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Top Hat Reviews

Updated 13 November, 2018
194 reviews

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3.8
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Top Hat Founder & CEO Mike Silagadze
Mike Silagadze
119 Ratings

194 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "free lunch and trips to Toronto" (in 27 reviews)

  • "Catered lunch every day (very good) amazing coffee machine" (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • "At times it feels like the company is growing faster than it can cope with and reacts to a lot of situations rather than pre-planning for them" (in 14 reviews)

  • "Work/life balance is occasionally hurt since some parts of the job are seasonal" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. The people are amazing, I love coming to work and have made some great friends here
    2. Our mission is pretty cool and relevant to our day and age. Feels like we're making a difference
    3. A LOT of opportunity to grow and learn, constantly challenged in a good way, have the ability to make a difference and improve my sales skills
    4. Perks are also pretty great
    5. Company making an active effort to improve, listen to it's employees and set us up for success rather than failure

    Cons

    Can still improve on communication between departments, we're getting there but there's work to be done.

    Transparency between management and reps can also improve, it's a lot better than what it used to be but not perfect.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the direction we're going, ensure proper training for managers continue to take place so their reps are set up for success and properly supported.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Moving in the Right Direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time

    Pros

    The people are incredible, they're smart, talented and driven to succeed.
    The work is challenging and rewarding.
    The perks are good.

    Cons

    Majority are not hitting their quotas although management is making moves to correct that.
    Lots of overtime in order to achieve goal.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Tons of opportunity to grow your career"

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

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

    Pros

    -there are amazing people across all levels of the organization that genuinely care about each other
    -there is tons of opportunity to grow your career and take on new challenges
    -feeling like you are making a positive impact on the world by helping make teaching more effective and resources more affordable for students

    Cons

    -as we continue to grow there are a lot of processes and structure that need to be built and improved upon - this can make things a bit chaotic at times - but it’s also a great opportunity to jump in and help make a difference

    Advice to Management

    -keep focusing on how to keep people here, we’ve made great progress recently on the sales side since the new CRO joined, but there’s still more work to be done
    -keep working on improving cross departmental collaboration and communication - this has gotten better already, but there is still room to improve


  4. "Use Top Hat as a steppingstone, but no more"

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

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

    Pros

    1. Lunch is catered daily
    2. Good people, I’ve made a lot of friends
    3. Lifestyle spending account
    4. Great culture, work life balance
    5. New comp structure is pretty good

    Cons

    1. Unrealistic quota expectations - the company turns a blind eye to this, but your success and whether you hit your quotas is largely dependent on what territory you’re given and the specific schools you work with. Every employee, past, present and future, has and will receive the same cookie cutter training (another con) and access to the same resources to “help” them succeed at their job. However, there are many schools that simply aren’t receptive to Top Hat, and in that case you’re out of luck. Many former employees have quit or lost their jobs at Top Hat due to this.
    2. Management often refuses to listen to its’ own employees - there is a lot wrong with Top Hat’s go to market strategy, namely in its’ outreach to prospects and how that relationship with a prospect is fostered. Ideas on how to best serve a potential customer or changing of sales processes and approaches are often shut down, and that person is reprimanded in some way.
    3. General poor communication across the company - this goes from top to bottom, management doesn’t speak well to everyone, sales and product, product and customer success, customer success and sales all don’t speak well with one another. The amount of lost deals is staggering.
    4. Forced into aggressive and downright stupid sales tactics - get ready to make at least 100 calls and send a similar amount of emails on a daily basis. This is due to one of the company’s mantras being “aggressive growth”. This behaviour is what has gotten the company literally blocked out from any form of communication to an institution.

    ***Now all of this being said, if you keep your head down, do the work, keep up with the high velocity and high activity, and don’t let all the negative aspects sink in. You’ll be looking pretty good to make your next move to a better company. You’ll have all the right habits, and have the thickest skin from all the rejection you’ll receive at Top Hat.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your own employees. Accept constructive criticism, learn from what your own people have to say. If someone speaks up, for whatever reason good or bad, listen and learn from what they have to say, don’t reprimand them. Believe it or not, your employees want what’s best for the company!


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Disorganized and dehumanizing"

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

    I worked at Top Hat full-time

    Pros

    Fun environment, met some really smart people, interesting industry.

    Cons

    Lots of unimpressive people in executive positions - they need to raise the bar. The true reason Top Hat is a top Toronto startup is because of their excellent non-executive staff - now they just need to figure out how to retain them.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees like humans, not inputs in your calculation to make it to a $1B valuation.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "work with a sense of purpose"

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

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company has a huge potential; becoming a dominant platform for both students and educators as it's product truly helps students and teachers and has been adopted by schools one after another recently. You can also find yourself among a fantastic pool of dedicated, talented and hardworking employees every day. The company has a dynamic and vibrant culture and corporate metrics are communicated transparently to employees during the weekly All-Hands sessions. Healthy (and some non-healthy) fruits, snacks, lunch, and drinks are provided daily.

    Cons

    Attrition is some roles, such as sales is still high, although, with recent org changes and the launch of the leadership training program, it has started to improve.

    Advice to Management

    It is important to set ambitious goals - that has been the secret sauce of growth at TH, but at this scale, we can't optimize five things in one year. Pick only one (or max two) of the many growth engines you have, dive deep in and then move on to next ones. You cant optimize through culture, renewal, D2P sales, enterprise sale, and NPS/viral growth all at the same time.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Solid company overall"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time

    Pros

    - Hard working company
    - Smart workforce

    Cons

    - Can be a stressful environment for some people

  8. "Top Hat is a really great place to work!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Excellent work culture! Everyone is so helpful and open to spending as much time as you need helping you if you have any questions or are stuck on something
    - Wonderful coworkers. Everyone is awesome and you get really close with your coworkers because we eat together (see catered lunches bellow!) and play board games, ping pong, and foosball with each other over lunch. Lots of time for good bonding :)
    - Transparency from management. Through all hands meetings, you get to see what is motivating management and what impact your work has. It's very interesting to learn how a company works
    - Great work life balance! I've never had to work overtime. It's always 10-6 with an hour for lunch
    - Did I mention really good catered lunches!
    - Product listens to me. The developers get to work with product to decide what we want to be working on based on what we agree should be top priority. This is great to feel like I have a real impact not just in the actual implementation but also in the decisions.
    - I care about what I'm doing. Top Hat makes educational software that I believe is really helping professors engage their students and make the lives of students and professors easier. This matters to me and feels great to be part of something big.
    - The company cares about me and my career growth

    Cons

    - Not enough women developers. As a women, it would be great for there to be more women as developers at the company and more diversity

    Advice to Management

    - There doesn't feel like enough focus on training so it would be great if we could be encouraged to take time during work hours to train and level up. I think it would make us more efficient in the long run


  9. "A few months in..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -great, supportive co-workers who are always willing to help and answer questions
    -company is very transparent overall (weekly company-wide meetings)
    -always busy and many opportunities to develop and grow within Top Hat
    -management incentivizes and recognizes employees

    Cons

    -little flexibility (in regards to work hours and limited work from home days)
    -long hours (though this was not a surprise and clearly stated in the interview)


  10. "Some good, some OK"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great group of people
    - The educators you get to work with are (most of the time) very invested, smart, and kind individuals
    - Lots of hands-on work, fluid environment (this might not be a pro for everyone, though)
    - Immediate management, while tough sometimes, does try and be there for you as much as they can. Really supportive work environment, easy to go to people for help
    - Very convenient office location (steps from multiple subways)
    - Lifestyle Account and provided lunch are awesome benefits

    Cons

    - Interview process is a little extreme for the work you're doing
    - Because work revolves around school schedules, there are times of the year that are very slow, but others that are extremely busy and hard to cope with for a lot of people
    - Salary not very competitive with other employers
    - Because it still has a start up mentality, procedures quickly (and oftentimes) change

    Advice to Management

    - For the most part, you're doing a really good job
    - Increase in compensation would go a long way in reducing turnover rates!


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