ZestFinance Reviews | Glassdoor

ZestFinance Reviews

Updated July 20, 2017
15 reviews

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4.1
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ZestFinance Founder & CEO Douglas Merrill
Douglas Merrill
13 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Genuinely nice and respectful colleagues who are incredibly intelligent.
    The work is engaging because it's challenging and innovative.
    Lean and fast
    Benefits and perks

    Cons

    Lean and fast isn't for everyone so this is not a place to just hide or "get by"

    Advice to Management

    Continue the culture of transparency as the company grows


  2. Helpful (1)

    "review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at ZestFinance full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    very nice environment for work

    Cons

    business module needs diversification to enhance it

  3. "Great culture"

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

    I have been working at ZestFinance (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great culture
    Challenging issues to work on
    Work with Team of super smart, nice people (no jerk policy)
    Good work/life balance
    Focus on diversity

    Cons

    The Executive Team has been getting smaller recently, with many areas reporting to single individuals. Hoping we get more C level soon.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on great culture and strategy transparency through growth.


  4. "Amazing Startup"

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

    I have been working at ZestFinance (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Ultimate benefits package including unlimited vacation time

    Cons

    None to think of, unless you're not interested in financial services

    Advice to Management

    Keep bringing challenging problems to solve to employees, don't settle for simple


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Overworked and underpaid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ZestFinance (More than a year)

    Pros

    good benefits and perks, catered lunches, paid cellphone bills

    Cons

    no employee development. seems like they'd rather replace you than help you grow.

    Advice to Management

    stop hiring friends and family and work on finding and keeping good, qualified people.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Analyst"

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

    Pros

    Fun place to work, very smart people

    Cons

    a little stressful, but overall not bad!


  7. Helpful (20)

    "Great Product. Great Benefits. Great Mission. Magic Lost. Still Believe."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The product is a good one. It's a weird space with attempting to help people, maneuvering around some really tough regulations (props to legal), and sharing a market with some very shady competitors.

    You cannot get better benefits in a startup. Douglas truly understands the importance of strong benefits in tech startup. Zest is competing against talent hogs like tech company's, financial institutions, & other startups that can afford to salary out their employees hence the great benefits package.

    The office environment is a really fun feel. Big open floor plan in the main work area and a handful of meet up spaces, bright colors and lots of windows, great location in the heart of Hollywood, space encourages community and communication, and the tech is constantly evolving.

    There are some really awesome gems (talent) there. They are hard workers that supply structure and really know what they are doing or that are fast learns that add immensely to the product.

    Cons

    Promotions are almost nonexistent and if you do get one it's not based off accomplishments and successes of projects but the personal relationships you hold the C-level.

    Holding on to bad apples even after it's acknowledged these employees are not pulling their weight, while taking full advantage of the great benefits. Some of these employees go out of their way to sabotage others trajectory, while others fly below the radar for as long as they can, wracking up the equity and free food. They are a liability in many ways.

    Morale is becoming terminal. The volatility of the product (to their credit, they can't control) and the wickedly political office environment can be completely exhausting. There tends to be a major business pivot every 3-4 months leaving the team deflated. Seems like the people that made Zest great are no longer there, not because they left for awesome opportunities but to escape the fatigue.

    Culture is the greatest deficit that Zest has. The culture that we had was magic. It allowed us to build relations between colleagues and customers. It improved communication and understanding of the mission/ goals and winning multiple "best places to work". The original culture has been deconstructed piece by piece with the churn of the original team.

    Advice to Management

    The decision to reduce the workforce a while back was a huge blow. After a couple of critical members were cut, shaking the confidence of the team. The churn that it created has cost more than the salaries that were saved.

    A focus on culture building and office morale is imperative.

    Make those gems in-office as happy as possible (train, promote, and let lead). They are a critical to the success of Zest.

    I would encourage C-level to focus on people management skills, it's great that you're good at being an Exec., but Zest needs great managers.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Great benefits, good people, cutting edge technology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Relationship Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Relationship Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Ability to work from home or office, choose your own hours, be a part of a new technology that provides loans to the "under-banked". Executives have mastered the art of raising capital, so there's no shortage of funds, no expense spared, for the most part. It's a fun atmosphere, almost like the excitement of certain Silicon Valley start-ups. The technology is brilliant, providing a new financial scoring system that far surpasses FICO.

    Cons

    If your position deals directly with clients / borrowers, you may have to deal with some pretty low level people that are trying to scam the system. The interest rates may be lower than payday loans, but not by much, so borrowers are paying a lot of interest which may raise some ethical questions.

    Advice to Management

    A little too late, but I would say crawl before you walk. Growth is a good thing, but only if the foundation is set. Make sure you stick to your morals of why you started the company, to help those in need. It's not just about making money and beating the competition.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Fun work environment, super smart people and great learning opportunities from co-workers"

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

    I have been working at ZestFinance full-time

    Pros

    1. Lots of benefits.
    2. They value learning in all aspects.
    3. Fun and engaging work environment.
    4. Good technology stack.

    Cons

    Miscommunication between the team members and management.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "High pay, high stress, high churn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ZestFinance full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay, flexible work schedule, lots of new technology. Also a great IT setup with your own new computer of choice and the freedom to configure as you like.

    Cons

    Too much politics for a small company. Management surrounds themselves with old friends and does not listen to anyone else. Benefits unbalanced with nice perks like free lunch & gym membership but stingy retirement and health plans. Projects, employees and development environment are changing all the time.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and try to build a more stable work environment.


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