Cobalt Reviews

Updated March 24, 2015
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  1. Solid company to work for

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company is a leader in its industry and its footprint is deep through strong client relationships. They offer a full suite of products and services that is really unmatched by its competitors. Each product on its own may not be best in class but because they offer all digital and back office services an automotive dealer needs, they are a force.

    Work environment is laid back and easy going for most departments. As a function of limited office space in the building and in Seattle overall, the company has been promoting telecommute options for many departments so that's a big perk if you're looking for a job that will allow you to work from home.
    The building is in the international district and is centrally located for mass transit with buses, light-rail and sounder train stations within minutes. If you're coming in from one of the suburbs outside of seattle, its very convenient. Plus, the company offers a free orca card.

    Other pros:
    -Good vacation time if you've been there for several years. I think its 3 weeks plus you get several personal days to use on top of the standard holidays.
    -Frequent social events and holiday parties. For example, they'll bring in food for superbowl or have a big halloween event at work. They also have free bagels and what they call cheer-30 every other week.
    -On site gym
    -401k match at 70% on your first 6%. Most companies don't have 401k matches.
    -Generous tuition reimbursement.
    -Great view of the sound and downtown.

    Cons

    From my experience and comparing notes, pay isn't all that great. They do give you small yearly pay raises which varies. Also some departments offer bonuses but its not a company wide perk, its handled by department..probably to make up for the subpar base pay.

    Its getting difficult to change jobs and move around to other departments. Prior to ADP acquisition, it seemed easier for people to move departments and get promoted.
    I think this is especially true for the services organization. Its the biggest department in the company. Because of that, unless you're one of the 1% uber-superstar, its nearly impossible to get promoted or be noticed. If you do get to move, it seems like you're limited to transfer to either sales, marketing, or one of the other services subgroups. If you want to try your hand at engineering, developing or something more technical, its nearly impossible. There's no career path or direction that will be provided. The best thing to do if you find yourself stuck in services after a couple years, is to take all the good things you learned and move on to another company.

    Other cons:
    -Medical/dental not all that great. Its high deductible HSA type plans
    -Dress code is casual but sometimes people abuse it, showing up like they live in a frat house...and smelling like it.
    -Some groups are very clique-ish, almost a high-school vibe or frat/sorority thing that they cant let go.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that the company is located in a city that is hot for technical talent and skills. Cobalt is doing a good job of training people into this industry and being a breeding ground for other companies. If leadership doesn't adapt by offering competitive wages and other perks to retain and recruit, they will eventually struggle in delivering high quality products and services. Its more cost-effective to retain an experienced talented employee vs having to go through the time-consuming overhead of hiring, training, and ramping up a new hire.

  2. Good company, but room for improvement

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

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great culture and people to work with. Thorough training and good benefits package.

    Cons

    Poor pay and you don't even get Christmas Eve or Black Friday off, even though the clients you work for aren't working. There isn't great room for advancement and the raises are poor, which is the main reason I am looking to transfer to another company within the next year. I feel stuck and need something to work to, not just the same job and work to a low yearly pay increase.

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice to have some more information on where you advance with a career within the company. I'd ideally like to stay with the company, but if you hire motivated people looking to grow their careers, you need to provide opportunity to encourage them to stay with the company.

  3. Helpful (6)

    if you are not liked by your manager your time is limited

    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digital Solutions Manager
    Current Employee - Digital Solutions Manager

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good company, reputable with dealers

    Cons

    If you are not liked by your manager, your time is limited. They will twist and furn things around so you will either want to quit or get fired. Poor management for workers. I have had mine talk behind my back to my team members and it came back to me. Not once but on numerous occasions. Embarrassing to me and to her.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management needs to do 360 degree evaluations on their management. Passive aggressive managers are in your company and it is a shame for a reputable company like yours.

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  5. good company

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cobalt

    Pros

    very nice, friendly,dedicated employee,small company

    Cons

    upper management needs to be strong otherwise its ok

  6. Helpful (3)

    You have to be lucky...

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

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    a lot of cool ppl that work there

    Cons

    if you are unlucky to have a manager who simply dislikes you, you are basically treated like a young black kid in the city of Ferguson. No matter how forthright and honest you try to be with them, if your manager dislikes you he will bend, skew, and put different angles on the upfront attitude you try have with him. Say you tell him, "look.. i am very rattled from that last caller who used offensive language with me, so forgive me for showing frustration but i really need to vent." He will take that statement and put it on your permenant record and say, "This employee once showed she was visibly upset. This employee needs to improve on not having any emotions or feelings as most humans on this earth do." True FN story!!!

    Advice to Management

    Please do not hire passive-aggressive managers who are afraid of confrontation. It is the anti-thesis of what you want in a helpful manager.

  7. Helpful (2)

    Fun culture doesn't pay bills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tech Support, Tier II in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Tech Support, Tier II in Seattle, WA

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

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

    Pros

    There's a fun culture, a push to make people feel engaged, and a lot of development happening quickly. Supporting agile development is awesome and exciting. The people make this place.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, a lot of the engagement programs don't have any follow-through. It's a lot of talk. There's a definite pay gap, too - toil away for years and meager (max 4% per year, only earned if you never go home) raises will put you behind new hires. Sometimes new hires under you. This is my main gripe, honestly. They don't reward loyalty -- but if you leave for money and come back in 8-12 months, they'll pay up (which is so backwards!). And don't even think about asking your boss for more or even a salary discussion - they reprimand or blacklist anyone who brings it up. It's very tough to feel like you're underpaid and not know how to fix it.

    Advice to Management

    Pay experienced hard workers! Reward loyalty! Stop making people in Services (AA, Tech Support, Ops) leave and come back to make what they're worth.

  8. Helpful (2)

    To-do list grows and grows

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Advocate in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Account Advocate in Seattle, WA

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great location in Seattle. All public transportation links within yards from the office. Opportunity to work from home and desk-share.. Company provided Orca card. Co-workers are fun and helpful.

    Cons

    The Account Advocate requirements and account load continued to grow but the expectations remained the same.
    Providing strategic insight to clients became a double-edge sword. Your clients want more insight from you but there isn't enough time in the day to offer the level of service that they know you can offer.
    Advocate attrition is high which lead to higher account loads.
    Too many specialists serving one account. A typical account has an Advocate, SEO specialist, Sales contact, then if they have addition digital products they have a Digital Account Analyst and if they add on email marketing they have another separate contact for that. The Advocate is the point person for all these people for the account so a lot of time can be spent scheduling or rescheduling meetings with clients and specialists.

    Advice to Management

    As the face of Cobalt, I would considering cutting the Account Advocate account load in half. If you want to show value to clients, the Advocates are the ones who build this relationship and can make or break the level of customer satisfaction. When more accounts are added to Advocates book of business, something has to give and it shouldn't be the level of strategy or support provided to the customer. I believe that customers would find real value in a single specialist rather than working with many. Train advocates to work on the SEM, SEO and email campaigns for those customers with related additional products or risk losing the customer to competition with this offering. The Advocate is the heart of the company, it would serve the business well to express appreciation more frequently.

  9. Helpful (4)

    Good People but high turnover rate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - SEO Specialist II in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - SEO Specialist II in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    hourly pay, overtime, good benefits, supervisors genuinely interested in seeing subordinates succeed and develop professionally and personally. Desk share and home shoring options. Good place to get foot in the door. Very likely to partake in events that get you noticed by other companies.

    Cons

    work load and client demands quickly burn you out. high turnover rate is disheartening. While they are interested in getting people to progress in their careers, there is limited upward movement in the company, but rather a lot of lateral moves available. Job is very unfulfilling on a creative level. Daily workflow centered around checking boxes to satisfy QA scores instead of focusing attention and work on helping clients perform better. No interest in making client better and growing business but just feeding clients lines to appease them. Job is essentially checking of boxes and pulling levers. This is the Spacely Sprockets of SEO work.

  10. Helpful (3)

    AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Advocate in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Account Advocate in Seattle, WA

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    NONE that come to mind

    Cons

    Pay
    Benefits
    Commute
    Management

    1. The pay is nowhere near equal or fair throughout the various work groups

    2. The benefits seem to get more expensive and far worse with each passing year.

    3. The only positive thing about the commute is that most folks are aloud to work from home either part time or full time...oh and the Orca pass of course.

    4. If you know whos behind to kiss or how to play a great political game then you're golden, if you don't then you have no real hope of going anywhere in this company.

    5. You really do have to have a certain look to get anywhere here. If you have the "Ken & Barbie" look, you really don't even need to be able to do your job well, just "look the part"

    6. The work load and expectations change so often it'll make your head spin. The expectations are so ridiculous and nearly impossible to achieve. It almost feels as though they are setting most people up for failure.

    Advice to Management

    Why bother with advice. Feedback is given regularly and always seems to fall on deaf ears because NOTHING ever seems to change in a positive way.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Big changes in roll yet no more money

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Acct Advocate in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Acct Advocate in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (more than a year)

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work-life balance, selfs management to a certain level. Great group of colleagues. Diversity, no drama or back biting.

    Cons

    Work life balance can become a crutch. Not much opportunity for going into management roll. Been there two years. Reviews but never a raise. Even though now we are wearing several different hats.. Acct management plus, sales and upsales, SEO, Content, website design and management. Lots of hands on our accts internally and we are the one in the roll that takes the heat if someone else screws up on their end.

    Advice to Management

    Push back for your teams! They all seem afraid to rock the boat.

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