Updated May 31, 2023
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
- "The people are amazing; extremely smart and talented while somehow maintaining their humility." (in 64 reviews)
- "The culture is great; the core values are taken seriously and are well thought out." (in 39 reviews)
- "Everyone at WillowTree is friendly and helpful!" (in 30 reviews)
- "Great benefits and 'Top Shelf' talent" (in 28 reviews)
- "Gives me reassurance that, despite rapid growth, we're still connected to our roots and committed to our Core Values." (in 26 reviews)
- "Pay is a little less than desired." (in 10 reviews)
- "While WillowTree is generally transparent, their salaries are not." (in 6 reviews)
- "Lack of psychological safety to speak up about management." (in 5 reviews)
- "aggressive postings and gives managers who lack strong communication and listening skills the tools to avoid face" (in 3 reviews)
- "401k match is a little on the low side." (in 3 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of WillowTree and is not affected by filters.
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- Former Employee★★★★★
Good experienceMar 21, 2023 - Growth ManagerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
location, woolen mill's space, interesting work
experience depends on team and project
Thanks for the review! - TD
- Current Employee, more than 5 years★★★★★
Degrading fastMay 24, 2023 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
- Brilliant and kind people - People generally have a positive outlook, even when projects get rough - Ability to work remotely - Love our CEO although this is starting to change recently
I've been with this company for quite a while now, over 5 years to be exact, and I've seen it go through some major changes. It used to be all about the culture and the people, and I loved that. WT stood out because it really valued its employees, understanding that happy people create better and more innovative products. I used to rave about how awesome WT was to my friends and old coworkers—I felt so lucky to be a part of it all. But things started to shift after the Telus acquisition. It's like everything became rushed, and we never have enough time to really make something great anymore. The quality of our work has taken a nosedive, and when I bring it up, it's like hitting a brick wall. And today, they let go of 120 employees without any clear reason other than "restructuring." These were incredible people who had been here for years, pouring their heart and soul into their work. Honestly, I'm really ticked off about how everything has been handled, and I've decided to start looking for other opportunities elsewhere.Continue reading
- Current Employee★★★★★
Extremely Toxic Environment, Be Warned!May 31, 2023 - Senior Program DirectorRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Ask me this question last year and I could fill out several pages, after the merger and layoffs I am struggling to find anything positive to say.
I regretfully find myself compelled to share my appalling experience with WillowTree a once-promising organization that has devolved into a disheartening cesspool of corporate greed, employee exploitation, and a complete disregard for the very culture it once prided itself on. My time at WillowTree was nothing short of a nightmare, as the management's decisions to lay off employees, slash salaries, and systematically dismantle the vibrant work environment that we had painstakingly built has left a bitter taste in my mouth. First and foremost, the heart-wrenching layoffs executed by the CEO was nothing short of a betrayal to its dedicated workforce. Talented individuals, who had poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the company's growth, were shown the door without any semblance of empathy or appreciation for their contributions. These actions not only shattered the lives of the affected employees, but they also eroded the trust and morale of those who remained, left wondering when the next round of job cuts would befall them. It is an understatement to say that WillowTree's reputation as an employer of choice has been irrevocably tarnished. In addition to the devastating layoffs, the decision to reduce salaries without any logical explanation or reasonable justification is an egregious insult to the hardworking individuals who remained at WillowTree. These employees had stayed loyal through thick and thin, enduring long hours, sacrificing personal time, and dedicating themselves to the company's success. Instead of acknowledging their loyalty and valuing their efforts, the company shamelessly chose to betray their trust by slashing their compensation, further compounding the financial and emotional stress already burdening them. But the horrors did not stop there. The once vibrant and inclusive culture that made WillowTree stand out among its competitors has been systematically dismantled. What was once an environment teeming with camaraderie, collaboration, and innovation has devolved into a toxic and soulless workspace, driven solely by profit margins and short-term gains. The spirit of teamwork has been crushed, replaced by an atmosphere of fear and distrust. The open channels of communication have been silenced, and management has become deaf to the concerns and ideas of its employees, leaving them feeling voiceless and disrespected. It is disheartening to witness a company that once boasted a strong sense of purpose and a commitment to its employees devolve into a soulless entity driven solely by the pursuit of profit. The callous actions of WillowTree's management have irreversibly damaged not only the livelihoods of the affected employees but also the company's standing within the industry. Prospective job seekers and business partners would be wise to think twice before engaging with an organization that so flagrantly disregards the well-being and contributions of its workforce. The ruthless layoffs, unfair salary reductions, and destruction of a once-vibrant culture serve as a dire warning of what this company has become. I sincerely hope that WillowTree reflects upon its choices and reconsiders its path, as its current trajectory only leads to the further erosion of trust, reputation, and ultimately, its own demise.Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★
They Don't Practice What They PreachMay 31, 2023 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
I reviewed WillowTree shortly before our unexpected layoffs and was too generous with my praise. This review is an updated repost, as I have deleted the original. Pros include a decent work/life balance (though I'm skeptical this will remain true in the coming months), the opportunity to work with some pretty awesome people, health care benefits and 401k matching, interesting projects, and the option to work remotely* or on a hybrid model. If you saw my original review, you'll note I removed job stability as a pro. * The company offers remote work because it was losing too much talent by refusing. It is not and has never been a remote-first company, and people who want to transfer from hybrid to remote have a difficult time doing so. Get hired as remote if that's what you want.
* Salary is on the low end. * Heavy emphasis on in-person culture. Recently, the company mandated RTO for 3 days instead of the original 2 that many employees accepted offers upon. This measure was supported by less than a third of employees and is purely on the whim of leadership. * Too much travel required. WillowTree requires every remote employee to attend the quarterly on-site for 3-5 days. In practice, the on-sites have been about twice a year, but when combined with project on-sites, such as PI planning, it can be a lot more traveling and time away from home than initially anticipated. This can be a nightmare for people who need consistent routines, parents with young children, people with dependents who need special care, or even people with pets with separation anxiety. * Your manager and team may change frequently based on your project assignment. * Recent changes to the process seem to be making it harder for employees to get promoted. WillowTree removed self-nomination for promotions and have increased requirements for the different titles. Anecdotally, I have heard of a few who have tried getting promoted and were rejected with weak or vague reasons why. * Too political. One of our clients is a well-known news media outlet. This reflects more on the employees than management but I have found it distasteful how much contempt my colleagues have shown for this client behind their back and how vocal they are about it in our internal channels. Additionally, many people speak with the assumption that all of WillowTree's employees hold the same political beliefs, so if your beliefs are not in line with the mainstream beliefs you may feel othered. * Leadership's communication is awful. Not just the layoffs, which were done exceptionally badly, but also in transparency and major announcements. The departure of several high level employees was communicated poorly. The CEO has avoided answering several questions in our AMAs since the layoffs. The answers he has provided have been unsatisfactory and vague. * Hypocrisy. The company preaches its values and will shove them down your throat from day one, clamoring on about how WillowTree TRULY believes in and operates by these values. The moment layoffs came around, they were pretty quick to disregard them. There was no open communication. There was no assumption of positive intent. There was no inclusion or partnership. And "psychological safety," a phrase repeated like a mantra since I arrived? Laughable. People were locked out of the offices at EOB the previous day and those laid off had their devices remotely shut down during work the next day after a short one way webinar with HR. Disgusting. Out of everything on this list, this one is the one that leaves a nasty taste on my mouth.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Growth at a costMay 26, 2023 - Platform Test Engineer in Columbus, OHRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
WillowTree offers a flexible (aka, unlimited) PTO policy, and a generous (for the US) amount of time off for parental leave. They provide work for internationally renowned brands and the project teams produce top-quality work. The workers are friendly, open, talented, and hard working. The celebrate diversity and have a workforce of incredible people.
Three and a half years ago, WillowTree purchased Dynamit. I was hesitant about this change, but the work culture stayed the same, and I found new opportunities for growth with the new portfolio of clients and access to a wealth of knowledge curated by excellent employees. Covid hit, and through all the turmoil, we didn't lose a single employee to layoffs. Everyone took a temporary pay-cut, but we were all made financially whole when revenue returned. Throughout the entire process, Tobias and the rest of the leadership team was transparent in what happened, what the vision was, and how we as the project team members were the product and it didn't make sense for the company to dilute that when life inevitably returned to normal. I was fully bought in. I tried to get as many friends and strangers to apply as possible, going through the benefits and high-profile client list as well as skill growth opportunities. Teams were independent to build as they saw fit, work-life balance was great (especially for a parent), and the small perks were welcome. The teams were loaded with talent, but the people doing the work were kind, open, focused, and all-around pleasant people. I enjoyed working for WillowTree. Six months ago, WillowTree was bought by Telus International and long-tenured employees in high positions began leaving. Three days ago, this past Tuesday, the employees received an email at 4:30pm EST to not come into the offices the next morning. Emails from HR bean arriving in inboxes early the next day as waves of employees (every 30 minutes starting at 9am EST) were let go in video meetings. They were not allowed to speak through voice or text, and were let told their positions were eliminated and that the company was restructuring. I heard nothing from Tobias. My virtual meeting was 6 minutes as 1 HR person read through a single slide of what was to come, and the president of my business unit gave a half-hearted apology as he read from a script. After the meeting, all access was cut. People were no longer the product - the WillowTree name and portfolio is now the product. I grew with their help, I was actively working and billing on a project when I was let go. This is not the same company I enjoyed working for. I didn't die, but the spirit that created it did.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Used to be great, actions don't match words anymoreMay 25, 2023 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
- The people are fantastic. Intelligent, curious, helpful, kind. They work with cutting edge tech as much as possible and freely share their knowledge to make everyone better. An overall incredibly collaborative culture that was built over the years. (caveat - see cons) - Some of the projects are really interesting and challenging. - There are opportunities for changing roles. - Promotions are (mostly) merit based (see cons) - Tobias finally gave in and supported fully remote workers (aside from occasional onsites once a quarter), despite his massive preference for in-office work. - C-Suites made sure during COVID that there were no layoffs, even taking a pay cut themselves. Felt like they really cared about the people there but... (see cons)
- Company really changed as they prepared for and after the acquisition. I left before the recent layoffs, but the cracks in the culture from on high were already starting to show then. - Sudden layoffs. We survived COVID without them and c-suite got a lot of goodwill and respect for that. But now with this new acquisition where money should be less of an issue they surprise layoff 10-12% of the company for "restructuring". Corporate talk for making that profit margin even bigger. Any other company it wouldn't surprise me, but that is such a drastic change from when the company was smaller and more at risk. So much for psychological safety, one of the core values. - Remote workers often felt like an afterthought and there was conflicting descriptions of the permanence of it for way too long. - Experience on a project varies wildly based on location and project. Can be great, can be a struggle. WT People were great - but some clients can be... difficult. - Typical push to get people back in office more. Work From Near workers (hybrid) were only required twice a week but they started pushing for more. I expect that in the near future the push will be back to in-office 5 days a week, and wouldn't be surprised if they tried to kill off full remote entirely in the long term. - I noticed a lot more politicking and people who are excellent candidates getting passed for promotions for unspecified or overall garbage reasons. Most promotions outside of moving to execs are merit based - you earn it you bump. But some people exceeded the criteria, had glowing peer and manager feedback and yet would get denied for several cycles with no real actionable feedback and pushing up the chain didn't accomplish as much as it should have, either.Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★
Not the WillowTree you heard about growing up.May 26, 2023 - Software Test EngineerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
The rank and file, including managers and engineering directors are all the best people and the best at their craft in the world.
Since Telos bought WillowTree, it’s been a slow decline which accelerated in the past week or two. The WillowTree I remember would not have laid off 12% of its US workforce with zero warning and zero indication that such a move was needed for the “ companies commitment to continuous improvement.” Mike Judge could not have made up a more hilarious line for a satirical movie about tech companies. If you want a recipe for cooking the golden goose, follow WillowTree’s.Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★
Could've handled the layoffs betterMay 25, 2023 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
The people are fantastic to work with
WT just did a massive layoff of 120 people. They gave no indication it was coming, spouting out how our company was doing well and we had business coming in, then BAM 4:30 on Tuesday night we get a scary email saying they're locking their doors and we all knew what was coming. The people who were laid off got an impersonal, group webinar where the VP of their department and HR person read scripts, then were kicked out of everything. No warning. No opportunity to say goodbye or even pack up our things. Super heartless! This was NOT the company I joined when I was first hired.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★
Bad apples ruin the company.Mar 13, 2023 - Senior Software EngineerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Lots of different projects to work on in case you get bored. Quick to change things for the better. Really pushes for in person community driven activities to feel connected to your coworkers.
One team I joined was a total *hit show. Coworkers saying they felt like killing themself after negative comments from the client, and it taking entirely too long to cut ties with the client. Another team I was on had been giving team leadership negative reviews for months but ultimately no one outside of the team did anything about it. The Eng Director caused many people to leave or be fired. Yet he still works there. Someone went to HR about someone on our team making hurtful comments towards them and nothing much came of it. The allocation of team members to projects doesn’t always make sense and causes many members to feel left out or unable to succeed. Lack of psychological safety to speak up about management. They really push for team members to leave each other feedback, but do not push the eng leads or project managers to also request feedback, leaving the other team members to feel as though the feedback system is really just working against them. They claim to be helpful towards people with physical/mental disabilities, people of color, all genders, etc. but in reality, I’ve not seen them do much of anything to actually help people in those demographics. They came out with pay scales for my role and it made me realize they were severely under paying me (I’m a woman). I was at the bottom of my pay scale even though I’ve been in my field almost a decade.
Sorry to hear your experience has not been great. At the end of the day most of our team member's experience is largely based on the team they are on, so we have to make sure that every team at WillowTree delivers the same level of experience for individual members of that team. If you have not, please make sure you make your Engineering Branch leader as well as our Chief Engineering Officer aware of the situation. - TD
- Former Employee★★★★★
Biggest Disappointment of My LifeMay 29, 2023 - Software EngineerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
First, let me say that if my marriage had deteriorated as quickly as did WillowTree, then that would have been the biggest disappointment of my life, but that happened in stages over years, whereas WillowTree's decline was compressed into about 8 months. I'll list some pros here, most of which are now out of date, although some still exist to some degree. When I began working at WillowTree several years ago, I was convinced I had, largely by chance, found my perfect spot! My fellow employees were almost invariably kind, helpful, very smart, and talented. Management seemed amazingly open and visionary, from the first day of onboarding I told everybody I had never come close to having such a helpful and comprehensive introduction to a company. To me, the best thing was that we were doing incredibly interesting work, and that there was always room for growth and new learning. Even aside from the in-office work, my colleagues were incredibly vibrant and interesting people - the tech support head who welded together a full scale, working trebuchet, any number of professional musicians, from a member of the Baltimore Symphony to a bass player who had been in most every band in C'ville since the '80s, just a fun and wonderful group.
The pay level has always been a sore point at WillowTree. Part of the guiding vision of the company was that college towns such as C'ville or Durham could provide just as high quality talent as NYC, SF or Seattle, and the company could capitalize on the cost of living difference. Unfortunately, Charlottesville is considerably more expensive than they give it credit for, so earnings after rent or mortgage could be tight. But, frankly, it was worth it to me to be able to work for a company like WillowTree was at the time. Things started to come undone in 2022. Although it appeared that things were going great guns, lots of clients, etc., it became evident that management's time was more engaged in selling out the company for a big payout. This created a truly dual track company - one for the bulk of workers who had very meager option packages, and one for the those for whom the system had been rigged to provide them fat option packages. Once the merger became a done deal, it became clear that work at WillowTree was much more about squeezing clients for more fees than doing incredible work. Day to day, I was still very happy to show up and be with my wonderful colleagues on our projects, but I could definitely sense the pressures being dealt with by the managers. But I was assured by the many times the CEO had gone out of his way to stress all the hard negotiating they had done to make sure WillowTree would continue operating as it always had, with its open management, making every effort to avoid layoffs (as it did in 2020, in a move that really had earned lots of goodwill from me and many others). That was all shattered at about 4:45 pm on 23 May 2023, when we all received an e-mail letting us know that offices would be closed the next day, we should work from home and keep an eye on our e-mail. The next day 12% of the company was let go. The way it was handled was simply horrible, and went against everything I considered WillowTree to have stood for. I would advise anyone considering a position with WillowTree to stay as far away as possible from this dying company, and certainly do not put any faith in the numbers I'm sure it will continue publishing, showing off-the-charts employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, etc. Those were earned by old WillowTree, a company that no longer exists, except as a matter of corporate law. New WillowTree (or Telus WillowTree) is a completely different thing altogether, and I would keep away. I have no doubt that most of my former colleagues who survived this round spent the following long holiday weekend updating their resumes.Continue reading
WillowTree Reviews FAQs
WillowTree has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5, based on over 420 reviews left anonymously by employees. 80% of employees would recommend working at WillowTree to a friend and 81% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -7% over the last 12 months.
80% of WillowTree employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated WillowTree 4.3 out of 5 for work life balance, 4.3 for culture and values and 4.3 for career opportunities.
According to reviews on Glassdoor, employees commonly mention the pros of working at WillowTree to be senior leadership, benefits, career development and the cons to be compensation, management.