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Holiday Extras

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Holiday Extras

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Holiday Extras Culture FAQ

Read what Holiday Extras employees think about their company culture and make sure it is the right fit for you.

Holiday Extras has a culture and values rating of 4.

All answers shown come directly from Holiday Extras Reviews and are not edited or altered.

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3 English questions out of 3

24 September 2022

What is the company culture like at Holiday Extras?

Pros

Remote working Job itself is not too difficult We do have really nice customers and some lovely colleagues. Provide good mental health support by a third party. If you like incentives or games they do this a lot.

Cons

This is contact centre only, there is a massive difference if you are working for HX outside of the contact centre. It sounds great to work in that part. Contact centre - Your last for everything if your lucky enough to be included. If your female, work part time or POC you won't get the same opportunity or inclusions. Company makes a lot of noise about fixing this but after nearly 10 years of employment no changes have actually benefitted those mentioned above. The culture seems to be that you should be lucky to have the job, it used to be above average pay but this is now not the case and this attitude of being paid beyond your skill set remains. I honestly can't wait to leave, have given feedback directly many times over the years so I give up. Many errors or workarounds, constant updating of information by endless docs which you have no assigned time to read your just expected to know. You will also be expected to work past your shift time up to 15minutes and before your shift time (currently takes 20 minutes to set my laptop up for each shift) for free, over the year this adds up to a lot! Difficult to get time off, a lot of the time you rely on a shift swap which you need to organise with a volunteer who they approve of to switch with as there is disparity in skills that colleagues have been trained in. Also if you want to be told off for a messy desk you just arrived to by the CEO make sure to apply!

Advice to Management

Contact centre staff may not be as skilled as those outside of this department but they shouldn't feel like children/2nd class to everyone else. They are vital to the making money part!! The several managers that I have had this year do not do any handover of staff it seems and no crucial information is shared adding to difficult times. Remember many employees are part time or work outside of standard UK times that the rest of the business works and they deserve to be included, especially working antisocial hours and every weekend for minimum wage dealing with many errors which never seem to be fixed. I.e the 2 hour special for lounges, the time is incorrect on the confirmation display and has been the whole time it's been available that I have worked. It looks so unprofessional but the only ones that have to deal with this is the person on chat or phones from the contact centre. The employee welfare/customer service is not as important as the cost to fix this. Please don't reply to this with CEX complaint template response of "the good news that travel is back..."

The culture seems to be that you should be lucky to have the job, it used to be above average pay but this is now not the case and this attitude of being paid beyond your skill set remains.

24 September 2022

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7 January 2021

How was the interview at Holiday Extras?

Pros

I still remember reading these reviews before applying to Holiday Extras and how much of an impression they made on me. The interview process was a sequence of video calls to meet different team members, followed by a coding challenge (a choice of frontend or backend problem) and then a meet in person and a pair-programming session. It was pretty intimidating, but I felt elated and a sense of achievement when I got an offer of employment. I don't think I've ever felt that about any other job I've taken in the past. HX is a progressive company. It's been around for decades and continually tries to improve with a culture of feedback behind it. At the time of writing, things are very fluid. We're going through a pandemic, there's no clear way out and I'm on my 2nd bout of furlough. We lost a lot of friends as a consequence of a restructure and that was truly heartbreaking. For anyone that is reading this after going through redundancy, I'm sorry this happened to you. I can only speak for myself, but I haven't reached out to many as I don't know what to say. The whole situation is so messed up. I hope we meet again on better terms one day. Our colleagues are the types of people who become friends and even family. They're very knowledgeable, kind, compassionate and fun to be around. This is what you should expect when joining HX, a team you can work with, that wants to be open and honest. I've read some of the other reviews before me and I'm surprised to read that this is not everyone's experience. As an engineer, you will experience a variety of problems to solve, predominantly using React/React-Native, Node.js and the Google Cloud platform. You'll work alongside really clever people that are always willing to pair-up and there's a real sense of teamwork to get something done. The products offered are focused on holiday assurance and insurance, and everyone loves a holiday so the product you help build is really wanted by the customer too. Unlike a lot of companies that have struggled to adapt to working remotely, HX was already ahead of the pack in this sense, having many remote workers already operating in the company. Not only is remote working fully embraced, but flexible schedules too. If you need to nip out or do something and make up the time later, there's no questioning - just do it. That trust goes a long way. When HX has navigated this pandemic, which it will in time, and you get the opportunity to join - I say seize it, hopefully you'll have a great experience like myself.

Cons

I would like to see the progression path removed for engineers, I think that the measurements used to move through the titles are subjective and the fact that there is now a hierarchy where there wasn't before will lead to more competitiveness rather than collaboration. There are some advantages to competitiveness between peers, but I think it can breed toxic behaviour and could undermine the Be One Team value eventually. I would hate to be reviewing this post in the future and disagreeing with the pro-team points I've made. I'd also like it quantified, via a survey, of how many engineers would like to keep the hierarchy vs how many have no preference or would like to see it removed entirely. I don't think the title differences should exist if the majority of devs don't actively encourage it. Now that we're a much smaller team (unfortunately), we're in the best position to implement a change such as this. Also, the salary isn't set quite right, which feels like something said in bad taste given the redundancies that have just been made and the challenges HX are facing. Unfortunately the physical location HX are set in doesn't help as you're relatively close to London and there's always going to be comparisons made. As a lot of those London candidates will have adapted to remote working, it's unlikely to ease the situation going forward either. I would like HX to reconsider the benchmarking used when evaluating salary and to be more competitive on pay, effective immediately. If the company loses too much talent due to competitiveness in the market, I fear there won't be enough knowledge left to transfer and this will cause much greater problems. The bonus was nice when it was around, I'd like to see that return when feasible, but I'm specifically talking about base salary.

Advice to Management

We need good, empathetic leadership right now. Clear direction and communication on how we're going to steer ourselves out of the pandemic. As an engineer, I have ideas on how the details work in software and how pieces fit together, but I'm reliant on the strategic thinkers of how to navigate out of this situation. I feel like there's a feeling of uncertainty currently and our leaders looking towards us to come up with meaningful solutions, meanwhile I find myself looking back to them for courage, confidence and belief that better times lie ahead. Continue to be transparent, open and honest. Please share as much as you can, as concisely as you can. Personally, I'd like these updates every 2-3 weeks whilst furloughed on the HX workplace Must Read group.

The interview process was a sequence of video calls to meet different team members, followed by a coding challenge (a choice of frontend or backend problem) and then a meet in person and a pair

7 January 2021

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21 December 2020

What is the hiring process like at Holiday Extras?

Pros

The people are fantastic, atmosphere and knowledge is second to none. Flexible working and ability to be heard at senior level is regular.

Cons

Well what can I say I worked for a company I loved for 16 years. I did not have a performance review for the last 4 years yet I was selected for redundancy based on certain criteria. I asked for a copy of this which I never received. On multiple occasions I specifically asked how I was measured against others and was told “it’s just a score” so I still have no idea why I was made redundant. I asked if there was a review process or how I could take this decision higher and was told that’s it. My manager hasn’t spoken to me since my redundancy meeting and has not reached out to thank me for years of service or asked how I am. Just being a human being wouldn’t have gone a miss. To top it off the CEO sent me a card to thank me for all the hard work and I was in meetings with him every week and my name was wrong. This made me feel very appreciated so thank you. I am not angry at being made redundant I appreciate this needed to happen to save a business I cared about. The treatment and hostility I experienced throughout the process was horrific and I was shown no care throughout.

Advice to Management

Regular Performance reviews 1-2-1 needs to happen their are heads of teams just not doing them so when things like this happen it’s a big shock and can not be explained when made redundant. I become ill whilst going through this process I raised it to the people team serval times and there was no aftercare or support not even a check in. I understand why redundancy needed to happen just wished there was more of a caring humane way they could have done it to which I did not receive.

The treatment and hostility I experienced throughout the process was horrific and I was shown no care throughout.

21 December 2020

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3 English questions out of 3

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