Fahlgren Mortine

  www.fahlgrenmortine.com
  www.fahlgrenmortine.com
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Fahlgren Mortine Reviews

Updated July 15, 2014
Updated July 15, 2014
5 Reviews
3.4
5 Reviews
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Neil Mortine
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Best agency in the Midwest

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

    I worked at Fahlgren Mortine full-time

    Pros

    Fahlgren is a great place for agency professionals to start and develop their careers. Overall, this is an agency of smart people who are passionate about clients and, in turn, produce award-winning work. Lots of opportunities for learning and growth; management places high importance on building up young professionals. Amazing culture and company values.

    Cons

    Sometimes a disconnect between satellite offices (Cleveland, Dayton, etc.) and main office in Columbus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing!

    Recommends
  2.  

    Too much focus in looking good to outsiders

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

    I worked at Fahlgren Mortine full-time

    Pros

    It's great for varied, challenging experience and making new connections. A lot of the employees are very supportive of one another in general. There's no shortage of work, so if you like periods of crazy busy-ness and late hours, this is the place for it. They're also quick to pick up new tools and technology in the creative teams, so it's a great place to learn about a bunch of different things. They go all-out for the Christmas party (fully catered) and will bring in Chris Cakes once a year, in addition to a number of various parties throughout the year, which is a nice shake-up.

    Cons

    The company tends to bend over backward for every client at the expense of the employees. This often results in deadlines that requires employees (particularly those at the end of the production line) to work significant overtime to get the work done. This is rationalized as "the work ebbs and flows," but there is an HR policy that requires employees to log at least 7.5 hours to something every day, even if you've already worked 37.5+ hours that week (the 7.5 hour days are touted as a benefit to attract new employees, but they neglect to tell you that that's a minimum number, unless you're willing to burn PTO). There is also quite a bit of communication disconnect between the departments -- even the ones that should be interacting -- which results in a lot of unnecessary headaches. A lot of the issues are rationalized away as "agency life," or even justified, because the environment is still "better than" the competing agencies in the region. Additionally, the Columbus office, at least, is a cube farm, which can be counterproductive for members of the creative teams, especially when in close vicinity to the more vocal employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Live up to the "great culture" motto you love and make it a truly great culture. While the parties are great, the focus on true work-life balance is missing. Ditch the per-day hour requirements and allow employees' time clocks to "ebb and flow" with the incoming work, without requiring the use of paid time off. Hire enough people so that the employees aren't regularly booked for every waking hour and not completely buried if someone calls off. There's plenty of work coming in, especially if you shift project focus to quality instead of sheer volume, to hire more people. It shouldn't require the people you have working 80+ hours a week for the better part of 6 months before hiring more people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Fun culture ... Great place to gain initial experience

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

    I worked at Fahlgren Mortine full-time

    Pros

    This company has a fun culture which they actively cultivate. There are a lot of smart and talented people working there. It is a great place to work hard and gain experience for those just starting out. The company is very successful and has been on a roll even in a bad economy

    Cons

    The company seems overly focused on itself and less focused on their clients which isn't a good long term POV in this business. Majority of the staff is young and the company places less value on experience. Emphasis is on production not quality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some of the company's goals and objectives may have been misinterpreted by middle managers which may be a result of company expansion. Eventually this will come back and bite the company which would be a shame. Most of the people are good people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Freelancing at Fahlgren

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Copywriter  in  Columbus, OH
    Former Employee - Copywriter in Columbus, OH

    I worked at Fahlgren Mortine as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    The atmosphere is a blast and the people are incredibly smart and driven, plus they have a lot of the "big" local and regional accounts, as well as a good number of national accounts. This is a great agency to gain experience. Also, if you have a day where you don't have a lot of work, it's okay to surf Facebook until something else comes in and the time is still billable.

    Cons

    Freelancing at Fahlgren is an interesting experience. There are a ton of fun events, but it's kind of frowned on for freelancers to participate - you're not treated like an employee at all. Despite how much experience you bring to the table, you will do "churn and burn" work (on an extremely tight timeline) as a freelancer and you will not be given anything exciting to work on, like new business pitches or strategy. Weirdly, there is an inordinate number of Vice Presidents and on-boarding for new people is pretty much nonexistent. This is a young man's agency and new hires in creative tend to be younger guys they can mold. Also, the atmosphere is pretty clique-y and can come across as unfriendly to new people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in senior talent - hire a few great senior creatives, instead of a bunch of young guys with not much experience. Your clients will thank you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fun "culture" but the elephant in the room is overtime

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Supervisor  in  Columbus, OH
    Former Employee - Account Supervisor in Columbus, OH

    I worked at Fahlgren Mortine full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The culture is really fun -- there are a lot of company events. The people who work there are the best...some of them are my closest friends to this day. People are generally really supportive of each other and willing to help out. The atmosphere is casual, but professional. Everyone who works there is really, really smart.

    Cons

    For the amount of hours you put in, there is very little financial reward. My salary was pathetically low compared to what I could have been earning (and am now earning) elsewhere. Money isn't everything, but when you're working 60 hours a week, one likes to be compensated fairly. They are constantly understaffed which means long, long hours and very few resources beyond interns to help. I approached my boss several times about being completely overwhelmed but nothing ever happened to fix the situation. I became severely burnt out after weekends and evenings spent in the office. Some people get it a little easier and don't have to work as many hours. After asking a superior about that, I was told that "those people have kids." Well, I am sorry that I am being punished because I don't have children, but I would like to have a life outside of work as well.

    I really miss the atmosphere there, but I feel like the company invested in the "fun culture" as an external PR tactic to appear to be a "great" employer, while internally, they were too focused on profit margins to provide their employees work-life balance and a living wage. Also, the $100 bonus at the end of the year is a slap in the face. The raises are pathetic too. I got a promotion and my "raise" was basically a cost-of-living increase. Really, really insulting. Finally, I was in a compromising situation with a client and the agency ended up throwing me under the bus...which for me, was the last straw. The sad thing is, despite those things, Fahlgren Mortine was a really great place to work. I still care about everyone I worked with. I miss my clients. The environment was lovely and I learned so much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First -- pay your employees what they deserve. A decent raise for good performance and a fair bonus at the end of the year go a long way. Second, people need RELAXATION and work-life balance in order to their best work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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