Hotwire Reviews

Updated September 15, 2014
Updated September 15, 2014
107 Reviews
3.1
107 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Hotwire President Henrik Kjellberg
Henrik Kjellberg
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company respects work-life balance, while still offering challenging opportunities (in 28 reviews)

  • Exciting industry (travel) discounts on travel products (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance are non-existent depending on the group (in 4 reviews)

  • If you're looking for career growth, you need to make sure you are on your manager's radar at all times (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A lot of potential, but lacking competitive edge for San Francisco

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

    I worked at Hotwire full-time

    Pros

    -Some travel benefits
    -From what I gathered, the lean environment used to mean a fun environment
    -Great San Francisco location

    Cons

    -New president made drastic changes, leaving a lot of recently hired employees completely confused about why they were brought on
    -Could turn around but right now, is very behind the times in terms of a) company structure b) analytics and c) technology innovation
    -Very, very lean. People may have a good work/life balance but, it comes at the price of innovation and morale because of minimal headcount
    -Teams this lean also means most people are far from any type of management position
    -Favor tenure over creative, promising new talent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be proactive when assessing market trends and what it will take for Hotwire to be competitive. Defend your new employees if they are more qualified than older, stale talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Used to be great, but times are changing

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - The people are mostly great
    - Nice office
    - Great benefits
    - Passion for travel
    - Lots of opportunity to learn new technologies

    Cons

    - No more work from home
    - New president that doesn't seem to understand the bay area job market
    - Layoffs during a time of running extremely lean already
    - Lots of good people leaving
    - Average pay is below market rate
    - The "fun" environment of the past has become a much more stressful and negative environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit the "crack the whip" attitude now or we're going to lose all our best employees. Bring back the fun, flexibility, passion, and atmosphere that made the company so successful in the past.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hotwire - The Ship that sank!

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Work culture was good and the company paid me well!

    Cons

    The management was too late to react to the downfall in business and they resorted to layoffs as the first option. Pathetic!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    It's just ok

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

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

    Pros

    - Great work / life balance. Reasonable hours
    - Great benefits like commuter reimbursement, health and fitness allowance, extra floating holidays, free fancy drinks
    - The company has been around for awhile now so it's pretty stable and efficient

    Cons

    - Seems like getting ahead is difficult. It's very corporate in that way. There seems to be a lot of middle management positions. I don't know what all those people do.
    - The culture is pretty dull. Perhaps in the past it was more exciting and energetic, but now it seems cliquey and staid. As a new person, I didn't feel very welcomed. The pace seems slow to me. Not a very exciting place to work.
    - Pay is decent, but on the lower end
    - A lot of people have been there for a very long time. I wonder if that is a good thing or a bad thing. New blood, new ideas, new energy....
    - My manager doesn't really advocate for me or mentor me. I feel left on my own to navigate a relatively large and somewhat closed off culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clem made a habit of talking to and getting to know all employees. He made himself approachable. I don't get that feeling from most of the rest of the senior team. Be approachable and help ALL employees feel that their input is valuable, not just the people with seniority or in product and marketing. The next great idea could come from anyone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    An overall solid experience

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

    I worked at Hotwire for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The best thing about working here has to be the subject matter -- travel. As an employee you get great travel perks and are encouraged to use them. As for day-to-day enjoyment, it all depends on your team here, and which manager is either making your life amazing or miserable. I loved my immediate team members -- great repor in and out of work, collaborative, supportive. Clear reporting structure where I felt comfortable addressing any issues or concerns with management.

    Cons

    Career/compensation growth can be slow. My biggest issues came from specific individuals that were hired over the years that I had difficulty working with, which can of course happen anywhere. Also, I felt a lot more warmth/fun/connection in the Hotwire culture than by the time I left. It felt like the culture was shifting to a less happy place.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Wants to be a leader in business, but pay sucks

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time

    Pros

    First of all, kudos to the management for making a wise decision to transition from Waterfall to Agile, very late though and probably the last company to adopt a methodology proven in the market 4 years back. It really gives a great feeling as if sitting on a hot seat everyday.. Work is very interesting and challenging and I see a lot more potential for growth and improvement coming on the way sooner..

    Cons

    Having said growth potential exists, definitely not in terms of pay / position. Don't expect any promotions.. Expect just few biscuits as increment or bonus.. No recognition for the achievers and your manager will not pat on your back for the job well done. Management aims to be a leader in business and wants to use state of the art technology and tools, but pays literally low compared to the industry standards.. Come on, give something to the real workers.. After all, management should not take all the pride & money at the end of the day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fantastic show in the last 1 year and good luck for the future..

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great technology, talented employees, and lots of perks. My manager is constantly asking me what he can do to make me feel fulfilled and happy with my job.

    Cons

    Nothing major comes to mind.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A comfortable company with good work/life balance at the expense of technical skills development

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time

    Pros

    - Good work/life balance. I could easily maintain a 40-hour work week and still do well.
    - Good benefits. Nice commuter benefits and generous vacation.
    - A variety or products and projects to stay busy.

    Cons

    - Older technology stack. The site is old, and attempting to use newer technologies is difficult.
    - Underpays employees. My salary has increased by ~24% since joining 5 years ago.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ready to build great products

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

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

    Pros

    Spent 2012 transitioning to agile product development with dedicated product teams and is going to capitalize on the year of learning how to make great products. Social culture is great, very fun environment to work with lots of fun company activities. Many travel perks available. Pressure is relatively low and you can have a good work/life balance. Some good-to-great engineers here.

    Cons

    Moves very slowly for a company of this small size. There are senior management positions that are of questionable value and at times become roadblocks to progress. Members of leadership who have been here longer than a two years are risk averse and choose slow improvement options. Poor performers aren't properly addressed and stick around to lower productivity and morale. Career advancement is very slow, matching the generally laid back pace.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    A good company overall

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

    I worked at Hotwire full-time

    Pros

    Great people, strong individualized culture, definitely promotes work/life balance. It's a very friendly company with some smart people. Great SF city location.

    Cons

    Probably not as innovative as it thinks it is, which results in a lot of turnover in Engineering. Not as much accountability as you'd expect either with regards to product launches. Also groups are pretty siloed with not as much cross-depatrment communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the ranks even more. Pay better.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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