Samasource

  www.samasource.org
  www.samasource.org

Samasource Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 2014
8 Reviews
2.8
8 Reviews
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Samasource Founder & CEO Leila Janah
Leila Janah
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    An innovative social enterprise and a great place to work!

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

    I have been working at Samasource full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Sama is one of the best young, innovative social enterprises to work at today, having been one of major organizations contributing to the early growth of impact sourcing as an industry. Unlike other organizations in the space, the leadership is truly working to create a sustainable, break even business that has a huge social impact globally. The team is fun and passionate - all with diverse, unique world views, and most with previous experience working in developing countries in the field. The Founder and CEO, Leila Janah, is able to clearly and passionately communicate her vision and mission in a way that compels people from all backgrounds to contribute to the cause: providing opportunity to those born into poverty. I highly recommend working at Sama, especially if you want to have a career in social enterprise or social entrepreneurship.

    Cons

    Because the organization is still relatively young, it operates like a startup. For some from big corporate and traditional non-profit backgrounds, this can be a little shocking not having a lot of established processes or certainty in strategy. For others, it's a dream. You need to have a complete sense of accountability and transparency with your work to be able to fit in with the culture, and for some, that can be an adjustment. Because the organization is still firmly registered non-profit legally, salary packages are not reflective of the for-profit rates, although they're able to recruit some of the best talent from the for-profit world regardless. The organization has a tough application and interview process, and has a tendency to offer contract to hire positions instead of immediately providing a job offer. This works well to find a good cultural match internally for the longer term, but can be stressful and irritating to new hires initially.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to recruit mainly for-profit and technology background experience, especially in more senior roles. Avoid hiring for experience in political fundraising and traditional non-profit management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Run away

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

    I have been working at Samasource full-time

    Pros

    Social Cause which great concept

    Cons

    Terrible CEO
    Good at MARKETING
    Good in self promotion only

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people with respect the way you sell your services

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

    Promising mission but not executing properly

    • 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 Samasource full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - CEO is inspiring, hard-working and highly visible leader that has brought significant attention and funding to the business
    - Tackling a real problem and making a tiny, but genuinely helpful, impact
    - Non CEO employees are nice, hard-working and aligned

    Cons

    - For all her benefits, the CEO is the biggest issue. Quite simply, the company will never succeed until they replace her
    - Turnover has probably been 75% in the past year, and includes entry-level employees all the way to the COO and board of directors
    - Low morale in an environment that should be the opposite; people don't seem to enjoy coming to work, and that starts at the top
    - Talented employees are not incentivized to stay or to work on other things; without high pay or stock options, the company needs to give them other reasons to stick around
    - CEO has unreasonably high expectations which not only frustrates employees but in turn affects current clients

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

    Get ready for a rocky ride.

    • 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 Samasource full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. This IS a cool company in 100 ways.
    2. Most of the people here are amazing, great and interesting people.
    3. You will be given the opportunity to really own and build something to drive change -- not always, but at times.
    4. General management team (including current COO) are strong, passionate, and reasonable.
    5. Culture is good: respectful, fun-loving people.

    Cons

    Turnover is above and beyond what is 'normal' for a start-up or for a nonprofit. These are what I believe are the biggest reasons why:

    1. Constant irrational demands from the top with unprofessional and patronizing delivery.
    2. Money, HR, processes, and high level decisions are not managed well.
    3. No efforts have been made to retain high performers. Their exits have hurt the company, year after year, since inception.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees are not solely your pawns and are not stupid -- you need them just as they need you. You should trust your employees. Do not talk down, frame, misdirect, or ignore them. Try to resist "going through the motions", "quick fixes", and "checking the box" -- especially for major decisions. Continue to make steps in the right direction which will lead to improvement in both the short and long-term success of the company. The last few months have been promising.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Lots of Promise, But Ultimately a Disappointment

    • 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 Samasource full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Located in SF
    - Smart, talented, dedicated, fun staff
    - Social mission
    - Genuine respect between most employees
    - Great outward facing company image
    - Excellent at framing/storytelling
    - Hiring a COO is a step in the right direction but she needs full control to be successful

    Cons

    - Extremely high turnover: out of a 30 person office, in the last 12 months 18 FTEs have quit, 3 have been let go
    - Highly inexperienced, micromanaging senior leadership (CEO, VP Operations)
    - CEO is arguably the biggest reason for people leaving (difficult personality, lack of true business experience, egotistical behavior)
    - Unstable business model -- missteps on the business side are gravely hurting the social mission
    - Serious lack of focus and direction, major decisions and opinions change daily
    - No alignment between Sales-Delivery-Marketing-Development team goals and direction
    - Poor HR practices (no escalation process, no formal HR, no managerial oversight)
    - HR and Finance are run uprofessionally by people without any experience
    - Sensitive information (i.e. HR, pay, role changes) are handled without professionalism and stored in public folders
    - Very tense/awkward office environment (negative culture)
    - Little to no financial transparency
    - No career path
    - Arbitrary promotions and raises (not based on tenure, merit, or path)
    - Not family friendly (long hours, no PTO for working or expectant parents)
    - Lack of work-life balance is what is valued, not performance
    - Favoritism (those “close” to upper management are out of the office 40% of the time)
    - Acts like a start up when it’s convenient and a nonprofit when it’s convenient
    - Wasteful with resources

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Be honest!!! Do not deceive or “frame” constantly
    - Trust and value your employees
    - Do not lead by fear, threats or intimidation
    - Do not lead by negativity and criticism
    - Bring in experienced leadership
    - Focus less on short term fixes and address the real reasons why employees are unhappy
    - Don’t just go through the motions of pretending to care about employees
    - Make sure employees have a real career path
    - Follow HR/legal practices

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Samasource has a great mission, but does not have any focus on the employees.

    • 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 Samasource

    Pros

    The mission is really wonderful.

    Cons

    Employees are not disposable assets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The employees are just as passionate as management in the mission. Treat the employees with more respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    World Class

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director of Engineering in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Director of Engineering in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Samasource

    Pros

    The best reason to work at Samasource is the caliber and character of the people that work there. The company has an ambitious goal and world class leadership. It's still a young organization and change happens often and quickly. Samasource has cultured an amazing network of supporters from industry, academia, NGO, and government. It's a leader in the social enterprise and non-profit tech space and has built a great brand. The culture is very work hard, play hard. It's a great place to learn if you're willing to put in the effort and can deliver.

    Cons

    It's an intense environment and not for the faint of heart. There are high expectations for every employee. On joining you can expect to be challenged and the organization lives up to its mission of giving work. Things change pretty quickly, and success is usually dependent on taking ownership and being persistent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    thumbs up.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Inspiring Vision but arrogant and inconsiderate leadership to the point of driving employees away within months of hire

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

    I worked at Samasource

    Pros

    Microwork is a novel and incredible idea

    Chance to work in downtown SF in SOMA

    Samasource is a high- profile and inspiring nonprofit

    chance to work in a small, diverse, energetic team

    Everyone at the company is very intelligent, talented, and hard- working

    brilliant board of Directors

    chance to wear many different hats

    Chance to "give work" to people living in impoverished areas in the world. You go to work everyday, knowing that you're helping thousands of workers in other countries.

    Cons

    Disrespect for entry- level employees. examples: an intern was told by management that he was "low on the pole", the entry- level employees are typically given seats facing the wall and in the corners, interns shared desks

    Management bandwidth is limited. This resulted in very little guidance and direction from your direct manager.

    Tiny office space; people can easily disrupt others simply because of the crowded space

    Extreme hours and demands for low- income salary (Most people do not leave the office before 7 pm)

    High turn-over rate (about 50% turnoever every few months)

    the CEO, while inspiring, brilliant, and driven, was extremely hard to work with. She barked out people's names and orders, criticized harshly to the point of making employees cry, and rarely praised anybody's hard work.

    lack of communication between management and employees. In such a small team and space, employees are hesitant to voice concerns to superiors (ie, about their hours, treatment by the management, compensation). Management withholds important information from employees.

    General feeling of unhappiness and tension within the office, coworkers are not friends outside the office. Office happy hours feel unnatural

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Form and encourage a culture of respect and admiration. Every employee you hire, whether intern, entry - level, contracter, or VP, is precious, intelligent, and well- connected. Former and current employees will talk and the Silicon Valley network is a small one.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Because people want to get paid, instead of getting aid

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

    I have been working at Samasource

    Pros

    Samasource provides jobs that pay living wages to those in the developing world. We specifically give internet-based work to people who have previously made less than 3 dollars a day, and sample tasks include transcription and data entry.

    On the technology side, things are solid. I believe my colleagues are very good software developers, and the code base has good test coverage.

    In addition, the transparency within this organization is very high.

    Cons

    It is a moot point because we are moving to a new office in May 2012, but one employee is allergic to something in the conference room.

    Recommends

Samasource Photos

Pictures from the inside of the Sama office
Pictures from the inside of the Sama office
Pictures from the inside of the Sama office

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