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Powell's Books Reviews

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Found 50 reviews

2.9
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
42%
Recommend to a Friend
30%
Approve of CEO
Emily Powell
21 Ratings
Pros
  • "(in 8 reviews)

  • "Great Benefits, Workers Union, Family-like staff(in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "It can be difficult to move from part-time to full-time(in 12 reviews)

  • "Full-time positions are very competitive and often go to a part-time employee already employed at that specific store(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Part-time dream job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Powell's Books part-time

    Pros

    Great environment, supportive coworkers and management, very active workers' union, easy work.

    Cons

    Typically everyone starts as part-time, and can't interview for full-time unless a position opens up. Also, the starting pay (while totally appropriate for the responsibilities you have as an entry-level employee) is low, especially if you live in inner Portland.

    Powell's Books2018-08-09
  2. Helpful (4)

    "Powell's is a corporate machine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Entry-Level Bookseller in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Powell's Books part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Being around books. Coworkers. Location.

    Cons

    Powell's doesn't care about its employees. The management expects you to bow to their whims and have no opinions. Because there is a line out the door of people who want to work there, they don't care about an individual person. They were forced into having a union because of how awful they are. It's easy to think Powell's is great from the outside, but a bit of advice: if you work there, you'll never see them the same...

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    Advice to Management

    Care about your employees. Listen to them. Oh, and get a better CEO. One that actually cares about employees rather than only seeing dollar signs.

    Powell's Books2019-03-26
  3. Helpful (1)

    "Don't do it"

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

    I have been working at Powell's Books part-time for more than 2 years

    Pros

    discount, able to check out books, get to attend book talks/author events, expands your knowledge of literature. Set schedule. Decent sales floor managers. Supportive of trans and GNC folks and use their preferred name and pronouns.

    Cons

    They love to hire the same exact type of people--- cis gender bearded white males and white girls wearing glasses. They do hire GNC and trans but only if they're white. I'd love to get a factsheet about who actually applies. I have referred multiple college educated with relevant experience to hiring managers but they did not receive interviews. it's brutal applying for full time. Everyone gets an interview and they...

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    Advice to Management

    hire more people of color!! Work with the union. They're not your enemy. People actually consider this their dream job and are hard workers. Work to reduce hazards that affect your employee's health and well being such as unstable ladders, excessive sections of dust, too full carts and not enough seating at the tills.

    Powell's Books2019-03-21
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great unless you have learning disabilities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Seasonal Cashier in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Powell's Books part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Rigorous training, attention to details, union, no dress code

    Cons

    Gives no warnings for undesirable behavior, does not tolerate neuro-diverse employees.

    Advice to Management

    I was involved in Powell's rigorous training program for a few days. One day, I was being told I was qualified and successful. The next day I was being handed my final paycheck, without knowing quite how it happened. I had repeatedly been told how welcoming and safe Powell's was. I felt welcomed, so it was a surprise to me that I was not warned that I had behaved in a way management found unacceptable. For someone...

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    Powell's Books2018-11-27
  5. "Book Heaven"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Powell's Books full-time for more than 6 years

    Pros

    Books! Smart co-workers, local business and like minded customers.

    Cons

    Busy retail open on holidays.

    Powell's Books2018-10-23
  6. Helpful (3)

    "Fear based management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Entry-Level Bookseller in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Powell's Books part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Books at a great discount, book borrowing policy, the tourists are super nice and fun! For a retail environment, it's a fun place to work!

    Cons

    Management at Powell's isn't good. It's fear-based, and it's easy to get in trouble. HR will purposely find faults in your work so that they can write you up. They keep a paper trail of everything you've done wrong, even if it's clocking out one minute too early or making a minor mistake on the cash register. You'll be reported from your own coworkers for mistakes you made as well (even if it's your first or second week...

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    Advice to Management

    Your fear-based management isn't working. Change it.

    Powell's Books2018-10-15
  7. Helpful (4)

    "Skip this place, not worth it"

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

    I worked at Powell's Books full-time

    Pros

    Co-workers, book borrowing policy, location

    Cons

    Upper management is insane and can't even clarify their own policies

    Advice to Management

    Clean house, trust your employees

    Powell's Books2018-10-03
  8. Helpful (4)

    "BIPOC Be Wary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
      Former Employee - Bookseller I in Portland, OR
      Disapproves of CEO

      I worked at Powell's Books part-time for more than 2 years

      Pros

      Casual. Flexible Schedule. Book checkout privileges. Steep store discount.

      Cons

      I was the one of only two people of color at my location. Casual anti-black corporate office. Difficult to secure full time position. Outed abuser as head of department in Downtown location.

      Advice to Management

      Hire diverse corporate administrators as well as sales associates and upper management. Require constant company-wide training from local queer and trans organizers of color leading intersectional anti-racist workshops.

      Powell's Books2018-09-06
    • "Cool People"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      No opinion of CEO

      I worked at Powell's Books full-time

      Pros

      Great people, loved the discount

      Cons

      Not great pay or benefits

      Powell's Books2018-07-22
    • "Powell's Books"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommends
      Neutral Outlook
      No opinion of CEO

      I have been working at Powell's Books full-time

      Pros

      Employee discount, pretty good middle management, supportive union.

      Cons

      Low pay, employee safety takes backseat to sales more often than it should.

      Advice to Management

      Pay employees more.

      Powell's Books2018-06-16
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