Zoosk Reviews | Glassdoor

Zoosk Reviews

Updated December 25, 2017
76 reviews

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Pros
  • There are free snacks, drinks, catered dinner nightly and (I think) everyone gets a complimentary gym membership (in 8 reviews)

  • Very smart people who want to make Zoosk into something they're proud of (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • I think most people are great, but those people that don't embody the values and still continue working here affect everyone else (in 3 reviews)

  • The business model is quite lame (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (13)

    "A company at its sunset"

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

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

    Pros

    Consumer product, great experience working across all platforms, agile development, young and energetic people.

    Cons

    Lots of internal politics, not transparent, still operates the old "Shayan and Alex" way - squeeze as much money from naive customers and run. Just recently started to provide value to customers, but crashes under the pressure of competition.

    Advice to Management

    Think boldly, have a vision.


  2. Helpful (23)

    "Goodbye, Zoosk"

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

    I have been working at Zoosk full-time

    Pros

    If you asked me a while back, I would have said plenty. Now, there's not a single pro I can think of.

    Cons

    Thanks Glassdoor for allowing me to speak the truth here. I've never been at a company where employees felt like they were being pranked over and over again every single time an announcement was made whether it be an annual tradition of layoffs or the biggest joke of all: promoting one of the least qualified people to lead a once strong team. I never thought our product was great but I felt we did a good job with marketing. Now, the last thing I thought we were good at is going down the drain. I'm constantly beyond embarrassed with all the current marketing that is put out. Perhaps this is a clear indicator of who should be put on the top and who shouldn't.

    As more and more people flee, I'm desperately trying to find my way out. And I'm beyond positive I'm not the only one. I guess I can always rely on our new marketing department to make more costly mistakes and perhaps another layoff will include me this time. A severance would be nice.

    Advice to Management

    Really take a look at who you're promoting. There's a huge problem when 100% of the employees under certain directors feel they are led by someone who they perceive as a joke and would never hire to even be under them.

    Promote the ones who deserve to be promoted based on a word called, merit. In case you don't know what that means:

    merit
    [mer-it]
    noun
    1.
    claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth.
    2.
    something that deserves or justifies a reward or commendation; a commendable quality, act, etc.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Room for improvement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fun company to work for

    Cons

    Office politics can make job dofficult

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are an important part of your success.... treat them with respect and valie their contributions


  4. Helpful (17)

    "Like being on a hijacked plane"

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

    Pros

    I worked here from 2013-2015. Great perks such as free dinners, a subsidized gym membership, unlimited PTO, and team outings. The company did have some nicely furnished offices until they were forced to downsize at the beginning of 2015 from 3 floors down to 2. You can bring your dog here, which is pretty cool. Really great philanthropy efforts and giving back to the community. The offices are located in a convenient location near the Powell St. BART station for those coming from East Bay. The engineering team was talented and I got some great experiences with the company while I was there. There was excitement and great times to be had with the company early on, especially with the announcement of the IPO and a sense of camaraderie with my teammates during sprints and working on big projects.

    Cons

    There is no direction in this company and I blame this squarely on the business leadership. Things were better initially with Alex and Shayan at the helm, but when they stepped down, things never recovered. A few posters have blamed the decline of the company to them, but I disagree. The job of the executive team is to turn things around and it's a straw man argument to blame all the failures on someone else. The current business leadership (those not in engineering) who took over are mediocre at best. These people have no ideas or vision in order to save the business even though they are paid hand over fist above other employees to be pilots of the aircraft. There's a lot of cheerleading by these individuals on Zoosk being open to women workers, the company winning awards (which are a joke btw), conducting interviews with press, and flying around the globe to attend business conferences to tout themselves...even though they have done absolutely nothing to stop the hemmoraghing and save the business. Time and time again, the leadership team claimed that Zoosk was stabilizing financially only to surprise the staff with wholesale layoffs. Zoosk used to be a leading dating app with tens of millions of active users. The investors who had tens of millions invested in the original vision, employees who dedicated their lives to build the company, and customers who have left for more innovative mobile dating sites are the losers here. Zoosk could have been the next Match, Tinder, or Hinge but the leadership blew it! I can only empathize with the original early employees and engineers that remain with the company. I managed to escape early last year and I recently heard that they did another round of layoffs, this time with even more employees. My thoughts go out to those who lost their jobs and hope that they get back on their feet soon.

    Advice to Management

    I'll give some valuable advice for other companies' management who might eventually be in the position of having to interview and decide whether to hire some of Zoosk's current executive business team (excluding the engineering leadership) once the company runs out of gas: Do not hire these people into your company. These individuals are like snakes and will slither in and destroy your company from the inside. These candidates may sound good in interviews and might boast impressive resumes, but the reality is far removed from what they portray. These people are self-absorbed clowns that hijacked a growing successful startup and ran it into the ground. They will hoodwink you and make it seem like they know what they are doing but in reality don't know how to run and manage a business effectively. Save your company time, money, anguish, and pain and move onto the next qualified candidates.


  5. Helpful (13)

    "ability to challenge yourself but no stability"

    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 Zoosk full-time

    Pros

    Close to Bart,pet friendly, free lunch,unlimited PTO,ability to work from home time to time,free snacks, nice benefits

    Cons

    No stability, needs restructure, lack of communication, lack of intelligence on what makes the company successful especially in this competitive market

    Advice to Management

    I believe that had the executive team been upfront about the challenges the company was facing then maybe as a company we would of worked as a TEAM to bring ideas that the customers actually wanted to see come to light instead of coming up with ideas the engineers and executive team wanted to see and thinking of core values for the company which apparently those core values meant nothing if you can lay off over 40 people and not even show any remorse..Userops was the voice of our customers we built relationships and instead of keeping us you let the vendor's handle it because they are cheaper to pay? Not only do you have unsatisfied customers but upset ex employees and you want to restructure the company to what? You don't listen to what really matters and you especially don't have a good vision for the company.. Use Tinder's simplicity and how they truly provide a service that the customer wants. You think people reading about how a company has had 2 laysoffs is encouraging people to want to use a service that isn't grounded that A+ rating you have with the BBB means nothing if its all about complaints and refund request because users feel mislead. Get it together Zoosk.


  6. Helpful (23)

    "No vision or direction; dysfunctional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    You can learn a lot at this company. There are very smart, dedicated, and hard-working people here, and they have the personalities to boot. Everyone has high standards, and I’m inspired by others to keep learning. Hiring for culture fit is important, and it’s paid off. Everyone seems to mesh well. The environment is casual. I really appreciate the user-centric approach, but something is amiss. I think it's the lack of vision and direction.

    Cons

    [1] Inconsistent image - Our product looks differently on desktop, touch, and native apps, and it’s inconsistent with marketing visuals (online/TV/billboard ads, landing pages). Our userbase is mostly not urban and hipster, yet the most recent ads look just like that. This is a common problem seen in companies with young city-folk employees self-projecting despite the data.

    [2] No respect for process/resources - Maybe there was a time when engineers were the trophies, but it feels like we’re cogs now. “Let’s disrupt Engineering’s schedule with a new half-baked project to start tomorrow and ship in a week.” “Let’s hand off this problem we’ve known about for a year and have Engineering drop everything to fix it fast so we don’t get fined.” “Let’s double the workload from the last 6 months despite a hiring freeze.” Stressful times. Our resources simply can’t work this way without consequences.

    [3] Wrong idea of innovation - Zoosk is iDate’s 2015 Most Innovative Company. I don’t know how iDate defines “innovative,” but at Zoosk it means throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. Zoosk has one original idea - Photo Verification. We don’t blaze trails, influence the industry, or establish our name (except for bad press). OKCupid’s co-founder wrote a book on what their data reveal about online dating. We have lots of data. Why didn’t we do this? Our blog is good but can do more. Data (not polls) reveal fascinating stuff. We also need risk-taking, yet smart, leaders who make statements and can turn things on their heads.

    tl;dr: The product looks different everywhere and doesn’t match marketing, vice-versa; resources and process are not respected; no innovation

    The 2016 layoff revealed:

    [1] No transparency - There was never a sign of serious problems. If targets were off, they always knew why which implied the situation was under control or will be addressed. That’s why the layoff slammed us like a city tour bus. They averted a mass panic by hiding the truth but made up for it by killing morale. Either way, people will leave. Honesty earns respect and maybe a positive Glassdoor review. Some people might stay because they feel it’s their problem to help solve, as long as you’re open about it.

    [2] Bad decisions and insights forced this (not excusable) - Valuable people, some who served a number of years, were cut. Because the company painted itself into a corner, it all came down to money. The employees were not valued for their loyalty and experience, only how their salary could close the expense-to-revenue gap.

    [3] Carelessness and/or disregard - Many new hires, some who started as late as November, were cut. I’m sure most left gainful employment looking for something better, and they came here. Now they’re out of a job. The execs should have paused hiring once they saw hints of trouble. This was so irresponsible.

    tl;dr: No transparency; bad decisions and insights; carelessness and/or disregard

    Advice to Management

    If you want to turn the product around, take a step back. Get clear on the target audience and what’s important to them. We can’t control if they’ll land a date after two messages, but we can provide a positive environment with tools they want (e.g. Why don’t we have a dealbreakers feature? That’s common sense!). And keep it simple. Users want less friction to their goals. Don’t force them to watch a 3 second animation serving no purpose just because we think it’s fancy. They don’t care. You wouldn’t either if you were a real user.

    If you want to make Zoosk a household name and thereby compete, explore other channels and make unconventional leaps. These little media bits we do don’t have much long-term penetration. They’re like 2-minute hard rainstorms. Things get wet for a bit, but then the water runs off without saturating the ground.

    If you want to maintain a strong workforce, appreciate the value of experience, loyalty, and high morale. Wealth comes in many forms, not just money. It costs the company to lose good people. The ones who left did so because there was no compelling reason to stay.

    If you want to re-build trust and loyalty, admit your mistakes.


  7. Helpful (13)

    "Great company if you like politics and layoffs"

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

    Pros

    - Paycheck is a paycheck
    - Snacks
    - Close to public transportation
    - Maybe Match Group will give a good severance to employees when they buy the company for pennies on the dollar?

    Cons

    - Management has gone from being numbers focused to focused on padding their resumes.
    - The business plan is built around trying to position the company for a fire sale.
    - Data driven company that can't count and forecast.
    - Management congratulates each other on a job well done as subscribers shrink.
    - Layoffs are becoming an annual tradition.

    Advice to Management

    You really drove the company into the ground. Rather than lament the mess you were left with when you took over, why not come up with an actual strategy for turning the company around?

  8. Helpful (18)

    "This ship is going down! Smoke em if you got em!"

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

    I have been working at Zoosk full-time

    Pros

    Downtown SF near bart and muni
    Dogs allowed
    Meals daily
    Gym membership
    Snacks
    Standing desks
    Small teams
    Nap room

    Cons

    - 2015 started off with a reduction in force. (layoffs)
    - 2016 started off with more of the same. This time, a larger layoff.
    - The company has consolidated from three floors to two and now consolidating to one floor.
    - Read other reviews about the executive team. So many have written about how the executive team is making decisions that have failed. I echo what they say.
    - Much of the team has left, have been let go, and those who remain are looking to for a new job.

    Advice to Management

    Own up that bad decisions were made that cost the company millions and now good people have lost their jobs.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Leadership is trying very hard to make things work.

    Cons

    Not sure there is a clear direction there.

    Zoosk Response

    Dec 21, 2015 – SVP, Engineering

    Thanks so much for the feedback.


  10. Helpful (16)

    "Good Engineering Team, but Horrible Leadership and Business Model"

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

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

    Pros

    Engineering team is decent. Lots of smart tech people. Although most have left to join FLAG or more promising startups.

    Cons

    It is super ridiculous to the fact that if you don't pay, you cannot do anything on Zoosk. When I was there, people were allowed to send 1 free msg on Zoosk. But later the leaders decided to prohibit our users from sending any msg if they don't pay because that 1 free msg is most likely to be their cell num, snapchat nickname or FB link, redirecting users to chat on other platforms.

    Come on, it's not the Internet business model. Zoosk was about 15th on App Store's top grossing rank when I was there (2014). But now it's 32nd.

    One more important thing is that there are tons of fake users with charming profile pics on Zoosk. The leaders know that but are reluctant to clean them up as they can attract more people ...

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to the business model. Try to provide better service and profits will come as a byproduct.


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