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Top Hat Reviews

Updated 19 March 2019
211 reviews

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

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "free lunch and trips to Toronto" (in 30 reviews)

  • "Catered lunch every day (very good) amazing coffee machine" (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • "Not a 9-5 job but the more you put in the more you will get out" (in 9 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)

    "Awesome product, great atmosphere"

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

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

    Pros

    - My work and achievements seem to really be appreciated here. Everyone is quite receptive of exchanging ideas and brainstorming to make the company better.
    - Challenging / meaningful work makes the day go by quickly. You'll find yourself asking where all the time in the day went.
    - There has been a really positive shift in the right direction over the last year, which is quite visible. This is especially the case in my department (revenue/sales) and the executive leadership is really strong.
    - The people here are amazing! Plain and simple.
    - It seems as though HR is addressing concerns around career growth. I was in a presentation recently and the plan looks great. It's something we've needed for a long time now.
    - As trivial as this may sound, the daily catered lunches are amazing and it helps me save so much money!
    - Very diverse group of employees.

    Cons

    - We're growing really fast and some of those growing pains can be seen in our day to day work. At times, it can seem disorganized.
    - Career pathing has been a problem in the past, but I did mention that it looks like it's being addressed.
    - There should be more of an emphasis on work / life balance and shutting off when it's time to go home. It seems like some people are working long hours. I'm not sure if that's because they are not managing their time well or something else.

    Advice to Management

    - Some of the more senior "C-Level" execs should mentor the more junior "C-Level" execs so that communication and expectations are the same. There seems to be a disconnect there at times.
    - Continue to get feedback from all levels of the organization like you have been. A lot of great initiatives coming out seem to have came from employee feedback, which is refreshing.
    - Over the last couple of years, I've seen a big shift which is great. It's important to continue creating a culture of belonging and work / life balance where people who are passionate about their work can thrive without feeling too much pressure. We all have Top Hat's best intentions in mind.
    - I think we're headed in the right direction!


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Amazing Place to Work - Not for Everyone!"

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

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Top Hat has an amazing product that actually matters, one of the best software executive teams (if not best) in Toronto, and a vibrant culture. Some other highlights include:
    * You are treated like an adult and given the freedom to do great work
    * Amazing compensation for sales if you do well
    * Constant Career opportunities
    * Catered lunches
    * Your colleagues are all young, driven, and passionate about our product making a difference
    * Travel opportunities
    * Having a huge hand in building a Canadian Sucess Story

    Cons

    Even though Top Hat is not a 'startup' anymore, it still has the same growing pains like any startup experiencing hyper growth. New products are constantly being delivered, strategy is being changed, and growth expectations are very high. If you can't handle a sometimes uncertain environment, then a big corporate company may be better fit for you. However, with these small downsides comes huge upside!

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to your employees and keep thinking big!

  3. Helpful (8)

    "A company (and team) driving positive change in the world"

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

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

    Pros

    - Some of the smartest people I've ever worked with
    - A great Canadian technology success story with huge potential for global reach
    - Lots of work perks - beautiful office, great location, many amenities (catered lunch every day, snack walls on every floor, lots of social events, we use the latest tech for everything)
    - A customer base that actually loves our product, and what it helps them achieve
    - The impact we're driving is real - student success rates are improving, and professors are more effective at teaching

    Cons

    - If you're not used to a fast pace, or like rolling up your sleeves to get work done- you will struggle. Top Hat is for doers.
    - Some of the challenges you'd expect from a small, fast-growing company - for example: lots of great ideas and passion to do important things, not enough hours in the day to get it all done
    - Intense focus on metrics may be overwhelming to some

    Advice to Management

    Maintain the current intense focus on listening to employee feedback - and continue to equip managers to support their teams.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to grow if you are willing to put in the work"

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

    I have been working at Top Hat full-time

    Pros

    -Tons of opportunities for internal growth (upwards and lateral, including interdepartmental)
    -Your job can be so much more than a 9-5, but you have to take the ownership of seeking out opportunities - this is a place for go-getters
    -Unbelievably friendly and smart employees. Almost everyone ends up forging strong friendships at Top Hat
    -Young, energetic, and ambitious workforce with lots of people who really care about changing education
    -Weekly all-hands and chances to ask execs questions in a public forum
    -Feedback culture - some managers are better at this than others but it's a shared company value.
    -Strong company mission you can feel good about
    -Recently huge emphasis on employee-focused culture changes
    -Great office space, including recently added Wellness Centre with quiet working space, meditation and yoga rooms, etc. Also sit/stand desks for all!
    -Good perks - lunches, snacks, health, LSA, and lots of company-sponsored social events.

    Cons

    -Pay for some roles could be more competitive - seems like for many roles Top Hat will pay the minimum they can get away with in the market
    -You have to be a bit scrappy and you have to own your own development here - you are not going to be spoon-fed
    -For the most part, execs are not outwardly warm. I wish they would engage proactively with employees instead of only when someone approaches them first.
    -Big variations in management/leadership skills across the business and no structured management training programs
    -Sometimes there is a weird amount of red tape to get certain things done which seems unnecessary and out of place

    Advice to Management

    -Keep up the employee-focused and Diversity/Inclusivity initiatives
    -Keep hiring only the best
    -Smile and say "hi, how are you?" to people when you're walking around the office
    -Be more flexible with salaries to show valued employees you want them to stay (and to bring great candidates in the door) - turnover/replacing staff is costing the business way more in the long run
    -Please formalize a good management training program!


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Great place to work at"

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

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

    Pros

    - Very smart co-workers across the company (many Ivy League alumni and PhDs around)
    - Friendly, driven, and supportive team
    - Rewarding work: High market impact on making higher ed more innovative and less costly for students
    - Lots of innovation and exciting new products in the pipeline
    - Opportunities for leadership development training
    - Lots of ways to stretch yourself by taking on complex cross-functional work to demonstrate your worth

    Cons

    - Fast-paced environment meant for high performers. If you're looking for a chill job you should look elsewhere.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Best Place I've Ever Worked"

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

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

    Pros

    This is by far my favourite company I've worked at. I enjoy going to work every day and genuinely enjoy all the time I spend here.

    The people here are fantastic and talented. The people I work with are all people I want to spend time with outside of work; and do! I've made plenty of good friends while working here.

    The work is fulfilling, as we are actually building something of significance. You can go on classroom visits to see our product in action!

    The company invests in its employees by spending money on courses, management training, and building private relaxation rooms. The work life balance is good. I have never felt stressed out or had to work late. There's also lots of company fun to be had, with lots of social events! The company is also putting a big focus on diversity and employee well being this year.

    The office is incredible, with a massive lunch space, beautiful meeting rooms, a quiet library, relaxation rooms, a meditation/yoga room, a breastfeeding room, a ping pong table, and a foosball table.

    The company is at the perfect size (350 people). It's big enough that there's structure, stability, and a plan. It's small enough that you know most people and can make a big impact.

    Cons

    The product team sometimes has difficulty seeing a feature through to full completion because they want to focus on the next big thing. This can be frustrating to watch.

    Advice to Management

    See new features through to completion! It's better to have 5 amazing products/features than 20 half-finished features!


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to grow"

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

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

    Pros

    I've been pushed in my role and encouraged to take responsibility for my own growth.
    The people I work with are second to none. I can't imagine a better team of people to work with.
    I find that the company gives opportunities equally and are always looking for the best talent in a fair and unbiased way.
    I think the company is aware of most of their flaws and are proactively trying to improve.

    Cons

    I think the benefits are incredibly limited - it makes a very long term future with the company almost impossible.
    sometimes we are a little too data driven.

    Advice to Management

    Keep looking at your flaws and continue to improve where there's weakness - keep asking for insight.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Fast-paced, big upside, will learn a lot quickly, not for the 9-5er"

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

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

    Pros

    -Great senior leadership who really empower the employee
    -Heavy emphasis on addressing prior glassdoor reviews to foster an incredible work experience for the employee, and one with career longevity (and it is working so far)
    -Technology is effective, loved by students , and truly makes a positive impact - makes work very fulfilling
    -A talent pool of A-players
    -Great office, office location and perks

    Cons

    -Often simply not enough time in the day to everything done - have to really prioritize time
    -A lot of meetings that could potentially be taken to slack

    Advice to Management

    -Continue to focus on employee experience that will lead to a better customer experience and business outcome.
    -Continue to listen to employees and apply their feedback.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Account Director"

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

    I worked at Top Hat full-time

    Pros

    travel, great lunch, great benefits

    Cons

    products not closely aligned with market demand, over a month each year spent on data entry, high turnover at every level incl. VP/exec

    Advice to Management

    be more in touch with current trends in education


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great working environment"

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

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

    Pros

    Fantastic colleagues
    Competitive salary
    Food options
    Insurance benefits

    Cons

    Not a lot of career evolution paths (engineering)