Aquent

  www.aquent.com
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Aquent Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
Aquent – “AQUENT”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 143 reviews

55% Approve of the CEO

Aquent Co-Founder and CEO John H. Chuang

John H. Chuang

(47 ratings)

65% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They're flexible with your schedule and work life balance is important to most teams(in 16 reviews)

  • The benefits are great for salaried employees and there seem to be opportunities for learning and development if you seek them out(in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • I lost an opportunity because in the end the company that wanted to hire me full time and Aquent could not come to terms(in 4 reviews)

  • The drawback to the bonus plan is that this is a work around for vacation time(in 4 reviews)

143 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Probably one of the better skilled temp agencies

    Proofreader (Former Employee) Mill Valley, CA

    ProsAquent is a temporary and contract worker placement service for companies seeking skilled temporary workers. -- Like most such agencies, work assignments can be few and far between -- but at least, my first assignment was at a high hourly rate in a low-stress environment.
    -- Aquent makes some effort to stay in touch with you and pitch new opportunities, unlike many agencies that you sign up with and never hear from again. (RH, I'm talking about you).
    -- Free web development training courses offered
    --Some employee benefits available, but only for those working steady assignments after 6 months.

    Cons-- Assignments can be few and far between, depending on how much demand there is for your particular job skills.
    -- Some of the assignments they offer are decidedly low-ball, e.g. long commutes, very short duration, for bottom-scale hourly.
    -- Huge (30%) tax bite taken out of paycheck, with no satisfactory explanation by their payroll department for what is certainly too much withholding.
    -- Like all such agencies, Aquent includes a noncompetition clause in their contract that bars you from accepting any employment offer from any company they place you with for a period of one year.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThink outside of the job-title pigeonholes that are so easy to stick people into. Liberally-educated workers with a lot of working years and different job experiences are probably capable of doing more varied kinds of work than you are considering them for.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Challenging, fulfilling, rewarding and phenomenal group of people.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat people, high expectations with high reward.

    ConsNo cons to share at this moment.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Senior UX designer

    User Experience Designer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsRepresent a large number of creative talent. Great representatives who understand the industry and are well respected.

    ConsAs an agency the roles are contractor. There is a gap in benefits that could be improved if possible.

    Advice to Senior Managementfind more UX designer

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Awful West Coast Experience - Don't Fall for the Hype!

    Recruiter (Former Employee)

    ProsAquent has good benefits for full-time employees and contractors.

    ConsI implore anyone looking to work at any of the West Coas offices to reconsider - or at least do your due diligence so you know what you are getting into. If you are early in your career...you may be able to learn something from Aquent and then apply your learnings to a better company; if you are more experienced, you may find this environment childish, uninspiring and frustrating.

    This review is based on my personal observations and experiences, as well as what I heard first-hand from colleagues.

    Aquent is a big company. Working on the West Coast was awful. Two of my coworkers described the environment akin to "Mean Girls" - an analogy I completely agree with. I regularly questioned management's trustworthiness and even had confidential employee-employer conversations shared with other non-management employees. One of my colleagues who is also no longer at Aquent had a similar problem.

    Turnover is rampant. The ENTIRE office (with one exception) turned over TWICE in the time I was there. There were incidences I witnessed and heard about where employees didn't make their numbers and we're let go - even if the circumstances were no fault of the employee. I witnessed what some saw as a "habit" of thinking they needed more people and then hiring, but subsequently letting them go because the business wasn't there. I heard complaints about the "my way or the highway" philosophy - a behavior I witnessed numerous times. There was at least one instance where someone went into the office for their first day and never went back.

    Entrepreneurial? This is something that many people I encountered at Aquent simply laughed at. There is a lot of talk about being "entrepreneurial" which gets some interviewees/new hires excited (me included!). That excitement seemed to dissipate however as "entrepreneurialism" gave way to arts & crafts-like "campaigns", such as painted orange rocks delivered to clients to illustrate a "rock solid relationship". Not to mention the very typical Starbucks Gift Card.

    Untrustworthy? I witnessed numerous situations where leaders were friendly to someone's face, then talked poorly about them behind their backs. Other colleagues witnessed the same two-faced behavior. I witnessed leaders giving specific direction to an employee and then reprimanding that employee (in public) for following her direction when a problem arose. This is common - they tend to "remember" their own versions of events that do not align with other peoples' accounts of the events. I also witnessed inconsistent standards - it seemed like some people were rewarded/reprimanded and others were not - even when they performed the same way. Some of the people i worked with regarded this as favoritism.

    No Leadership Skills. From a leadership perspective, I have no faith in Aquent. They may be good at "keeping the trains on schedule" but they have no leadership competencies. This is evidenced by their quarterly State of the Business video conferences - sure, they know the revenue and profit numbers, but try getting an answer about how they determined the forecasted numbers or information on thoughts about the industry as a whole. When I would ask what was happening in our clients' industries that could affect staffing, they could not give me an insightful answer. When leaders came back from a Leadership meeting at corporate headquarters, they would tout the benefits of some hot new initiative. They knew all the buzz words but when anyone asked questions about how the hot new initiative ties into the industry, business world, our clients, etc., they had no clue. I began to question the leaders' business savvy.

    This is certainly not a comprehensive list of my personal experiences and observations, and experiences shared with me by other Aquent employees. Hopefully, there is enough here in my review as well as other reviews to help you make an informed decision about whether you want to work for this company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    My employment experience with Aquent has been very successful.

    Senior Graphic Designer (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe best resons to work for Aquent is good service from the recruiters and frequent employment opportunities.

    ConsThe cons are waiting to for the next assignment to start.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

     

    Recruiter

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsLove, love, love Aquent! Good work life balance, great culture, good comp and a nice benefits package! Also, they offer great mentoring and training.

    ConsManagers can be unpredictable and sometimes hard to get straight feed back.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Meh - They will work to get you hired but it all comes down to them making money off your work

    Technical Writer I (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsThe recruiters and on-site contacts are friendly and professional. If they like you, they will work hard to advocate for you, and they will try their best to get you hired.

    ConsThey can't help you out with your long-term career goals, and you won't ever get a raise or be promoted--regardless of outstanding work performance or additional qualifications.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to retain the best talent, you need to include a wage increase as a standard part of signing on for successive contract terms. Also, please stop submitting unprofessional people for roles at Microsoft (i.e. loud, opinionated, "alternative" types). They are extremely unpleasant to work with.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Recruiter

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat work life balance, competitive pay, and a lot of educational perks if you pursue it.

    ConsUltimately the recruiting industry is very numbers driven. Aquent is no different when it comes to metrics.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good way to get your foot in the door.

    Junior Designer (Former Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsThey have an extensive network of contacts thru the industry.

    ConsThey tend to be on the low side of the pay scale

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good company

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsCollaborative and creative environment. Ongoing open communication with staff about company goals and performance. Strong focus on delivering value and quality to clients. Lots of really nice people.

    ConsSometimes too slow to kill poor business development ideas that eat up lots of resources. But also some really successful ideas, like Angie's List.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEnhance the board with experience and skill sets that are not currently on the management team.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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