Zoosk Reviews

Updated August 24, 2015
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2.9
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Kelly Steckelberg
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27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Challenging and Rewarding

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zoosk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I've worked at Zoosk 4+ years as a product manager and continue to learn something new on the job every day. The product and engineering teams are outstanding and tackle hard problems with zeal. We fail fast and learn from our mistakes. We capitalize on our successes very quickly! Zoosk is a very positive, risk taking environment! The company is committed to delivering a high-quality service to its members, making a sound business from it, and developing its employees into rock-stars.

    Cons

    There are just so many interesting projects happening all the time that it's sometimes difficult to keep up with it all. Sometimes there's alot of work to do... but the good thing is that no work is ever wasted here!


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good coworkers, Bad management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Zoosk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Catered dinners, coworkers besides management were good. Were smart about A/B testing and had a good QA team.

    Cons

    Plans for new features came straight from the top with no input from the people responsible for implementing them, and they were rarely ones that made sense. So we spent a lot of time implementing features that we all thought were big wastes of time, like the infamous "Couples" feature. The designers spent a lot of time redesigning the same features over and over, which kinda just became a make-work project for the engineers who had to continuously re-implement the same things; it ended up eating up so much time we rarely got to add any new features. It also seemed to be ran like an insiders club for management, with bad ones routinely being promoted. My team lead used to do things like sit our team down so he (in his own words) "could chew us out" for small bugs. Overall compensation is low compared to other startups in the city.

    Advice to Management

    Work on your people skills a bit. Stop handing down arbitrary feature decisions from the top.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Bad place for a career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zoosk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people you work with are the best pro, but this applies to only the lower level employees. The office is fairly laid back and dog friendly. Pay and benefits are about average compared to other companies in the area.

    Cons

    The management structure that actually works on the product are inexperienced and incompetent. There is a massive culture of being risk adverse and micromanagement. There is no vision on how to improve Zoosk, with there being a strong preference to exactly copy competitors. There is very little room for career growth or learning opportunities either. This has resulted in much of the talent and experience leaving, only to be replaced by very junior people.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in outside people who have experience in making successful products to run your product team instead of promoting from within. This will help break the risk adverse culture and bring competency to a team that is sorely lacking it.


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  5. Helpful (12)

    Stay away at all costs! Let that be a warning to you!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Zoosk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Zoosk has a casual work environment typical of many tech companies. There have free snacks, and have catered dinners. You can bring your dog to the office if you have one. In the early days it was fun to be empowered to do projects while the company was growing. They have invested in a decent amount in the design of their new corporate offices on 6th & Market, even though I preferred working in their old downtown location.

    Cons

    Management is terrible at this company, including the executive team. Although I have some respect for the former co-CEOs, they really didn't have any good ideas to grow the business past the initial stages other than to boost marketing spend using aggressive techniques such as spamming people in order to feign growth in user acquisition. At one point we were expected to make a social network for couples (who were already matched) and I spent countless hours developing this new website, sometimes to the tune of 60+ hours nonstop. Even though I voiced my opinion on this matter, they didn't listen. As I anticipated, this didn't take off and the company wasted an entire year's time as Tinder and other competing services took off. During my time at the company, Kelly Steckleberg (the current CEO) was the COO and CFO. It was clear that she didn't know anything about technology, dating sites, or innovation. She is simply a bean counter that the co-founders hired to put more discipline on the company's P&L. For some reason she wrestled more power away from other managers and is now the scarily enough the CEO. Never trust an over glorified accountant as a CEO, especially in technology...they don't understand innovation and the investment in money that needs to happen in order to grow the business. She is a terrible executive with no ideas of her own and I've seen her fire people for no reason and under extremely questionable circumstances. I'd love to see more Women as business leaders, especially in Tech, but not more of her - She's absolutely terrible as both an executive and a human. On their jobs page, Zoosk refers to their open positions as "careers with the company", but will the company even be around in 2 years? That sounds hardly like a career to me.

    Advice to Management

    Quit having your PR team make fake profiles on Glassdoor to boost your rating on this site. If that's what it takes to make it seem like you are competent and make it seem that your employees like working here, your company already has deeper issues than it does currently.


  6. Helpful (5)

    A dysfunctional little company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Operations in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zoosk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    flexible time off, typical startup perks. There truly is an effort from the company to give back to the local community.

    Cons

    a number of managers are in their position for loyalty, not because of any kind of leadership abilities. If Zoosk is to grow beyond its current state, or have a prayer of retaining talented engineers, then this practice must be stopped. I strongly recommend against joining this company.

    Advice to Management

    re-evaluate lower management positions. Reduce micromanagement. Make company more transparent.


  7. Helpful (9)

    Awful place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Zoosk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company is diverse, dogs in the office and a nice office space.

    Cons

    Horrible upper management including the CEO Kelly Steckelberg, micromanaging, inexperienced Sr. management, no career growth and too much gossip around the office.

    Advice to Management

    Salaries are not as competitive as other tech companies in the area. Think about who you promote to Sr. Management as they might not have the skills nor the experience that is needed. Please send your Sr. Management to training on "How to be a Mgr."


  8. Helpful (3)

    Dangerous to your career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Zoosk full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Dogs are nice, I wish more companies (and their building managers) would do it. Most reviewer complain about the dinners, but I routinely stayed late and got them, and it was probably the most social interaction a lot of people got all day. Culture was actually pretty cool, a lot of the rank-and-file folk are regular people just trying to pay for the families.

    Cons

    I was fired a few years back , during the co-CEO days. While I'm a well paid iOS developer with many years of experience, even still I should have known the money was too good to be true (not outrageous, but definitely a level I would not have expected). Now I wouldn't really care; I got rehired in a week, but my friend who was working here just recently got fired as well. My story is I worked in two roles for about 5 months. After completing my deliverable for that sprint, I was fired the following Friday, what was so odd about it was my manager (technical guy, who actually did the 1-on-1s) was pretty amazed at my ability (I showed off a lot of cool techniques I had learned in my spare time). Turns out I had offended the senior manager 'dude' when I failed to answer his pedantic questions about my code satisfactorily, and I was being let go immediately. Additionally, recent college graduates should be particularly worried, they regularly fire about half the team when your "intro" project is done. While I noticed people were fired regularly (typically 1-2 per month), I didn't know there technical chops personally, so I reasoned they could actually be incompetent. However a friend I made while working there got the ax recently too, so yea, definitely look elsewhere if you've got the opportunity. Also current employees are greatly encourages to post a review, so take all these positive ones with a tremendous grain of salt.

    Advice to Management

    Glad to hear the co-CEOs thing is gone, that was very dangerous to the design (the designers of course, not you). Certain managers need to go, they were promoted for their loyalty, and not competence or leadership ability. Disagreement should not be meted with termination; disagreement produces a better product, because you have to justify your assertions logically.


  9. Helpful (10)

    Think Twice!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - General Postion in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - General Postion in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Zoosk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Generally speaking, the people are nice and Zoosk will succeed. However, don't be fooled, the only people who will benefit is the very top management, everyone else is expendable, especially the non-engineers.

    Cons

    Little to no autonomy, rampant micromanagement, no appreciation for contribution and lack of maturity in senior management. The COO is not to be trusted, she turns on her staff and other members of Zoosk for no reason. There is little opportunity for career growth and high staff turnover (check out the careers page, this many open positions is not because the company is growing). As for the positive reviews on this site by current employees, Zoosk 'strongly encourages' its staff to write them.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees, share the success.


  10. Helpful (18)

    Cold heartedly fired.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Zoosk full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Most of the people I liked.

    Cons

    Former title: Sr. UI Designer So here's my honest review after being fired one day I walked into work on a Friday. It all started out great, generally positive reviews every week from my manager and I was told several times by her that I was doing a great job. Until that very day of course. I thought it was really unprofessional how the whole thing went down actually, and I felt I was rushed out of there quickly. My manager got to say a couple words as to the reasoning I was being terminated and then the HR director quickly ended the conversation when I asked “why did you hire me” and told her she could go before there was really any further discussion. This is when it got weird, I couldn't even be escorted to grab my stuff from my desk, she made someone else in HR walk upstairs and grab my belongings for me like I was some untrusted 18 year old! And then when she brought me my stuff, she questioned where I got my mouse! Like I was stealing it! Ridiculous. Generally, I felt it was a little odd that the founders were so involved in every little detail of staff decisions that went on there. Almost to a point of high-level micromanagement. Not a whole lot of trust going on there if you ask me. I guess I should of been scared like some of the people that worked there to make my own decisions, that is if I knew I was on the chopping block… They sit in viewing distance of everyone in the open space, clearly as some leaders would. But the lack of communication between my manager and I and the CEO on my performance was really odd and confusing the day I was terminated. I was told that my “strength just didn't lie with product and the reasoning behind product design decisions.” The thing was, at the end of the day, I wasn’t making any product decisions, he was. Very little attention was focused on UX design consistency with there products, and it was brought up by me and my team several times and ignored. In fact it was considered low priority. I find that alarming these days in tech… I truly feel that I was unfairly blamed for some decrease in numbers that went down there. I wasn’t the one approving them to go out the door. Some advice if your hired, don’t assume everything is going well while your there. You could be next. Good luck Zoosk. - A designer with over 15 years of experience

    Advice to Management

    Don't lie to your employees or hide the truth, that was BS.


  11. Helpful (6)

    Product Manager

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

    I have been working at Zoosk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very young and casual. No bureaucracy. Get things done is what they want

    Cons

    Its all work work work and no play

    Advice to Management

    Strike a balance. Stop providing catered food at 7:30PM and force employees to stay for food but in reality stay to do work



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