TripAdvisor Reviews | Glassdoor

TripAdvisor Reviews

Updated August 3, 2018
522 reviews

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3.4
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TripAdvisor President and CEO Stephen Kaufer
Stephen Kaufer
342 Ratings

522 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Analytics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analytics Consultant in Needham, MA
    Current Employee - Analytics Consultant in Needham, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture. You can see people focused on work and not chatting around. Good goal setting and 360 degree feedback. Amazing food and work life balance.

    Cons

    Travel is a challenging industry.

    TripAdvisor Response

    May 15, 2018 – TripAdvisor

    Thanks for taking the time to leave your review and for your positive comments about our culture and benefits. As a longstanding TripAdvisor employee, you’ve seen our feedback process evolve over the... More


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Millennial's dream (Boston office)"

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

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing benefits - employer paid healthcare, retirement and stock options, travel/fitness reimbursements, snacks/lunches/coffee/etc. provided in the office
    Fast paced work environment with other hungry young professionals in the heart of Boston.

    Cons

    This may be a pro or a con depending on your personal situation - but there is alcohol available for socializing with co-workers after hours.
    Salary/hourly pay can be on the lower side depending on your position for the area - probably due to the extensive benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to your employee base, as you are now, and make changes that are deemed important (EDI initiatives)

  3. Helpful (4)

    "up there with best"

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

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

    Pros

    this is a global SaaS business with a long term growth, and a super strong brand identity - enough growth and new products and innovation to be a lot of fun, big enough to be stable and a good home. I've worked for a number of SaaS businesses around the world, and Trip has all the cool stuff like great benefits, great offices, lunches, flexibility etc, but they are still an actual people business, who really do care about people from the top down. Still having the founder as CEO contributes to this (I've worked in enough private equity owned firms to know how that usually plays out - badly for people!), and the Chief People Officer is really respected and clearly keeps the business on track.
    As you'd expect, the people are smart and awesome. I'm in my first year here, and it's been a great career and life choice.

    Cons

    this is a business of smart people expecting a lot, and like most places I've been, you have to be pretty self motivated and driven - don't sit around waiting for answers, go find them. People are super happy to help, but they've got busy worklives, and may not notice you drowning if you don't yell out. other than that, it's really the complete package.

    Advice to Management

    communicate, communicate, communicate


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Flexible and comfortable"

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

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

    Pros

    Nice place to work. People are good, food is great.

    Cons

    Salary may not be very high.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Product Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Needham, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Needham, MA

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Good work life balance for the most part
    - Working with smart and engaged people
    - Benefits including good healthcare, travel discounts, free lunch/snacks

    Cons

    - Constant restructuring
    - Unclear career/ promotion paths


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Hit and miss"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Needham, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Needham, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, snacks, drinks, gym
    Work environment

    Cons

    There have been a lot of changes recently and they are touted as being good for the company but the culture and other things have seen a decline. Seems like pandering to stock holders for the crash a couple of years ago. More data and profit driven.


  7. Helpful (16)

    "A plague - avoid at all costs"

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

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free lunch isn't always free

    Cons

    Steve Kaufer is a bully, who will pick on individuals until they reach their breaking point and walk out the door. Because he micromanages the entire business, TripAdvisor can never do two things at once. This leaves efforts that can be great successes (like Instant Book) as failures.

    In the last six months, we've lost all female executive leadership outside of HR (head of marketing, head of sales) as well as the male head of product. Steve has told us that he's going to hire two replacement presidents for this bloodbath at the leadership ranks. However, its been eight months and no hire has been made.

    The lack of ability to hire either these presidents over six months speaks to the fact that Steve spends his time filing bugs, calling out individual sales reps, engineers and marketers, and not executing on critical CEO tasks like strategy, hiring, culture, organization. Or potentially - just that the word on the executive street is that you should never work for Steve Kaufer.

    TripAdvisor may promise you a nice stock based signing bonus - but you'll never realize it while Steve is the CEO.

    Advice to Management

    Quit before the resume stain of TripAdvisor marks you as a yes man (all the women were let go) for the rest of your career.

  8. Helpful (31)

    "Great place to work... sort of"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Needham, MA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Needham, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TripAdvisor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    First and foremost... the people are incredible. Smart, fun, fairly diverse, and generally great at what they do.

    It's fun to work for a company that has such a strong reputation, for a few reasons: (1) I don't have to explain what my employer does; (2) It's nice to get that "Oooh, you work for TripAdvisor! Cool!" response; and (3) Recruiters LOVE to poach from Trip, especially for engineers and product folks, so there's a near-constant stream of inbound interest if you're thinking about looking elsewhere.

    The HQ building is really excellent - a top perk, with the on-site gym and locker rooms, the cafeteria, the outdoor space, the desks. It's easy to forget you're at work.

    Benefits and perks are outstanding and include: excellent and cheap (or free) health plan plus dental and vision; 401K matching (up to 3% of your salary); free lunch with many diverse choices (salad, soup, sandwiches, pizza, multiple hot options, healthy choices, dessert, fruit, and more); unlimited snacks and drinks; the aforementioned gym; an annual personal travel reimbursement; significant charity donation matching; annual fitness benefit which can be spent on many things including sports leagues; and much more.

    Work-life balance is a priority (for most teams), meaning you can work 10am-7pm, 8am-4pm, or another set of hours if you choose, and can come and go as you please as long as your work is getting done.

    Best of all, you cannot help but learn a tremendous amount just by being part of such amazing teams.

    Cons

    I could have been at TripAdvisor a lot longer - I had no need to leave just to go elsewhere, but there were many factors that contributed to pushing me out the door. As a point of information, I left for a role at another company, so I do not feel like I was fleeing TripAdvisor - but I also don't feel like I was "retained" very well, either.

    More importantly, these criticisms come from a large number of conversations with current and former employees across the company - so while you should take them with some salt, also know they are not merely the ramlings of one person.

    My criticism falls into two major categories: Management and Consistency

    Management
    -----------------
    There appears to be no focus on "people management" as a high-value skill set, particularly among those who have direct reports. In four years at the company, I had six managers - only one of whom seemed to focus in any way on helping his/her direct reports succeed in their careers. In fact, a number of these managers seemed far more incentivized NOT to promote their direct reports than to move them up the chain. In particular, most of the managers in the product management group appear less interested in managing people than in managing products.

    One possible reason for this lack of strong management is that individual contributors are promoted to positions in which they manage other people without any regard for whether they (a) want to or (b) should be. Not only does this make for a really poor work experience for their direct reports, it also diminishes the experience for the manager. Other than engineers, no functions have a career path beyond (senior) individual contributor that does not involve people management - so even those who are not inclined to accept those responsibilities have an incentive to take them on in order to move ahead.

    Because management are hired for technical competencies instead of a specific management skill set, there is a distinct lack of empathy - it simply doesn't seem to be promoted as a required trait or skill among those who are responsible for the careers of others. For example: on being told that my 4th quarter performance wasn't where it had been the rest of the year, I asked when my manager had noticed this change; he said "a few weeks into the quarter." I asked why he didn't bring it up (or even ask me if everything was alright), and instead waited until 2+ months later; his response was, "Oh yeah, I guess I could have done that." That's just one example, but it's fairly illustrative of the value (or lack thereof) placed on treating direct reports with compassion as fellow human beings.

    Consistency
    ---------------
    There doesn't seem to be any consistency between the company's stated "values" and management's actions. For example, "We're always learning" does not seem to be reflected in a desire to have managers learning how to be better at their jobs - apparently it's for the rank-and-file only. No matter how much upper management (particularly HR) want people to act according to the company's values, there must be incentives in place for each level to do so - otherwise the whole chain falls apart. Of course, this is not a surprise since middle management isn't chosen for their ability to lead but rather for their ability to perform as individual contributors.

    Having worked in multiple groups within the company, I would also point out inconsistent promotion schedules and criteria as another issue. In particular, a "Competencies Matrix" was released for product managers - and was subsequently used in different ways to avoid promotions. Even after a representative from HR stated outright in a group, "You do not have to be performing at the next level in all of these criteria in order to move up," at the next review my manager said, "I didn't hear that" - and nobody up the chain was willing to correct him.

    Although a company of this size is due to have reorganizations on a fairly regular basis, the two groups in which I have worked over my time at TripAdvisor were subject to no fewer than 6 in less than 4 years, ranging from a simple, "We're changing the reporting structure" to a full-on "We're being absorbed into a different group." This has a massive impact on employee morale and was very poorly managed and communicated, resulting in an even larger negative outcome. Due to these changes, I went from reporting to a Vice President to being three layers below the same position in the span of 16 months.

    Finally, in many cases pay is not commensurate with experience. Product Managers with 5-10 years of work experience are paid at or below market value, while members of the post-MBA product rotation program are paid 20-30% more from the start. Yes, we are attempting to compete for talent with other companies, but the toll that this revelation takes on the psyches of PMs who aren't in that program (particularly those who have MBAs) cannot be underestimated.

    Advice to Management

    I sat down with Beth (Chief People Office) and detailed everything I would be writing - first because I wanted her to have a chance to hear it from me, and second, because nearly every critical review is met with, "I wish you'd brought this to me first." I loved working at TripAdvisor, and wanted to stay - but for all the positives, the negatives outweighed them and it was long past time for me to leave.

    Here's how you could have saved an employee like me (and perhaps many of the others who have been leaving more and more frequently lately):

    - Focus every level of the company on learning how to manage people; as part of this, give middle managers an incentive for helping their team members advance. If you're not going to do that, then accept frequent departures of high-performing individual contributors as the cost of doing business.

    - Push for more 360-degree performance reviews, particularly for managers, so that you can proactively identify managers who are causing problems without asking employees to come forward to HR.

    - Create career paths for high-performing (non-engineer) individual contributors to be promoted without taking on direct reports.

    - Give employees a way to make a case for being promoted that doesn't have a single point of failure. Yes, the manager should have the best view of the employee - but that doesn't mean it's the ONLY view or even the right one.

    - Make it very, very clear to both managers and employees what it will take to get to the next level. If an employee hasn't advanced by the average length of time, make sure HR has a conversation with the employee and his/her manager to understand why not - then help the employee figure out how to move ahead.

    - Either stop the love affair with MBAs or pay your other employees fairly.

    - Give Beth a raise for having to read and respond to people complaining all the time. :)

    TripAdvisor Response

    Jun 1, 2018 – TripAdvisor

    Thank you for the detailed review, and for taking the time to share your thoughts with me in person before your departure. I really appreciated the discussion and hearing your detailed... More


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Speed doesnt always win"

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

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

    Pros

    The perks are great at HQ: free lunch everyday, great snacks, onsite gym and full service lockerroom, pub, collab spaces, dogs!

    Cons

    Lack of direction and overall vision. There is lack of trust in senior leadership.

    Advice to Management

    People here care. They care about their work. They care about other coworkers. Don’t get caught up in your egos and place in the hierarchy and old ways of thinking. Its 2018 and youve got lots of talent young people with potential to make the company better unleash it!


  10. Helpful (18)

    "Great place to join, bad place to stay."

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

    I worked at TripAdvisor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - A great place to learn coding style conventions, scoping of large projects, and many other skills necessary for software engineering careers.
    - Free lunch.
    - Great place to network with engineers. Lots of startups in the area are founded by ex-TripAdvisor employees.

    Cons

    - Little opportunity for advancement, and company badly attempts to hide this by promising more opportunities 'if you work hard.'
    - Vague guidelines for how to properly utilize engineering rotation.
    - Extremely poor management of technical debt.
    - Outdated technological stack and senior management resistant to change.
    - Tolerance of management/groups that are uncommunicative and insular.
    - HR department is behind the times.
    - Very little standardization of technology between groups or even employees. Having employees configure their own dev boxes is a prime example that cost enormous amounts of productivity for minimal learning gains.
    - Code base is collapsing under its own weight. To their credit, they hired a senior engineer solely to mitigate this issue.

    When I left the company, morale was quite low. Not only are there very few senior roles available, it is not attractive to take a senior role because the technologies and design philosophy are falling behind industry standards, hobbling ability to jump to other companies or even to change position within the company.

    Advice to Management

    First and foremost, I left because my technical manager was not managing. I was assigned a project that required around 50 days more work than my manager expected (not a typo). My requests for assistance or better scoping of the project were met with victim-blaming, lambasting me in front of the rest of my group every week for not having completed a Sisyphean task.

    TripAdvisor does not have structures in place for employees to share their concerns about management. My situation shouldn't even have been possible.

    In this position, the only way senior management can regain employee trust is to be honest and encourage transparent communication. Publish statistics regarding promotion rates and how much various employees like their teams. More importantly, publish how much employees like working WITH other teams. Have employees meet with HR quarterly to discuss their concerns about their work environment.


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