Hot Topic Reviews | Glassdoor

Hot Topic Reviews

Updated August 18, 2017
724 reviews

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724 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The fact that there is not really a dress code is awesome (in 102 reviews)

  • Easy going environment, great employee discount, good music, opportunity to move up with hard work (in 57 reviews)

Cons
  • Making sales associates work 3 shifts just so they don't have to take a break on company time (in 41 reviews)

  • Upper management doesn't always understand in-store problems-- too far removed (in 39 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People are amazing and so is the discount

    Cons

    Had a few bad managers but once we found the right one, he is amazing

    Advice to Management

    Doing well


  2. "Pros and Cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great discount, (mostly) great coworkers, fun atmosphere, lax dress code,

    Cons

    Little room for advancement, inconsistent hours, favortism, high turn over rate, low pay,

    Advice to Management

    Be on the same page as one another and don't tell your associates different things and get angry when they're just doing what a different manager told them.

  3. "Not for me, but not a bad company to work for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Streamwood, IL
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Streamwood, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great work life balance, easy to bonus, a lot of contests with cash incentives, casual yet professional, and very caring staff.

    Cons

    Very low payroll hours, not enough time to complete projects/managerial paperwork, too many promos going on, overall trying to do too much in too short of a time frame.

    Advice to Management

    Stop switching up the promos and visuals every other day and except us to do everything else we normally do. The expectations of the staff sometimes can be ridiculous, especially for stores with low payroll hours.


  4. "Fast paced, challenging but rewarding."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retail Store Manager
    Current Employee - Retail Store Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hot Topic full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Team members rally together to get done what needs to be done. Stimulates problem solving and strategizing behaviors. KPIs hold everyone to same standards.

    Cons

    Poor ability to plan. Information stagnation. Outdated computers. HQ customer service is challenging for stores to partner with. Space and presentation suffer.

    Advice to Management

    Sharpen prioritization of directives. Overwhelmed teams produce less of what matters when spread too thin.


  5. "Ehh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Full Time Assistant Manager in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Full Time Assistant Manager in Nashville, TN
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Meet awesome people. Get to listen to good music and choose what plays. 40% off discount with additional different discount offers during the year. Monthly tiered bonuses for management if sales goals were met.

    Cons

    Store managers get away with everything. Making sales associates work 3 shifts just so they don't have to take a break on company time. Management gets terrible schedules. During floor sets it's a mess and nothing every works like they think it will. Stuff gets stolen a lot and they don't have cameras to control it. Large turn over rate if the store is in a tourist area and is super busy.


  6. "Assistant Manager"

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

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time

    Pros

    Easy going environment, great employee discount, good music, opportunity to move up with hard work.

    Cons

    Pay isn't so great when compared to other retail stores, could be hard to grow within the company if starting as associate.


  7. "Great place to start a working life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Rochester, NY
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Rochester, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time

    Pros

    The atmosphere is absolutely captivating.
    The friendly faces and overall hospitality has the ability to change a day.
    The hours are pretty flexible.
    Managment is really understanding and helpful.
    You are held to a high standard.

    Cons

    Hours can be pretty sparse.
    Some of the expectations are a bit too high.
    The strictness of personal relations. (You're not allowed to hang out outside of work, unless you are in the same position)

    Advice to Management

    Keep being awesome, but remember, we're not machines who can bring millions in a day.

  8. "Prime example of a company that is a bit clueless"

    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

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere, lax dress code. The discount is fairly generous, too.

    Cons

    Absolutely terrible pay, and I mean TERRIBLE. Pretty sure they'd pay you less than minimum wage if they could. Considering they expect a high volume selling culture out of their employees, it's appalling what they pay. Example: I currently make more as a sales associate at Old Navy than an Assistant Store Manager makes at Hot Topic. Also, their anti-fraternizing policy is a bit overly aggressive. I get what they're going for, and understand, but being overly aggressive about it is just going to make people get sneaky.

    This company also doesn't seem to know what direction they want to go in outside of alternative clothing and geek culture. They expect you to push the credit card, but then stock very little that would draw in an adult crowd -- a crowd that is able to sign up for a credit card. Speaking of, the card is terribly hard to sell, thanks to the benefits being the same as the free rewards program. Their POS systems are terribly outdated, and their time-clock program is buggy. The company likes to be cheap and cut corners, and it shows.

    Advice to Management

    You guys need to get with the program if you want to play with the big dogs. Pitiful salaries are only going to attract teens and lackluster staff. Pay your employees what they're worth. Update your systems. Overhaul your credit card program or do away with the rewards program. Overhaul your fraternizing policy so you can actually promote teamwork in your stores. And for the love of god, communicate. Encourage everyone to be on the same page. Too often there is miscommunication from the district level to the store level to the in-between stores level.


  9. "Love"

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

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great company, great benefits(when they are offered), great discount. Overall the best job I've had and I plan on staying.

    Cons

    Pay rate is low, even for retail, and there's not enough hours to be considered full time and eligible for benefits and sick days.


  10. "Good first job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Riverside, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Riverside, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time

    Pros

    Great music, cool people, cool clothes, flexible work schedule

    Cons

    Outside promoting, rude customers, management plays favoritism when giving out hours.

    Advice to Management

    When needing an assistant manager or store manager, please promote from within the company. So many times I've seen an employee be ready to move up but they just go out and hire who ever applies to be a manger without considering their current employees.


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