Sequoia Benefits

  www.sequoia.com
  www.sequoia.com

Sequoia Benefits Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
33 Reviews
4.0
33 Reviews
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Sequoia Benefits CEO & Founder Greg Golub
Greg Golub
31 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    One of the most innovative companies in the professional services industry

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

    I have been working at Sequoia Benefits full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This company continuously proves itself to be one of the most innovative companies in the professional services industry. I've read some of the reviews from ex-employees that have felt slighted in various ways, and I don't hold it against them. It is an incredibly challenging environment. I've definitely felt/experienced some of the same feelings that they have shared. The main thing about Sequoia, though, the thing that always prevails, is that we are always working towards getting better at coming through for our clients. That is what makes us the best, and as long as we have that focus, we'll continue to be the best.

    Career development is real here. We've almost doubled in size to around 90 employees in the last 15 months. This has created opportunities for many people to get promoted. The most successful people in this company have been the ones who work A LOT but also hold themselves to incredibly high standards. They take personal responsibility for their work, which is really appreciated by the rest of the team. It is definitely not easy but many many people have been given great careers here with that mindset.

    The founder is incredibly capable. We are constantly innovating, and embracing the start-up culture that we serve. I've learned so much about what it takes to build an excellent professional services and consulting firm during my time here. We've done a great job attracting top talent. One thing that strikes me about the culture that Greg has created is the high level of collaboration. We are always working to improve on this and the people here are genuinely nice and smart. I feel like my colleagues are truly invested in my success.

    Cons

    With innovative/fast growth comes a lot of opportunity for things to be left to the side. We do move fast and focus on the most important tasks - especially tasks revolving around coming through for our clients. It seems like this has left some people feeling left behind or untrained. Mostly, we take personal responsibility for own learning's but we could do a better job of sharing those learning's. Whether it is through continual training's or a different/better knowledge sharing platform. I think this would shore up some of those feelings. With that said, people are super gracious about sharing their knowledge whenever presented with questions.

    Also, we could do a better job of facilitating side/special projects. In the past, I know people felt vulnerable when they considered taking on new projects that are outside of their core job responsibilities. There was little guidance. I think EEs in general should be cautious about this but it is something to consider here as well. Of course, the flip side of this is that if/when you are successful, you really build a great brand internally, and have a really positive impact on the firm. Also, you are given the opportunity to learn something totally outside your knowledge domain, on the job.

    The founder is a great CEO - though many times he innovates ahead of everyone else. We kind of find out after the fact that we are doing something. Which is pretty normal enough in an innovative company but it leads to uncertainty about whether our job responsibilities are going to change, if organizational structure will change, and just in general, about whether or not we are going to be able to keep up. Many times, during these transitions, the really top employees at the company are asked to take on considerable amounts of more work, and it seems like it can be really difficult to say no, because the work does need to be done. This has a ripple effect down into the rest of the organization, where everyone ends up taking on more work. The process is natural enough for a start-up type company. I can see where people have had mixed feelings here. I think we can do a better job of managing the EEs expectations and emotions around the uncertainty/changes. In the end, the change/innovations really are a part of trying to stay ahead of our industry and continuously working towards being the most admired firm in the industry, and is really the reason why people come to Sequoia.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Continue to build on EEs strengths
    - Communicate employees weaknesses to EE's, and give them actionable steps to improve on those weaknesses
    - Build on and create more continual training programs and better knowledge/learning sharing platforms
    - Additional guidance for EEs who volunteer for side/special projects
    - Continue to stick to our core values!

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people lead by misguided management staff and CEO

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

    I worked at Sequoia Benefits

    Pros

    There are truly some really great people that work for Sequoia. They've hired people that genuinely care about their clients and their co-workers. The staff, not the management, is the sole contributing reason why clients continue to stay with Sequoia.

    Cons

    There are many cons when it comes to this company and most tie into the office culture, the management, and CEO. The culture breeds complacency and does not take constructive criticism lightly. They do not want to hear your ideas. They want to hear your agreement.

    The management has great potential but there are no process or procedures set in place. The "shoot from the hip" motto ultimately damages the customer experience and causes more inefficiencies across departments. There is little efficient communicate within and between departments. Often times when there were customer issues around deadline expectations set by the sales team, management would do little to step in. There was no accountability.

    The CEO only trusts a handful of his own management staff. You are always under the microscope and he is always dissecting your actions, testing to see if you are truly "a team player". Often times being a team player means pitting yourself against other staff. Since the company is so small, the CEO has a direct impact on your employment. If he deems you "not a fit", you may want to start considering other career options other than Sequoia Benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be open to criticism and growth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very unpleasant place to work

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

    I worked at Sequoia Benefits full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Its easy to get hired because there is so much turnover. There are always open positions. They stay afloat because medical insurance is an extremely profitable business. Because of this the CEO is getting very rich. The pay for employees is only a little below average, not horrible. However you have to work until 8pm every night for that pay.

    Cons

    This company is extremely unprofessional. You are given absolutely no training. The work environment is extremely aggressive and nobody talks to each other in the office. The work is tedious and monotonous and you are not allowed to transfer departments or ask questions. If you are not working fast enough you will face threats and intimidation. They will lie at all costs if it means more business or more work out of employees. They lie with the statistics in their promotional material and also on their website. HR will put on a huge show when interviewing so be very skeptical about what they tell you. They tell you that it is a technology company, but they are actually an insurance company. Very bizarre behavior. Lastly, it is painfully obvious the reviews for them here are written by HR not by employees. I didn't anyone that was happy during my time there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize what you are - an insurance company. Stop obsessing how much Zenefits is taking your business. Stop pretending that you are the same as Zenefits. Zenefits is a software/tech company. Stop misleading candidates, it is only going to increase your high turnover rates and also it is unethical. Encourage some work life balance from employees instead of running them into the ground. Give your employees more resources so they can actually be successful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amazing place to build your career

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

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

    Pros

    Sequoia promotes from within and is a place that really fosters your personal career and development. Everyone here truly cares about one another and is always willing to help each other out. Sequoia is a very fun place to work because it is a collaborative and team oriented environment. Recently, they implemented an Unlimited PTO policy to reward everyone's focus and dedication. Changes like these are happening constantly to continue to make Sequoia one of the best places to work in the Bay Area.

    Cons

    With any growing company there are always new systems to put in place. This is constantly evolving and gives employees the opportunity to help innovate and really make an impact right away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up! I have never been so excited about the direction that Sequoia is taking. I am excited about our Sequoia offering for clients and I love that management is always asking themselves, "What else can we do for our employees?"

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sequoia is an amazing company that is innovating and changing the healthcare industry

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

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

    Pros

    Sequoia provides best in class customer service for their clients and employees.
    If you're looking to work hard and be rewarded with endless opportunities, there isn't a better place to grow your career!
    Sequoia has been more than I even could of expected!

    Cons

    Sequoia has so much opportunity and growth potential for your career, there aren't enough hours in the day.
    Currently no San Francisco Office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to have the open door policy. Access to management provides an amazingly flat structure corporately and company culture

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Enormous opportunity, great people, awesome clients

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Service Manager in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Client Service Manager in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Sequoia Benefits full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you enjoy learning and don't shy away from honest hard work - this is a great place that will reward you with lifelong friends, $$$, and the opportunity to have impact on a winning team.

    Cons

    No doubt - this is a fast paced environment. I think most people really appreciate that mediocrity isn't really encouraged, who wants to be average?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue rewarding those that go above and beyond with promotions!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    A Client Centered Company That Cares About The Employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Service Manager in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Client Service Manager in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Sequoia Benefits full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working for a company that puts its clients first and foremost is rare these days, and Sequoia is that company. I'm energized on a daily basis knowing that I am making a difference with my work and I get to do it was an amazing group of people.
    The people who are at Sequoia really care about their clients and each other. I have never working in a more team-oriented environment which is great for me since I like winning as a team and having a team support me during the tough times. I couldn't be happier with the culture, team environment, leadership and focus on truly coming through for our clients.

    Cons

    Keep on adding top talent that is smart, caring and wants to come through for our "best of the best" clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue keeping focused on clients and building our innovative team-oriented company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    The sky is the limit...

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

    I have been working at Sequoia Benefits full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best work environment I have ever been part of. The team is focused on results and coming through for clients. This is not a clock in/out environment and that is why it is not a fit for some people. There is no flying under the radar which means everyone is a major contributor.

    If you're looking to work hard and be rewarded with endless opportunities, there isn't a better place to grow your career!

    Cons

    Growing company challenges but leads to tons of opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on ways to develop and grow the team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    An Amazing Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Sequoia Benefits as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Setting aside the fact that Sequoia is great at what they do, the people who work here are absolutely amazing! I couldn't be happier with who I get to see and say hello to every morning. The culture at Sequoia surrounds high-energy, friendly, helpful people. When it comes to getting work done, everyone buckles down and executes. When the work is finished, it's like you're with your friends. Great experience.

    Cons

    Sequoia is very selective about hiring. The reason the workers here are so amazing is because the recruiting process is pretty thorough. It might be a tougher interview process than some other companies have, but the reward is worthwhile.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Stressful, Overworked and Underpaid

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

    I have been working at Sequoia Benefits full-time

    Pros

    Pros – It's really hard to think of a lot of pros for this type of environment. Some of the only highlights to look forward to would be the company events such as anniversary events or team outings. There are also some great people that work here who are reliable and truly give all they have. In the overall picture the good will never outweigh the bad unless a drastic change is implemented. I can't say I enjoy working here since the amount of stress is worse than being thrown into a shark tank. If you ‘re lucky you will see the bigger picture before all the grey hair sets in.
    Cons – I feel burdened every single day here. I feel like I am drowning but the only thing that really keeps me going is the fact that I work with some awesome people. At times I can’t sleep and it is recommended to get a night guard if you plan to stay.

    Cons

    We are so understaffed compared to how much work is pushed on each employee that it truly is the luck of the draw on which items need to fall through the Sequoia cracks. The thing is everyone even management has these things happen but of course they will not get fired. Someone that's worked there much longer than me filled me in on the company and told me that for as long as they've been around they have seen people tossed out for as little as disagreeing on how to handle something. Be warned that if you decide to remain at Sequoia you will see a fork in the road and I recommend taking the road that leads out for your own well-being.

    Pay is low in comparison to the work load. Let me make a correction Pay is low in general compared to other brokers. It is sad that this company could undervalue such hard working people and on top of that make them work like a mule.

    There's no integrity. For a company that has this as one of their key values I have never seen such disgusting actions from people who should hold themselves and the business to a higher degree of standards. If you are wondering about how bad it could get just keep this idea in your mind. “If you saw on the news about ______ running ______ over because he said I don’t like the color of your car, what would you think?” The normal response would be why someone would do that. The Sequoia response: “They were not a fit for us or the lovely they were not performing as we would have liked and they are well aware of it.” It is sad that such good people could be so cruel and if you stay long enough you will be faced with if you value your integrity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to your employees. Morale is low across the board. Turnover is high (so high that I counted in my first year 20 people were out the door) and will continue to grow because of the company culture. I do believe that this is a great company which is doing innovative things. And some incredible employees work here! However, I don't think that these great people have much incentive to remain here because there isn't enough done to show those employees they are valued and appreciated for all of the hard work they do.

    I, personally, feel like I am one of those people. I really have tried to maintain a positive spirit in this environment but it's difficult to keep it up when I feel like I'm doing all this grunt work and not seeing any tangible rewards. I don't feel like I can say what I really want without being fearful of losing my job.

    What can I say I think it is time to search for a better less stressful opportunity!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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