Hotwire Reviews | Glassdoor

Hotwire Reviews

Updated April 26, 2017
156 reviews

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156 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great culture, excellent benefits, great work life balance (in 40 reviews)

  • Plus, the travel benefits are awesome (in 10 reviews)

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

  • Hotwire is a relatively small company, so there can be me lateral opportunities available than promotions (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Lack of leadership and innovation"

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

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

    Pros

    - smart and driven people
    - great location. Close to a lot of food and coffee shops.
    - good perks (travel reimbursement, hot dollars)

    Cons

    - Too many strategy changes and re-orgs. There's been two re-orgs in a span of 4 months.
    - Leadership always talks about innovation, but never wants to invest the resources required to effectively ship
    - Tries to operate like a startup, but things move way too slow. A feature that takes 2 sprints actually end up taking 6 sprints, because different teams aren't working cohesively together.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Can get old fast"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Convenient location, food is close by depending on taste
    - Office is well lit, fridge is stocked with drinks
    - Stable environment in terms of workload, not many employees sitting around past 7pm

    Cons

    - Can't keep up with what's going on outside it's environment
    - The business can get old really fast due to low innovation
    - Managers don't take subordinates seriously enough about the business

    Advice to Management

    Start listening, not just to managers but lower employees. All employees are your eyes and ears to the business world. They see things you might not.


  3. Helpful (6)

    "should give prozac to all new hires, that boring"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - A Senior Leader of Principal Players
    Current Employee - A Senior Leader of Principal Players
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - the office is clean and orderly
    - most people are not social so they do not annoy you much
    - you can get a nice view of coitus tower or china town depending on where you sit
    - they have free honest tea
    - you can yelp, facebook, myspace, etc almost all day and still get your work done
    - I have a boatload of stock and options that are keeping me here.
    - clem is a really good guy.

    Cons

    - so boring, all you think about is your life withering away
    - so many brainwashed middle-types who are afraid to do anything
    - so much fear in changing an ounce of anything, let alone a pound
    - in the years I have been here more good leave and the slackers stay
    - older employees who have been here have awesome pto policy, thus they stay
    - they very rarely fire anybody
    - in my dept nobody works remotely while in others they do freely

    The other day I saw a hotwire ad on tv and it did not even register that I worked there. That is how disconnected I realized I was with this place. You go into the office and suddenly a dark cloud of depression hits you. then as you leave the veil of depression is gone. i am not expecting it to be like a wild 2000 startup where people are all partying and making out with each other but working at a 200 person company that moves at ibm speed leaves something to be desired. If it were not for a variety of stock option and rsu grants that I got I would never be staying at this place.

    Advice to Management

    make it fun before every damn good employee leaves. they are going right from under you.

    another option. fire half the company. do not add any new feature to the site for 1 years and see how things are. chances are you will have made the same money and spent half the salary.

    quit being so pollyanish about stuff.

    quit being so afraid to tie your own shoe!


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "more unfair as time goes on and no innovtion"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Hard Worker Never Getting Promoted
    Current Employee - Hard Worker Never Getting Promoted
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance is good for the most part. Good vacation and extra bonus holidays sprinkled in there. The office is clean and the location is nice. If you are in the clique you can get some nice stock and bonus. At least that is what I hear....

    Cons

    Over time Hotwire has gotten more corporate and the culture has gotten very unfair in its promotions and transparency. Hotwire was my first 'non startup' job besides a small consulting job at a bank, and I came her to see what a mid sized company was like. Unfortunately the politics and policies are worse then at the bank I previously worked for. Here are some of the unfair things:

    Promotions - A lot of the promotions are based on tenure and not productivity. Because of this some real rock stars have left over the last year or two

    Transparency - Hotwire always talks about transparency. However this past review cycle (fall of 2010) a number of promotions were given and this was never communicated to the company. A number of these promotions are dubious as best and still have never been communicated.

    Deadweight - There is a lot of deadweight here. Sadly these people keep moving up the ladder and create a self fulfilling prophecy of more deadweight.

    Pay - The pay is below industry standard. Thus we lose the good people to other jobs. When startups are giving better salary/benefits these days something is wrong...

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the dead weight. There are so many people making 0 or negative contribution here. Let them go. When the vp of product leaves later this year hire externally and bring somebody to shake things up. The same with other big positions. Make people accountable.

    LAYOFF - Use any 'bad market' period of time to lay off the slackers and reward those who do not work hard.

    Remember you will never get anywhere when the good leave and the weak stay.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "dull."

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

    Pros

    nice location if you like the city.
    non confrontational environment.
    family friendly if you want to have kids
    clean office.

    Cons

    so boring
    very tedious
    very process oriented,
    stifling environment, a "just do as your told" type attitude
    rigid inflexible managers.

    Advice to Management

    allow more innovation and new ideas. Don't be so rigid with respect to process. And you are in an industry that is becoming more commoditized.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great 9-5 place if you want to chill."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Not Sure Anymore in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Not Sure Anymore in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Hotwire is a good place to work if you want to chill out and not work hard. The hours are fair and you can arrive and leave pretty much when you want. Even more-so if you are a manager it seems. The company is still hiring which could be viewed as a positive to some. If you aspire to run for senate or governor you could learn a lot here with such a rich set of politics. Most people do not roll in until after 9 and after 6 its a ghost town so if you want fair hours it is very good as well. You do not have to innovate or push the envelope here so if you want to relax and coast you will like it.

    Clem is a great new President. Eric was good but quiet. Clem really is energetic.

    Cons

    Innovation. There is not much. 4 or 5 years back there was a lot more and then innovation stopped. Working on a new 'agile' project has introduced more procedure then the already over whelming amount of procedure. The economy is down yet we are still hiring even though half the employees seem to surf the web all day. There is not much innovation. Apparently we have a lab here for innovation and I just found out about it recently. Thus bad communication. They promote 'family' values however working a day a week at home was not allowed for me. However, some managers seem to work at home at-will. What a double standard. They will also make 'rules' for you if you want to work at home. For example if you live say 45 miles away you can work at home. But if you live in daily city and it takes you 1 hour to commute here you can not. There is very little collaboration here. Very waterfall in all aspects and very risk adverse. It seems the less you do the more you get rewarded. If you go the extra mile and screw up a small something you will get scolded instead of a 'good job'. The pay is below industry standard and even in this 'down economy' you could get better pay and probably work at home privileges. Also some depts let people work at home and some do not. What a double standard.

    If you read all these other people saying things like 'startup' or 'nimble' or 'scrappy' do not even believe it. There is nothing startup here at all. Its one step below a huge corporate machine.

    GLASS CEILING - Very hard to promote. Unless they create a position for you.

    Advice to Management

    More communication.
    More flexible work hours, let people work at home if they perform.
    Put emphasis on what people do and not if there are in the office 9-5.
    Reward those that work hard, say thanks one a year to somebody.
    Use this economy to have a RIF and get rid of all the slackers and middle managers.
    Try to innovate.


  8. "Not a bad company, but not no upside"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    a very stable company with strong product team

    Cons

    very few career advance opportunity.

    Advice to Management

    take more risk


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Work hard, produce data and do it all yesterday"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Training Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Training Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits package is awesome. They have Health, vision, Dental, pet insurance, wellness benefits, plus travel benefits by being associated to the travel industry. Plus you get insider deals on travel, and most times there will be extras and giveaways at company events like two round trip tickets wherever a supplier partner travels or extra coupons for hotels.

    Cons

    The work ethic is unsustainable. They expect a 60 hour work week from even the indigent, pregnant, or those who are on medical leave. Travel is irregular, but if you do have to travel it has to come out of your pocket, and they are slow to reimburse. The company is not diverse, spouting primarily type A personalities of like kinds only. They struggle from uncharted growth, and are without a strong HR team to manage cultural issues, that pop-up frequently. Executive management is good at keeping everyone informed, but middle management is poor at execution and lacks long term focus.

    Advice to Management

    take a look at your managers to make sure that they know what they need to execute, have the support and the staffing to execute, and most importantly have the know-how and the ability to guide a team towards the same goal... and have the ability to be present to support the successful execution of a project.

    Lastly, make sure that there is more opportunities for cross-functional team stuff, possibly more Agile project or other Hack-day opportunities to allow for people to work without the rigid project structure. Either that or incorporate IRD development/presentation into the new-hire process so that each person can feel like they are in a position to participate in the outcome of the day to day workings of the company


  10. Helpful (1)

    "A fun place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Marketing Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, 3-4 weeks PTO, travel discounts, fun work culture, casual dress, fitness reimbursement
    A ton of social events: picnics, bowling, indian independence day...if you can name it, Hotwire is probably already planning a party for it
    Smart, inspiring coworkers
    Approachable executive management, who are also smart and inspiring

    Cons

    Long hours and poor employee moral in certain departments
    Painfully slow process to get anything accomplished
    Overly strategic, so much time is wasted on endless analysis, projections and planning
    Lack of innovation and risk taking can be frustrating at times

    Advice to Management

    Promote within, give competitive raises, hire internally, cross-train. Provide career growth opportunities to your existing employees and they will feel less inclined to look elsewhere to grow their careers.


  11. "Some departments are better than others."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Free soda
    generous bonuses
    fun parties and companywide picnics/outings
    Tuition reimbursement

    Cons

    I think it's a great place to work as long as you don't work in the department i was in.

    One member of the senior management team has revealed themselves to be shockingly unprofessional. Oh, it's shocking.

    I went to a department outing where two of the employees jokingly told everyone they were "loved working together so much" and announced "kiss" at the table. And then they leaned over and airkissed each other. Charming.

    Advice to Management

    Can we please get it together?


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