Cobalt

www.cobalt.com

Cobalt Reviews

Updated December 22, 2014
Updated December 22, 2014
280 Reviews
3.6
280 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cobalt President and CEO John W. P. Holt
John W. P. Holt
211 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is here is you are willing to sacrifice any career advancement (in 45 reviews)

  • They allow some positions to work from home on a part time of full time basis (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Preference is given to employees who have no work/life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Low pay, clueless upper management, many people in jobs above their ability level (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Entrepreneurial investment banking experience

    Former Employee - Associate Director
    Former Employee - Associate Director

    I worked at Cobalt

    Pros

    Small setup - you do end-to-end work. Entrepreneurial environment

    Cons

    Less stability as things can change quickly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need better business planning

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Cover. Your. Butt.

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

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    semi-flexible hours, one week of floating holiday per year, pretty good pay

    Cons

    CYA culture, micromanagement, unrealistic goals, dissent is not allowed, with the advent of direct sales in the auto retail space their business model will be obselete (it should be already), ridiculously invasive hiring process (eg, REQUIRING that you disclose your previous salary)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offering these guys advice is truly pointless. If management, at any level, was truly interested in having loyal, satisfied, happy employees, they would probably use the time-honored tradition of introspection and realize some obvious things like: "Hey! Maybe we shouldn't berate our employees in public!" or "Guys, what if we actually tried being honest?" Instead they will continue to churn through employees, and destroy any loyalty that new employees give them in good faith.

    But if I were pressed to offer a piece of wisdom:
    Happy employees make happy customers, so treat your people how you'd wish to be treated. That's all we want.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great employer with a lot of great talent to work with and to learn from.

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

    I worked at Cobalt

    Pros

    There's a tuition reimbursement program, there are a lot of opportunities to develop professionally, the people are great, and the company is pretty good about providing mini social opportunities.

    Cons

    The good opportunities to develop professionally are only for those above a certain level, usually director and above. There are a lot of silos within the company, as a result, the management team doesn't always seem aligned.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Great 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 Cobalt

    Pros

    people, culture, work from hom

    Cons

    need to pay us more

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    pay us more

    Recommends
  6.  

    Drink the cool-aid

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

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

    Pros

    Some great people to work with in a fairly collaborative environment. Good customer base that you can really make a difference for. Previous and current CEO are both leaders you can believe in and follow. Pay is good for most. A great place to work for someone who buys in to what they are selling.

    Cons

    Always playing catch-up to their competitors in product offerings which puts a lot of pressure on their employees. Awkwardly quiet work environment where opening a soda might give someone a heart attack.
    Small changes and product enhancements are mountain moving affairs.
    Use the words "No" and "We can't do that" way too often with customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improved employee expectations would help.
    Live a little. It's ok to take risks and fail sometimes.

    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Work hard for change but there is no change.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - SEO Specialist II in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - SEO Specialist II in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Cobalt full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Compensation is OK if you negotiate at the beginning. You have an average amount of time off. Job is easy.

    Cons

    No personal growth and room for advancement is largely stymied by poor pay raises. Many people have left because of lack of changes to product and pay. Large corporate feeling looming over every decision made.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay people more and be more flexible when it comes to your products.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    it's an real useful intern experience

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

    I worked at Cobalt as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    flexible time schedule--could get to and leave from office whenever you want
    helpful advice from mentors--our mentors could always help us figure out how to approach problems that we trap in
    stay in team--interns work in a small team and have "stand up" everyday, both with teammates and mentors

    Cons

    salary for interns is a little bit low.
    few contact with super super manager since we could talk with our mentors everyday, but there are few chances that we could talk to super manager to see how they manage the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    if we could have meeting with more teams in the company to know what the real teams' job, that would be great!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Solid company to work for

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

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company is a leader in its industry and its footprint is deep through strong client relationships. They offer a full suite of products and services that is really unmatched by its competitors. Each product on its own may not be best in class but because they offer all digital and back office services an automotive dealer needs, they are a force.

    Work environment is laid back and easy going for most departments. As a function of limited office space in the building and in Seattle overall, the company has been promoting telecommute options for many departments so that's a big perk if you're looking for a job that will allow you to work from home.
    The building is in the international district and is centrally located for mass transit with buses, light-rail and sounder train stations within minutes. If you're coming in from one of the suburbs outside of seattle, its very convenient. Plus, the company offers a free orca card.

    Other pros:
    -Good vacation time if you've been there for several years. I think its 3 weeks plus you get several personal days to use on top of the standard holidays.
    -Frequent social events and holiday parties. For example, they'll bring in food for superbowl or have a big halloween event at work. They also have free bagels and what they call cheer-30 every other week.
    -On site gym
    -401k match at 70% on your first 6%. Most companies don't have 401k matches.
    -Generous tuition reimbursement.
    -Great view of the sound and downtown.

    Cons

    From my experience and comparing notes, pay isn't all that great. They do give you small yearly pay raises which varies. Also some departments offer bonuses but its not a company wide perk, its handled by department..probably to make up for the subpar base pay.

    Its getting difficult to change jobs and move around to other departments. Prior to ADP acquisition, it seemed easier for people to move departments and get promoted.
    I think this is especially true for the services organization. Its the biggest department in the company. Because of that, unless you're one of the 1% uber-superstar, its nearly impossible to get promoted or be noticed. If you do get to move, it seems like you're limited to transfer to either sales, marketing, or one of the other services subgroups. If you want to try your hand at engineering, developing or something more technical, its nearly impossible. There's no career path or direction that will be provided. The best thing to do if you find yourself stuck in services after a couple years, is to take all the good things you learned and move on to another company.

    Other cons:
    -Medical/dental not all that great. Its high deductible HSA type plans
    -Dress code is casual but sometimes people abuse it, showing up like they live in a frat house...and smelling like it.
    -Some groups are very clique-ish, almost a high-school vibe or frat/sorority thing that they cant let go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize that the company is located in a city that is hot for technical talent and skills. Cobalt is doing a good job of training people into this industry and being a breeding ground for other companies. If leadership doesn't adapt by offering competitive wages and other perks to retain and recruit, they will eventually struggle in delivering high quality products and services. Its more cost-effective to retain an experienced talented employee vs having to go through the time-consuming overhead of hiring, training, and ramping up a new hire.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Good company, but room for improvement

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

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time

    Pros

    Great culture and people to work with. Thorough training and good benefits package.

    Cons

    Poor pay and you don't even get Christmas Eve or Black Friday off, even though the clients you work for aren't working. There isn't great room for advancement and the raises are poor, which is the main reason I am looking to transfer to another company within the next year. I feel stuck and need something to work to, not just the same job and work to a low yearly pay increase.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be nice to have some more information on where you advance with a career within the company. I'd ideally like to stay with the company, but if you hire motivated people looking to grow their careers, you need to provide opportunity to encourage them to stay with the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    if you are not liked by your manager your time is limited

    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digital Solutions Manager
    Current Employee - Digital Solutions Manager

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good company, reputable with dealers

    Cons

    If you are not liked by your manager, your time is limited. They will twist and furn things around so you will either want to quit or get fired. Poor management for workers. I have had mine talk behind my back to my team members and it came back to me. Not once but on numerous occasions. Embarrassing to me and to her.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management needs to do 360 degree evaluations on their management. Passive aggressive managers are in your company and it is a shame for a reputable company like yours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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