Merkle

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Merkle Reviews in Columbia, MD

Updated August 20, 2014
Updated August 20, 2014
216 Reviews

3.4
216 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams
David Williams
173 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Many smart people--from bottom to top there are many (in 28 reviews)

  • Work/life balance: Availability to work from home occasionally really helps with work/life balance (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Running hard means work life balance sometimes suffers (in 16 reviews)

  • If you are not in senior management you have no chance to obtain this award (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Totally disillusioning

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Director  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    There are some very smart folks at Merkle...but they leave before reaching senior positions.

    Cons

    Constant organizational changes create unnecessary challenges. An almost fetishistic emphasis on "company culture" - which as other reviews have noted, is white, male, redneck. High turnover for obvious reasons. A very 20th Century atmosphere of artificial competition.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good Ole Boy IT Shop

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sys Administrative  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Sys Administrative in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    Work with some smart and knowledgeable people.

    Cons

    If you like to talk about how many guns you have, how often and where you shoot them, where to get good deals on bullets, hunting season, killing animals, then this is the place for you (Monster Trucks, Tractors, and Country Music are up there too).

    If your interests are in boating and fishing, how to clean fish, how to cook fish, and the best beer to have with your fish or venison then you might fit in.

    This is a very redneckish shop and favoritism is shown towards those who actually have or pretend to have interests in guns, hunting, fishing, and drinking. Otherwise, you are an outsider. Most of this IT shop is white and male. The insiders work less hours and get promotions, the outsiders get used until they burn out and leave.

    Morale is low even amongst the insiders.

    They have a really hard time recruiting people. This has led to a lot of promoting from within which is a good thing until it is overdone. There is now a huge talent gap that has resulted in their most talented people getting bogged down in lower level work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Launch an internal investigation targeted at your IT leadership. They are the reason that you lose good IT people faster than you can replace them!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    For IT Professionals, there are better places to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Director in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    · There are some talented people in IT but most are unhappy and/or looking for other opportunities.
    · Opportunity to get your hands on the latest technologies.

    Cons

    · What do you do when you don't have enough people? Use the same resources for multiple functions and call it a "matrixed organization". Get used to having multiple bosses and conflicting priorities. There are far too few people to support the large infrastructure, they are slow to hire, and they struggle to retain talent. Hiring freezes are in place more often than not..
    · Meetings 7-8 hours a day (they provide greasy pizza for lunch). And just to make sure that everyone is in sync they will have more meetings to discuss the previous meetings, these are called "alignment meetings". This is an effort to get your 5 different bosses on the same page but you will still get conflicting direction. There is no way to get your work done during a normal business day so you are expected to get it done at home in the evenings.
    · The free expresso, coffee, soda, and chocolate is to load you full of caffeine and sugar.
    · Benefits are awful, your portion of health and dental costs will be a lot more than you may be used to, 401k matching is trivial and vesting is not incremental and takes 6 years, they implemented “No Rules Vacation” that is closely monitored and totally contradictory.
    · Beer, Beer, and more Beer - It just doesn’t seem wise to have a few beers and then head out into rush hour traffic. The company not only condones this but seems to encourage it.
    · A weekly resourcing meeting is held in IT where all resources are assigned 47 hours of work (the standard Merkle IT work week). This is manipulated to falsely reflect that IT is properly staffed when in fact it does not account for many other tasks that staff is pulled into.
    · Production issues are abundant, on-call duties are a nightmare and even if you are not on-call you will often get pulled into issues in the middle of the night.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a closer look at your senior IT leadership. They may keep costs low but it is at a much greater expense. Don't be fooled by the "Greatest Places to Work" survey results. IT staff was pressured to the point of coercion to provide positive survey results. A large group of employees decided to mark the highest rating through the whole survey but later regretted this. Lower the Merkle flag, it should not be flown at the same level as the US flag.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Clueless Senior management needs help!

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

    Pros

    Great People...very nice building. Free drinks!

    Cons

    There is never any positive feedback from management. You can work very hard and you can add value to this firm but you will never feel like you have done enough.
    also look at the make up of upper management....this will tell you a lot.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need new thought leadership at the top...Get rid of the dead weight....Add some diversity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Had to leave

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Analyst  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Operations Analyst in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    Your co-workers are your best asset at this company. Make the right friends.

    Cons

    No work life balance. Crazy expectations. No career path. Management is clueless to what is going. No training except Google. You will get frustrated. Hard to understand your dev team because most of them are from India or China. No on-boarding process.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please create a formal on-boarding process.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 10 people found this helpful  

    No Training + High Turnover = A Lost Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Analyst  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Lead Analyst in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    You can wear jeans to work.

    Cons

    Bait and Switch Recruiting: In the 2 weeks between receiving a verbal offer and my official offer letter, Merkle demoted the title, decreased the salary, and slashed the number of vacation days. They enticed me with one position, but the job I finally got barely resembled the title, responsibility or compensation Merkle advertised, interviewed me for and verbally offered. My boss-to-be tried to ease my concerns over the title change by noting that the same thing happened to him. Seems like that indicates a pattern of bait and switch recruiting.

    HR is Very Disorganized: On my first day, no one was expecting me. There was neither a desk nor a computer set up. I waited idly in a conference room for 2 hours while HR tried to track down my new boss. He also hadn't been expecting me.

    The IT Department is Ineffective: Of the numerous requests or bugs I entered during my time there (most of which were simple, but essential, permissions requests), only 1 was ever resolved, and that required escalating the matter to my VP, who had to personally visit the IT guys to convince them to handle the issue.

    They have No Training or On-Boarding Program: None. Zero. Zilch. Not even a tour of the building. I repeatedly asked for training resources and was ignored. I asked my coworkers, my boss, his boss and his boss's boss. No one had time for me. I was left to fend for myself.

    Due to High Turnover, There is No Historical or Institutional Knowledge: There were no other analysts on my accounts. Every previous analyst had been fired or quit in the preceding 5 months. My boss joined Merkle just 1 month before me, so there was literally no one who could outline or explain the work I was expected to do. I was left to sift aimlessly through hundreds of disorganized files and thousands of lines of uncommented SQL in an attempt to reconstruct the work and processes of my predecessors. Worse yet, after a mere 6 days on the job, I was told that I was the resident expert on 3 different accounts and that, if anything, I should be the person explaining these accounts to others. Talk about being set up to fail!

    In sum, I felt that Merkle was consistently dishonest with me and provided zero support or training. Thankfully I was able to get my old job back and didn't have to hang around too long.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Too tired to give a f#$% anymore

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Management  in  Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Account Management in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    Nice office building
    Very flexible with office hours
    Occasional fun events
    SOME people are nice, caring, hard workers

    Cons

    While in the office hours are flexible, expect to be available all the time
    People are quitting and due to corporate greed, instead of being replaced, their work is being dumped on existing employees
    Latest trend is promoting people to VP...the large majority of which are males
    Management over-commits to clients daily and then steps out for lower ranks to deal with the problem of how to deliver the impossible promise they've made
    Those that move up are usually talented at manipulating lower level staff to do their work so they can look good.
    Continually change the "mission". I thought it was to improve customer satisfaction, but how will that ever happen if there are never enough resources to make the clients happy?
    Not treated equally with senior or even mid-management - be lucky if you get to sit in on a meeting with them, but don't expect to talk. You'll get ignored or talked over.
    Nice culture guide - too bad that was the past and the present is a horror show

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house and bring in new people who care, want to make a genuine difference and will get us back to the "one team" collaborative culture - not more clueless, too good for the working class, greedy bastards that can talk a good game, but can't deliver when it comes time for the big plays.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Learn as Much as you can and Move on...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    Some Great People, a Great building, free coffee, you can bring your dog to work.

    Cons

    Senior management is out of touch. Top Top Senior management is not the best of the best. They have some great workers who contribute to the success of the company ...but senior management is
    not that smart.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look and make some smart moves...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Nice workplace, however work is often chaotic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    Can sometimes work from home
    Pay is good
    Workspaces are nice
    Mostly young, energenic co-workers
    Flexible schedules are sometimes tolerated

    Cons

    Expectations are to work 50+ hours per week
    Your work is evaluated by your peers, often leads to "alliances"
    Negative feedback shared with manager, but not employee

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Should reassess how employees performance is evaluated. Employee performance reviews are typically influenced by personal issues between coworkers. Need to rethink "surround sound" approach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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