There are newer employer reviews for Powell's Books
There are newer employer reviews for Powell's Books

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Helpful (1)

Powell's hires extraordinary people and pays them poorly.

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Generalist in Beaverton, OR
Former Employee - Generalist in Beaverton, OR

I worked at Powell's Books

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

Powell's offers a generous discount and good, competitive benefits to full-time employees. The hourly employees are extremely knowledgeable and competent.

Cons

Powell's relies on their reputation as an extraordinary, large independent bookstore to pay their employees poorly and depend on them to run the store. The management has very little to do with the success (or failure) of the company. In my opinion, the store remains successful in spite of the incompetent management staff.

Advice to Management

If layoffs of temps and new hires continue to shock the stores, please consider weeding out some of the salaried employees. Management is top-heavy and the current employees do not need any more work to do. Pay hourly employees more; they are the ones providing top-notch customer service 8 hours a day. They're responsible for sales, whether those sales come from online or walk-in customers.

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  1. Helpful (1)

    A mixed bag

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR

    I worked at Powell's Books

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working at Powell's, you will get to meet some very intelligent and friendly coworkers who may become your friends for life. Most of the people who take a job at Powell's are very community-minded, extremely well-read and well-educated. Powell's has demonstrated that as a company, it can be resourceful and a survivor in times when other independent bookstores are struggling or going out of business all together. It is also a nice cornerstone of the Portland community and is a beloved institution in this town.

    Cons

    The pay is really low, even for "professional level" positions. It's a union shop, so bargaining unit wages are negotiated at contract renewal time, but there is only so much they are able to accomplish given such a low baseline. Management pay is even worse, often starting just a dollar more an hour than regular employees. Many of the tools employees are given to use are either outdated or buggy. A lot of the software seems held together by duct tape, and a typical working day consists of a string of workarounds in order to complete simple tasks. What's nice is that the staff still maintains a "can do" attitude, rarely complaining despite such frequent frustrations.

    Advice to Management

    It's time to start valuing and trusting your employees again.


  2. If you love Books and an Indy Culture this is the place for you!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Powell's Books

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people and diversity.Independant bookstore with a Union.

    Cons

    Limited job openings. Retail working hours-weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Sell it more and become a true force to be reckoned with!


There are newer employer reviews for Powell's Books
There are newer employer reviews for Powell's Books

See Most Recent

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