Hostelling International

  www.hiusa.org
  www.hiusa.org

Hostelling International Reviews

Updated December 7, 2014
Updated December 7, 2014
25 Reviews
3.1
25 Reviews
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Russ Hedge
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great place for the right person

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

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time (less than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Increase the management staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Disappointing and misleading

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

    I worked at Hostelling International

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Good Possibilities.

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

    I have been working at Hostelling International as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good benefits. Functions well as a hotel or a hostel. Great work experience for people who are recently joining the work force or just moved to area. Great growth opportunities exist for persons seeking an introduction to management and project development skills with little or no experience. Great operations management.

    Cons

    I can not tell if this gateway hostel goal is to be more like a hotel or a hostel. Rhetoric notes hostel but this gateway runs more like a hotel. Much focus leans HI toward aesthetics rather than substance. Localized upper development/management focuses on cohesiveness. The company cronyism leads to groupthink and a management with little experience outside of the HI organization lacks experience/perspective. Very poor pay considering the cost of the city, thus making it almost impossible to keep good staff...unless you work multiple jobs or are a student. Furthermore, this pay rate makes the work/life balance very hard for staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know management tries hard to stimulate interculturalism, however I feel the staff can play a much greater role toward sharing their individual experiences, wisdom, interest with guest. Sadly, HI's "staff disconnection" causes almost no participation or understanding of the significance regarding activities, intercultural significance or identity sharing with guest. Also, it would be great for HI to start looking at how other international organizations can help HI's perspective and identity, rather than focusing on other hostels and hotels. Again, very poor pay considering the cost of the city, thus making it almost impossible to keep good staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

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

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

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Unnecessary Bullying

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

    I worked at Hostelling International part-time (less than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great Place to Work, Great Company

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

    I worked at Hostelling International

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

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

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

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't take sexual harassment or racism seriously!

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

    I have been working at Hostelling International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work can be rewarding if you make it so. Travelers are fun. You get to stay in the US hostels for free as an employee.

    Cons

    Has the potential to be great, but won't reach it until national leadership starts taking a hard look at property managers.

    Very, very poor leadership. HR is a joke. Instead of investigating sexual harassment and racism complaints, they say things like "you should be careful what you say, in case X thinks you are defaming him" or "sometimes people say things they think are funny and don't mean any harm" (comment in question? Being called a terrorist.)

    Employee satisfaction and morale largely depends on property GM and AGM.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    New HR staff who actually do their jobs. Pay attention to employee complaints. Revamp your staff surveys so that there can't be any repercussions for being honest.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great co workers!

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

    I have been working at Hostelling International

    Pros

    Great working environment, super supportive co-workers.

    Cons

    low pay rate, incompetent management

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great Place to work for Hospitality and Non-Profit

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales and Marketing Intern in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales and Marketing Intern in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Hostelling International as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    great work environment and you can work on a lot of different projects. Also get to go to a ton of events and have fun with the travelers.

    Cons

    There can be big gaps in work and thw work gets repetitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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