Donlen
2.4 of 5 14 reviews
www.donlen.com Northbrook, IL 150 to 499 Employees

Donlen Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014

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2.4 14 reviews

                             

67% Approve of the CEO

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Tom Callahan

(3 ratings)

38% of employees recommend this company to a friend
14 Employee Reviews
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    Work is interesting and challenging; Donlen management values employees

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsDonlen management values its employees and treats them well. The company is very customer and technology focused. People feel very attached to Donlen and really try to make things work.

    ConsAcquisition by Hertz has been a drag on culture, nimbleness, and efficiency. Being part of Hertz should open up career growth but nobody wants to touch them. Opportunities for growth and advancement are severely limited.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThey are striving to keep our Donlen culture and identity which is great. They are also honest and respectful of employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great for starting

    Software Developer (Current Employee)
    Northbrook, IL

    ProsThis is a great company when you are leaving college and are looking for your first job. You will learn a lot in a very short time, and you have lots of internal support from your peers to get you started. They have great perks such as nice work from home policy, and they are very accommodating with PTO .

    ConsThere is very little room for advancement within IT, and after a while the projects become very repetitious. Depending on your learning curve and previous work experience, you will out grow this position.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHaving a greater level of employee growth structure and IT should have a much stronger say with technical solutions.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Hertz

    Vice President New Business Development (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsStill have many seasoned employees that know the business and are the face of the company.

    ConsHertz took a perfectly good company replaced the Donlen management team with people from outside the business. They have a lot to learn.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRemember the customers and people who made the company what it was.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    Great Small Company Feel

    Developer (Current Employee)
    Northbrook, IL

    ProsReally great company culture that doesn't seem to have been negatively affected by being purchased by a huge company (Hertz). The development projects are really interesting, including both web and mobile. There appears to be a lot of flexibility, both in what you work on and how you are allowed to work (e.g. flexible schedule, summer hours, work from home). The entire development team participates in bi-weekly code reviews, which is really rare in most shops. The applications have a really excellent custom framework, very well written and flexible.

    ConsThe development team seems to have a very high percentage of junior level developers. There don't appear to be enough senior or architect level developers shaping the overarching design of the applications. Application design is non-techical and reviewed only by business users, not by upper level development.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Manager

    Manager (Former Employee)
    Northbrook, IL

    Prosinteresting company. Fast paced not easy to get bored.

    ConsVery political can be a little tricky at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo be more open with employees

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    All was great until Hertz

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsGreat history, great reputation for technology and customer service, great customers, pay was very high

    ConsA lot of turnover at the top, people jockeying for someone else's, politics of Hertz, lack of focus and direction, pay will be lower because of Hertz

    Advice to Senior Managementfeels like a house of cards

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    fellow employees were usually wonderful people. the company itself is undergoing alot of changes and growing pains.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Northbrook, IL

    Prosbenefits are impressive for a company of its size. the ceo is pretty brilliant. there are a few really admirable middle managers, and it seemed like people were eventually rewarded if they put in enough time.

    Conslocation, limited growth opportunities, internal technology received limited attention

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    If it wasn't for the horrible job market I would have left a long time ago.

    (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsIt pays okay and the benefits are decent. Like it says in the other reviews they do provide free coffee and have a work out room.

    ConsUnbelievably high stress level, not worth the money. Management seems to mysteriously find ways to terminate employees who have reached milestone anniversaries. Then they hire a few part time kids or temps instead. The only way to get promoted is to be friends with someone in management. In other words it's all a vicious cycle of politics and back stabbing. There's NO opportunity for an honest person to advance, at least in my department. All the real work is done by the little people, managers are nothing but lazy bullies. Recently the company was bought by Hertz for a bazillion dollars so now everything makes sense.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTell people HONESTLY what the job is like before you hire them. Keep in mind that these are peoples lives and career histories that you're playing with.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    This is an organization run as a cult of personality, managed through fear, and rampant with destructive power politics.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Northbrook, IL

    ProsOpportunities for young/inexperienced employees to get significant exposure to senior level business people and perform jobs that are usually reserved for much more senior positions.

    Highly motivated people have an opportunity to define the scope of their own roles.

    ConsWorkplace highly charged with destructive politics.
    Universal lack of good communication within the organization.
    Unpredictable environment, and poisonous culture.
    Lack of respect for professional employees.
    Culture reinforces mediocracy as productive employees are overwhelmed with responsibilities without recognition, promotions are dispensed through favoritism, and assertive leaders are punished or dismissed if they challenge the prevailing notions of leadership.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe organization needs to mature and leadership should allow their managers to manage instead of undercutting their credibility and authority at every turn.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Okay place to work

    Analyst (Former Employee)
    Northbrook, IL

    ProsFor a person starting out their career, there are a few choice positions where one can grow quickly, to a point, but there are very few positions of this sort.

    For established management level people, who want a relatively easy job (at least when I was there), and who are fine making between 80,000 to 120,000. Donlen can be a dream job. Yes it can get hectic at times, but it is generally smooth sailing except for the occasional emergency. While there, I always noticed that this is a location for people go out to pasture. Essentially, a great place if your not worried about advancement, and are fine waiting for retirement.

    ConsNo bonus potential unless you are management.
    They will give you the minimum compensation possible for your role.
    There is a LOT of office politics.

    For the younger worker (assuming your coming out of college), opportunities at Donlen are really a crapshoot. My basic analysis is that because Donlen is a small company, this limits available positions. Add the fact that there is hardly any turnover in management, and the result is that your career here will quickly plateau. Then there is the problem of office politics. A lot of managers don't have real oversite, and if you get stuck with a crummy manager, your career opportunities will actually regress. I've seen it happen, no joke. I was lucky enough to be in a more fairly run deparment, and it was that luck that gave me opportunity.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop being so cheap. Increase your compensation level. With that you could attract way better talent and lower your turnover. Trust me on this.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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