Hostelling International Reviews

Updated June 10, 2015
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3.3
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Russ Hedge
8 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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  1. I love my job!

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

    I have been working at Hostelling International

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Hostelling International is an awesome non-profit whose mission is "To help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling." 'Nuff said! Oh and you get to stay at other hostels throughout the world for FREE!

    Cons

    The pay rate could be a little better, but the fact that in the Bay Area, the health benefits are paid for by the company, it really makes up for it.


  2. Fun Work Environment, With Opportunity to Grow

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

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Fun, easy-going, and helpful staff, well-organized HR, a GM who's actively involved, creative, and helpful, guests from all over the world, tours led by veteran guides.

    Cons

    Consider your physical ability -- must be able to stand for long periods of time and (depending on job position) actively help many guests throughout the large hostel (NYC).


  3. Years of dedication, sacked at the end of the new year under new management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    interacting with people from all over the world, making a difference working for a non-profit, and having the opportunity to transfer from different cities in the USA for work.

    Cons

    The unification of Hostelling International USA, lack of advancement withing the company, their high earnings with no raise for front desk associates, and the job description of front desk involves having to make up for lack of housekeeping and maintance whom are sent home after 6 p.m.

    Advice to Management

    Develop the skills necessary to train employees on changes in policy, offer housing to low income employees instead of those who are on salary, and have more than two team meetings a year.


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  5. I had a blast working for HI USA

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in Boston, MA

    I worked at Hostelling International part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I worked at Boston Hostel for two years, one year as an intern and the other as a front desk agent. Both were incredible experiences full of fun stories to tell through interactions with my guests, fellow colleagues and also networking through different events that came through to use the community space. HI-USA is a great organization that leads in fostering inter-cultural exchanges, and that is what I want my life to be. Thus, it was the perfect place to work!

    Cons

    The lower level staff sometimes isn't heard up in top management as well as they should be. The hourly fee paid for front desk staff isn't ideal for someone living in Boston- one of the highest rental markets in the US. Interactions with travelers and guests aren't always happy-go-lucky and sometimes it will really bug you the wrong way, but that's all a part of the experience.

    Advice to Management

    Benefits can be improved throughout the organization, a culture of travel and motivation to participate in cultural exchanges from the hostel needs to be led from the top management for the lower management to follow suit.


  6. Disappointing and misleading

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Hostelling International

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

    Pros

    I meet wonderful people from all over the world. The location was excellent & the graveyard shifts are great if you also have a day job.

    Cons

    Unfriendly staff when dealing with guest. Training with new hires was always inconsistent & lacking detail. Misleading new hires regarding how many hours they will be working weekly.

    Advice to Management

    Communication is the key also stop posting misleadiing ads(every six weeks) on Craigslist
    stating your biz is hiring permanent staff when what really is going on is you just need temporary fill ins for 2weeks or so &after that new hires are lucky if the get 4 hours a week.


  7. Great place for the right person

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

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Imagine being constantly surrounded by travelers, people who have just one night in your city and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it their best ... it's a perfect place to work for a younger extrovert and xenophiliac, but not so good for those who are looking for stability, calm, peace, and quiet. There is a general really uplifting and optimistic spirit in such a place, but a lot also can go wrong in terms of guests over drinking, damaging property, or not being used to the hosteling experience. The company is great to its managers and they have a great mission.

    Cons

    Noisy, chaotic, a lot of cleaning and problem solving, crazy guest or volunteer staff can create some pretty big drama that has to be problem solved. There is always more to do and it is a lot of physical and emotional work.

    Advice to Management

    Increase the management staff.


  8. Worked for a local "council" for over four years.

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

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It's a nonprofit focused on developing cultural understanding through experiential travel. Most of the people I encountered both locally and nationally believed in the org's mission. It was an interesting place to work, and I always felt like my time and skills were valued. My direct supervisor was a really good person. I worked in a local office in a big city, and that office was a pretty good place to work.

    Cons

    The org has restructured since I left, though I was there during the big build up. After being away from the org for a couple of years for school, I have tried to reach out to multiple people in multiple locations about working there again. The usual response is no response, unless it's an HR person. You would think a friendly email saying, "Hi, I used to work for ______ in the ______ Council. Just reaching out to see if there's a way to serve the organization in my new city." would at least get a response to say they got the email. I get it if there are no fitting positions, but a little loyalty would be nice.

    The pay is also pretty low compared to other nonprofits of similar size.

    Advice to Management

    The restructuring seemed like a pretty exciting, new beginning for HI-USA. We all know that nonprofit salaries are typically less than their for-profit counterparts, but if you pay ~$35-40k for management roles, you're not going to attract and/or retain the most talented people.


  9. Unnecessary Bullying

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

    I worked at Hostelling International part-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Meeting a wide array of people, some good colleagues

    Cons

    Bizarre hours, lying managers, helpless guests who made me feel like a babysitter, users, management appreciated nothing and no one. Had a myopic view of the future and then asked me what myopic meant.

    Advice to Management

    treat employees with respect instead of mutual resentment, backstabbing benefits no one


  10. Great Place to Work, Great Company

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

    I worked at Hostelling International

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The office culture is very laid back and the workers are friendly. The general mission of the company is awesome, and they live out their mission through educational programs, guest activities, etc.

    Cons

    Like most non-profits, it can sometimes be a little unorganized or have a lack of structure. Also, the pay isn't the best, especially because usually the cost of living is higher in touristy areas where the hostels are located.


  11. Intriguing company to work for in the beginning, but ultimately a very disorganized non-profit with little to no HR.

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

    I have been working at Hostelling International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Some of the people you meet, the beautiful surroundings or buildings that hostels are located in.
    Sometimes cool coworkers/ managers that are laid back, and down to earth

    Cons

    Bed bug infestations, heavy chemical treatments
    They will not remove managers who have been reported by senior employees and many guests
    Major favoritism in this organization.
    A lot of things do not get done at this organization, and no one cares. You usually have 1 or a few depending on the size of the hostel that actually take responsibility for their work and do not purposely leave work for other coworkers and also it disrupts the operation of the hostel.
    Too much marketing B.S.!
    Major computer/ Equipment issues at many of the properties
    Major facility issues/ repairs not taken care of in older buildings
    The customers do nothing but complain most of the time (People don't really like sharing space they just want to save a buck).
    No human resources department, they don't care if someone is stealing from the organization or if a manager (most live on site and it is their home) is racist or doesn't care for women, and harasses guests
    Tons of things don't work at these hostels, like wi-fi, printer, kitchen, phones, it's pretty much problematic all of the time and it infuriates the guests, yet the front desk crew take the brunt of it (all the complaints).

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees when you have little to no HR. Don't lie to your employees and deceive them. Take care of your serious bed bug issues.



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