XO Group Reviews | Glassdoor

XO Group Reviews

Updated July 19, 2017
209 reviews

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3.6
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Mike Steib
90 Ratings

209 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance is MUCH better than what you find at other companies doing this level of engineering (in 25 reviews)

  • work from home, lots of flexibility (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • We believe in work life balance but also in hard work and urgency to get things done (in 9 reviews)

  • Upper management likes the constant turnover (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Better than most and always improving"

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

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

    Pros

    At XO, I got to work on solutions to real and interesting problems using the best technologies. My team had access to the newest tools and was given the freedom to try new methodologies and ideas.

    Work-life balance is MUCH better than what you find at other companies doing this level of engineering. Working remotely is fine and supported by good infrastructure.

    IT support is top-notch. The very best of anywhere I've worked.

    Some task switching and changes in direction, but usually with good reason and so much better than at smaller outfits racing for users. XO has the urgency to succeed, but the luxury of being able to take a longer outlook.

    This is a large-ish public company with a strong brand and market presence, cash, and a willingness to change, grow, and invest. And very little bureaucracy. That's rare.

    I thought the pace of change and growth was right. But a measured approach to engineering and change isn't right for everyone. If you're the sort who gets antsy if you don't get to start over every year, XO isn't for you. They change when it makes sense; it's a business, not a lab. Employees are encouraged to propose changes and are listened to.

    Fun environment. The office culture is casual and friendly.

    Cons

    The bonus plan isn't the best, but compensation generally is fair.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the managers you hire are a good fit culturally. Don't create islands within the company. The culture is great and needs to be protected.

    Make sure management structure reflects the transformation of the company. Consider things like a chief software officer or high level architects.


  2. "This company cares about the bottom line, NOT its people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at XO Group full-time

    Pros

    Cool tech-startup office vibe with free snacks. Great coworkers. Lots of effort to teach product management and instill design thinking, with emphasis on product/design/tech collaboration and data-driven decision making. You'll learn a lot about the art and science of developing products.

    Cons

    Don't plan to stay long; very high attrition rate. In the past 3 years, about 20 people in design and product have left. The organization is constantly restructuring. Every few months, your team, your management, and what you work on will be shuffled around and you often feel like you're trying to keep your head above water. People have been let go for no apparent reason, much to their team's shock. The employees are often confused by upper management's decision making.

    Much of the tech is outsourced overseas, and management has no sympathy for the day-to-day challenges that this arrangement entails. A large chunk of your time might be spent trying to untangle miscommunications, misunderstandings, and poorly written code. The offshore team does not have the same technical skill, user empathy, or understanding of product management processes, yet you are expected to get on the same page with them on a daily basis. It can be extremely frustrating and time consuming.

    Despite all the talk about agile, user testing, product/tech/design being "three legs of a stool", etc., a lot of these practices are thrown by the wayside when it comes to the bottom line. Waterfall projects are handed down with concrete deadlines, designs and product decisions already determined by upper management, with the expectation that the minions will just carry out the pre-determined plan. This strips motivated employees of any autonomy or creativity they may have hoped for, and morale is slowly drained from the teams.

    A strained relationship between product/tech/design and the marketing side. It's like two completely different worlds, speaking different languages. No common practices, goals, or mutual understanding causes a lot of frustration with stakeholder management.

    Lastly, very little room for career growth and below-average pay. Don't count on getting promoted here, and, especially if you're an engineer, make sure you understand what you are really worth because you'll probably make 20% less than market rate at this company.

    Advice to Management

    Please take your employees' frustrations and concerns seriously! Start thinking about your employees as valuable people -- with valuable opinions and talents. Listen to them, teach them, leverage their unique strengths and help them grow in their careers, rather than tossing them out every few months!

  3. Helpful (2)

    "It's like high school. Without all the jocks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Product Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Technical Product Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Office space is air conditioned and if you're a jerk, you might make it into management. If you have a skill that is particularly valuable you might get left alone, but otherwise, watch your back.

    Cons

    It's like Lord of the Flies. Dysfunctional management led out of New York office encourages infighting and back stabbing. Good managers leave or get fired and bad, two faced managers are promoted in their place.

    Advice to Management

    If you see mass exoduses in offices or departments, either through firings or people quitting, as some questions as to why that's happening.


  4. "Great Place to Be!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work life balance, Unlimited vacation, great team to work around. I would recommend XO Group to any of my friends. Great place to learn and grow

    Cons

    XO Management needs more training


  5. "Love The Culture!"

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

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

    Pros

    Freedom to work on "pet" projects, excellent leadership, awesome benefits and cool culture!

    Cons

    Difficult sometimes to get budget from projects.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing, but be more transparent with budget.


  6. "Live Concierge"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at XO Group full-time

    Pros

    Unlimited paid vacation, ability to have a mentor during your time there, great work atmosphere.

    Cons

    Little room to grow or transition into another role.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Best job I have ever had."

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

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

    Pros

    Co-workers and direct management really cares about you and your personal/career growth.
    Everyone knows that work/life/rest is important and results in better performance.
    They really take care of you.
    Lots of opportunities for innovation, but you have to initiate it. They love it when you do too!
    Lots of cross team engineering growth opportunities.

    Cons

    Can be hard to get teams to collaborate.
    Competing KPIs across teams can cause poorer user experience. Though the company recognizes this and is making good steps to solve.

  8. "Sales Planner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at XO Group full-time

    Pros

    - Leader in the industry
    - Great marketing team
    - Smart people
    - Great place to learn, grow and develop your career
    - Hard work that is rewarded
    - Beautiful office with a fun culture

    Cons

    - A lot of change and transition
    - Not a lot of transparency
    - Sometimes it can seem like their are favorites
    - People were constantly nervous about their job security

    Advice to Management

    - Continue to reward people for their hardwork
    - Work on transparency to make your employees feel more involved and secure


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Room for improvement."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -unlimited vacation
    -beautiful office with snacks, coffee, etc.
    -Thursday night happy hours
    -learning events and opportunities
    -great products and a great vision

    Cons

    -limited career growth opportunities
    -high employee turnover rate
    -lack of communication between departments
    -weak mid-level management
    -poor compensation (below industry standard in most departments even though management says this is not the case)


  10. "Not for Everyone"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at XO Group full-time

    Pros

    Fast advancement, casual environment, free snacks

    Cons

    Company's direction is shaky, CEO is typical New Yorker, rewarded for having babies but those who don't want kids are SOL. Some people there are impossible to work with and put blame on everyone else but themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Lead more gossip less


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