Hostelling International Reviews | Glassdoor

Hostelling International Reviews

Updated September 11, 2017
56 reviews

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3.3
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Russ Hedge
22 Ratings

56 Employee Reviews

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

  • Great co-workers, flexilble hours, meeting lots of people (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • low pay rate, incompetent management (in 4 reviews)

  • For-profit that needs to have its non-profit status revoked (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "General Manager Hi Austin"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Travel perks, beautiful work setting, non profit intercultural exchange advocates.

    Cons

    They are having growing pains.

    Advice to Management

    Too many chiefs. Too many separate business components.


  2. "Nonprofit with poorly treated workers--but often a relaxed job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front Desk Agent
    Former Employee - Front Desk Agent
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people and cause and opportunities and the ability to travel and stay free is a huge perk. I love hostels and had a great time meeting people through the job. Many elements will vary by the hostel but the one I worked at was a very pleasant environment.

    Cons

    Horrible pay. HI does not take care of part-timers at all and company leadership is extremely poor at the upper levels. Crazy budgeting restrictions that don't make any sense on the ground hamper the ability of HI hostels to succeed. They may be a nonprofit but I've also seen coworkers taken advantage of--basically forced to manage the hostel I worked at with no increase in pay for long periods of time.

    Advice to Management

    Take better care of your workers and bring in people who've worked in hostels/hospitality at the upper levels of your company. Reduce administrative overhead and keep your workers happier. Promote from within for the people who deserve it. And gauge wages based off realistic, current attributions of cost-of-living where your employees work.

  3. "Sinking Ship"

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

    I have been working at Hostelling International part-time

    Pros

    There are no pros to this org.

    Cons

    Poor pay, no direction, careless spending and lack of fresh new ideas.
    Management is too busy bailing out water from the sinking ship.

    Advice to Management

    Get off your high horse and listen to the fresh ideas that will help the org survive


  4. "Don't even consider"

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

    Pros

    Critical work on regional offices.

    Cons

    For-profit that needs to have its non-profit status revoked. Executive team incompetent and CEO weak and unable to effectively lead organization.

    Advice to Management

    Too many to note


  5. "Former front desk"

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

    I worked at Hostelling International part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The staff I worked with was friendly and fun

    Cons

    No opportunity for upward mobility, felt like my skills and strengths were not being fully utilized/acknowledged


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Best Working Experience Ever!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good intentions, but poor execution."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

  8. "Caring, thoughtful company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  9. "Hostel staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Front Desk Associate (Overnight)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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