Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) – Toronto, ON – 10 January 2018
Top Hat is an education-tech SaaS company selling to professors across North America.
Would estimate the majority of the company to be new graduates and individuals in their 20’s or early 30’s. This includes much of mid-level management, who find themselves in positions without any genuine experience or expertise other than having grown with the start-up, and the result of this is mostly micromanagement and poor leadership practices.
A high-pressure, high-turnover model is also a part of the company culture. The work-day is intense, with a perpetual focus on metrics and quotas and where failure to meet mostly unrealistic and arbitrary targets is often met with punitive consequences. Job security always feels threatened. Work-life balance not always easy to manage.
Any training opportunities were focused solely on company processes and improving the efficiency of mostly clerical tasks, which unfortunately did not really provide many real opportunities for professional development or career growth.
Work in Customer Service was akin to a call centre—providing technical and educational support to clients, but also requiring you to promote/retain sales and cold call as well. Compensation is low, but can grow slightly with performance incentives. Unfortunately, income gains are generally offset by longer hours and unpaid overtime (in Ontario “information technology professionals” are exempt from overtime pay) which apparently includes customer services reps.
As others have mentioned, Top Hat is place to gain some experience with some great people, but likely not tomore... build or expect a lasting career.less
Some really great and bright people working there, Free coffee/lunches/snacks, A growing industry
Really inexperienced managers, Poor communication, Sink or swim culture, Long hours
onboarding specialist (Former Employee) – Toronto, ON – 23 November 2017
The job it self was call-centre-y, easy but mostly clerical in nature. High emphasis on micromanagement via frequent 1-1s and call shadows. During peak season there is the expectation you participate in uncompensated overtime, and the unspoken expectation you will work through your lunch break to meet unrealistic goals. Management actively solicited feedback, but would reprimand you if feedback wasnt what they wanted to hear and would pretend they didnt get feedback on certain things when they did to cover their poor management. Its fine as an entry level experience point, but dont expect it to be big for your career.
VERY HIGH TURNOVER. Good stepping stone if you can survive
Account Executive (Former Employee) – Toronto, ON – 17 July 2017
Truly a great product. Something you can believe in and something I'm sure will do well if they can fix the internal problems. Good culture overall, but unfortunately there are too many negative aspects that overshadow this after some time.
OTE is very misleading for most of the sales reps and comp plans change multiple times per year.
Must be willing to cold call for hours and be resilient to rejection from professors. Decent work life balance depending which sales team you are on. Some are required to travel a ton to the states (50-60%).
VERY high turnover. Sink or swim environment and most people don't last. Qualified reps come in and burn out and quit, or get fired. Constant gun to your head mentality. Threaten reps with performance improvement plans so they can easily fire them.
No real career growth - they give you a new title, with the same duties, much bigger quota, and more stress. Extremely unfair territory distribution and blatant favouritism is seen across all sales teams.
A simple request may take weeks to get approval since everything still goes through the CEO. Behaviour of the CEO can, at its worst, be completely unprofessional and akin to bullying.
Overall it could end up being a good stepping stone for some, but overall it's not worth the BS. Find a company that will nurture their reps and strive to make them better, not scare them with PIPs and and unattainable quotas. Go somewhere where you are set up for success!
Shady management practices, constant changing compensation plans, little to no transparency from upper management, SMOKE SCREEN (so many promises made but never fulfilled), sink or swim environment, TONS of turnover, blatant favouritism with territory, disorganized HR, very misleading targets which can always change at a moments notice
Account Director (Current Employee) – Toronto, ON – 28 April 2017
I have been working at Top Hat full-time
Pros - Executive team is very transparent with their teams and takes into consideration everyone's opinions and ideas - It is a young, vibrant and innovative company flooded with extremely smart, hard working people that you can learn so much from day to day - They have free lunches and provide a lifestyle benefit which can be used towards transit costs or a gym membership - Coming to work is exciting and challenging
Cons - There is sometimes so much to do with not enough hours in the day but I would rather be busy and engaged in the work I am doing vs staring at the clock all day
Young, energetic workplace with 'start-up' type culture
Account Director (Former Employee) – Toronto, ON – 1 May 2016
As an Account Director at Top Hat I was able to work in a competitive sales environment while enjoying the energetic culture of a medium-sized startup.
Like many sales/account management roles I was expected to generate revenue from an assigned territory. The company went above and beyond to create a strong social culture that benefited from having young, passionate employees who could take pride in providing a software service that significantly impacts post-secondary education.
I enjoyed my time at Top Hat as it was a great opportunity to grow with a growing company.