates nimbly and like a start up highlights this complete lack of understanding ...It's NOT a start up anymore - it's a 1500+ person company, and the CEOs door is NOT open - and nor should it be. That's the whole POINT of management in large companies, something that Trip now is.

    Trip was once a great company but unfortunately, it has not scaled well. First step in solving this is to stop pretending that all 1500+ employees have access to the CEO to give feedback and stop implying that it's the employees fault the company is poorly run. Listen to the reviews and use the feedback to make some speedy changes to your people management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create significantly more oversight of senior management to ensure integrity and honesty in upper ranks. Recognition for projects well done not properly distributed and not accurately attributed to key contributors creates mistrust and low morale. Invest in management programs to build leaders within the company and train current managers to professional status. Invest in support teams for your leaders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 9 people found this helpful  

    Great people to work with - Terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA

    I worked at TripAdvisor full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Good work-life balance
    Friendly colleagues
    Free lunches 3 times/week and free snacks

    Cons

    HR is corrupted. Even if you provide evidence that your manager is being unfair, plays favorites, manipulates official documents (eg. performance reviews), creates a hostile environment by talking behind your back with your team mates (and is caught doing so), HR does NOTHING about it!! If you don't want to be emotionally abused or bullied, then stay away from this company, well, unless you are good friend with your manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide proper training to your HR department. What you have allowed managers do to their subordinates is outrageous! Instead of checking the stock market, take a walk in your alleys and make sure the people who made your company successful (those who've been there since the beginning!) are treated fairly and with the respect they deserve

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 26 people found this helpful  

    DON'T BE FOOLED - TRIPADVISOR HAS A DARK SIDE!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales in Newton, MA
    Current Employee - Sales in Newton, MA

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of down-to-earth nice employees to work with...you can make some great friends here. The company will give you some cool swag every now and then and some fun work outings to keep you happy. The benefits are also very good.

    Cons

    Sales is a complete disaster due to extraordinarily poor management. It's pretty bad when 50% of a sales team leaves in one month (and more to go soon) because of 2 people. A complete mass exodus is going on here! The majority of the junior and senior team are trying to move internally or leave the company all together. Goals are extremely inflated so that it is impossible to collect monthly commission. The big heads simply do not want to share revenue with the little people. Work goes unappreciated.

    The structure of the account model is a mess. Territories were taking away...moving to an automated system which has been broken since January. The Speed Wins culture is a joke...it only means that they launch systems without thoroughly checking...resulting in larger messes and more fires to put out that before.

    Managers have a closed-door policy. They only know your name when you are making money. The second you have a bad month...don't expect a hello in the hallway.

    There is zero upward mobility based on merit. If you suck up to the managers then you will be ok...but if that isn't your style then you are out of luck. You can be a top performer but if the boss doesn't like you for whatever reason than you will rot on your desk for years to come.

    So to recap - no organization, terrible leadership, no upward mobility, no commission...and some of the worst base salaries compared to other tech companies from within the industry. It's a great name on the resume but honestly not worth the headache and depression you will get. Also to put the cherry on the top - HR is corrupt and in cahoots with management, so if you every have a serious problem with your manager...don't bother going to HR.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open your doors and start listening to your employees! Don't promote employees just because you like drinking the same beer with them. Don't talk about employees to your other employees...be professional! Don't be a coward and hide in your office when the entire team is suffering without commission pay and a broken lead model. Promote from within for once (this rarely happens)! Go to some management classes instead of thinking that you already know everything. Management is using tactics from 1952. They like to answer your questions with another question to avoid addressing your concern. Wake up and change!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    TripAdvisor Response

    Oct 9, 2014Director of HR

    Thanks for your candid feedback. We recognize that change can be hard, especially when it comes with shifts in leadership and priorities. However, within a speed wins culture, there’s a continuous ... More

  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    speed wins, employees lose

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, some ability to telecommute

    Cons

    So much focus is put on making things fast, there's little to no focus on making things good. Quality suffers and employees, especially non-engineers, get micro-managed to the point where the output goals are nearly impossible to achieve. The sales department drives too much of the agenda, and given the valuation of this company, the pay is not great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think hard about how important it is to make things fast. Eventually, if the quality continues to suffer, customers won't care. The review system is too easy to manipulate, and better models are beginning to emerge that will make TripAdvisor obsolete.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    TripAdvisor Response

    Oct 9, 2014Director of HR

    Thanks for your review. You bring up an interesting point: As we continue to grow, we are maintaining our focus on speeds but stress that we need to do that without sacrificing quality or metrics for ... More

  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    not good enough

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA

    I worked at TripAdvisor full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    it provides convenience for employees because it offers lunch 3 days a week. And other company wide benefits are good.

    Cons

    the team started to get messy since a management restructure last July. A guy came in and became VP of this global team. He's quite biased and unprofessional. He brought a group of his people to combine to this global team. and he only valued those who he worked with for a long time. He didn't and never respected others' ideas and efforts and hard work. I am so so glad that I made the decision to leave there because I felt that I wouldn't have any career advancement if I stayed for 1 more day/month/year. Besides, people on this team kept leaving, mostly in newton location. people on London and Singapore side both complain communication issues a lot.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    go to some online/ffline management classes to learn to be more professional.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    TripAdvisor Response

    Jan 23, 2014Global Manager, Talent Acquisition

    Thanks for your feedback. As we continue to grow, we know that sometimes transitions like this can be challenging for existing team members. And, we welcome feedback to help us better manage similar ... More

  9. 10 people found this helpful  

    a really unpleasant place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time

    Pros

    bright people, good benefits and perks, free lunches, games, fairly relaxed atmosphere

    Cons

    terrible middle and upper management - elitist, rule by fear
    poor communication
    blame is the name of the game
    unprofessional HR - nothing is confidential
    morale is very low and declining still
    favouritism is obvious and shameless
    too much middle management
    the reality of TripAdvisor as described in the interview process is not what you get once you're in
    If you are an engineer at TripAdvisor you're gold, if not, be prepared to update your resume/CV soon
    Quickly becoming a corporate culture with all the negative implications that implies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less arrogance is needed, stop rewarding or ignoring bad behaviour. Take time to understand who is in your management team and ask if they are really adding any value - or actually doing anything at all, for that matter. Speed Wins is not a healthy motto for ALL departments. People are leaving in droves for a reason - perhaps you should look into why?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    No Consistency

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Newton, MA
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Newton, MA

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time

    Pros

    Great product, lots of interesting projects
    Company in acquisition mode, exciting new additions to portfolio
    Free snacks and drinks, free beer

    Cons

    Consistency-no consistency regarding promotions, its a who you know environment
    The chosen ones at the VP level get to take paid sabbaticals while everyone else is working at night and on the weekends
    HR continues to be a non value add entity and it seems nobody in HR works a 40 hour workweek, some don't work on Fridays all year long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a more all for one, one for all atmosphere.
    Eliminate the sabbaticals for the VP's, or create a program where everyone gets one after 5 years or something

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    The Communications department is a mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PR Manager
    Former Employee - PR Manager

    I worked at TripAdvisor full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    - Well known brand
    - Good employee perks, e.g. $250 yearly personal travel stipend

    Cons

    - Leadership is not focused on coaching, developing career paths, or skill building
    - Environment can be stressful
    - Everyone does administrative work - "all hands on deck"
    - Coordinating over global time zones is difficult and often it takes days/weeks to receive an answer to a simple request
    - Projects require several levels of red tape, approvals, edits. The "Speed Wins" mentality does not ring true here
    - PR department has suffered a retention problem - 5 employees resigned in 12 months

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire a VP in the U.S. who has strong management experience and can be accessible to the team. Someone who can LEAD, not just execute. Hiring a new junior PR assistant to offload some of the administrative work wouldn't be a bad idea either.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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