TripAdvisor Reviews | Glassdoor

TripAdvisor Reviews

Updated June 10, 2018
513 reviews

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3.3
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TripAdvisor President and CEO Stephen Kaufer
Stephen Kaufer
336 Ratings

513 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Some poor work life balance at times" (in 13 reviews)

  • "No transparency from upper management (even though they claim they are by holding many co" (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (6)

    "always getting better"

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

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time

    Pros

    Best company i ever worked for. People genuinely care.

    Cons

    Not for the dispassionate, if you want it easy, this is not the company for you

    TripAdvisor Response

    Dec 10, 2017 – TripAdvisor

    Thanks so much for your review and we appreciate you highlighting our passionate team. We couldn’t agree more that it’s our people that make TripAdvisor a wonderful place to work. Thanks for your... More


  2. "Great Place to Work"

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

    Pros

    Great Facility, Smart / Talented Colleagues, Good Perks

    Cons

    Hard to get promoted / get raise

  3. Helpful (20)

    "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


  4. Helpful (3)

    "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.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "A few good things that make it hard to leave"

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

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time

    Pros

    First of all, most of the people at TripAdvisor are great. I've never worked somewhere before where I genuinely felt like I had so many friends, not just colleagues. They are smart, interesting, thoughtful people who care about the community-- the TripAdvisor community and the larger community around.

    The perks aren't bad, although they are getting worse as the company starts to pinch pennies. Benefits are pretty good, as are the equity awards as long as you're in the right group.

    Work/ life balance is great-- people feel free to take care of their families first and work second as long as the work gets done. It's intense and you work hard, but having a life isn't incompatible with working at TripAdvisor.

    Cons

    Unless you are someone's pet, it's impossible to get promoted. You change managers so often it's hard to develop the relationship to get your manager to go to bat for you and really help develop your career. There's little actionable feedback until it's too late and it's easy to feel like your contributions don't matter.

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging from the top. Pick a direction and let the teams run with it. Some groups are attracting all of the talent while others are bleeding it left and right. Figure out why and you might be more successful. It's not just because some groups are the "darlings" right now.

    The management training classes are a joke. Only the conscientious managers take them, and the ones who really need them don't.

    Promotions are completely inconsistent and inequitable. Again, if you have a boss who's willing to go to bat for you, you'll grow. Otherwise, you'll stagnate.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Fun but misguided"

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

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

    Pros

    - free food
    - free medical
    - dog friendly
    - no dress code
    - AMAZING coworkers
    - ok parties...they used to be better tbh
    - fantastic office space

    generally, if you're fresh out of college, it's a great place to start your career. But if you get tired of doing the same thing without new challenges and want to grow your career, this is not the place for you. Basically it's just a great (read: easy and fun) stepping stone on your resume to help get you to the next bigger and better thing.

    Cons

    - no such thing as transparency, even though it's everyone's favorite buzzword. everyone has their own agenda and the sales reps pay the price

    - no opportunities to grow; they rather you leave and learn elsewhere then hope you come back instead of investing in the growth of their current talented employees

    - horribly unfair and uneven pay structures. people doing the same job are not being paid the same no matter how long you've been there. It's like someone is button mashing to get goals and salaries - no rhyme or reason

    - management is a mess and judges people on entirely unjustified reasons that have nothing to do with job performance, then senior leadership practically bullies people out of their jobs (in hopes of bringing in cheaper college grads most likely)

    - goals are entirely random and make no sense. every single person has a different goal and nobody understands why

    - decisions are made by those who don't understand how humans act, they only look at numbers and data. no empathy for the little guys, even if that's half the business. they also don't understand as sales people, we can't keep asking for more money on a product that keeps performing worse year over year.

    - if you're not a "senior" person, they basically set you up for failure by giving you all the worst accounts that are ready to cancel, and leave your goal on par with good quality leads. leads should be qualified - not everyone needs this product and instead sales people are stuck trying to save garbage accounts that never should have signed up in the first place

    Advice to Management

    You have some of the best employees in the industry and you treat them like garbage. If you give people a chance to do more, and maybe help guide them in the right direction, you'll find that people are capable of a lot more than you give them credit for. Set up clear rules for promotions, instead of applying different rules for every case. make salaries even and transparent across the board, instead of leaving gaps of $10-20k between people DOING THE SAME EXACT JOBS.


  7. "Great benefits!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time

    Pros

    Some great perks and benefits

    Cons

    Hard to increase salary moving internally

  8. "Intern"

    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

    Pros

    Best internship program
    Treated like a regular employee
    Free snacks and drinks
    Fun environment
    Great co-workers

    Cons

    No cons that I can think of

    Advice to Management

    None

    TripAdvisor Response

    May 17, 2018 – TripAdvisor

    Thanks for the great review of your internship. Our interns are an important part of our organization and we’ve worked hard to build a meaningful, challenging and fun program. We appreciate you... More


  9. "Nee to see outside the Product/Engineering lens in order to grow the business"

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

    I worked at TripAdvisor full-time

    Pros

    Great amenities and benefits. Interesting technology to learn.

    Cons

    Product Management is green.

    Advice to Management

    Nee to see outside the Product/Engineering lens in order to grow the business!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to learn and improve"

    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

    I have been working at TripAdvisor full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very smart people, and talented software engineers. You will learn a lot and never be bored. Plenty of opportunities to make an outsized, individual impact. Top performers are rewarded and incentivized to stay.

    Cons

    Promotions and career advancement generally come slower than you’d hope for.

    TripAdvisor Response

    May 9, 2018 – TripAdvisor

    Thank you for your long term loyalty to the team and your kind words about your engineering colleagues. We’re pleased to see that you’ve highlighted TripAdvisor as a great place to learn and make an... More


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