CarMax

  www.carmax.com
  www.carmax.com
There are newer employer reviews for CarMax

10 people found this helpful  

Started off as a great company....then got derailed by poor management and lack of true leadership.

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

I worked at CarMax full-time (more than 10 years)

Pros

-Good pay - For not being a college graduate, I made a decent salary. Not significant, but better than most with my education
-Decent benefits - Vacation rules were very relaxed, except when you wanted to take a vacation at the same time as one of the "chosen" ones (read below)
-Extensive travel to some interesting places

Cons

-Fraternity atmosphere - If you are buddies with the boss, you will go a long way. This is not the case in all stores, but it is in about half the ones I saw. If you aren't willing to waste time and run your mouth, you are looked down upon. Certain people are elevated as better or "chosen" without cause. Work performance is secondary to who "talks the talk" and who is "cool".
- Inequality of management when it comes to accountability - Some people can go years without doing their job (i.e. a manager not meeting with reports), while others get coached for not being part of the crowd or for being too "technical" in their job.
- Vacation issues - Vacations scheduled first and in advance should get first priority. Especially when those requesting vacation time have not requested off for holidays (i.e. Memorial Day, July 4th, etc.). This isn't the case though. A vacation planned 6 months in advance will be questioned if a "chosen" person decides at the last minute they want a vacation at that same time. You have to fight for something you have already planned and paid for.
- Lack of upper management being willing to step in and truly see issues - One year, we had to fill out an evaluation of our immediate boss. I gave him an average rating. He was doing less than an average job, but I feared retaliation in the event he was given specifics on who rated him. Our boss received several low ratings, yet nothing was done. The only thing that happened was our boss walked around pissed off for the next couple months and talked behind peoples backs about who he thought "threw him under the bus".
- Ho Hum attitude about good people leaving the company - Most management personnel refuse to acknowledge associates leaving the company. They act as if they are crazy for wanting to leave. Upper management does not question why people leave.
- Higher level managers with tenure not knowing the "nuts and bolts" of the business - This is is not rampant, but enough of a problem to mention. Nobody should ever have to continually train their boss on things that are part of the daily business. They definitely should not have to do it over and over again.
- "Top 100 Places to Work" voting - CarMax picks and chooses who gets these surveys. This enables them to manipulate the outcome. In over 10 years, I never got one (about 5 of which I was a mostly happy employee). I knew hundreds of associates who have never seen one. They wanted those surveys in the hands of the "GO KMX" crowd.....people who blindly followed all direction without using their brain to question things. It's not always good to question, but common sense should prevail in some cases.
- Constant changing of policies and training practices - in over 10 years, I saw countless training manuals and ideas that would last about 6 months-2 years, before being scrapped for the "latest and greatest" idea. Unfortunately, the ideas were rarely realistic. Good management and leadership means improvement while acknowledging ones failures. This does not happen at CarMax. You are to blindly follow ALL direction, even if it's unsafe or unrealistic.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

CarMax wants to be a model company. It wants to revolutionize an industry. It wants to re-write how training is done.

If this is what you truly want, stop for a few minutes and ask employees (all of them, not just chosen ones) how they feel. Promise them a TRUE open door policy. This does not exist currently. Evaluate people on their strenghts, instead of beating them down for not being "cool" enough.

Finally, you should value long term employees for what they bring to the table and the experience they provide. Instead, you threaten demotions and salary caps and push good people out the door who made CarMax what it is.

Funny thing is, I'm not an angry ex-employee. I was never rated below average, nor was I ever in jeopardy of losing my job. I left on good terms for greener pastures. I just saw way to much in my time there to not let people realize what they are getting into.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

771 Other Employee Reviews for CarMax (View Most Recent)

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  1. 30 people found this helpful  

    What a waste!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Consultant in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Sales Consultant in Richmond, VA

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

    Pros

    Free coffee, woo hoo!!! Tasted like crap though! A waste of two years of my life that I will never get back. Would have quit, but the economy isn't what it should be, so I was stuck.

    Cons

    Too numerous to mention. The one thing that does stick out is the treatment of sales consultants by management, especially since we were not paid AND they weren't qualified to be sales managers; more like prison guards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start all over again! What you got right now is BUSTED!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 30 people found this helpful  

    Good but bad

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

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

    Pros

    Demo, stock options and vacation.

    Cons

    You are taught not to think and be fed a lot of unnecessary training. Managers are not allowed to express their thoughts. If they do it's career suicide.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop lying to people during interview process. Integrity applies to LGM's and RVP's too! Promotions are impossible unless you are chosen. Results don't matter here. Try to be a sales manager then hope for best after that cause it gets worse from there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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