ZapLabs FAQ

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

21 English questions out of 21

21 August 2018

Does ZapLabs offer parental leave?

Pros

- If you're a recent grad or new to the tech industry, this place is a good start. You'll get a wider range of responsibility than you would at a big tech company. -There are always people who genuinely care about you, want to help you succeed, and just want to make work a more pleasant place to come every day. - Catered food, while only twice a week, is from local restaurants who take pride in their reputation - Office view and location by the marina are as beautiful as it gets

Cons

I've seen reviews that say ZapLabs is top-heavy and reviews that say ZapLabs is full of juniors/associates. The fact is: both of these statements are true. The reason? ZapLabs' idea of career growth is putting employees on the manager track. Promotions come by way of getting senior or lead added to your title and being given direct reports. People are artificially kept at "junior" levels too long and then management quickly becomes the only path to advancement. And of course, people are protective of their "better" titles given that they had to grind way too long for them, which keeps the org from being as flat as it needs to be. - Pay is not competitive for a Bay Area tech company, and that highly compounds the above problem. People might not be so insistent about hounding management for promotions that put them on the leadership track too soon if base pay for individual contributors was more competitive. No one's primary motivator for stepping into a role that involves managing another person should be the fact that that increased people-related responsibility is the only way to get compensation on par with peers who are IC's. - Benefits are not up to standard. Can't speak much on the health care, but offering only 5 days of paid parental leave (you read that correctly) is the biggest offender. If this isn't changed, I worry about the company's ability to retain all of the university grads they're hiring once they get older. - ZapLabs didn't feel like it had the room to be bold, and felt like it was under Realogy's thumb. I'd never expect any big, intentional strategy decisions to come from us, but I'd regularly expect small, less impactful nudges from our parent company.

Advice to Management

I know ZapLabs can be better than what it's turning into: a stepping stone for truly talented people. If retention matters to the company, if you want to get people who are doing their best work, it's imperative that you push back against whatever roadblocks you're running into with the parent company when it comes to employee pay and benefits. To build a strong company, you need to be a place that people stay when they're at the peak of their careers—not a place where people accumulate subject matter expertise and immediately leave, or a place where people coast after having accomplished bigger and better things for other companies. If Realogy can't afford to make that investment in its tech workers, it simply can't afford the leading tech it proudly proclaims to offer its agents—and Realogy has to come to terms with that misalignment.

Can't speak much on the health care, but offering only 5 days of paid parental leave (you read that correctly) is the biggest offender.

21 August 2018

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25 June 2019

How are senior leaders perceived at ZapLabs?

Pros

The vision is to internally disrupt the real estate space, and make technology the value proposition for real estate agents, who haven't relied on technology to provide services

Cons

Internal politics, and the presence of 20th century brand managers make it impossible to drive an engineering & product driven culture. Senior leaders think of Zaplabs as the "IT team".

Advice to Management

To bring down operating costs, consider growing the technology team, not the marketing team

Senior leaders think of Zaplabs as the "IT team".

25 June 2019

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21 August 2018

What are some insights into the strategy or vision at ZapLabs?

Pros

- If you're a recent grad or new to the tech industry, this place is a good start. You'll get a wider range of responsibility than you would at a big tech company. -There are always people who genuinely care about you, want to help you succeed, and just want to make work a more pleasant place to come every day. - Catered food, while only twice a week, is from local restaurants who take pride in their reputation - Office view and location by the marina are as beautiful as it gets

Cons

I've seen reviews that say ZapLabs is top-heavy and reviews that say ZapLabs is full of juniors/associates. The fact is: both of these statements are true. The reason? ZapLabs' idea of career growth is putting employees on the manager track. Promotions come by way of getting senior or lead added to your title and being given direct reports. People are artificially kept at "junior" levels too long and then management quickly becomes the only path to advancement. And of course, people are protective of their "better" titles given that they had to grind way too long for them, which keeps the org from being as flat as it needs to be. - Pay is not competitive for a Bay Area tech company, and that highly compounds the above problem. People might not be so insistent about hounding management for promotions that put them on the leadership track too soon if base pay for individual contributors was more competitive. No one's primary motivator for stepping into a role that involves managing another person should be the fact that that increased people-related responsibility is the only way to get compensation on par with peers who are IC's. - Benefits are not up to standard. Can't speak much on the health care, but offering only 5 days of paid parental leave (you read that correctly) is the biggest offender. If this isn't changed, I worry about the company's ability to retain all of the university grads they're hiring once they get older. - ZapLabs didn't feel like it had the room to be bold, and felt like it was under Realogy's thumb. I'd never expect any big, intentional strategy decisions to come from us, but I'd regularly expect small, less impactful nudges from our parent company.

Advice to Management

I know ZapLabs can be better than what it's turning into: a stepping stone for truly talented people. If retention matters to the company, if you want to get people who are doing their best work, it's imperative that you push back against whatever roadblocks you're running into with the parent company when it comes to employee pay and benefits. To build a strong company, you need to be a place that people stay when they're at the peak of their careers—not a place where people accumulate subject matter expertise and immediately leave, or a place where people coast after having accomplished bigger and better things for other companies. If Realogy can't afford to make that investment in its tech workers, it simply can't afford the leading tech it proudly proclaims to offer its agents—and Realogy has to come to terms with that misalignment.

I'd never expect any big, intentional strategy decisions to come from us, but I'd regularly expect small, less impactful nudges from our parent company.

21 August 2018

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2 April 2019

How are the career development opportunities at ZapLabs?

Pros

The people are generally great. The office is full of friendly folks, and there's a push to create a welcoming and fun culture. Work/life balance is excellent

Cons

The company lacks a sense of direction. We were recently told we need to scrap the main app we've been working on for 2 years since being acquired. Ok, what now? Our parent company doesn't seem to know. We are basically being asked to tell them what we can do and see if they like it. For management, it's meetings 9am to 5pm daily. For everyone else, it's twiddling your thumbs and wondering when you'll finally be able to *do* something. Realogy now has a strangle hold on the company with no vision of how they want to utilize it. Recently the CEO and all but one VP was either laid off or left on their own. Probably 20 people (including our ONE in house HR person) have left in the past few months (from a team that was 150, so very noticeable) after a round of layoffs. The office lacks the life it used to have. Beyond all of the issues that have popped up since the beginning of the year, there's other issues: pay isn't great, health coverage is atrocious (high premium AND high deductible? yikes), parental leave is an absolute joke (5 days total. You read that right. Want more? Hope you enjoy unpaid leave) and career advancement is difficult unless you're one of the chosen few. The legacy codebase is absolute garbage. There's not even interesting work at this point since there's literally zero vision or plan of what's going on the rest of the year. It honestly makes me sad because when I joined, the company seemed to be full of life and full of people who just wanted to build a great product. Now we're a shell of what we once were and everyone seems pretty unmotivated and pessimistic about the future.

Advice to Management

I'm not even sure who management is any more.

Hope you enjoy unpaid leave) and career advancement is difficult unless you're one of the chosen few.

2 April 2019

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16 September 2019

How are promotions handled at ZapLabs?

Pros

Amazing people, great location, perfect work-life balance, latest tech stack, awesome catered lunch (not anymore though, thanks to our great CTO)

Cons

1. No growth anymore 2. Lack of vision 3. Office politics (after the management changed) 4. Poor compensation 5. Limited PTOs (10 days/year) 6. No more work from home 7. Worst health benefits 6. No transparency from upper management 7. Constant layoffs 8. No in-house HR or recruiter 9. ZERO interest from the parent company (Realogy) to fill the current empty positions 10. Remaining few had to fill in the work for those who were laid off, without any extra pay or promotion 11. Openly lying to the board and to the world about current progress and update (Amazon tie-up) The list goes on and on...

Advice to Management

Replace the current CTO with someone who's actually knowledgable about technology and current standards. Be a little transparent with your employees and respect them and their work by compensating them well. 80% of your staff is gone (either laid off or quit on their own), and even then the upper management has shown no interest in keeping the ones that have stayed so far. They are still clueless as to why people are leaving (either they are too dumb to understand or too smart to act this way). I would be surprised if the company is still around next year.

10. Remaining few had to fill in the work for those who were laid off, without any extra pay or promotion

16 September 2019

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21 English questions out of 21