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Powell's Books Reviews

Updated September 28, 2017
36 reviews

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3.5
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Emily Powell
14 Ratings

36 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good Environment"

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

    I have been working at Powell's Books part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great Benefits, Workers Union, Family-like staff

    Cons

    there is a corporate vs. staff tension

    Advice to Management

    Try to include all of staff no matter the age or experience


  2. "Bookseller"

    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 Powell's Books full-time

    Pros

    Wonderful, supportive community plus free and discounted books!

    Cons

    Can't think of any. This was a great job.

    Advice to Management

    N/A

  3. "Paid in books"

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

    I worked at Powell's Books part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing discount
    Great co-workers
    Relatively flexible scheduling options

    Cons

    Low pay until you are very senior
    Not a lot of opportunity to advance
    High turnover of part time and entry level staff


  4. "Sales Floor Manager"

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

    I worked at Powell's Books full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Company culture, industry. Lots of opportunities for people who work hard and are passionate about books. Fantastic benefits.

    Cons

    Organization, communication, poor discipline of under-achievers. The good employees are given too much responsibility in order to make up for the people who don't care about their job.

    Advice to Management

    Find a better way to discipline bad employees (or ideally - identify bad attitudes and lack of work ethic in the interviewing process).


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Buyer"

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

    I worked at Powell's Books full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people are the best. Skilled, hard working, friendly.

    The books. Its wonderful getting to be around the books.

    The union will do everything in there power to have your back.

    Cons

    Management is disconnected with actual operations and the managers that do care or advocated for their teams get punished or forced out.

    HR actively watches and jumps on any and all opportunities to add notes in your files about misconduct of any variety, so if the opportunity arises they can discipline you enough times to fire you eventually. They have a bad habit of firing people or disciplining people for small infractions. Anyone who has been there the longest can now tell you of the fallen coworker who were driven out to make way for new part time employees.

    Cameras watch your every move.

    Advice to Management

    Start caring about the amazing people you hire. Don't drive out the people who know the company the best and can best serve your customers. Create a work environment where when people ask what its like to work at the best book store in the world, your employees can honestly say is wonderful to work for you instead of lying through their teeth as they look at the cameras.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Mostly Lives Up To The Hype"

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

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

    Pros

    - great coworkers
    - mostly good customers
    - awesome employee discount

    Cons

    - hr/management can be overzealous
    - new employees get stuck with part time hours
    - if you are full time, benefits like insurance are expensive and crappy

    Advice to Management

    Let employees work full time, guys.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Almost Perfect"

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

    I have been working at Powell's Books part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Coworkers and superiors are super friendly and helpful. You never feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask anything or clarify on something you're not confident about. Depending on the position you have (I am on inventory and have been a cashier), the tasks are straight forward and relatively easy. Above minimum wage which is nice and a sweet employee discount.

    Cons

    Although there is a union that negotiates for better conditions concerning time-off, leaves, etc. I think there is an issue with their method of hiring a ton of part-time workers, but only having substantial time-off benefits for full-time workers or workers that have been there for more than a few years. I am a student and don't have family in Portland, so when I try and take a week off to visit home, there are quite a few obstacles and it seems as though management depends on you to figure it out. I've had other jobs where you just have to give notice of when you want to take time off and management figures it out from there.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to acknowledge the huge number of part-time workers you have and the fact that they have lives outside of work and need a more efficient way of asking and getting time off. Part-time workers can't go over 20 hours a week unless management has specific hours to give out, so we couldn't even work more if we wanted to.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Books and coworkers who love books!"

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

    I worked at Powell's Books (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Books, books, books... Banned books... Coworkers who love books... Customers who love books. Local!

    Cons

    I really enjoyed working for Powell's Books. It is unfortunate that new staff are hired mostly for part-time and are limited to 20 hours. I would have loved to stay at Powell's but who can afford to live on 20 hours per week...


  9. "Great Place to Work For"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, competetive pay, Union, Benefits

    Cons

    typical large company problems...communication and training problems, no raises at yearly review

    Advice to Management

    work on retaining employees


  10. "Great company to work for"

    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 Powell's Books full-time

    Pros

    Good people, good intentions, amazing benefits.

    Cons

    Sometimes people get a little stuck here because it's so good and they can lose sight of customer service and happiness,

    Advice to Management

    Believe in people, encourage them to be generous, be proactive about making customer service the top priority.


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