From Irvince, CA(HQ) and Alexandria, VA — 04/12/2010
Before I begin, it's pretty obvious that web20 works for Trinet.
I was pretty shocked by the difference from the time I interviewed through my time working at Trinet. It's true, they are masters at luring you in with big shiny promises of upward mobility and personal and professional growth. Then you actually begin to work and realize that most of the people around you have been with the company for less than a year. And most of them won't be there 6 months from now. The turnover is inexcusable. True story, I met the senior marketing guy when I started my job and while I didn't have a lot of interaction with him after that, it's not like I wasn't around. Four months later I had a meeting with him in it and he didn't remember me! He actually introduced himself like we'd never met and like I was visiting from the other office! Web20, if 70%+ of your staff is gone within a year - whether from layoffs or from resignations - it's more likely that the problem isn't the people being hired, but the people DOING the hiring. Management is supposed to facilitate their employees in getting the job done to the best of our abilities - not blame or reprimand us because policy or procedure wasn't clear and we did the wrong thing. If I didn't get proper training to do my job, that's not on me, that's on Trinet. And blaming your turnover rate on the youth or inexperience of your staff is just deflecting from the true problem and another instance of Trinet refusing to take responsibilities for bad choices and bad management, and just blaming the staff instead. I was young when I started (still am), but I wasn't stupid or naive and this wasn't my first job. 5 years is definitely a respectable amount of time to be at any one company, but it's a very long time to wait for a promotion. I've never had to wait more than 2 years at my other jobs. I didn't expect the moon here, I just expected that if I worked hard, it would be recognized and perhaps even rewarded. That was rarely the case. And I worked many late nights without any overtime paid or asked for (which you're supposed to do ahead of time in order to receive it - figure that one out for me), but if I needed to leave a little early or come in late it was noted and docked to the minute.
And it's hard to feel like you're being respected when the salaries are so pathetic. The job postings flat out lie. The salary range they post and what they offer will be off by at least $10k. And I don't mean that you'll get the lower end of the scale, I mean that their offer will be at least $10k LESS than what the lower end of the salary scale in the posting says. The two offices are located in two of the most expensive regions, southern CA and the DC metro, but salaries are at or less than $30k for the programmers, sales team, project management, marketing, everyone (except Sr. Management of course)! For the industry and the areas that's almost insulting. The only reason why any of us took it is because we're in a recession and most of us couldn't afford to say no. (And if you think you can freelance on the side, forget it, not allowed.) And don't think that staff in the Virginia office aren't aware of the differences in pay between the two offices. They know. They are insulted. The stories I could post about the unhappiness of the VA office!!!
I thought Trinet was a place I could grow into my career and learn so much. It turned out to be a place I started dreading having to go into everyday. I'm glad I'm not there anymore. The paranoia that you might get fired at any second was insane. For instance, you might make a small error and go to your team or even your direct supervisor for advice on how you can fix it or how to handle a similar situation in the future. Then you move on thinking that the situation is over, until you get an email from your supervisor who's copied Sr. Management. Then two or three more emails fly through or you get pulled in for a conversation about what happened and how it happened and why you did what you did, until you feel like you barely escaped with your job intact. You're left scarred and paranoid about ever making another mistake, which of course you do because you received inadequate training.
I do miss my team though. The (non-management) people were great! They are who I Iearned the most from and will miss the most. My new job isn't my dream job, it isn't located near a lot of restaurants or in a super nice area or anything. I don't have a lot of interaction with others either. But I get to freelance, which means I get to learn more and get better. The pay is better, its internal reputation is better, better benefits, better (and realistic) growth opportunity, better everything you expect from a company that claims to be an industry leader but is really just another company that exploits its employees to make or save a buck.