Cobalt

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

Cobalt Reviews

Updated August 12, 2014
Updated August 12, 2014
282 Reviews

3.7
282 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cobalt President and CEO John W. P. Holt
John W. P. Holt
220 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 23 reviews)


Cons
  • Preference is given to employees who have no work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Low pay, clueless upper management, many people in jobs above their ability level (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    since ADP took over, moral has plummeted, favoritism is rampant

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

    Pros

    some of the people you get to work with are very nice

    Cons

    since ADP took over, moral has plummeted, favoritism is rampant
    this place literally bribed it's employee's into voting for it to be the best place to work in Washington state, with food. This place is the definition of corporate slavery. Salary is a joke. DO NOT WORK HERE.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not let people work here. horrible place to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good group of people, but poorly executed mission

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

    Pros

    Great overall attitude, quite a bit of personal/professional freedoms

    Cons

    Low pay, clueless upper management, many people in jobs above their ability level

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please try to do more to keep and reward the competent people you have. There is a reason why everyone worth their salt keeps leaving.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Good place to gain experience

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

    Pros

    Good place to gain digital marketing experience, managers care about work-life balance, benefits are decent

    Cons

    Pay is low; lots of talk about wanting to change, but leadership gets defensive when you actually try; workload is intense and clients are often very high maintenance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Higher compensation would help retention; hire ahead of what you need so that employee workloads are manageable

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Honest View of Cobalt - Great for where I am in life, but probably not forever

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

    Pros

    Cobalt is a very successful and fast growing company with nothing but more growth in store. They offer great work life balance and have access to several different roles for one to differentiate their skills. All managers I have worked with have been amazing! I have heard stories of managers that weren't so good but my experience has been great. The laid back atmosphere and work from home opportunities are pretty cool too. They offer a $15 monthly gym membership and all proceeds are donated to a new charity each month. They also provide you with opportunities to take a day for service within the community and the CEO is all about improving communities which is pretty awesome.

    Cons

    Honestly, the only real con I can think of about working here is the pay. It is great for a recent college grad but opportunities for higher wages are scarce. My annual merit increases have been right on track with inflation. Any promotions have strict maximums for pay increases that don't give you much hope of ever making much money. They'll make you work your butt off just to get a 7% raise after a year or two and then cleverly give you even less with your annual merit increase in that year. So that kind of sucks. Also, Asian food gets old after a while.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The culture is fantastic, the location is great, the management is amazing and all of the community oriented stuff (days of service...) is great. Keep providing learning and training opportunities for employees. But at the end of the day, pay is the only way to keep top talent. Otherwise you are only providing a stepping stone for other companies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Loved working with great people!

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

    Pros

    great people, benefits and technology

    Cons

    travel kept me away from my family

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire road warriors but help them manage their on the road life better... limit travel to 3 weeks per month

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall, Cobalt is a good place to work.

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

    Pros

    Very smart product team steering the company in a positive direction.
    New focus on customer satisfaction is great.
    ADP has provided resources for global opportunities.

    Cons

    Now part of ADP, cultural shift to larger organization.
    Most of the opportunities are mid level, less senior.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Many people in Seattle understand parts of the auto business, but few have a comprehensive understanding. Invest in the people that do.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    It’s a big red flag if the company is desperate enough for talent that it needs to resort to YouTube recruiting ads

    • 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

    Pros

    Nice location and view in the International District. Open offices with lots of natural light. Relaxed dress code. Can get paid reasonably well without being that talented.

    Cons

    Cobalt constantly compares itself to a “startup” in its recruiting material, but the company is anything but. True tech startups have a culture of excellence: given that they have only a couple of dozen people in their workforce, they can’t afford to have “type B” or “type C” people. Unfortunately, from my very first week working at Cobalt, I noticed a culture of “type B” people who seemed to be more interesting in just showing up and getting paid instead of going above and beyond and work to fix some of the glaring issues (of which there are many) in both the company’s software products and culture.

    Working at Cobalt felt like I was in a high school class that nobody wanted to take, but had to because of requirements. “Spaghetti code”, skipping testing because “nobody explicitly told us to do so”, and mediocre design are the norm there. The company seemed to be a job of last resort for a significant amount of people there.
    In addition, there is a serious level of dysfunction within the company: I noticed an adversarial relationship between the sales, development, and design teams here. The sales team manages to pull off miracles and renew contracts with major car brands despite poor satisfaction among the actual car dealers who use the core websites product.

    What’s worse is that some people did care about Cobalt’s products and did try to change the company a few years ago, but unresponsive management and a rigid culture of “it looks too complicated so it won’t be done” caused most of these people to leave. After just a few months, I grew sick of dealing with other employees whose positions were way above their talent levels and management that would just blame those who raised legitimate concerns about the company culture instead of addressing the issues that led to those complaints. After I left the company, I heard that others on my team did as well, citing similar complaints.

    One of the company’s core products is pretty much a content management system (think something like WordPress) for car dealerships. Forget why the company is reinventing the wheel by implementing the umpteenth CMS out there: it’s doing it rather poorly. The quality of the websites themselves isn’t that great: try going to the websites of Burien Chevrolet or Lexus of Seattle (am I entering a Lexus dealer website or that of some shady used car dealer?). From a developer’s perspective, the CMS is a nightmare: ever hear of four different versions of jQuery and four different image slideshow libraries being used on the same site? How about having to wait 20-30 minutes to load the entire stack on your underpowered laptop just to start development (and being told that the flurry of exceptions that are being logged is normal)?

    For those who take pride in what they do and want to develop their skills (instead of hacking away at third-party jQuery plugins all day long), avoid this company at all costs. This company’s Glassdoor overview page name drops “Google” and “Facebook”—but from the office politics preventing significant change from occurring to the complete lack of workplace perks (even Intel across the plaza offers free soda, and they’re even more corporate!), working here is nothing like working for those companies.

    (A little extra about the working conditions: a lot of the contractors (including myself) were assigned to work on a fold out desk that looked like it came from Home Depot. I was given just a laptop–no external monitor, no keyboard, no mouse. It boggles me that a so-called “tech company” would allow employees to work all day hunched over a tiny laptop screen in the first place.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on reducing the culture of mediocrity that pervades the workplace and recruiting better talent (and not having them flee after a year or two).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Fast paced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Advocate  in  Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Account Advocate in Detroit, MI

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule
    Great employees and co-workers who enjoy their job

    Cons

    Pay is hourly and not salary based

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Work life balance

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    My work group asks for high quality of work, not high hours of work.

    Cons

    There's not enough time, as usual, for any project to do research.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great place to work and learn.

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

    Pros

    I get to work with some of the brightest minds in Seattle on some interesting, complex, and unexplored problems. The office is in a fantastic location, with easy access to transit.

    Cons

    There is an unfortunate lack of free parking near the office, but it's on a light rail and Amtrak station. The neighborhood needs a good place to get a salad that isn't Specialty's.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Worked for Cobalt? Contribute to the Community!

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