Technology

Zillow ranked by employees as one of the best places to work

Glassdoor award welcome news in wake of labor-related lawsuits

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In news that couldn’t have come at a better time for the company, Zillow has been named one of the best places to work by jobs site Glassdoor, based on the results of a survey conducted before the company was hit with four labor-related lawsuits during a two-week span.

Glassdoor ranked Zillow as the 33rd best place to work among companies with 1,000 or more employees, with the popular real estate search portal earning 3.9 out of a possible five stars based on employee reviews submitted between Nov. 13, 2013, and Nov. 2, 2014.

Zillow, which has grown its headcount by 34 percent this year, employed 1,100 as of Sept. 30 and is set to get even bigger when it completes its planned acquisition of rival listing site Trulia. Last year, Zillow Glassdoor ranked Zillow 26th among medium-sized companies employing 250-999 employees, with 4.1 stars.

Employees who took this year’s survey listed pros pros of working at Zillow that included a “work-life balance [that] generally has gotten a lot better since the startup days,” and a “fun atmosphere, lots of free food, great salary, big impact on the site.”

For the company’s sales force, cons included the company’s reliance on call time as a metric to measure employee performance, and warnings about difficulties in dealing with real estate agents.

“Much of your time is spent calling real estate agents who often, literally, tell you how much they hate your company and think it’s bad for their industry,” said one reviewer. “You’re calling potential customers who’ve been bombarded by the same calls now for years.”

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Beginning last month, Seattle-based Zillow has been hit with four lawsuits from the same Los Angeles-based plaintiff’s firm, Geragos & Geragos, alleging wage-and-hour violations, sexual harassment and age discrimination at the company’s Irvine, California, office.

Zillow fired two employees in the Irvine office after investigating the sexual harassment charges, and says that while it takes allegations like those raised in the suit seriously, they do not reflect the company’s workplace culture, The Recorder reports.

Glassdoor’s rating is based on hundreds of reviews from Zillow employees who elected to participate in an anonymous survey asking them questions about their job — from growth opportunities to work-life balance — and questions about senior management and the company’s values.

Employees gave the company’s CEO, Spencer Rascoff, a 96 percent approval rating, said the company has a positive business outlook, and would recommended it to friends as a good place to work, according to Zillow.

Other comments on Glassdoor’s website talked about a “hip atmosphere” with lots of free food and breaks, a high turnover rate, and heavy workload as the company continues to grow.

Rich Barton, co-founder and executive chairman at Zillow, is also a co-founder and nonexecutive chairman of Glassdoor.

Three other tech companies that made Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” list — Apple, Google and Facebook — have been criticized for a lack of diversity and have pledged to recruit more women and minorities, Bloomberg reports.