Critical Mass

  www.criticalmass.com
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Critical Mass Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 81 reviews

79% Approve of the CEO

Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins

Dianne Wilkins

(56 ratings)

45% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great people, who make an effort to make social events fun(in 11 reviews)

  • Great culture of recognition and transparency(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • A willingness to bend over backwards on projects with little to no reward(in 4 reviews)

  • This company likes to exploit younger professionals who are less likely to complain about a work life balance(in 4 reviews)

81 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    No idea what's going on.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe employees who do the actual work are good, but they don't stick around.

    ConsThe management is disintegrating. Seriously, I had no idea who to submit my resignation to since so many people beat me out the door.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop hiring buddies from Calgary and hire some actual professionals.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsI worked as a part time intern at Critical Mass for almost three months. I really liked how collaborative the work culture was and the team was really accommodating to new engineers.

    ConsThere is some room for improvement in their HR department.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Get the experience you need and move onto a better job

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

    Pros- Get to work on some big global brands
    - Smart, nice people
    - Office space is pretty nice
    - Additional perks: free breakfast Wed, free lunch monthly, beer o'clock, occasional lunch & learns, good parties
    - Compensation is pretty good
    - Dog friendly office

    ConsEmployees from all departments have been leaving in waves. It seems that the Toronto office cannot stop talent from leaving the company-- there has been at least a dozen people leave in the last couple of months. Related note.. the company does not seem to believe in sharing departure news within the company.

    - Lack of client variety. Working on the same type of work/client year after year kills creativity
    - If you are not in the "in-group", you pretty much are stuck with the most mundane pieces of work: no opportunities if you are not a "favorite"
    - Some new hires lately have been sub-par
    - Latest org. restructure of EAs under Creative Department is a questionable move

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop showing favoritism in such an obvious manner. We already know who you think are the "superstars" - they get to work on the most interesting pieces of work and can pretty much act like a diva. However, this really affects the morale for the rest of the team. Give other people some chance to shine - trust the people you hire. They may surprise you.. or else everyone just gets bored and/or frustrated and will start looking for new opportunities.

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

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    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Not the right place if you're looking to do great / award-winning creative work.

    Senior Designer (Former Employee) Toronto, ON (Canada)

    ProsPeople are nice, social committee does a great job of keeping morale up, parties and beer cart on fridays flexible hours, better than average benefits.

    ConsCliques, cliques cliques. There is no chance to display your full potential if you're not in "the list". The Toronto Office haven't win a pitch in a long time and the good work always goes to either the Calgary or the Chicago office. There's not a lot of communication in between the offices.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo Creative management - give more chances to everyone, not only the same old people.

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

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Smoke and Mirrors

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsA very laid back atmosphere and work environment. Good employee perks, typical to most marketing and digital agencies. Some great people work here. Or have worked here and left.

    ConsUpper management is super cliquish but mostly non-existent. Company culture motto is a just sound bite. Some of the support departments in Chi and Canada are a total amateur hour. Calgary runs the show.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAsk yourselves what the real reason is people stay less than a year.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    work you hard

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Proswork you hard, you will learn a ton but will likely be exhausted and burnt out most of the time. The best opportunities were had there for me...

    Consdo more with less, constant state of chaos with staffing, turn over, lose the great people and keep the mediocre ones. Salary review process non-existent...

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo not just replace the leaders that have left with who was next mediocre person that was in line - recruit and hire stronger ones.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    OK, if you can't find anything else

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCross office sharing of ideas between US, CA, Europe, SA

    ConsLong hours (that's a given in this industry); top leadership gives little to no support; talent is lacking; CM is definitely a revolving door place and typically loses people every 6-8 months.
    Don't believe it if you think Canadians are laid back and cool to work with...not so. Hurts CM somewhat with credibility to have HQ in Calgary. Most of the talented, experienced staff has already left.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere is zero culture here, and the constant turnover hurts everyone. Work-life balance doesn't exist and not even sure how to change that since people don't stay.

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

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Fun place to work when your first starting out

    Developer (Current Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsCritical Mass is a great place to work when your first starting out in your career. They do a number of things to make employee's very happy and they really do go out of their way to improve employee satisfaction. The have breakfasts every Wednesday, Beer o clock on Fridays, and a special Lunch every couple months. They have lot's of parties and they have lot's of fun team building events. The Calgary office is beautiful and is a open concept. They even have a beer tap! If you like to drink,...you will LOVE <3 CM

    ConsDue to the nature of it's foundations and its still current stakeholders, the company values Creative minds and skill sets more then the technical side of things. While this is not uncommon at Digital Marketing companies, the gap at CM is very clear and present. In the business of Web Design, before there were account managers, and project managers, and accountants, there were Web Designers. That fact seems to get lost at CM.

    Bottom line: Their Tech team in Calgary is dying. They have a very high turnover and the loss of many key employee's in Calgary has hurt them and will continue to hurt them. They do a number of fun things with employee's but at the end of the day, it comes down to money. They don't pay people what they can make at other companies in Calgary. It's very hard for them to retain top talent as it seem to be a place that grooms top talent until they move on for more money.

    They don't give raises, bonuses or promotions as much as they need to. People feel stuck, like they can't move forward in the company.

    They haven't been super successful profit wise in the last couple years and their unwillingness to recognize the importance of the tech team is major part of the problem. It will continue to be in the years ahead until they finally realize that the people who make the wheels turn are the same people they need to keep happy, and keep at the company. If that means paying more, and giving more bonuses, to keep the tech people happy, then they might just have to bite the bullet and do that.

    Hopefully one day, they finally grasp it,..but by then, it might be too late.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou need to get serious with people's career paths. You have people called "Career Developers" and they don't really do anything. You need to be serious about helping people achieve what they really want to achieve. You have to give them every opportunity to expand and improve their skill set or they will go somewhere else. Raises need to happen more often. The cost of living and inflation goes up . If food and housing costs more then two years ago,..you now make less. If you're not willing to give a employee a raise for cost of living increases and not make up some excuse about what that employee need to do to justify it, , you will be and are beat by other companies who are willing to do just that. At least in Calgary, people can choose to work at other companies, and quite frequently do. If you can't play ball in Calgary, then you'll continue to hire younger, less experienced kids who will use you until their done, and then move on. You lose some much knowledge and experience every year it should be considered a epidemic. You need to start giving people more raises, and promotions, and awards or recognition. Even small and simple pats on the back can go such a long way!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Smart people working in a fun environment, beset by some organizational problems

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

    ProsThe people you work with are smart, interesting, fun, and self-motivated.
    You'll get your hands on some very big brands and accounts.
    If you get the green light, you'll have the opportunity to really own some big pieces of work.
    If you can break into favor with the right people, you will for sure be given great opportunities.

    ConsBreaking into that "inner circle" is tricky and, at times, childish.
    The pay is simply not that great.
    Advancing in the company is not as frequent as it's made to seem. Open spots are frequently hired from outside the company.
    Corporate direction is confusing and contradictory at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest more in your people. Consider them your best asset and treat them as such. You have amazing people working for you in every discipline. If you go the extra mile for them, they'll triple that back for you.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Amazing, brillant people

    Web Developer (Former Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsThe people are cool, there are the little things like planned nights out, pizza parties, beer o'clock every friday at ~3. They use git, which is awesome. The tech leadership seems to be concerned with the new technologies, as much as they can be.

    ConsAs a tech person, it is a little harder to get ahead in the company compared to the creatives, but at the end of the day it is a digital marketing company, so it does make sense that they would cherish their creative talent. It seems that the only time someone from the tech side gets one of the bonuses, is when they are on the brink of burning out/quitting, but who can say.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou guys are rad, certainly a lot more personable than other management I have worked with

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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