Shutterstock Employee Reviews about "high turnover"

Updated Oct 17, 2020

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3.3
58%
Recommend to a Friend
63%
Approve of CEO
Shutterstock CEO Stan Pavlovsky
Stan Pavlovsky
47 Ratings
Pros
  • "Perks like free snacks, free lunch once a week , fitness benefits(in 59 reviews)

  • "Working at the Empire State Building gets surreal sometimes if you are someone who has dreamt of working in the big apple(in 36 reviews)

Cons
  • "High turnover at all levels including leadership leads to frequent strategy changes(in 18 reviews)

  • "Work/Life balance can be an issue but still manageable(in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "high turnover"

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "High performance company with smart people"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Shutterstock full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Really great people to work with Interesting problems at scale

    Cons

    Poor management overall High turnover rate in senior management

    Shutterstock Response

    February 10, 2021Shutterstock

    Thank you for your feedback. We’re glad you are having a positive experience at Shutterstock and will use this feedback to continue to make improvements.

  2. Helpful (9)

    "Frequent Leadership turnover"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Shutterstock full-time

    Pros

    Salary-if you are a good negotiator

    Cons

    High turnover at all levels including leadership leads to frequent strategy changes. Layoffs and org changes have been reoccurring since March 2020, prior was less frequent but still at least annually Lack of communication from leadership team to functional teams leading to many executional inefficiencies Poor UX and product leadership leading to unbalance across the org GM has 100% of the power and 0% accountability

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  3. Helpful (32)

    "Do Not Apply"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Summer Fridays and free water bottles

    Cons

    This place is a complete and utter joke . It is a revolving door of great talent being let go and most leaving on their own . I’ve never seen such high turnover at a company EVER . Managers do not know how to manage. HR is unfriendly and needs a new leader to change the non existent culture . Free lunch that is also served in prisons is not going to keep your employees nor are the free snacks . No one there is happy and everyone is secretly looking for a new job . Yes the positive reviews are written by HR employees but there are more negative than positive reviews. Please listen to the negative ones . Heavy meeting culture , not enough time to do your own work . No work from home policy at a tech company is ridiculous and shows they don’t care about work life balance / family life . Being forced to use PTO for sick days is insane ! Toxic work environment and fear instilled in whether or not your job is secure . STAY FAR AWAY!!

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  4. Helpful (7)

    "Confusing org"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    401k match, some really patient employees

    Cons

    Siloed separate inefficient collaboration between departments, high turnover, old school leadership

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great benefits"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiting in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits, fun environment depending on your department, great views, cool office, free lunch and breakfast, business casual dress code and culture events.

    Cons

    Communication should be much better, better leadership is highly needed, there is a high turnover rate, not enough ownership taken, HR leaders aren't trustworthy, employees don't feel valued and the benefits are changing day by day.

  6. Helpful (33)

    "Does Not Value Its Employees"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    * Nice lunches every day. * Beautiful office.

    Cons

    * This company has very high turnover in every department at every level. Constant firings, which nobody is safe from no matter how productive they are. * Firings are highly political and have very little to do with talent or quality of contribution. * Things have gotten extra bad lately, and I sense from my former colleagues a real climage of fear. I have no idea why anyone is sticking around at this place. * Core tech architecture was highly centralized and wedded to perl for a very long time. Nobody understand this stuff anymore. * Having high turnover means a lot of legacy tech that nobody understands, which makes it hard to replace.

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  7. Helpful (36)

    "Stay away"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Massages, free snacks and drinks

    Cons

    Culture that rewards bullying and fear tactics. Lack of empathy for employees. Lack of company vision and direction. Extremely high turnover. No regard for mentoring. No guidance or thought given to career paths.

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  8. Helpful (28)

    "Not what it seems"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time

    Pros

    Decent perks and benefits, but nothing else.

    Cons

    The perks and benefits shouldn't fool you. This company only cares about one thing, and that's the bottom line. Employees are expendable and measured solely on quantifiable values. There are unrealistic expectations based on unreasonable goals that come from upper management, which also translates to a heavy workload. If you do not meet those expectations, or worse if they sense any type of dissent, then they will make you uncomfortable and likely try to force you out. It makes for a rather tense and hostile work environment, and it explains the high turnover rate in my department. Equally distasteful to the way they treat their employees, is the way they treat their customers. The products and terms of conditions are deceptive by design. They are made to syphon as much money from unsuspecting customers in a surreptitious way. Buyer and potential employee beware.

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  9. Helpful (30)

    "Great People, Organizationally Challenged"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The People: The people at Shutterstock are its greatest strength. One of the company's values is to “attract top talent.” Attracting top talent isn’t the problem, it’s retaining them. You’ll have the privilege of working with an incredible group of people. They are smart, creative and collaborative - some of the best. This is consistent across teams and departments.

    Cons

    The Turnover: You need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable; change is constant. If you’re not up for this, Shutterstock is not the place for you. Turnover is high. At all levels of the company. This causes frequent reorgs and a frustrating amount of organizational dysfunction. The Culture is Toxic: Instead of sticking to committed initiatives and empowering the people in place, fire drills are frequent and take precedence. People are fired without cause or warning (at all levels). There’s an effort to improve communication around some of these decisions, but for too long it wasn’t, which left employees to gossip and speculate, leading to an underlying culture of anxiety and fear. The Lack of Career Pathing: In large part, this is reflective of an organization with high turnover and little to no documentation and/or institutional knowledge. Nor is it valued. Employees left behind spend a significant amount of energy navigating new management (it’s not uncommon to have multiple managers in a given year). Without clear, documented goals, career opportunities are inconsistent and subjective.

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  10. Helpful (49)

    "Terrible culture and awful work/life balance, avoid at all costs!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The offices inside the Empire State Building are very well-decorated, and located 2 blocks from Penn Station, making it easy to leave once you're "done for the day". The location of the office places you near a number of fantastic restaurants, allowing you to escape the office for a breather, or from the catered lunch. There are a number of very smart people here, though the list is shrinking by the day. The kitchens are always stocked with food and drink, which come in handy when you're working a 60+ hour week. As a global company, you may have opportunities to travel abroad, which will lead to the realization that you'll be much happier in a remote office.

    Cons

    Oh, where to begin... First off, disregard the 5-star reviews you see. These were written by the "People" department to make the company seem less horrible, and to boost its rating. If you enjoy having a life outside of work, this is not the place for you. Employees are often asked to meet impossible deadlines and work ridiculous schedules, usually due to terrible planning and inept leadership. Features are prioritized above all other work, and missing deadlines is about the worst thing you could possibly do in management's eyes. Thus, features are usually pushed without adequate (or any) testing, leading to extended outages and a severely crippled user experience. The company not only refuses to learn from such mistakes, but instead blames other departments and personnel who were just trying to do their best to keep the site up for these issues. Production outages are commonplace, lengthy, and generally involve tons of finger-pointing and shouting. Even if action plans are created during post-mortems, they're almost never followed. As mentioned above, the kitchen is always stocked with snacks and drinks. This is useful, because the catered lunches have been known to cause severe gastric distress in those unfortunate enough to eat it. Meals clearly have been sitting for several hours since they were cooked, making several items dangerous to consume (shrimp immediately comes to mind), and that's assuming the food was properly cooked in the first place. Overall, the catered lunch is to be avoided, and many often order from one of the many restaurants in Midtown instead. Preventing the company from having high uptimes is a massive pile of tech debt, the fixing of which is often prioritized out of existence. Several attempts have been made in splitting up the monolithic Perl app that runs the store into several smaller microservices; however, since no resource planning, performance measurements, or any other sort of proactive actions were taken by the developers, the microservices have only increased the number of single-points-of-failure. Compounding issues is a relatively-new directive that all new services *must* be written in NodeJS, and while this is a positive trend from the previous directive of "you can write your code in any language you want", the extremely-questionable choice of NodeJS was made by a small committee of developers, with no input from other teams in the company. As such, development at Shutterstock is a nightmare of Lovecraftian proportions, which both developers and infrastructure being ill-equipped for the scale and challenges that need solving. Projects at Shutterstock used to be in pretty much every language under the sun (Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, NodeJS, and Go used to all be supported runtimes), so it's commonplace to be handed code in a language you're unfamiliar with. As a result, services are rewritten every time the assigned developers change (which is frequent, due to high turnover), and as a result, there are many instances where two or three microservices running to serve the same function. The developers themselves are a mixed bag. As stated in Pros, there are some very smart people here, but they're sadly dwindling in number as the days go by. Instead of hiring experienced developers to replace them, managers instead hire very-inexperienced developers, often right out of college, or very inept developers, who actively make poor coding choices and lower the overall stability of the site further. Since these developers often function by pushing untested code into production with minimal test coverage, problems go undiscovered until they cause production problems, and only after several hours of looking at red herrings first. The toxic nature of the culture at Shutterstock means that teams are rarely willing to work together, instead hoarding infrastructure resources and institutional knowledge in blind grabs for power and prestige. Shadow infrastructures are commonplace, only being discovered when they cause production outages or break in some other way that affects the developers who created them. At this point, the Infrastructure team is expected to support and fix these solutions, without being given either the manpower to do so, or the authority to remove these teams' abilities to create their shadow servers again. As a result, the infrastructure is in a constant state of flux, and a recent decision to move the entirety of the infrastructure to the cloud was both poorly-justified and badly-planned, and will lead to more outages in the future. A lot of these faults and problems lie squarely at the feet of management, who have to be among the most inept group of executives I've ever worked for. Middle management is easily the worst, with good management is often coached out of the company, replaced by others who are too busy playing politics to manage effectively. There are way too many middle managers, and others are promoted to management positions without experience or a clear directive. As a result, managers often battle with one another over responsibilities and power, and burying each other in meetings is far more common than it should be. This directly affects morale and productivity, and engineers are often paralyzed into inaction for fear of making the wrong move and losing their jobs. At the C-level, the poor performances continue. The CEO is a megalomaniac who micro-manages the site and the work teams are doing, often wasting tons of resources and time by refusing to allow more-qualified employees to handle the day-to-day operations. The tasks he sets are almost always impossible to complete on time, and he has no qualms about dismissing managers that he feels have failed him, even if the failures were due to his poor planning or lack of understanding of his own company's technical stack. This further increases stress and fear among the engineers as well. Overall, working at Shutterstock is a frustrating, unfulfilling experience, and there is almost certainly a better company in NYC that would make better use of your skills, and respect you more as a person. Avoid!

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