Hostelling International Reviews | Glassdoor

Hostelling International Reviews

Updated January 26, 2017
47 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
Star Star Star Star Star
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Russ Hedge
17 Ratings

47 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Get to meet people all over the world (in 7 reviews)

  • Fun working environment, You get to see and talk to people from all over the world (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Relatively low pay and few raises (in 3 reviews)

  • Pay isn't very great, but you expect that going into a hostel job (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Best Working Experience Ever!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Iman Dean
    Former Employee - Iman Dean
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some companies say they have a unified family environment and they do not. When HI says it, they mean it. A complete open door policy, team focus, and supportive of their employees. I literally grew up working here and would not trade my experience with the HI team for anything.

    Cons

    While it was a great experience there is limited room for growth on the property level.

    Advice to Management

    no other comments.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Good intentions, but poor execution."

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

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time

    Pros

    Flexible and creative environment. Great place to meet friendly global citizens who care about social issues. Good place to get work experience for young professionals, but not a good place to have a profitable career.

    Cons

    Went through a merger in 2014 and is still feeling the growing pains. They operate on a shoestring budget and have a hard time prioritizing the right initiatives at the right time. Employees seem to be the last priority. Many great employees left while I worked there due to frustration and poor compensation.

    Advice to Management

    Consider becoming a for-profit network. Simplify the organizational structure. Hire better qualified consultants for HI's specific goals.


  3. "Caring, thoughtful company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Front Desk in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hostelling International part-time

    Pros

    This company lives and breathes it's mission. As someone who enjoyed hostels when applying, I was sold on the mission by the end of my interview. I'm sure the hostel management varies a bit by hostel, but my GM made every effort to insure his staff was trained and enjoyed coming to work. This was my side job and I often wished I could switch to full time, but the money didn't allow.

    The company did many things in my 1.5 years as an employee that underscored just how much they cared, but here's just a few:
    - I remember receiving a modest christmas bonus ( as an employee only working one day a week that meant something)
    - Other times, the organization gave everyone a calendar and a Chipotle gift card.
    - We were encouraged to stay at any other HI hostel in the US free of charge for 2 nights a year.
    - The management always tried to do happy hours or other social functions for employees to get to know each other
    - When annual reviews came around, management really wanted to know what your careers goals were and worked to make sure you progressed

    Cons

    First, this isn't a job for someone who is afraid to enforce rules or avoids conflict at any cost. Working in the downtown of a big city, we got folks that clearly were not of clear mind and that sometimes meant calling the police or at least trying to deescalate stressful situations. Management trains you for these situations, but often it's only a few employees on staff at night, so you have to be alert.

    The other downside is pay. As I mentioned, I would have loved to make this my full time job but even if I was full-time I would't have made over 31,000 a year. That being said, I was entry level and I'm sure supervisors made more. You can tell this company would pay more if they could -- they really do care for their employees.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Higher pay will always attract more talent.


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  5. "Hostel staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Live on site, health insurance

    Cons

    no chance for advancement, low pay

    Advice to Management

    good job


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Front Desk Associate (Overnight)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate (Overnight) in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate (Overnight) in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Great benefits, even for part-timers (get to travel for a lot cheaper)
    - Staff for the most part is nice; there is clear tension between some employees and a little bit of drama, but as long as you stay focused on your job there should be no problems
    - The pay is not too bad for the hours worked
    - Get to interact with guests from all over the world
    - Learn a lot about downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp quarter area

    Cons

    - Unprofessional and disorganized regarding communication (did not have correct contact information, even though it was written on numerous forms during paperwork and the cellphone number was given directly to one of the managers)
    - Hearsay and favoritism (putting seniority and favorites first) seems to play a big role here over correcting/fixing an issue; very unprofessional
    - Last-minute or unexpected scheduling changes with no prior warnings or heads up
    - Received overnight training from an employee who was leaving in less than 3 weeks, and who had only done overnight twice before; needless to say, the training was done wrong for the most part, and the lead only trained for the last week of the training period
    - Clear lack of communication between the employees and management if not done so way ahead of time through email
    - Can be a highly stressful position if you are not given the proper training

    Advice to Management

    1 - Know your employee's contact information so that there is proper communication
    2 - Utilize emails to make sure that you are giving the schedules out (was only invited on time before my scheduled once during my first two weeks of training)
    3 - Maybe have an available overnight lead or manager on the location for your new hires at least during their training period? Overnight has to deal with: running reports, learning more safety issues, and dealing with a lot more irate customers. Knowing this, you should be a bit more proactive in making sure that your new overnight staff is trained correctly and is given the same amount of support as your Morning and mid-shift front desk associates.
     4 - Management: if you are going to change a person's schedule, make sure that you do show this on the physical paper document as well. I noticed that majority of the staff (myself included when I was there) looked at the paper to see their upcoming schedules, and were shocked/upset whenever they saw the changes via the computer, or saw late changes via the paper with no previous communication regarding it. You need to be better about your scheduling, that is why I just left.


  7. "Great place to work, but few opportunities for career advancement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Front Desk Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great place to work with competitive salary and benefits. Met people from all over the world, and made lasting friendships with my coworkers.

    Cons

    Few opportunities for internal career advancement, highly bureaucratic and slow to make necessary changes to improve employee and customer experience.


  8. "receptionist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Hostelling International part-time

    Pros

    Fun working environment, You get to see and talk to people from all over the world.

    Cons

    a lot of miscellaneous things you have to take care of .

    Advice to Management

    nice managment. I like the way it is.


  9. "Crazy guests all the time."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk Clerk in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Front Desk Clerk in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Health, dental, and vision insurance
    Employee outings

    Cons

    Poor Management
    Lunatic guests
    Had to act like a security guard and kick crazy (sometimes dangerous) people out!
    No room for growth.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to be more considerate towards their employees.


  10. "Interesting company mission, lots of work for not much pay"

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

    I worked at Hostelling International full-time

    Pros

    excellent compassionate coworkers and managers at my location, no alcohol policies help keep the riff faff out as much as possible, dynamic personalities of hosteling members and guests

    Cons

    Little room to move up, depending on your hostel location and affiliation (associate vs affiliate) the work load can feel overwhelming for the little pay they offer, no health benefits for non-managment workers


  11. Helpful (4)

    "From bad to worse"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some exquisite locations with dedicated staff despite extremely low morale.

    Cons

    Recently reorganized. Too much useless middle management at fat cat salaries, ridiculously high salaries starting with the CEO (scandalous really. The Attorney General should investigate)and the slew of regional VPs most of whom do nothing but sit back and collect their six figures while the line staff make minimum wage while directly delivering the mission

    Advice to Management

    Clean House.



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