RealSelf Reviews | Glassdoor

RealSelf Reviews

Updated October 31, 2017
81 reviews

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4.1
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RealSelf Founder and CEO Tom Seery
Tom Seery
61 Ratings

81 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Frequent social events help maintain work-life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • Dog-friendly (and a keg in the office) (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • Still figuring out growing pains and how best to proactively address them rather than reacting to them (in 8 reviews)

  • With a growing company (160 employees and still hiring (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Continually Impressed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Program Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at RealSelf full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was recently injured and have had limited mobility for the last month or so. From the minute the injury occurred to today, my team and the company in general have gone above and beyond to help me. As I look back on this experience, I find myself forever grateful to work for RealSelf. I have felt this way from the minute I joined and honestly didn't need a reason to like this company any more but this whole ordeal has simply reaffirmed how truly lucky I am. The team allowed me to work from home as needed and provided rides to and from work and doctor visits. They even provided meal delivery service while I was stuck on the couch after surgery! If this injury had happened to me while working at either of my two previous jobs, I likely would have needed to take significant time off of work during the recovery period. RealSelf is truly a special place filled with people who genuinely care for one another. While I hope I never have to go through something like this again, the experience, as a whole, has brought many things to light. In conclusion i'm just so honored to be a part of this great organization!

    Cons

    The only cons I can think of is that I am no longer able to play on the company soccer team.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Loving it still!"

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

    I have been working at RealSelf full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people, the snacks, the dogs, the culture, the leadership, the fun. For the first time in my career I haven’t burnt out and dread coming to work after a year!

    Cons

    The pressure to hit numbers, but you will find that in sales anywhere. I wish we had some more flexibility to work from home. Seems our sales department doesn’t really get that luxury.

    Advice to Management

    Interact some more with your team. Sometimes it is presented that the leadership sits and east together and everyone else sits together.be integrated a little more!

    RealSelf Response

    Nov 8, 2017 – VP of People

    This is great - thanks for sharing! Totally hear you on exec presence - we heard that folks were looking for us to be more tightly aligned, so we are testing the impact of sitting together. We're... More

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Personal Development via Software Development"

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

    I have been working at RealSelf full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Tremendous opportunity for personal growth: I've been promoted from an IC to a senior IC to a manager...in the span of two years. This growth is set to continue, and is in my mind the most compelling reason to join RealSelf. A rising tide lifts all boats, especially when those boats have generous equity in the company. Bonus: we've recently published a formalized level plan, which is (in my opinion) a vast improvement and more equitable than the ad-hoc promotion system we had before.

    A fast-paced engineering culture: Do you want to push to prod four times a day? You can do that. Want to a/b test an idea you had for a radical new experience in front of millions of users? You can do that, too. Don't get me wrong, it's not a complete cowboy fest: you need a compelling justification for taking risk, but overall RealSelf is splendidly permissive when it comes to making big bets.

    Superb work life balance: If you head to RealSelf's HQ around 6:30 PM or so, on any given day you'll find perhaps one or two lonely souls... on a floor that typically holds nearly 200. Barring live site issues, it is exceedingly rare to see people working over the weekend. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and "deadline" is not a word that is heard often.

    Friendliness: Coming from a large software corporation where shouting matches were not unusual and I would literally tiptoe out of the way of certain unpleasant individuals, I'd say RealSelf is significantly less tolerant of rude behavior and even impassioned product discussions are respectful.

    Cons

    Retention: We've lost a few talented engineers recently, and while management is committed to stopping any further losses I'm not sure they/we have a strong grasp on how exactly to do so.

    Engineering quality: This is the bete noir of the engineering organization. We have a single QA advocate, but by-and-large test automation (especially on the front end) has not been a priority investment for RealSelf. I myself am guilty of a "catch it in prod" mindset, which enables tremendous iterative velocity...at a cost. I see us making our first baby steps towards tooling and infrastructures to reduce the severity and frequency of regressions, but we're definitely lagging behind industry standards. TLDR: we're getting better, but I totally understand how other engineers were put off by our somewhat slap-dash approach to quality.

    Executive team: the executive team is changing (as they should) from a day-to-day tactical role to more of a strategic one, but they're not going quietly into the night. There's been some friction along the way as responsibilities and duties shift, and at times top-down mandates descend mysteriously from the upper reaches of management.

    Honestly, I've been waffling between a 4 and a 5 since some of the cons listed here
    can be frustrating at times, but I truly believe that we've been making strides in correcting them. That said, my advice to any prospective candidates, is to ask blunt questions of your hiring manager to see if the team you are joining is the right fit.

    Advice to Management

    1) Truly embrace a decentralized approach to goal setting and execution.
    2) When there's a decision about whether or not to publicize something internally (e.g level bands), take a risk and lean towards full transparency.
    3) Give your engineers a bit more time to spend refining their craft: even a modest gesture could yield dividends in terms of morale and product improvements.

    RealSelf Response

    Oct 16, 2017 – VP of People

    Thanks so much for this very thoughtful and useful feedback. It's always great to hear what people like about working here, but even more so, the recommendations you've provided are incredibly... More


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great company, even better outlook"

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

    I have been working at RealSelf full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great growth and collaborative leadership, plus the outlook of the company has tons of upside internationally in a growth industry with tremendous potential.

    Cons

    Still figuring out growing pains and how best to proactively address them rather than reacting to them

    Advice to Management

    Trust your instincts but ensure that strategic decisions are communicated well beyond the exec level and c-suite


  5. Helpful (2)

    "A great place to work"

    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 RealSelf full-time

    Pros

    Happy environment, great work-life balance, good compensation/benefits package. Volunteering opportunities, career growth incentives and leadership committed to keep a healthy, safe and diverse workplace for employees. Excellent HR enrichment and well being programs. Remote work (with responsibility) for certain departments is also another great plus.

    Cons

    Pioneer Square location (after hours), some growing pains/culture risk.

    Advice to Management

    Keep an eye in the company culture while staying committed to growth. Hire and keep the ones that believe in the product, direction, and that contribute to a healthy environment where there is trust, fairness, communication and team work across all departments.


  6. Helpful (13)

    "Weak Engineering, Weaker Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunities to work with a variety of technologies. Coworkers were pretty cool for the most part. Snacks & great benefits. You can get away with putting minimal effort into your work.

    Company-wide, the office has great vibes and people are lovely to work with. Many are unhappy, but they are almost always courteous and kind.

    Cons

    Engineering management is not invested in the growth of their engineers. There is zero vision for the future of the codebase and engineers are encouraged to take shortcuts, write cruft, and never revisit it. If you take any pride in your craft as an engineer, stay away.

    High performers are belittled and not given the tools to deliver at a high bar. In the past few months many of the best engineers have quit.

    Advice to Management

    Start over with engineering management. They have continued to fail to retain high performers, or deliver quality product (look at the website).


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Disconnection Central"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Most of the employees are very nice and quite skilled. The product is unique and there are no direct competitors. The office has some nice amenities.

    Cons

    Management is pretty poor, they don't always act on their values, so even if they truly agree with you your feedback might not manifest change. It seems like a lot of this is because of disagreement between the department heads. That misalignment bleeds down into all the projects the company takes on, or fails to take on.

    For engineers in particular, I caution you to accept an offer until the company re-focuses again. There are a lot of cool internal ideas but none are being acted on for the time being. Recently they've been on a streak of hiring back-end developers and forcing them to work on the front end. Unless you want to just any old job and to write hacky JQuery all day every day, the job will likely feel unfulfilling. Hopefully this changes when management realizes what's required to sustain a solid engineering team.

    Advice to Management

    Tabling something isn't a resolution and meetings where no decisions get made often end up sending ideas into the void. One loud dissenter shouldn't end ideas. If you're going to retain the talented staff you have left, you need to be less limiting and create less friction between departments. If someone from another department is hounding you for something your org did, do not go on a witch hunt (I'm looking at one person with that one).

  8. Helpful (5)

    "mew"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisor in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Advisor in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at RealSelf full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    snacks, benefits, dogs at work, nice work life balance. Some really good leadership and some really not so great leadership.

    Cons

    I work in sales department. For the most part it is ok, but god forbid you get on the wrong side of your lead, manager, and/or VP. All is good when you have a good month, the minute you have a bad month or two it's all over. Not alot of trust and there have been employees let go for not a great reason other than management decided they didn't like the person.

    Advice to Management

    consistency....consistency in managers and how people are treated by those managers

    RealSelf Response

    Sep 22, 2017

    It's true that we are a performance-based team and like any sales role, there are minimum requirements to maintain your position. However, it seems we haven't made it clear to you or the team how we... More


  9. "It's been a really amazing year"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People, dogs, snacks, and people again! Love it here and it's been an amazing first year. I don't want to be anywhere else!

    Cons

    We're not as consistent as I'd like to be, when it comes to team goals.

    Advice to Management

    We need more consistency! Would definitely like to see a more unified and transparent approach from execs all the way down the line.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Toxic & Chaotic place with zero job security"

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

    I have been working at RealSelf full-time

    Pros

    Motivated and talented group of individuals

    People team focuses on engaging the whole team with themes and activities round the year

    Good transparency, great benefits, people team and execs are always available to hear your concerns and approachable

    Cons

    Toxic Work Environment:
    I can’t speak to every other manager in the company but my manager seemed exhausted, overworked and stressed about the job and meeting his quarterly goals. Whenever the team wanted to make a minor modification that would make the product experience slightly better to the audience, the team was discouraged and we had to write a “document” on why this change needed to be made, send for approval, discuss it over a 30 minute meeting and 2 hour slack discussion, before rolling back the changes that have already been made; while engineering spent a day on fixing the issue, others had to spend more than two days on explaining why that change needed to be done and was given a lecture on why that was the wrong decision like every other decision that was made over the last couple of months.

    Work life balance:
    Heavily depends on the manager. When a teammate mentioned to their manager during 1-1s that working during the day and managing a remote team during the nights is challenging, the manager suggested that if you are not willing to put in 12-14 hours per day, the company is not a good fit.

    Managers expect you to get their approval on every minute decision that needs to be made; while micromanagement is not their preferred strategy, they will use it on a daily basis to make your life a living hell and create a toxic environment for the team.

    Negative Feedback:
    My manager was exceptionally good at trashing my work on a weekly/daily basis, while being politically correct and logical; If everyone did things right the first time, why is conversion super low and several users never come back to the site for a second time? Why is Realself not Yelp or facebook or a product that witnessed success on a similar scale? Giving feedback and encouraging changes is one thing but trashing your direct report’s work on a daily basis and expressing frustration shows lack of leadership, & empathy

    Other Cons:
    New direction or new metric to chase every quarter, leaving the team confused

    Managers on some teams fail to create a safe place for their team to do their best work; the focus is too narrow to the extent that the overall product and user experience suffers

    Company fires people or employees leave the company and this pattern has accelerated over the last few months; several factors are at play here. Several good engineers have left the company recently.

    Letting go of employees who are not a good match is one thing while firing 15% of your workforce in a matter of a couple of months is entirely different.

    Think twice before you accept an offer.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure middle managers are trained to handle their ever growing list of responsibilities; identify when someone is exhausted and encourage vacation/time off on a regular basis, especially in teams that go through high stress.

    Ensure that your rockstar employees are not demotivating & picking useless battles with their direct reports and adjacent teams, in the name of reaching business goals & "doing the right thing"


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