From Beverly Hills, CA — 07/15/2008
"3" for pay because while they do pay above the industry average per your job title, the job titles are also deflated, which means that as a Manager at this company, you might have the same level of responsibility as a Director at another company. In other words, they had better pay above the industry average for your job title, or you'd be getting seriously screwed. Either way, your salary is about average for the level of responsibility you probably carry.
"2" for respect because you'll hear when you've done something wrong, but you'll rarely hear when you've done something right - and even if you do, it's an end in itself. (A great work ethic doesn't really give you an advantage over someone who does the bare minimum.) Also, it is very common for employees to feel that nobody is listening to them, even if what they are advocating is for the good of the company.
"4" for benefits because they are pretty good, but not Google-good.
"-5" for job security because between the changing of business strategy, cleaning house in the attempt to maintain a high-performance culture, and operating by the philosophy that even the most valuable employee is easily replaceable, there is a good chance you will get fired. Everyone does get severance, though. I once heard someone say that Netflix doesn't value people. There might be some truth to that statement.
"-2" for work/life balance because it's your responsibility to establish and maintain that balance, BUT it's a high-pressure culture which means that unless you fight your own conscience and force yourself to put away the laptop and Blackberry, you will end up taking LESS vacation and less personal time BECAUSE they said you can have as much as you want, than you would if the company had a standard vacation policy and you had to "accrue" your days off.
"-2" for career potential because even though they will point to certain people as examples, it is rare that there is a true promotion - a true promotion being one in which the person was mentored/trained in preparation for a role with new or additional responsibilities, a new job title, and a raise, in a position that they actually wanted to take on. The company is very clear and open about the fact that their hiring strategy is to let other companies spend resources on training people - and then go and poach those people when they have a proven track record of success. (This is also why they tend to hire overqualified people. So people will come in and then realize they are overqualified, while at the same time, there is no opportunity for them to advance because someone has been poached into the spot just above them.) What's ironic is that someday, some company is going to figure out that Netflix itself is a great place to poach from. They've done the work of weeding out the best of the best, and many of those best would jump at the opportunity to leave if given the right offer. They generally do not fight to keep exemplary employees, and they generally do not make counter-offers.
"4" for location is pretty self-explanatory.
"3" for co-worker competence because I have to admit that most of the people are great. However, the review process is far from being able to identify those whose only talent is putting on a good show. This gets frustrating when the company preaches so much about its high-performance culture and values. Certain people are prime examples of why it's bad for the entire company when the values that are preached are not enforced or practiced.
"4" for work environment because as long as you're content doing exactly what they hired you to do for your entire length of employment, and are not really concerned with challenging yourself or learning what you need to learn to get to the next level, it's a great place to be. "Status Quo" people will be happy here. (They are also the ones who are in it for the benefits and are not very motivated to excel.) It also is actually exciting to work for a company that is helping to redefine an industry. There's no blueprint for where the company is going, and they are doing very well in the market. When you look at things in that context, it's a great place to be.
The bottom line here is that you get what you take for yourself, good and bad. While that works in some cases, there are also things you can't just take for yourself. In those cases, it would be your responsibility to take the initiative and "manage up" to someone who has the power to make a change... only, you can't manage up to anyone who doesn't want to be managed up TO. The root cause of most of these issues is management without leadership skills. The company is data-driven, but it could benefit by using some intuition and instinct in dealing with its people.
One more thing is that the company doesn't strike me as very socially responsible or socially conscious. In this time of "going green," very little has been said in support of taking action. There has also not been any mention of support for any kind of community service or "giving back;" employees are not encouraged to do so. If anything, it is discouraged because it falls into the "nurturing / teaching / preparing people for the future" category.