Critical Mass
3.0 of 5 74 reviews
www.criticalmass.com Calgary, Canada 500 to 999 Employees

Critical Mass Reviews

Updated Feb 15, 2014

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3.0 74 reviews

                             

79% Approve of the CEO

Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins

Dianne Wilkins

(53 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend
74 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Incredibly fun culture and the people are great"
    in 10 reviews
  • "Work/life balance, smaller office, reasonable compensation"
    in 3 reviews
Cons:
  • "This company likes to exploit younger professionals who are less likely to complain about a work life balance"
    in 4 reviews
  • "A willingness to bend over backwards on projects with little to no reward"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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

 

I don't have anything to say so I'm not saying it here."

Associate Director (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at Critical Mass full-time for more than a year

ProsWork/life balance, smaller office, reasonable compensation

Consno leadership, run by millenials who think it's playtime, no creative talent or value for the work, where is this place going?

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

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Get in and get out

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Critical Mass full-time

ProsPays well for most positions

ConsEverything else is not worth it

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

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High school Drama!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Critical Mass

ProsCM will push the "fun" to mask the problems it's having. So if you like beer, come here.

ConsThey take advantage of hard working employees and do not compensate...well, until they let a few more people go, then you may get a raise. Not a secure place to work! They seem nice at first, but watch out, it's a ploy to get you in the door!

Advice to Senior ManagementCM needs to pull away from the click it has in upper management. No matter what good you do, if they don't like you, or if their friends don't like you. you will be let go/fired. You have been warned!

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

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1 person found this helpful  

Hire em, Fire em attitude... to keep people scared

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Toronto, ON (Canada)

I worked at Critical Mass full-time for more than 3 years

Proslike every place i have worked at, lots of smart people

Consmanagement is horrible.
Calgary centric, with big chips on their shoulders.
Unless you are with the Calgary "In" crowd, forget about career advancement
they hire people then fire them after 2 years to keep the salaries down
senior leadership has been there forever and live in a platinum bubble
sweatshop

Advice to Senior Managementgrow up

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

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1 person found this helpful  

Sweat Shop that Thinks it is creative

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Critical Mass full-time for more than 3 years

ProsLovely people
great office
lots of smart folks

Cons- they work you to death
- the creative leadership is lacking
- Head office has a chip on its shoulder
- lack of new business opportunities
- lack of career opportunities
- lack of ideas all tactics focused
- the place is run like a small company
- they speak of "it being like a family" which is true for about 20 people in Calgary, the rest of the organization, everyone is expendable

Advice to Senior ManagementGet more senior leadership from outside of your gene pool. Most of you have been there forever and you fall back on the same approach time after time.

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

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3 people found this helpful  

little sweatshop of horrors

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Calgary, AB (Canada)

I worked at Critical Mass

ProsCM has some of the most prestigous clients in the world, and the bragging rights one gains by working on those accounts is tremendous. Lots of very talented staff, and a great commeraderie among employees. Relaxed dress code and attitudes.

ConsPay is terrible. Overtime is completely taken for granted. The best people are worked to death and shuffled off, while those who can schmooze at the office parties are most likely to be promoted. So much potential, but the mistreatment of employees leaves a terrible taste in ones mouth. There are a few dozen people in the "elite" clique, who seem to be "above the law" while the hundres of people who do most of the work are treated like dogs.

Advice to Senior ManagementPut your money where your mouth is. You talk about how important the people are, but you treat them like garbage.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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9 people found this helpful  

A Bad Experience Overall

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Critical Mass

ProsCritical Mass has an impressive client list and portfolio.

ConsThis company likes to exploit younger professionals who are less likely to complain about a work life balance. Long hours and rushed deadlines are the norm. While they provide adequate pay and insurance benefits, salary bonuses and recognition for a job well done are practically non-existent unless you are in the right clique. In addition, the company and its people aren't managed well which has resulted in a downward trend in quality work and employee morale.

Advice to Senior ManagementI would encourage them to take a management course to understand how to manage people, because that's not a quality any of them seem to possess.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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If you fit in perfectly, this is a fabulous place to work. If not, you're screwed.

Project Manager (Former Employee)
Calgary, AB (Canada)

I worked at Critical Mass full-time for less than a year

ProsBig name accounts
Great opportunity to learn about digital advertising

ConsCulture of over-work and heroics
No respect for the individual
Over-worked staff
Lack of real management oversight or assistance
Siloed approach to projects means development and QA struggle to be successful
PMs bear all of the responsibility for project success but have no authority to make an impact

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't lie about work/life balance in the interview.
Be engaged enough with the project team to help when things get tight.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Great people, weak leadership team

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Toronto, ON (Canada)

I worked at Critical Mass full-time for more than a year

ProsThe day to day workers (developers, designers and EA) are all very talented and hard working. Great people, who make an effort to make social events fun. Kudos to the social committee. Projects have the potential to be good, and as long as the leadership team don't get involved, one can produce good work. Well compensated. Always had a good experience when working in the Calgary office - lots of energy and desire to do good work there.

ConsIf you aren't from Calgary, then there is very little opportunity to advance into an exec roll. Strategy from a high level is very old and dated. Creative is all about tactics, with no appreciation for big ideas. Projects and pitches are a victim of internal politics, and suffer from it as a result.. All the good people leave as they are not allowed to shine. Business is no longer diversified. No GM and no "leaders" within the leadership team. Too much complacency and a high turnover of people.

Advice to Senior ManagementAllow your employees to do their job and don't try and make every decision for them.

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

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2 people found this helpful  

Shine of Calgary office move is already wearing off

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Critical Mass full-time

ProsTalented people doing great work.
Clean
Well lit
Plenty of toilets
Vending Machine
New colorful chairs in awkward locations (corners, nooks)
Fridges to keep bagged lunches cold

ConsMoved 4 floors into 1
Smaller desks
Closer together
No more bistro, gym, hairdresser, etc.
CM now has a standard office with art on a few walls.
Some talent seems to be hitting the road quickly after move.

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