Hot Topic

www.hottopic.com

Hot Topic Reviews

Updated 22 January 2015
Updated 22 January 2015
305 Reviews
3.2
305 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Hot Topic CEO & Director Lisa Harper
Lisa Harper
135 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Almost no rules for dress code, you can be as different as you want to be (in 52 reviews)

  • Freedom to be yourself, no dress code, decent music (at times) (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management really has no clue what it is like day to day in an actual store (in 24 reviews)

  • Lack of hours for sales associates (in 19 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Learned a lot but didn't earn a lot

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

    I worked at Hot Topic

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to move up. Got a management position within my first year working as did another associate. Everyone I worked with was great. DM was great and did everything he could to help. Most managers within the district were very helpful as well. I could always call another store to ask for help. There was a strong sense of community between stores. Very laid back atmosphere. 40% discount was excellent. I lucked out by having such an intelligent SM and DM who taught me and challenged me. Unfortunately not all managers are great but Hot Topic is a company that cultivates an atmosphere of fun and hard work because you're just so dang thankful you don't have to wear khakis. I was in a band and was constantly playing shows in and out of town. It was great working for a company who was so understanding of my scheduling needs. It wasn't a "stupid excuse" to schedule off days. They really worked with my schedule and compromises were made on both ends.

    Cons

    For being in a management position and at times working 40+ hours as a part time, the pay wasn't fair for the job being done. Yes it's great to listen to music all day, have visible tattoos and wear flannels. But I'd much rather make more money doing the same work somewhere where I can't listen to music etc. Which is really not that big of a sacrifice when it comes down to it. I can buy more records when I make more money.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage your employees to grow. Work with them on an individual basis, learn their strengths and take advantage of those strengths.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    great compay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Dallas, TX (US)
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Dallas, TX (US)

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    great benefits, employee discounts, fun environment, meet lots of interesting people, everyday is different, and opportunity for growth

    Cons

    does not pay as well as most other retail companies, tends to be a bit stressful at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be a little more consistent and understanding of employee and customer needs

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Fun company little pay

    Current Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate in Vancouver, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate in Vancouver, WA (US)

    I have been working at Hot Topic part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people you get to work with are fun and great to get to know. Its never boring at work and there isn't really anything hard aboout the job. Really its just a fun atmosphere, thats what I like.

    Cons

    This may just be my store but most employees only get 5 hours a week if any which is only a day and if youre not on the schedule my boss wont even tell you and will ignore you if you ask if youre working. You have to be super loud, they basically want you to scream at people at the top of your lungs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tell your employees if they arent working so they dont stress out and maybe hire less people so employees can have some more hours...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Didn't appreciate the company when I worked there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Supervisor in City of Industry, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Supervisor in City of Industry, CA (US)

    I worked at Hot Topic full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Cool work environment, music all day long, open concept office, relaxed dress code. Cool company meetings every 2 months.
    I worked for HT for a few years and I didn't appreciate what I had when I was there.. I left to go to a more conservative 'old school' VERY large corporation.. It took me a while to adjust into this conservative uptight company after working for a company where you can drop the F bomb in a meeting and no one cares.. I had movement at HT - and now I am pinned into a position that I can't seem to move forward in..
    I miss HT a lot... I learned ALOT from HT. Positive comments are all that I give when people ask me about this company.
    Thanks HT for the few great years! Wish I could come back.

    Cons

    Same stuff as most companies - people are people... There are good managers and there are bad managers.. But overall I had an awesome experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How about putting a swimming pool in? :)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Downey, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Downey, CA (US)

    I have been working at Hot Topic full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fun environment, great product and generous discount.

    Cons

    Not enough payroll to support scheduling.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not fraternize with staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Move on unless you are willing to sell your soul to the devil

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

    I have been working at Hot Topic full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Only company that hires people with piercing, tattoos, etc. No drug test. So good company for weirdos and drug users. Bonus based on sales is good.

    Cons

    1. No work life balance. They treat you like you have sold your soul to them. Epitome of stressful America. Too much work for too small team sizes.
    2. When team members leave, they don't hire replacement and pile the team with more work without pay increase.
    3. Not seen or heard much from CEO, feels like the CEO is a consultant.
    4. COO has anxiety disorder, anger issues and treats people with disrespect, hence dis-empowering employees.
    5. When employees (including VPs and Directors) are afraid of the COO, it is a bad sign.
    6. Music culture is non-existent since the new leadership group has taken over. It's a fake music based company.
    7. Infrastructure is poor.
    8. Corporate office is one of the dirtiest in the country with layers of dust on equipment.
    9. Very poor office building with no windows. Feels like you are working in a closed dirty garage.
    10. No cubicles is a very bad idea. Which mean no cubicle walls to pin notes, cheat sheets, white board, etc.
    11. Only Hand full of conference/meeting rooms makes it difficult to have team meeting, discussions, etc.
    12.. No team building or team motivation activities. All work and No play.
    13. Team members are not trained to empower them to promote in jobs.
    14. Extremely gossipy employees.
    15. Employees don't speak up against all these inconveniences despite the management wanting more work from them, perhaps because most of them will not get hired else where.
    16. HR is useless, listens to grievances through one ear and out the other.

    Move on and find another place to work at.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating employees like slaves or machines. Work life balance is a thing that America is not too good at, but Hot Topic is worse.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great company, but your management really matters!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate in Temecula, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Hot Topic Sales Associate in Temecula, CA (US)

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time

    Pros

    The work environment is pretty relaxed. My co-workers and I were encouraged to express our own individual style. Piercings and tattoos are worn openly (but are not necessary, contrary to popular belief), music and pop culture related merchandise means that knowledge of music and pop culture, and the ability to identify customers' interests, is pretty much all you need to sell merchandise.

    Cons

    Disregard for personal schedule, very little hours, and lower pay than other retail stores I have worked for (when i inquired as to why that is, I was told that it was because we are given more freedom with our personal appearances).
    I had far better and much friendlier management at the first store (Escondido, CA) and when I transferred to the second store (Temecula, CA), it was clear that having good management is vital to having a good experience with this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick to scheduling your employees during their previously discussed/determined hours of availability.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Fun for anyone who loves music and pop culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate

    I worked at Hot Topic part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Getting to wear what you want to wear & express your individuality is an obvious plus... You get a really reallllyyy good discount as an employee! Work environment is fun for the most part, laid back as long as you do your job

    Cons

    I worked seasonally... I was treated well by almost everyone there except one manager was very cold. Like I said I didn't work there for too long, and would love to work there again but maybe a different location

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be kind to all employees and don't single employees out

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Excellent place to work

    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate

    I worked at Hot Topic

    Pros

    They're very flexible, open minded people.

    Cons

    Not enough hours available. It felt short staffed at times.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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