Manifest Digital
2.9 of 5 35 reviews
www.manifestdigital.com Chicago, IL 50 to 149 Employees

Manifest Digital Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 35 reviews

                             

56% Approve of the CEO

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Jason Benedict

(9 ratings)

45% of employees recommend this company to a friend
35 Employee Reviews
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    Good not great

    Interaction Designer (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsHigh quality people
    Challenging work
    Rapidly growing company

    ConsLong term Client engagements
    Lack of diverse Client assignments
    Limited focus on career advancement
    Lots of new faces, all the time

    Advice to Senior ManagementI spent that last 2 years at manifest and witnessed a company completely transform in a very short period of time. There was a founder who wanted to save the world, who is now gone. There was a nervous Executive team that has now completely turned over, and a large group of negative employees that have slowly moved out the door. Now there seems to be a real company with a real plan that will either continue to grow or revert back to a small ux shop.

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    The struggles continue

    (Current Employee)

    ProsFriendly people that you'll probably stay in touch with for a while and come across in other places in your career. Snacks in the kitchen. Decent vacation time.

    ConsManifest seems like it's living on borrowed time. It doesn't have a clear vision of who it is or wants to be, apart from getting more business of any kind it can get. The company's projects are not so inspiring and hardly anything to build a career on for more than a short stint to gain some experience. Hence the continuing revolving door of people leaving. Current leadership at the top is surprisingly invisible for such a small company. They give the impression that people are just bodies and that it's all about the balance sheets. They even recently decided to cut sandwiches from Friday lunch and learns because a few busy people would stop by and grab extra ones. Slaps on the wrist like that for a sandwich twice a month are hardly morale builders and make you wonder what leadership is really focused on.

    Advice to Senior ManagementShow that you care a little about the employees. Actions speak louder than words.

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

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    Manifest Digital Director of HR responded to this review Jun 23, 2014 EditDelete
    Thank you for your review. Your comments are invaluable to our organization.
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Very talented people working in a highly collaborative environment!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsThe company culture is great and fosters a collaborative environment! It's a work hard, play hard type of organization with flexibility to work from home on occasion. This allows for a lot of autonomy and shows that people trust each other to get the job done.

    Everyone is incredibly smart and wants to share their knowledge with others. This is done through internal workshops and external presentations within the community. Everyone took me under their wing on my first day and each day since, even those not in my department. We also have a mentorship program which helps people develop in their career and seek out guidance from others, it's helped me through a lot of challenges I've faced. People genuinely cares about others and their development as a professional but also on a personal level.

    The team is very invested in finding the best talent out there to fill open roles and tries to involve people at a variety of levels within the interview process. Technical skills are important but cultural fit is a huge factor when they interview candidates, they take it very seriously to make sure it's the right fit for the candidate and Manifest.

    Senior leadership has been very transparent about where the company is at and where it is headed, which is a very positive direction!

    ConsThere's some lack of process but it's definitely improving, everyone is willing to help with this and that says a lot.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake sure you get to know everyone within the organization. For the most part, they try to do this but I think it's extra important to keep this up!

    Continue to be transparent, you've done a great job, it definitely helps and makes people feel good about the company we work for.

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

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    Manifest Digital Director of HR responded to this review Apr 29, 2014 EditDelete
    Thank you for your review. Your feedback is invaluable to our organization.
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    Not All that Glitters is Gold

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsQuality of clients was pretty impressive. I worked for some of the largest companies in the country as well as big names locally. People were generally good and seemed to be highly motivated. There would also be great conversations around the future of digital that were frequently enlightening and thought provoking.

    ConsClients were under sold and over promised. It was terrible. From the moment the projects would begin we would have to juggle resources. There were never enough people to do what needed to be done.
    The technology capabilities were a joke. There were some really nice people in the tech group but our ability to actually deliver did not exist.
    The level of deception was like something out of the movies. Five minutes after promising a client something the team would be doing just the opposite.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement was too busy back stabbing each other to really create a culture that could be built upon.

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

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    Manifest Digital Director of HR responded to this review Apr 28, 2014 EditDelete
    Thank you for your review. We will be sure to consider your comments carefully.
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    4 people found this helpful  

    Can't help but to laugh

    Senior User Experience Architect (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsInteresting to follow the chain of reviews...how does someone work at a company for 3 or 4 years as a current employee and say the company is so terrible. Seems like you should get a new job, if you are really an employee.

    I have worked at Manifest for 2 years and the company is pretty similar to my last job. Lots of change, many new faces, a few bad clients, and a few good clients.

    The biggest change is one of the founders is gone and for those that dream of changing the world your dreams went with that Founder. it is job, enjoy where you are of leave if you can.

    ConsThis is a Digital Agency not General Electric.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThings are much better now than they were 12 months ago. We will see if that improvement continues.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    5 people found this helpful  

    Developer worked to the bone for little pay

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThere used to be some great people there. They left.

    ConsLots of lying to clients and employees. Lying about project scope. Lying about ability to complete a project.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop planting fake reviews. Again, lying.

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    Worst Experience of My Career

    Senior Project Manager (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    Pros- The St. Louis office is better than the Chicago office, this review pertains to Chicago.

    - A few nice people left

    - Free snacks

    - Good locations

    ConsDishonest during recruiting - I was bait and switch hired, that's a fairly common experience.

    Dishonest during employment - I was misled repeatedly about compensation, bonus potential and career potential.

    Dishonest about company - The company exaggerates their size (they don't have 140 employees, not even close) and their scope (they are definitely not the largest independent interactive agency in the Midwest).

    Extremely negative working environment fostered by rude, arrogant and incapable managers who are hostile to their employees.

    Incredible turnover - 2-3 people leave every single week, this went on year after year after year. Most people didn't even make it a year, many didn't even stay 6 months.

    Constant layoffs - There were major rounds of at least 3 -4 times a year.

    Financially unstable - The company has very few long lasting client relationships and is being sued former clients. Since they are constantly scrambling to replace revenue streams, it leads to constant change and insecurity.

    Fickle, unstable leadership that constantly reinvents the company, sometimes several times a year. Now they are calling themselves an "agency", in the recent past they are calling themselves a digital consultancy and were going to focus on UX, prior to that they were a technology consulting firm and were going to focus on tech project, before that the owner was calling it a "secret society" and changed the website to be nothing but ancient "rune symbols" that represented the "universal truths" that he had supposedly discovered. It goes on like that....

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop planting 5 star reviews, it's lame.

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

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    very challenging, I was a PM

    Project Manager (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsThe early exposure to decision-makers at our clients' companies was surprising, in a good way. They placed a lot of trust in me. I got to meet and map-out these large-scale, huge impact client projects. The clients were really involved, almost like he was another one of my managers. I got pushed hard to perform, and I haven't seen that type of environment in other companies.

    Consspreadsheet and billing procedures were my least favorite activity. They are a necessary evil. My favorite part of the day was talking with the client team at Manifest and the clients themselves.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRequire some type of formal PM training for new PMs. I had it, but some of the other people who joined after me didn't have it (and it showed).

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

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    I was an interaction designer who went from entry-level to expert because of an awesome mentor in the company

    Interact Designer (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    Pros1-My manager and my mentor were both extremely professional and very, very knowledgeable in what our clients wanted. They were like coaches in getting me to improve my skills. I've never experienced the depth of attention I got from them. 2- Got to really link what our clients wanted and what we delivered. For the biggest project I had, the client company had a very, very specific menu-related UI in mind. My manager and I designed the UI and we were a bit off. So my manager cleared our calendars for the rest of the day and we videoconferenced with our client and went back and forth until we got the client’s design expectation exactly right. I felt like I was being led by people who focused their complete attention on the client’s needs. And we got it right and the feeling of satisfaction was brilliant.

    ConsI personally had some ambitions regarding going after emerging industries. Unfortunately, my team's entire focus was on our current clients. I would have liked to see more time to brainstorm what we could do for possible youth-based clients in Thailand and Vietnam. But that was just a personal professional interest.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep the mentoring going. That was the most valuable thing I experienced as an employee. It might be easy to let it slip as the business landscape changes, but definitely keep it as a priority for new, younger employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Proud to be a Fester

    Senior Digital Art Director (Current Employee)
    Saint Louis, MO

    ProsI've landed in a great spot. The level of expertise in this agency is flat out inspiring...

         UX department = genius
         Dev team = savvy
         Business/Account Leadership = full of tough cookies
         PMs = must have secret super powers, keeping the cogs turning like they do

    ...which keeps us creatives constantly aiming to reach and raise the bar set by the rest of the staff.

    Manifest Culture -- it's a big deal. There's a sense of acceptance and openness throughout the staff that makes it easy to challenge each other and the work without creating unhealthy friction. Even on days when I neglect to tweak a snarky reply before hitting that send button, no one has ever let things escalate into a bad case of office politics. We're stressed because we care about our projects so much. And thankfully that's the complete opposite of being stressed because you don't trust your colleagues.

    Not to mention, we have dogs in the office. And beer. And group lunches. And friends. We have a lot of friends in the office.

    ConsWe're a bit short staffed, so that can add to the stress. It gets exciting when everyone is wired and dropping Jessie Spano impressions all day...but it'd be nice for those days to be fewer and far between.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the transparency. It's a great morale boost to feel like the staff is in the know.

    Keep encouraging us to express ourselves & our Manifest culture freely, because even if we have cream of the crop all under the same roof, we can't bet on healthy collaboration unless we all feel like we're at home in the office, among frolleagues (it's like a mashup of friends and colleagues, I made it up).

    And keep paying for our beer (please).

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

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Manifest Digital reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Manifest Digital CEO Jason Benedict. All 35 reviews posted anonymously by Manifest Digital employees.