XO Group

www.xogroupinc.com

XO Group Reviews

Updated January 29, 2015
Updated January 29, 2015
109 Reviews
2.9
109 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mike Steib
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • I never thought I'd have a job in NYC that gave me a work/life balance, but this is it (in 14 reviews)

  • flexible hours or work from home (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • better work life balance for employees (in 5 reviews)

  • Most upper management have jumped ship or were let go (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Working at the Knot was a joke

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Strategy Specialist in Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Strategy Specialist in Omaha, NE

    I worked at XO Group

    Pros

    Decent hours and pay, some of the employees tried to be helpful.

    Cons

    Virtually no training, very disorganized and management barely spoke 2 words to me the whole time I was there. They threw a "mentor" at me who was too concerned about getting her own work done, making the job that much more difficult to learn. The office was nothing but cliques.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to be more personable and actually help new hires learn the job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Editorial department is a huge mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY

    I worked at XO Group full-time

    Pros

    Coworkers are great. My peers were always willing to work hard and had awesome ideas, unfortunately upper management doesn't give them a chance to explore those ideas and things are done the way they always have been. The unlimited vacation is awesome too.

    Cons

    Where to even start....Pay is abysmal for online editorial, way lower than other online editorial positions. Editorial team is very discouraged from working from home (told "we don't really do that here"). Online editorial management is disorganized and all over the place (frequently admitted to having no idea what's going on, never available for feedback or questions). I didn't ever feel like I was learning anything, just inputting copy onto the site with no feedback or guidance. Questions and concerns went ignored. I never felt like a my work was worth anything or like I was a valued member of the team. There's a reason editorial turnover is so high, but nobody seems willing to figure out those reasons and change something.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There should be new editorial management. Current management seems to be afraid of new ideas and is unaware of how the web and online content is changing.

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

    Innovative company with great vision

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at XO Group full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    There is a great work/life balance at XO. The technology dept is willing to take chances and try out new technologies. There is really good collaboration between tech and product groups. The execs have a strong vision of the future of this company

    Cons

    There are alot of products to manage. Timelines can be tight, especially during the end of the year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to trust individual contributors. Invest more in increasing staffing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was just ok

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at XO Group

    Pros

    Beautiful office space and unlimited vacation

    Cons

    I've never worked at a company with so much turnover. Everyone was unhappy and trying to leave. Salaries were not great, especially for edit.

  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    Dysfunctional and poor compensation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Advertising in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Advertising in New York, NY

    I worked at XO Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you like the subject matter, you should work for XO Group (weddings, babies, newlyweds). Otherwise, stay away.

    Cons

    The office culture is purposely "sink or swim" - they pride themselves on being cutthroat, and not even for the right reasons. The founder is often described as a tyrant behind closed doors, and even online, and she delights in being feared by her employees around her. If someone is looking for growth, this is not the company for you. Is someone is looking for fair compensation, this is not the company for you. In fact, I recently learned that the company was so worried about their negative reviews that they told employees they MUST write positive reviews of the company for recruitment purposes. The culture is one of feat and everyone discusses it but is too afraid to speak against it particularly as they lose business thanks to new websites and apps that they run smear campaigns against.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to value your employees more - take a cue from your new CEO who is improving your culture. Removal of one founder isn't enough, try both.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Avoid at all costs

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

    I have been working at XO Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Knot was a right place/right time company that has sustained because of one reason, the brand. Because the brand is so powerful, the company has been able to survive 18 years of what could only be described as complete incompetence within the product, tech, finance and HR departments. The company executives come up with the harebrained product ideas, implement it in the sloppiest most expensive way imaginable, and because the brand is so powerful, the company manages to survives.

    Cons

    *No tech leadership

    *Product shifts direction constantly

    *Very few internal promotions or clear career development paths

    *Poor benefits (expensive healthcare, smallest 401k contribution

    *Culture is vicious and verbally abusive (executives will literally scream at you and threaten you with your job)

    *The CEO tells people to write positive Glassdoor reviews (those are the only ones you see on here that are positive, all from the company sycophants described in the other review as "hangers on")

    *The compensation structure considers all but entry level "senior level" and instead of giving raises, offers a yearly bonus that vests over 4 years. This means you would not fully realize the rewards for your efforts in 2014 until 2018.

    *Technical debt is enormous which means any new idea is virtually impossible to implement

    *No loyalty

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show yourselves the door

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Very sad

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

    I have been working at XO Group full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It was fun at first. I loved the content and products.

    Cons

    Most upper management have jumped ship or were let go. That sends a very bad message.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be human and realistic. People are being asked to create large projects and are then "let go". This creates a hostile work environment. Be honest with the people who work for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of: opportunity, change, stress, amazing people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at XO Group

    Pros

    Hours: Flexible (but well over 40) hours per week on average
    People: Amazing - smart, funny, fun, team players
    Atmosphere: very cool office, lots of events
    Work: Opportunity to work on lots of projects not necessarily in your expertise and really grow at the company
    Vacation: Management encourages vacation and I never had any issue with time off. They've all been very supportive through some medical health issues.

    Cons

    Too much change: Not being a stagnant company is great, but there is way too much change with management, organization structure, and turnover.
    Unclear expectations: You're working on X project but tomorrow you could be whipped around to now focus on project Y
    Stress: people take their jobs seriously and are passionate (a pro!) but the life or death atmosphere is taxing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clearer direction, more (genuine) compassion and resource support for ALL roles at the company (not just product/tech).

  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Could be great...

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

    I have been working at XO Group full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are a few good men (and women) left, but I would be surprised if they are around a year from now.

    Cons

    Where to begin...

    The company is run by the finance team, which stifles innovation of any kind. The "big ideas" are coming from senior managers that are trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

    An interesting example is the Commerce business. It has been losing money for years. So we throw money and resources at the website, new management etc... Very little improvement. Lots of head scratching... What about the fact that we're selling the same wedding item "greatest hits" that we were 10 years ago? The few items that were added to the catalog as part of this "swinging for the fences" exercise are mostly items we are either reselling or you can get on Amazon.com for less money. We couldn't manage any product innovations of our own, despite having a completely underutilized manufacturing facility.

    As others have noted, IT has grown huge. Despite that we still take every opportunity to outsource and engage outside vendors - not because we don't have the expertise, but because management continues making a vote of no confidence in their own staff. If a project goes badly, it's the vendors fault - always protecting the almighty bonus.

    Most of the mangers that have been promoted from within have no management or people skills. The Peter Principal is alive and well here.

    If you want to be heard, look elsewhere until the old regime is well and truly gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Slash and burn middle management, get out from under the thumb of the bean counters, get rid of the assessment system and start listening to the people that are actually "doing the work".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    I still suffer PTSD from XO Group

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at XO Group full-time

    Pros

    The office is pretty... and that's about it.

    Cons

    If you thought the site was cluttered, then you definitely don't want to look inside the company. There was constant restructuring, constant title changes, and they will throw responsibility at you even though you have 0 experience in it. At one point I had 3 job titles I had assigned to me. On top of that, there are way too many stupid people who lack intelligence at this company. Development managers are not technical. Project managers do not create timelines with more than 2 dates. Product managers who are not strategic and don't even know what KPI's or MVP means. There is nothing more infuriating than being thrown under the bus by people who aren't even intelligent and say "Did you know that reality shows are not real?"
    True story.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe you need to learn how to screen your candidates better. Also - you need to train your staff, you can't just promote them and expect to learn how to be a good manager. They're awful at managing down, and will advise you to "fake it till you make it." Perhaps the new CEO can turn it around, but the previous CEO left this place quite the mess.

    Doesn't Recommend

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