Pros – The people here are great. The majority of the people here are in their 20s or early thirties, and most people are very friendly. And there are benefits.
Cons – Oh god. Where to start.
The salaries are much lower than the industry standard for just about every position, relative to the same jobs in Chicago. The business was bought a couple of years ago by The Riverside Group, which just buys up businesses, combines them with other businesses, and then sells them for a profit. Since this happened, everything has gone from bad to worse. When people are fired or quit, their jobs are rarely replaced, and when they are, it is usually by a part time employee so that they don't have to shell out benefits. Everyone is expected to work hard/late, and there is nothing to be gained from this. Last month we made 5.1 million in sales, which is an all time high, and our company-wide raises were 2.5%. No amount of hard work here will help you advance. All VP positions are filled externally, so those of us who have been working here for years have no hopes of actually making this a career. If you want to understand what it is like to be treated as an overhead cost, and nothing more, then this is the job for you.
Advice to Senior Management – Stand up for your teams. I've never worked for people that were so hopeless when it comes to actually managing people. A trip to Wrigley Field to watch a miserable team play baseball does not make up for a raise that leaves me wondering how I'm going to cover my increase in rent.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – As a designer, you can end up creating designs (almost) completely driven by you. I was able to build an extensive portfolio which I am proud of from working here, so for that I am grateful. If you like to work with people, it can be good.
Cons – The company views their on-site employees as disposable. Employees start a low salary and aren't given real raises. Centiv services other companies and in order to keep the businesses happy they have to keep their rates low, which means that they have to keep the on-site employees (potentially your) rates low. So don't stress yourself out too much because at the end of the day, you will not be rewarded for it.
When I worked there, it was another designer and I working in the office. They let her go and I was promised a raise (since I was taking on double the work) and then was told that I couldn't get one due to the "economy." I knew she was making more than I was, so the least they could have done was pay me her salary. That just shows you how low they try to keep the salaries.
Advice to Senior Management – Value your employees and do not make false promises.
Pros – Management is based in Chicago.
Cons – Still trying to figure out how to run the company. No unified rules to make the company run smoothly, instead anyone in Chicago can call/email you and rudely tell you that you are did something wrong. In some cases this "wrong" is a new rule or a new way of doing things that they "forgot" to inform everybody or simply that person came up with his own rules. They do not make anything to make the remote offices more connected to the company or even to feel as if they are part of the company. Also it seems that the secretaries/admins have more privileges or are respected more than the graphic designers.
Advice to Senior Management – Get to know the people working in the remote offices better. Do not rely only on one person's opinion. Often his/her opinion is very subjective.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
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