There are newer employer reviews for Cobalt

 

Dynamic, fun, fast-paced environment

  • 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 8 years)

Pros

There are many good, smart, and talented people here who really seem to care about what they do and are fun to work with. Focus is on getting things done vs. politicking. Every individual has an opportunity to make an impact and career growth opportunities are there for those who work hard and reach for their goals. The company still has a start-up feel despite the ADP acquisition. The office and location is great and the benefits are solid.

Cons

Change is a constant, so those who like a steady state should look elsewhere. Self-starters will be most successful here.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

287 Other Employee Reviews for Cobalt (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Cobalt is committed to supporting it's employees!

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

    I have been working at Cobalt full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Cobalt provides the tools to be successful and believes in empowering the hundreds of professionals who work hard to build and deliver innovative digital marketing solutions, and who represent the company with their clients and in their communities!

    Cons

    Cobalt competes in a dynamic category, and as such, the company is subject to changes that can be difficult.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Toxic Environment

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

    I worked at Cobalt full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Cobalt provides steady work with steady pay, and there are a lot of great people at the company. Some departments allow work-from-home situations, and daytime Mariners games are sometimes an option for team outings. They also provide free Orca cards (though they occasionally ask you not to use them on the weekends), and allow flexible start times so you don't have to worry about your bus being late. And free food Fridays are always a good thing. However, the cons far outweigh the pros. I can't believe I stayed here as long as I did.

    Cons

    *Bullying is a huge problem. There are a lot of wonderful people at Cobalt, but there are also plenty of vipers & enablers. The general attitude is to cover up any problems & demote or fire people who get too loud about it, whether they're defending victims or are victims themselves. If you report bullying, management's immediate response is to notify the person you've accused that you've accused them, & then to force you into coaching so you won't complain anymore. There are continual rumors of lawsuits, but so far it seems no one's gotten together enough people for a class action. It's nearly impossible to get promoted, so the environment gets really competitive. You'll be encouraged to bully, sabotage, & mob your own coworkers.
    *Benefits aren't great, especially for families. The pay is just below industry standard, & they’ll find any excuse to deny you merit increases. If you're good at your job & don't anger anyone with seniority, you can expect a 0.5% raise each year.
    *Contractors are treated like second-class citizens. I have always been a permanent employee, but I know contractors who have been strung along without benefits for as long as two years. They are excluded from all holiday parties, all team outings, all community building events, the anniversary party, the Friday morning bagels, the weekly social hour, & any other employee appreciation initiative. They don't even get a jar of jellybeans on Valentine's Day. They are herded into over-heated conference rooms (in breach of fire codes), lined up at collapsible plastic desks against the walls, & expected to share resources to the extent that it interferes with their performance. They are routinely encouraged to relocate to the Detroit office.
    *Limited upward movement. There are occasional opportunities to move up, especially now that the SEO department is implementing new products that increase in difficulty & dedication for employees. However, you'll have to kiss a lot of butts & cut a lot of throats if you want to get ahead. This has resulted in the worst of the worst holding the highest positions, & you're going to have to make friends with them if you want to be one of them. Office politics include harassing, embarrassing, & forcing out anyone who rocks the boat. The rumor mill is merciless, & no one is above sabotage, which becomes all the more threatening when the entire department is essentially comprised of low-level hackers. Management looks out for its own.
    *No work/life balance. It is expected that you will work unpaid overtime. That is part of your job. If you clock in for this overtime, you'll be written up for taking OT without permission. If you work through lunch, they will dock half an hour's pay from your timecard. I was punished once for taking all five of my sick days in a row, so be aware of that, too. You'll be asked to shorten or cancel your vacation, or to sacrifice some of the accounts that were supposed to be covered while you were out. You'll be singled out in front of the team if you resist. Also, if they suspect you're searching for other jobs, they’ll start denying your time off requests to interfere with your interviewing schedule. For instance, they won't give you the afternoon off for a dentist appointment unless you can prove you have a dentist appointment.
    *HR & most managers can't be trusted. Management will only send you to HR to put you in your place. The department only exists to force your resignation by making your life hell. The short version of my experience is that my personal medical information was shared with all my peers without my permission. Don't give any personal information to anyone in HR or management. It's possible to get along with them - I did for two years - but the only way to protect yourself is to play everything close to the vest.
    *Overrun with dishonesty. When I interviewed for this position, I was told that customer service would be required of me twice a quarter at most, when in fact it was twice a quarter at least. HR called my then current employer without my permission, before making me a job offer. I have been asked to shorten my scheduled vacation by a few days with the justification that I was the last one to get time off approved for that month, only to then hear from coworkers that they had been told exactly the same thing. There was recently a company-wide campaign to improve Cobalt's ranking here on GlassDoor by writing as many positive reviews as possible. We got weekly emails encouraging us to write nice reviews.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You guys are in over your heads. The C-suite did a great job building the company from the ground up, but it's clear that they don't know how to operate on a global scale. They are actively outsourcing to India, & there was a massive setback when they decided to open an office in Detroit. The idea was that being in Detroit would bring us closer to GM (our biggest client), but the decision makers lacked foresight where our own industry is concerned. Although Cobalt serves the auto industry, it's not an auto company - it's a technology company, & none of the unemployed workforce in Detroit has experience in technology. Since Cobalt only hires people who already have experience, the company's been unable to find employees in Detroit, & has instead been "incentivising" (forcing) its Seattle employees to relocate. Just sell the company already. A chimpanzee in a top hat could run it better than you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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