Equilar
2.8 of 5 41 reviews
www.equilar.com Redwood City, CA 50 to 149 Employees

Equilar Reviews

Updated Apr 5, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 41 reviews

                             

44% Approve of the CEO

Equilar CEO David Chun

David Chun

(25 ratings)

37% of employees recommend this company to a friend
41 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

 

Good company to work for out of college

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Equilar

ProsIt is a great place to work for recent college graduates. You will be surrounded by smart, hard-working individuals who are also friendly. The company has an open environment and through monthly meetings, you will learn what each of the departments is working on as well as the progress and future plans of the organization. If you want to transfer to another department, it may not always be feasible, but the managers will always willing to consider it.

ConsThe company culture has improved over the years, but micromanagement is still a big issue. You are expected to arrive by a certain time and leave after a certain time. If you take too long of a lunch, you will be questioned. Somebody is always watching your monitors.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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7 people found this helpful  

Blind Leading the Blind

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at Equilar full-time for more than a year

ProsI joined the Research team as my first job out of college and moved around several different departments during my time at Equilar. My negative view of the company stems from dealing with incompetent and arrogant senior management but I do believer there are some positive aspects to Equilar for a new college grad (not an experienced professional). For me the pros really boil down to 2 points:

1.) Great people outside of senior management
Equilar has mastered the science of recruiting really smart UC grads to work for their Research department. This was especially true during the recession years when the job market was tough for college grads and people were looking for any sort of experience with the title "Analyst" in it. Since the company is relatively small everyone knows each other and it's easy to make friends. For a lot of the entry-level people it's the closest thing to being back in college and Equilar has been good about throwing fun events (team buildings, picnics, softball league, holiday parties) to give employees more opportunities to bond.

2.) Mobility within the company.
Equilar is constantly bleeding out disgruntled employees and doesn't want to pay market wages to hire talent from the outside. This creates opportunities for internal promotions where people can move around different departments and acquire new skills. Although it's not always the ideal learning environment since the experienced employees don't really know what they are doing either (hence blind leading the blind), it does create some interesting opportunities that a recent college grad might not have had at other companies. For me personally this has been the most important aspect of working at Equilar, as the skills I acquired while working with engineering are what got me my ultimate dream job at a real company.

The bottom line is if you recently graduated college and having a hard time finding a job then you might want to consider Equilar. Be smart about your time with the company and take advantage of opportunities to move out of Research and learn something new. Once you have enough experience hop on the first train out of Insanityville and go work for a real company that you wouldn't be ashamed to tell you friends about.

ConsSenior Management:
CEO - I will give some credit to the CEO for building a lean and profitable company that pays him millions of dollars every year. I will also give him some credit for being completely immune to how 99% of his employees feel about him. Otherwise he is delusional and completely clueless about technology, products and leadership. He is constantly trying to start "techie" projects that no one at the company has the skills to execute and have nothing to do with the core competency of the company (Equilar is not a technology company, it hires Research Analysts to manually mine data). Technology and product are not a in the DNA of the company because the CEO hates what the Silicon Valley represents while also desperately trying to fit into it. He only hires managers that will drink the Kool-Aid that he serves them, which creates an atrocious culture for employees that report to those managers.

VPs- All the VPs are just hanging on to the company because the CEO sold them on a dream that the company will be someday magically sold for a lot of money that will make everyone rich. Therefore they are going along with everything that he wants while adding 0 value to the actual growth of the company.

Time Cards - This is one thing I hated most about Equilar. This is NOT a timecard where at the end of the week you can just add up all the hours you worked and submit it. This is a REAL-TIME time card. This is "if you came 5 minutes late to work then you better stay an extra 5 minutes to make up the time" time card. This creates unnecessary inequality between those who have to use the time card and those who don't. It also destroys intrinsic motivation in employees by making their work transactional.

Management inexperience - This ties into blind leading the blind. Since the company doesn't pay market wages it can't afford to hire good talent with the right experience. Engineers who don't know how to code, marketing people who create outdated informercial-like campaigns, engineering manager who doesn't understand anything and another manager who got fired for sexual harassment after being warned multiple times.

Research - The backbone of the company and is really the only reason why it's successful. These guys get treated like dirt for doing all the hard work while all the credit goes to the people mentioned above. Safe to say this is not a company based on meritocracy.

Rumors - There are no secrets at the company. As much as management tries to hide what's really going on, everyone know and talks about everything that happens. Everyone knows why someone quit or got fired. And while it is entertaining, it becomes very emotionally draining as you realize that your work for a bunch of idiots.

Pay - it's low.

Snacks - There used to be free delicious Costco trail mix in the main area and candy in every meeting room. However management sensed that people are enjoying those kinds of perks, so they replaced the trail mix with a paid vending machine and the good candy with generic hotel mints. That's progressive management!

Advice to Senior ManagementStop going to useless meetings all day long and actually get involved in fixing the company's operations and products.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

Churn and burn

Product Manager (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at Equilar full-time for more than a year

ProsCo-workers: Unusually young employee base (80% plus of the folks here are a few years out of college). Fun environment to start in right out of college and I have some great friends here!

Work: Low stress in general, unless you are a research analyst. You can move to different departments pretty easily and try out different roles (something you probably can't do at larger companies).

Company events: We get to go on wine trips, picnics, department outings, and other fun events. Most of my outside work friends get pretty jealous.

Reputation: We have a good reputation in the market, and a big presence in media.

ConsCo-workers: It is difficult to learn and develop your career when your peers are all in your age group, and middle management is typically a couple of years older than you. Lack of experience hurts in the long run.

Location: Redwood City is not a nice place... it is very run down, with lots of shady people around the city and train station. I wish we were safer and cleaner location.

Work: I feel that you're treated like a child here. Internet browsing is monitored and the CEO will reprimand you if you're caught on non-work related sites. CEO also tracks when you enter and leave the office (cameras all over the place), so don't take long lunches unless you want a talking to. You're only given 2 sick days a year and you will get harassed if you take them. Why give them in the first place?

Compensation: Not competitive at all. This is the Bay area guys, and you can't pull wool over our eyes. A 401K match, gym, train card and PTO is industry standard. Stock options and the dividend distribution are not that attractive, but you will be frowned at and questioned by your boss if you don't buy into the Kool Aid.

Talent: Doesn't matter if we are able to hire good talent, since we lose them almost as fast as we can bring them in. I've almost been here 2 years and have seen so many people leave this company for reasons that probably could have been avoided. You can't keep re-training people each time. You also can't learn if you cycle through seniors and managers so often.

Senior management: No confidence in the leadership here. Without naming names I haven't been very impressed with the management here. I don't want to sound cliche, but I feel we are running around like a chicken without a head. Except for maybe 2 or 3 individuals, don't expect to get any support, direction, or professionalism from the management team here. Professionalism is the key word though. Some of the things I've heard thrown around here border homophobic at best, and come off as sexual harassment at worst!

Culture: Accepts mediocrity but does not reward performers. How are we supposed to get ahead when we can't retain our top talent, and then place people in a role where they have no business being in?

Advice to Senior ManagementTake a good hard self-assessment.
Let go of the dead-weight.
Reward your stars.
Get professional.

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

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Always think long term

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Equilar full-time for more than a year

ProsThis review applies to entry-level graduates considering a job at Equilar.

I worked at Equilar for two years in at least three different teams, including research. Equilar was my first job out of college.

Your first job out of school shapes your entire career. You have no real world experience, and worst of all, you don't know where you want your career to go. In my experience, people will only be successful in their careers if they either really enjoy what they are doing, or they are extremely motivated. A good first job helps you find out what you enjoy.

Equilar is one of the best companies you can join to help find your dream role. You can transfer to completely different departments in as little as three months time from your start date. In some cases, Equilar will even teach employees how to code and move them from a non-technical role into the engineering team. This trait is what makes Equilar unique - you won't find these kind of opportunities at other companies.

Other good things about Equilar:
- Smart employees, even compared to top companies - trust me!
- Good people - you will find some friends for life.
- Managers are friendly, no nightmare bosses.

My advice to prospective Equilar employees - be smart about your career. Learn about all the different aspects of a successful company. Find what you enjoy doing. Invest in your own skills for the long run, and focus on making a meaningful impact on a company before worrying about how much you're getting paid. Money will take care of itself when you find your niche.

I chose the job at Equilar over a high-profile tech company, even though Equilar offered me significantly less pay. Throughout my career at Equilar, I declined many job offers for significantly more pay as well. I consistently chose Equilar because it offered me the best environment to learn. Equilar helped me discover what I enjoy doing, and I now make a deep six figure salary at one of the hottest companies in the world, doing what I love. Had I chosen other companies, I would still be stuck in the grind. I still look back at my time at Equilar and consider it the best period of my career.

Cons- Culture can be negative. Each individual employee contributes to the culture, so results will vary depending on who you spend your time with. Try not to become part of the problem!
- Computer monitoring/banned websites. I am told that Equilar no longer monitors computer usage and they are considering relaxing the ban on Facebook, etc
- It's hard to get excited about executive compensation.
- The foosball competition is pretty weak ^_^

Advice to Senior ManagementYou guys are great at hiring top talent. Keeping these people is another story. Find a way to retain these folks, and your other employees will have a goal to strive for.

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

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Be careful about dishonest compensation policy by compensation research firm.

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at Equilar full-time for less than a year

ProsNot many but maybe decent size of company maybe - not too small but not too big.

ConsI had very unpleasant experience with their ad-hoc based pay policy. When I initially got offered the pay package, they included some small amount of bonus, promising me I could make so much money with the stock options. After working here a few months, I realized no one believes in this company and everyone points out the ridiculous company policies (web activities monitoring followed by manager's warning, poor product quality, all foreign workers' visa issues because of company's incapability...). VPs and The directors treated me like their toy so I luckily ended finding a new job and gave them a notice. This is a funny part - Equilar has lots of talent drain issue and some other coworkers in my position accidentally found other jobs. Trying to resolve the issue, they tried to buy me with many ad-hoc based offers. More options are possible, more salaries are negotiable...all still less than 80% of my new salary. One other coworker told me there have been such ad-hoc based counter-offers but none tool place in fact. I am finally in a place where I can truly grow myself, and would like to warn everyone about Equilar with my review.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to employees - there's a reason why company's going downhill.

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

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Only accept this job if you have NO other options, but DO NOT stop looking for a better job!

Research Analyst (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at Equilar full-time for more than a year

ProsFirst off, let me say that I have read every review on this site multiple times. I tried my hardest to give Equilar a fair, balanced, honest review per Glassdoor’s Community Guidelines. In the end, every negative thing said about this company REALLY is true. I will try and expand on some of those items so that you can make an informed decision that is right for you. All of the positives listed below have corresponding negatives in the 'Cons' section:

1. Provides a job that you can spin a number of positive ways on your resume and when you interview for your next job a few weeks/months later.

2. Generally the people you work with are pretty cool, nice people.

3. You will have the ability to put “manager” on your business school application, or generally to advance quickly and/or move to a better position in a different department .

4. This could be the perfect fit for you!

5. You might make a lot of money. Although salaries are low, if you stick it out for 5’ish years, and you buy all the stock you are allowed to buy with the "state-of-the-art profit-sharing program," (phrase taken directly from Equilar's website), and the share price projections that the CEO makes are even close to being true, you will probably be making a fair amount of money for somebody 5 years out of college with only a bachelors degree.

6. The company fulfills a VERY niche market. Although they have several indirect competitors, nobody out there does exactly the same thing because it is not that lucrative, and consequently it is unlikely revenues/profits will decline.

7. You will have a respectable job title for your resume: “Research Analyst”.

8. All things considered, decent wages for the job that you are doing.

Cons1. Only accept this job if your situation dictates that you need to accept this particular job. Once you accept this job, continue sending out resumes and eventually you will get another offer. You will have to answer the question of why you are leaving so soon, but just tell the truth in a positive way: “I have learned a lot at Equilar, but I am looking for something that is a little more [fill in the blank], which is why I am so excited about [fill in the blank].”

2. Although most people are nice, in the past, the Research department has been plagued with HORRENDOUS managers. I foresee this improving in the future, but it is embarrassing to the company and to the upper management in the company that people like this were ever allowed to hold a managerial position.

3. If you want to go to business school and you are willing to sell your soul to put the title of “Manager” on your application, you can get there in 2 years in the Research department so long as you are willing to put up with an unbelievable amount of crap. Basically, because people leave so frequently you can advance quickly at Equilar and move into other departments or positions that interest you more, but you have to be willing to hate your life for a very long time to get there.

4. If you have little motivation and want an easy, unchallenging job, this is a PERFECT fit for you. But don’t tell them that, or they won’t hire you.

5. When you first start at the company, the CEO will give you a presentation on how much money you could make at Equilar, especially if the company is eventually sold at a high valuation. The presentation is full of VERY generous assumptions, but admittedly, there is a sliver of truth in it. With a modest salary and some generous stock dividends, you could make a decent amount of money. Then again, I have learned from this job that the following quote is absolutely true: “Money is NOT everything.”

6. That said, if we ever did get a direct competitor, the company would fail so fast it would make your head spin. The company is extremely focused on the short term and is not interested in investing in FAR better, long term solutions.

7. Do not be deceived by the job title! Make no mistake about it, this is a data entry job. Every single day you do essentially the same boring data collection, all day long. If you put up with it for a year or so, they will let you do something slightly more interesting, but that is a long time to hate waking up every morning.

8. It is true that salaries in this company are low across the board, especially for Silicon Valley, which has a high cost of living and higher salaries. That said, considering how menial the work of a “Research Analyst” is, it is actually fairly well paying. You do not need to go to college to do this job--they should be paying people minimum wage.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you are doing. Despite all these negative reviews, the company continues to make money, and the CEO takes home millions each year because of the “Unique Profit-Sharing Program.” Why bother changing anything just to make your employees happy?

The truth is that as much as we complain, your business is built around highly expendable employees. The longer you keep employees around, the more you have to pay them and the more equity in the company you have to give them. It makes more sense to only keep the VERY few that are willing to put up with the crappy job and work environment.

Do not worry about getting talented individuals and retaining them… you do not need/want smart people with good ideas to make the company better, you need just-smart-enough drones that will do the job you give them and get you to the point where you can sell the company and get rich.

I honestly think you have got the right business model; I just do not like it myself.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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11 people found this helpful  

Research is an unhappy place to be.

Research Analyst (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at Equilar

Pros- Can transition into other departments within the company if you feel there is a better fit.
- Management is generally accessible.

Cons- Despite being a compensation firm, compensation is much lower than market rate even with promotions.
- Constantly being pulled into projects left and right -- achieving your goals usually mean staying 50-60 hours a week.
- Work environment is stifling. Every physical action is monitored with security cameras and web activity is constantly monitored.
- Large overturn rate, employees are highly undervalued and feel replaceable.
- CEO is obsessed with micromanaging and revenue gains. You are basically working to make the CEO rich.

Advice to Senior Management- Have more trust in your employees and compensate them appropriately for their efforts.
- Stop taking advantage of your top performing employees. Managing doesn't mean pushing their limits constantly.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Research Analyst II

Research Analyst II (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at Equilar full-time for more than a year

ProsEquilar hires very smart people out of college.

ConsRoutine work. Essentially a data entry job. Not sure how it will help me in build my resume. Cannot use smart phone at work. Every activity is monitored. No one likes the CEO. Dont believe the good reviews. They might be doctored.

Advice to Senior ManagementTrust your employees.

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

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cool company--great experience

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at Equilar

Prosopportunities to work with and learn from other really smart and talented engineers, supportive managers, cool technology, team spirit throughout company, cool office

Conslong hours and intense work, much is expected of you, some people burn out on that while others thrive on it like I did

Advice to Senior Managementthe company does emphasize professional growth and development, but it would be nice to have more formal training programs to foster that development

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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good place to get experience

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at Equilar

ProsIt's a good place to learn your professional skill. People you work with are nice and talent. Not need to do a lot of over time.

ConsCompared with other tech companies in the valley. Equilar is definitely under paying its employees. It also treats employees in different department differently in terms of benefit.

Advice to Senior Managementkeep up the good work and value your high performing employees.

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