Hobsons Reviews | Glassdoor

Hobsons Reviews

Updated July 15, 2017
195 reviews

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2.6
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Hobsons Chief Executive Officer Kate Cassino
Kate Cassino
1 Rating

195 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • General work-life balance is great (in 29 reviews)

  • Modern view of work (work-life balance, work from home capabilities, employee-centric) (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management unproven with unrealistic expectations of the market and sales cycles (in 10 reviews)

  • They recently let go the president of the company and one of the founders (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Love it!"

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

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

    Pros

    I love working at Hobsons, our clients and out colleagues are the best. Great team work and evolving technology. Our mission to help students finish what they start is motivating even on the tough days. It is exciting to be part of a technology company that is literally helping students EVERYDAY.

    Cons

    Change is hard. But heck - change is expected in business. It's no better or worse than other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Keep fostering an environment of teamwork and fun. Keep working on improving the product to be a first in class solution. The rest will fall into place.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Good, Flexible Place to Work with Unknown Future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    • Great mission
    • People are friendly and down to earth
    • Great benefits; considerable PTO that increases with seniority + standard holidays + week between Christmas and New Year's off + 2 volunteer days, 8 weeks paid maternity leave/2 weeks paid paternity leave
    • Standard yearly raises and performance bonuses (depending on company performance); there was never a year I didn't get a raise or bonus
    • Flexible work schedule and remote work options were by far my favorite perk; good work/life balance to take time off for personal and family needs
    • Small convenience store with snacks, drinks, and lunch items for sale in kitchen with plenty of nearby restaurants
    • Free fruit and 75 cent sodas; often free food left over from client meetings
    • Beer Cart on Fridays and monthly lunches for internal charity
    • Casual dress; T-shirt, jeans and sneakers were pretty typical, though sales people and upper management dressed nicer; Flip Flop Fridays in the summer for charity
    • Internal charity is good for fun events, employee engagement, and opportunities to volunteer while at work, though overall interest declined with each year I was there

    Cons

    • Change is constant
    • Too many reorganizations; several have resulted in mass layoffs across the company as the business attempts to scale back to be more agile, resulting in a feeling of uneasiness and lack of motivation in remaining employees
    • Loss of many mid and senior level leaders causing questionable direction
    • Red tape prevents decisions from being made quickly
    • Not always evident what is required to make the next step in career progression
    • Some products are dated in look and functionality and need an overhaul to modernize or risk losing customers

    Advice to Management

    Focus on improving the customer experience and don't forget your employees are and will continue to be your greatest assets.


  3. Helpful (6)

    "Poor leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hobsons full-time

    Pros

    Good health care benefits.

    Cons

    There was an enormous lack of efficiency in the department that I was in. Time wasted on duplicating data, compensation plan not rolled out until 6 months into the position. Once it was rolled out, it was minuscule- there was no way to achieve the salary level they described in the interview. Asked to up-sell clients that were just sold in the past couple of months. Lack of sales strategy and integrity towards the customer. People want to work at a company where they can make $,not have Beer Friday's.

    Advice to Management

    Revamp your training and on-boarding. Set realistic expectations to new hires. Be honest about earning potential. Place the right people as mid Managers, not ego driven ,incompetent tenured employees- that's not always the best fit.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Turn-around growth story in the making"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    New operating model will yield long-term success. Shake-up at the top of the organization has led to new pros being hired into the leadership ranks. Great growth opportunities in higher education technology space.

    Cons

    Short-term corrections have stunted investment for long-term growth. Systems and processes not optimized for agility and decision making with data.

    Advice to Management

    Spend some time building a new strategic plan that brings clarity to the product roadmap and charts a long-term execution plan.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Used to be great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    There are some really talented people that work there. Good benefits and PTO.

    Cons

    The company is in total chaos. They've had multiple rounds of layoffs, and continue to let go of people. Most of the new projects are being done by contractors, and a lot of work has been offshored to low cost and low quality contractors. The products suffer from huge amounts of technical debt due to years of neglect. There are some really terrible managers at the director and VP level.
    At least part of the business looks like it will be shut down or sold, as they recently reorged to group all of the under performing products into a separate department. They used to restructure the company about every 6 months, but that pace is accelerating and the reorgs are getting larger, with layoffs occurring with each reorg. Upper management rolls out a new long term plan every few months. Morale is terrible among the remaining employees.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your best asset. There is some great talent that is really dedicated to education. Come up with a solid plan to improve, bring in some good upper and middle level management that can execute. Be transparent with the employees.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Company evolving after reorganizing under new management and narrowing it's focus. Dedicated people in the lower ranks with plenty of collaboration.

    Cons

    Upper management unproven with unrealistic expectations of the market and sales cycles. Product development slow, marketing under resourced. Sales targets too high with incentives mostly unattainable.

    Advice to Management

    Don't let good people walk.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Strong mission/vision and continuing to improve"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hobsons full-time

    Pros

    I am not a C-level employee and no one asked me to write this review, but I think the recent reviews are an unfair representation of a place where I really enjoy working. Hobsons has some challenges, but I've found that the company is genuinely willing to try and address them and forge the best path forward. Sometimes that path changes. The most recent organization updates were not well received by some, but they signaled some really positive changes including a shake-up among c-level leadership. The CEO is clearly on his way out as he has been tasked with managing the declining part of the business. A new COO with a more mature business background (and experience in education) is now leading the growing business lines. The mission and vision for the company are unique for the space we are in and there is a lot of opportunity for future growth.

    Over the last few years, I've been given a lot of opportunities and have been able to grow a career at Hobsons (despite the comments about Cincinnati supposedly offering more opportunity - I'm located in Arlington). It has required me to work hard and to show results, but when I did they were rewarded.

    Cons

    Different parts of the business are in different places. There are a few product lines still experiencing tremendous growth. There is one product line that is declining and that has led to some cuts. I've seen a lot of good people moved to new roles for the growing business lines when possible, but we have lost some good people. That's tough, but it's not an indicator for the overall business. I think a lot of these reviews are folks that were recently let go and there are some fair points in some of the reviews, but a lot of them are coming from disgruntled people with a skewed perspective. I've worked for a lot of companies and all have challenges. Hobsons is far less-troubled than many other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing the business toward more mature planning and decision making processes. Hold people (leaders included) accountable when they don't deliver.


  8. Helpful (17)

    "Don't Work There"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Helping students is the biggest benefit. It is very satisfying to know that kids, and parents will benefit from the Naviance platform.

    Cons

    The company is in a complete disarray. Recently, they had the second round of layoffs within five months and morale is terrible. They recently let go the president of the company and one of the founders. Employees see the company as a sinking ship. The marketplace sees that Hobsons is running in a very dysfunctional manner and are looking at competitors as a better option.

    Advice to Management

    The product is in dire need of being updates. It looks clunky and is not intuitive. Compared to the competition, it is expensive and does not offer enough value to justify the higher price points.


  9. Helpful (25)

    "Sad!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great co-workers who are hardworking, intelligent, and care about their teammates. Rarely encountered a teammate or boss who wasn't wiling to help when needed, or slow down for a "teachable moment."

    The jeans comments are on-point. No dress code = heaven.

    Had I filled this out three years ago this column would be much, much larger. When i came to Hobsons it a was a thriving, rewarding, challenging and generally happy place. Seeing all opportunity and energy sucked out of the office was truly a shame. I left, hoping my co-workers would be part of a comeback, but that's not been the case.

    Cons

    Others have explained the current situation quite eloquently so I'll leave theories to them, and give you basics:

    Day-to-day work is a frustrating and gridlocked experience. Employees are overworked, over-burdened, and under-rewarded only, it now seems, to hold their breath through another layoff.

    They lay-offs are in no way exaggerated. They've let go or pushed senior employees, managers and directors of excellent quality over the past year, while the C suite runs in verbal and managerial circles. I don't know what their play is, but I've worked at companies going under before, and this situation is disturbingly similar. This "dead wood" concept is laughable. Many, many hardworking, talented, and loyal employees were shown the door. This makes no sense, productivity-wise, and makes it quite clear senior management has little idea what goes on beneath them.

    Favoritism (friendships, lineage, drinking buddies, take your pick) runs rampantly and is sometimes so egregious it's a joke. This not only demoralizes staff, but encourages good employees to seek greener pastures. The pay is terrible, which makes the pastures even greener.

    Sexual harassment, while a wildly gossiped problem, was never directly addressed with the employees (and under-reported). This suggests a culture of either obliviousness or indifference. Employees should be able to attend to their duties at work without worrying about unwanted advancements.

    Advice to Management

    Unsubscribe.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Ever changing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Specialist in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Marketing Specialist in Cincinnati, OH
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work life balance, family friendly, direct people you work with so nice

    Cons

    boys club, changes "strategic" direction too often to really make headway on anything

    Advice to Management

    Don't just change to change


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