Hotwire Reviews | Glassdoor

Hotwire Reviews

Updated February 11, 2017
154 reviews

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154 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great culture, excellent benefits, great work life balance (in 41 reviews)

  • Plus, the travel benefits are awesome (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance are non-existent depending on the group (in 5 reviews)

  • Unless you live in the area, you will be held back with career growth (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (8)

    "Take other opportunities if you can!"

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

    Pros

    There is work life balance.

    Cons

    There is a widespread lack of trust in leadership. There are execs, managers, and directors who cannot be in the same room with each other. Engineering team manages to break things while trying to fix bugs. There are continuous unfixable issues that everyone begs the engineering team to fix and it drags forever due to the lack of leadership and a mediocre talent. Upper management only interested in their political standing in the organization and don’t care about the employee.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Worst job I've ever had"

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

    Pros

    There's a keg in the break room. Also, I was so bored that I had plenty of time to catch up on NPR.

    Cons

    First, on a wider scale: The company says they value innovation, but when new design, copy, or photo ideas are offered, they are immediately shut down. People become very defensive and complain about having to do extra work to make changes, and would rather stick to doing the bare minimum to get by. I was told during my interview that this was a place where change is embraced, but boooyyyy was that a gross exaggeration. I was literally told at one point that it wasn't my job to come up with new ideas--it was my job to deliver what was asked of me.

    Business wise, the company is not doing so well. Years of refusing to innovate has really left them in the lurch, and they are constantly having to play catch up with competitors just to stay afloat, forget about being a leader in the industry. Departments do not communicate well with each other, which has created problems with achieving a consistent brand/product. People also seem to be leaving left and right, not to mention there is a hiring freeze despite a very urgent need for more people and resources.

    Secondly, on a team scale: I worked with some pretty unprofessional people here (and this is a vast understatement). Sometimes I would be given a project and a teammate would say "thank God it's you and not me, that team/project sucks." Or project assignments would change and if I were assigned to a project they used to have, they would throw a fit. Seriously? Calm down. This team did NOT believe in working together. A lot of times I would offer new ideas to an individual, who would tell me that it's a great idea, and then I would suggest it in a meeting and that same individual would tell me it's horrible and do everything they could do to throw me under the bus. I am always open to constructive criticism, but I would also explain the logic behind my ideas/work so that they could get a better understanding of my suggestion---to which they would reply "well I just don't like it, but I don't have a good reason why." So it quickly became obvious to me that this was a matter of pettiness and nothing more. But apparently I wasn't the only person on the receiving end of this behavior: I constantly heard people talk about others behind their backs. Even on my first day of work. There is soooo much backstabbing and politics and negativity, which definitely is not the kind of environment I enjoy working in. I was also left to my own devices when I first started as my team did not bother to support me or welcome me in any way.

    Needless to say, this negative attitude doesn't apply to every team/department, but it definitely exists within the company and in more than one team.

    Advice to Management

    Keep a better eye on the people you hire--you don't want a culture of negativity, it just makes it harder to focus on what we're all trying to accomplish.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Was good, then bad and getting worse"

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

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

    Pros

    The travel benefits, the opportunity of learning new technology because there was so much free time.

    Cons

    Hiring decision was unclear, some didn't even meet the basic criteria but still got the jobs and even survived the recent lay-off.

    Advice to Management

    Just keep doing re-org every 3 months and nothing will get done.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "N/A"

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

    I have been working at Hotwire (More than a year)

    Pros

    The location is about all that's positive.

    Cons

    Poor work life balance.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Proceed with caution"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Hotwire is a great company to work for depending on the department. There are certain departments within Hotwire that have a lot of turnover and it will be evident in the "downsides" section. However, depending on the department, I would recommend Hotwire. The company is fun, there are a lot of events planned outside of work that are great. The benefits are also really good. In addition, the company is very diverse with people working there from all over the world. That makes it a great place to work if you're looking for a job with diversity. Eric is a good motivator and visionary for the company.

    Cons

    The biggest downside is the culture of micro-management. It wasn't uncommon to have 10 to 13 rounds of revisions to a project before it was approved. And it seemed to permeate throughout the department so it wasn't even one person whose work needed constant revisions. Most people in the department experienced the same issue. This made it really hard to gain any momentum on projects and actually get stuff done. Too much time was spend nit-picking things that were purely aesthetic. In addition, there is a lot of turnover which is really bad for employee morale. I would also say the work/life balance is not there and there is a lot of overtime that is mandatory in order to stay ahead.

    Advice to Management

    There is a big push to retain employees because of the high turnover rate. However, I don't think Management is really addressing the true issues. After speaking with colleagues, I found out that they felt similarly. One colleague said " I feel like my best is never good enough" and it is too stressful. I feel like until the real issues are addressed, the turnover will continue.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "boring and bland but with dangling carrot"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - I Tick and I Travel Over the Hotwire in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - I Tick and I Travel Over the Hotwire in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great place to have a child, very fair. great place if you really want to disappear so to speak. i.e. get little done and just coast. a ton of people have left so a lot of openings are there for people to rise into to. lax hours. some people come at 11 and leave at 4, even a the high up. great stock grants and options over there years to keep you chugging along. very generous bonus which keeps us around! clem (president) is really a great guy who i think is trying to handle things the best he can.

    Cons

    lot of management heaped on top of more management. it seems like there is a 1-4 or 1-3 ratio of managers to contributors in some departments. so that is a super big pain in getting anything done. way too much process. they tried agile and that did not work with those involved. so now they have a new thing called queues which is like mini waterfalls but is turning out to be just as slow and painful. but with just less people in each one. a lot of deadweight even at the high high up. they really can take any fun out of anything while getting big big salaries. a lot of people have been leaving as well which is really sad and ironically its a lot of smart people who are going. so the weak ones stay. ugh.

    Advice to Management

    fire all those slackers. get rid of all the managers. flatten the org. get rid of that horrific waterfall structure. merge product and fd together and make people accountable. reward those that work. not those who kiss ass.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Hotwire is not a place for you if you have a pulse. Cooperate passive aggressive culture. They just want yes men."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    great travel perks. Great SF financial district location

    Cons

    Cooperate passive aggressive culture. Agile but still very command and control with a lot of useless meetings.

    Advice to Management

    Fire your middle managers and make them apply for their jobs again. Being able to schedule meetings is not a skill.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Hotwire - The Ship that sank!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work culture was good and the company paid me well!

    Cons

    The management was too late to react to the downfall in business and they resorted to layoffs as the first option. Pathetic!


  10. Helpful (2)

    "A lot of potential, but lacking competitive edge for San Francisco"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Hotwire full-time

    Pros

    -Some travel benefits
    -From what I gathered, the lean environment used to mean a fun environment
    -Great San Francisco location

    Cons

    -New president made drastic changes, leaving a lot of recently hired employees completely confused about why they were brought on
    -Could turn around but right now, is very behind the times in terms of a) company structure b) analytics and c) technology innovation
    -Very, very lean. People may have a good work/life balance but, it comes at the price of innovation and morale because of minimal headcount
    -Teams this lean also means most people are far from any type of management position
    -Favor tenure over creative, promising new talent

    Advice to Management

    Be proactive when assessing market trends and what it will take for Hotwire to be competitive. Defend your new employees if they are more qualified than older, stale talent.


  11. Helpful (7)

    "Some sharp engineers. That's where it ends."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There's a safety net from Expedia, which gives the company a relaxed form. Economies of scale apply as you have access to technology and accounts created by 12k employees at the parent company. There are some good and some great engineers at Hotwire, especially at the architect level. If you run a product, you get full ownership.

    Cons

    It's 2003 at Hotwire's Codebase, UX and risk aversion. It's 2008 for the rest: salaries, perks, etc. Times are tough for the company, and that's no secret. But HR is *extremely* sketchy here. In my 8 years of experience, I've never encountered a company that tries to take advantage of an employee already leaving. Also, LOTS of nepotism from the new president. Lots and lots and lots of nepotism. Copious amounts of it. Did I mention there's a lot of nepotism?

    Advice to Management

    Stop lying. Employees will never judge good leadership for transparency. They will judge for lying. If you'd like to make Hotwire a 20 person marketing brand for Expedia, then just convey that. However, rapid changes are happening. Means we'll see how Hotwire shapes up in forthcoming months. It could be for the better.



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