All Star Directories, Inc. Reviews | Glassdoor

All Star Directories, Inc. Reviews

Updated May 10, 2017
57 reviews

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2.8
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Bill Hummel
12 Ratings

57 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Nice location, decent benefits, stocked drink fridge (in 8 reviews)

  • Senior management made the decision to do away with private offices even for themselves (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior management appears to be out of touch with their employees and speaking up is not encouraged (in 6 reviews)

  • It's most likely this area that is the reason for such high turnover in the company (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Developer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at All Star Directories, Inc. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People work really hard and actually care –especially compared to other places I’ve been. The work life balance is excellent and the salaries seem very good but not as high as the big firms in town but I have a life and that’s a lot more important to me. My team is strong, overall great people that I enjoy working with, I respect my manager and I like what the company is trying to do. How many devs can say that? Since fall last year leaders have been doing things like satisfaction surveys, revising the Mission and actually responding to the areas we voiced concern about. I’ve seen an improvement already in things like communicating goals to us better, explaining long term strategies, etc. The survey was interesting – everyone answered. Seriously 100% participation and managers weren’t begging us or incentivizing us. That alone shows how people here care. I forget the exact % of satisfied employees but I remember the consultant saying it was crazy high for industry (like 80%?). It logged in my head though that only 10% disagreed to the question of being satisfied at work. This doesn’t track at all with the negative reviews which is why I’m taking the time to write this. The negative reviews don’t represent things correctly at all IMO. Some adjusting of people was needed -some to move on and adding new over the last couple years and so some people left bitter. Is it awesome? – no. But it happens and seems like it's over. Those I knew weren’t slackers or bad employees - just they didn’t fit well and one had a not great manager but that’s not the norm. I genuinely feel like the company is on a good path so view the comments with the lens that they came from.

    Cons

    It’s small -not mega op for growth. Sometimes I feel like I’m working really hard but not gaining much ground. Our industry changes sometimes without notice so we can be working on something that gets derailed to put out a bigger fire. Or the need for what we’ve been trying to do goes away. Frustrating to see change gears thinking this is the same everywhere...at least at the other places I've been. Inter-dept communication still needs improving but it feels like they’re working on this.the icebox. Inter-dept communication still needs improving but it feels like they’re working on this.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening and responding. Keep working more on communication. Keep adding events to know other depts better


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Don't waste your time"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Associate Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at All Star Directories, Inc. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some of the most amazing people you will ever meet, excluding management and pretty much anyone who has been there for more than 4 years. The people in the trenches doing the hard work are so amazing. I will give them that. I have made some amazing friends and learned a lot!

    Cons

    Exempt from overtime despite growing workloads resulting 0 to little work life balance.
    High Turnover Rates.
    Manipulative and Shady Management.
    Virtually no HR.
    Hard work at this company gets rewarded with more work while an inability to take on more work is met with being coddled and praised at the slightest accomplishment.
    Slimy business practices.
    The thing I hated most is that I stayed so long. Props to the people who made a dollar and got out quick or are just riding the wave. This company feels like an abusive relationship. It isn’t horrible 100% of the time but enough to hurt your feelings and mental stability.

    Advice to Management

    I honestly wouldn't even know where to start.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "The Absolute Worst Management Team - No Scruples -Shady"

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

    I worked at All Star Directories, Inc. full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -The common people working there are great
    -good benefits
    -nice location
    -modern, comfortable office

    Cons

    -This management team is the worst I have ever witnessed

    -They are underhanded and shady and lie straight to your face and stab you in
     the back

    -Work/life balance can be difficult and there is no additional compensation
     for many hours of overtime

    -Incompetence for some strange reason is rewarded in this organization

    -Shrinking market with limited future vision

    -Customer Service is almost non-existent, I truly do not understand how
      clients continue to work with them

    -Suggestions from the commons fall on deaf ears

    Advice to Management

    Drain the swamp


  4. Helpful (8)

    "No vision."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits. Free soda. OK pay.

    Cons

    If you want to take part in new ideas (innovation) this is not the place to work. Senior management appears to be out of touch with their employees and speaking up is not encouraged.

    Advice to Management

    Get new Senior Management if you truly care about growth. Respect your employees and cutout the petty politics.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Marketing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA

    I worked at All Star Directories, Inc. (More than a year)

    Pros

    Open and welcoming work atmosphere.

    Cons

    Need to evaluate their business strategies


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Nice people - shrinking market"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at All Star Directories, Inc. (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people and a pleasant culture. Good location near Pike Place Market. There were some interesting problems to work on and the pace was very manageable. Business has been very profitable in the past although they face a lot of challenges to remain relevant.

    Cons

    Primarily served for-profit colleges and the market was steadily shrinking. Through staff attrition the size of the company dropped by about 25% while I was there. Some of the legacy systems they used were confusing and over built.

    Advice to Management

    Control your destiny by making the business smaller and more nimble. They have done that already pretty effectively. If they can reduce reliance on the big for profit colleges it would make the service they provide more appealing.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Transitioning to Better Times"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Search Engine Marketing Strategist in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Search Engine Marketing Strategist in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at All Star Directories, Inc. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing staff, very casual environment, and becoming more and more collaborative. With the move to the new building and an open layout, the interactions between teams and team leads became more streamlined. Lots of work being done on improving and updating their websites and content, and great content and design teams in place to do so. Fun social events and continuous employee appreciation.

    Cons

    Limited career growth for younger employees. Hierarchy a little too defined. Complexities in internal systems make it difficult to push new products quickly. They're working on it though.

    Advice to Management

    Put more focus on building younger employees and helping define potential paths and opportunities for task diversification.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "A company in freefall"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Business in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at All Star Directories, Inc. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The non-managerial staff are pleasant and mostly friendly. All Star has been ridiculously overstaffed for years, so if you find a job there, your biggest challenge will be to look busy and attend a lot of roundabout meetings with little value or purpose. This is a business on training wheels, and has been for years. If you can create the appearance of giving 110% while only giving 50%, this is the place for you! And yes, as many others point out: there's occasionally cake and whatnot.

    Cons

    The management of this business is awful, both in business acumen and leadership skills. The industry is under intense scrutiny. This scrutiny is warranted. All Star's customers profit off of student loans taken out by people who cannot afford it. As the government and general public become increasingly aware of this predatory scheme, the for-profits that pay All Star's bills have become financially threatened. It's fair to say that it's looking bearish.

    Management at this company loves to be praised. They love to say that All Star is the best place they've ever worked. They view themselves as magnanimous. But they're more than happy to force out anyone who doesn't pay sufficient homage to the top leadership. Anyone who ruffles any feathers is unceremoniously dismissed. This is not uncommon.

    This company also likes to view itself as a vibrant tech company with dynamic ideas and amazing growth potential. As a result, the company has a staff far larger than it needs. This means the company is at constant risk of having to lay off employees when there's a downturn in revenues. It's happened two times that I'm aware of. Lead Gen is small potatoes, and could probably be run far more profitably with a quarter of the staff.

    The marketing department has a bloated staff all trying to fulfill their delusional vision of working at a "cool" tech company with a flashy website. All of this is done without taking stock of whether it makes any business sense to do so. Vanity is a major factor, but it's also vital to keep their minds off how it is that they actually make their money: by delivering down-on-their-luck prospective students to ruthless predators in as large a volume as they can muster. It's a reality that's hard to face, and much of the energy exerted at All Star is intended to make the staff feel like they're doing noble work instead of facing the ugly truth.

    Because of the constant attempts to internally paint All Star as doing virtuous work despite the reality, anyone who works there for more than a few months is either: more than happy to drink the Kool Aid (and isn't very bright); are privately aware of the scam and feel invariably guilty about it; or they're just as cutthroat as All Star's customers.

    Advice to Management

    If you're going to be ruthless predators like the clients you serve, then just cut the staff down and make the company lean. Lead gen isn't hard. You can do it with a much smaller staff.

    And if you want to do truly virtuous work instead of just deluding yourselves, then you need to get out of for-profit education lead gen entirely.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Work!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    ASD is one of the best places I have ever worked. The upper management have an open door policy. This company likes to promote from within when possible. They have had a rough few years with industry contraction and have come out of it with an employee owned startupy feel. There are a lot of team building, fun events that contribute to a familial culture.
    Location, location, location!

    Cons

    There is not a high growth organization so head room is minimal. Still a great place to work in spite of this.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to your employees. Keep up the great work!


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Do not work here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at All Star Directories, Inc. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The company has had many well qualified junior / senior leaders - particularly in technology and marketing

    Cons

    Doug Brown, CEO has been leading this company for years and it shows. Mr. Brown spends his entire day in his office surfing the web on subjects completely unrelated to the business. He rarely engages the staff and when he does he demonstrates his complete lack of understanding for the medium of his own company. He lacks vision, strategy, consumer awareness, industry expertise, technology comprehension or organizational leadership.

    This company has no chance for survival. It's core assets have completely depreciated and it is existing on razor thin arbitrage.
    As the for scam EDU industry continues to be simultaneously attacked by regulators and Google, the best All Star can do is give its staff time to find alternative employment.
    Senior executives come and go like its a turnstile, not because if their capabilities rather because of the absence of any from the CEO

    Advice to Management

    Doug Brown should retire


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