HackerAgency Reviews

Updated August 26, 2014
Updated August 26, 2014
68 Reviews
2.9
68 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
HackerAgency President/CEO Spyro Kourtis
Spyro Kourtis
56 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Initial pay is above average and there are free snacks (in 7 reviews)

  • The office is nice and I appreciate perks and personality of the company (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is a huge challenge at HG (in 8 reviews)

  • If you're not in Account Management, you're not respected (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Opportunity

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

    I have been working at HackerAgency for more than a year

    Pros

    Some of the best CRM, digital and Direct Marketing people in Seattle and big-brand clients, with global offices and international clients. Work is plentiful and expectations are high. Free food and sodas in the kitchens, friday afternoons the keg gets tapped, definitely a work hard play hard environment.

    Cons

    Some people, processes and departmental approaches are well past expiration date, so they've gone sour. Hacker needs to get past its own past and innovate how the work gets done. This creates a challenge, but also real opportunity to innovate, and there's a real hunger for innovation at Hacker.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be consistent. Be Proactive, not over-reactive. Be positive. Be supportive.

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

    Sometimes a silver lining just doesn't exist...

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

    I have been working at HackerAgency full-time

    Pros

    Office location in downtown Seattle is great.
    Company events are fun and are great ways to distract employees from the poor results of quarterly bonuses.
    Some co-workers have great personalities and are decent people. They are people I'd like to have a drink with outside work.
    Compensation is competitive for some job roles.

    Cons

    Some co-workers have atrocious personalities and can't be trusted. I wouldn't want to share a table with them during dinner.
    Compensation is not competitive for some job roles, especially if you calculate wages on a per-hour basis.
    Promotions and management roles are not based on merit, but more on seniority. You'll move up the ladder as long as you stick around long enough, but you'll never get to the top rung.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a step back and start comparing yourself to other successful companies, rather than just comparing yourself to the Hacker of 10+ years ago. Learn how to hire talent that are productive and capable. Your best producers are jumping ship and you'll soon be supported by only the weakest links.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Top Gear

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

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

    Pros

    • Rewards for employees who "find a way" despite client deadlines, budget constraints, or tight regulations.
    • Convenient location downtown to public transportation (shopping and food, bars and movies and stuff).
    • Dedicated teams and co-workers, more camaraderie then other companies.
    • Competitive atmosphere keeps you on top of your game.

    Cons

    • Can get busy fast, and there's definitely a sink or swim mwntality and atmosphere (not a con if you like fast pace).
    • Watch out for the naysayers and grumblers, there's a few in every department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    • More inspiration, less perspiration. Stop middle management from using fear to motivate, because they do whether you believe it or not.
    • Don't get hung up on the way you've always done things when there are better ways or you will be left in the dust by other agencies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Watching and Helping big Changes

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

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

    Pros

    Whenever you're at an agency that's been changing as much as Hacker, there is opportunity to help enact and guide the changes (for the better). The agency has really turned on a dime and invested in new capabilities (strategy, interactive, media, just to name a few) to change from a big print and mail agency into a more digital agency.

    Couple the capability change with the Blue Chip Clients mixed with really innovative up-and-coming clients and the future looks bright. There is a lot of opportunity for people who take the initiative and look to innovate and help.

    Cons

    Some negative people who have either been made that way (not all managers are good with their people, you can tell who works for who based on their opinion of the agency) or made themselves that way over time

    The pay and bonus structure is confusing, and half your salary is based on bonus. This works in your favor more than against it, but its confusing and unlike anywhwrer else I've ever worked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the agency salary structure a salary, not a salary plus bonus. it will be less confusing anfd more reliable
    The people at top need to Take the time to talk to people under the managers, not just their managers
    Don't favor account executives at every turn (they really are the favorites of the place)
    Offer more opportunities for managers to learn how to manage (don't just promote them and hope they can)
    Keep up the good work with things like working from home

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

    Solid Clients + Good People = Great Agency

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

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

    Pros

    More focus on work-life balance than most agencies--there are challenges but management is stepping up and focusing on family initiatives and work from home/flex scenarios that work for the individual

    Such a better group of people and so much more solid foundation than the other "big" seattle agencies. The work and work environment leaves W and P in the dust

    There's a real commitment among the people to get things done even with insane deadlines and deliverables and that means a lot when you have a lot to get done

    Opportunities are everywhere and employees moving between departments happens so much more than at other agencies.

    Cons

    This is an agency going through massive change and massive improvement, and people that are afraid of change or innovation can be complainers and negative about things, but you can spot them and steer clear of their bad attitudes.

    They expect a lot from employees, but you get a lot in return when you perform. This agency is not for people who get off on drama. It's not for prima donnas. It's not for people who aren't great at what they do (or are dedicated to getting better). Hacker is a place for performers who get off on winning and expect that from everyone around them!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Weed out the people who complain and aren't willing to change. You know who they are and where they're hiding.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Like a new agency

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

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

    Pros

    Some new blood in executive management, creative, account and investment in interactive expertise and strategy over the and analytics has shifted the focus and future of the agency, leaving the "old hacker" behind (even if some don't realize it). Old culture of fear and intimidation is giving way to a better one. Very active, very fast paced.

    Cons

    Change brings fear and pain, and Hacker agency is changing. There's some politics involved in this on many levels, and that can create problems. Someitmes the need to power through and hit client dates and asks causes problems between departments. But thats' all part of client agency and departmental work, no matter what agency you work at

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    focus on whats ahead, reward the people taking you there and don't neglect to fix whats broken

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great agency to work for!

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

    I have been working at HackerAgency full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with talented people, including top management
    Great salary and benefits
    Wonderful clients who appreciate what we do and share their enthusiasm
    Excellent downtown location and beautiful office environment

    Cons

    Dealing with winers and complainers gets old fast. You can easily spot them as they spend their days gossiping and complaining about everything, particularly about the long hours. Stop complaining and you might actually get your work done and go home at a decent hour, but I don't think they are bright enough to figure this out. If it's so awful here why don't they do everyone a favor and find a job elsewhere - I am assuming they can't get as good a job as they have here, nor the money, so they keep hanging on. Time to do yourself and the rest of us a favor and move on to another agency - any agency but here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior Management should continue to do what they are presently doing as it is working well in changing the agency in a very positive manner. We have brought on some major new clients that employees are excited to work on their campaigns. Keep cleaning house as many of us appreciate it - I mean MANY - employees talk about the changes. Some are skeptical at first but then we have started to see the new ideas implemented and people are jazzed about it. The complainers are starting to move on, but not fast enough. Get rid of them, as their grumbling doesn't inspire anyone. Keep up the good work - your employees value and appreciate your efforts!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    big wins = bright future

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

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

    Pros

    With global new business in the tech sector, and new national accounts in the healthcare and financial verticals, Hacker is really on the rise. The people are outstanding--from entry level through the C-suite. If you judge a company by the health of the business, Hacker is the place for you. Opportunity to make things happen for yourself and the organization are everywhere--and if you grab those opportunities you can rise quickly.

    Cons

    Some departments could use a refresh--the increase in digital work at the expense of print work means a rapid change in how things get done, so some of the groups that are used to working a certain way need to be open to new operating procedures. This change can create some friction, but there is enough emphasis on and need for this change that they can't avoid it forever. I've been here long enough and in enough different roles to have seen the change happening. It's not always easy but it's much-needed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that the things that worked a few years ago may not tomorrow. The faster things move the more you have to trust other departments and people to make things happen.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    It's all coming together

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

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

    Pros

    -Roots in a direct marketing, emerging into digital and mobile work
    -Solid client base and loads of new business wins
    -Great location and people
    -Company leadership is truly focused on making it not just a great agency, but a great agency to work for
    -Many of the bad apples who spoiled the bunch are gone, with great new talent and capabilities gaining speed
    -Focus on where they're going, not relying on where they've been
    -Positive employee performance is greeted with positive results from management

    Cons

    -Some hangover from "the old days" when it was more of a factory
    -The positive momentum sometimes has to fight through the old mentalities and old grudges, but rome wasn't built in a day
    -You have to watch out for some co-workers who are always looking at the glass as half-empty (but their ranks are dwindling)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay dedicated to the change you've been enacting (your renewed focus on balancing family and work is great, your work from home policy is being welcomed)
    Always keep listening to employees and trusting them

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Very happy so far

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

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

    Pros

    I've been at Hacker for just over a year and I'm very happy. I knew the reputation coming in but gave it a try and the negative rumors are really nothing more than that.

    There's definitely an "old guard" that resists doing things new ways, but there's plenty of new blood in all departments and opportunity to make changes that are really positive.

    I really like the people I work with, and the views from the office are just spectacular overlooking the puget sound and downtown.

    Hacker is definitely a work hard-play hard environment and there's a priority of business first here but thats kind of nice because you know where you stand at all times and what you r doing well and what you need to improve.

     Like I said, I arrived with my eyes open expecting a really tough time but am very very happy.

    Cons

    Like I said, there's definitely an old vs new push and pull here. This was a direct mail shop for many many years and they were very successful and had things down pat.

    Now the people who had been here for years are being asked to change and meet the new demands of mobile work and digital work, as well as really dense data and analytics.

    Most of the old guard is rising to the challenge, but there are some who need to be pushed or pulled along for the ride. I don't think this is uncommon in fact I think it's healthy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are many great people bubbling just under the management level. give them opportunities to keep them challenged and continue their careers here

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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