Merkle Reviews

Updated August 13, 2015
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Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams
David Williams
20 Ratings

Pros
  • Worked with some very smart people who really care about doing a great job (in 34 reviews)

  • Work/life balance: Availability to work from home occasionally really helps with work/life balance (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • poor work life balance leadership are fine (in 17 reviews)

  • Senior management is constantly changing policies, and never really setting clear expectations or boundaries, instead it is left open to interpretation (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (8)

    Senior Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Merkle full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Absolutely none that are worth more than the cons

    Cons

    I was hoping it would get better as time passed but it was more horrible every day. Extremely long hours, virtually no guidance past corporate on boarding, completely lied about job description vs. reality. Very "clicky"...senior management protects people even when blatantly obvious that they are inappropriate and unprofessional. Absolutely no work life balance. If you don't really care to spend time with your family this is the place for you. From the employees to the job itself it was the worst professional experience of my life & I'm no stranger to hard work in my vertical in this industry for almost 20yrs, well respected & dedicated. Best move ever was to leave. No amount if money or WFH benefit was worth that experience.

    Advice to Management

    Lies lies lies right from the start...lied about the travel, lied about the job specs, lied about the state of the account, lied about team dynamics & how helpful everyone was...never was in a position with more back stabbing empty people ever... you really should be ashamed. It was horrible. Really look at your Directors. They're shiny penny's for sure...horrible people...your pharma vertical is a well known hot mess in the industry because the core group are ridiculous people. From when I started to a few months after I left over I counted over 9 people in & out within weeks or months of starting (less then a year) with one suffering from panic attacks - pharma vertical ... They we're running out the door...I along with them & my quality of life improved immediately...I was snatched right up by another company & been there ever since. Working hard for a company & people who certainly care about the bottom line, but also care about me too. Recruiters from Merkle are constantly calling people from my company ... Nobody goes, I make sure of that for their sake. Take a good look in the mirror.


  2. Helpful (9)

    Difficult time ...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    • Cutting edge technology and infrastructure • Many professional opportunities to grow quickly • Above market salaries • Able to work with very sharp individuals

    Cons

    • Huge overturn of talent with no rehiring for empty positions — work is inherently absorbed • Phenomenal burnout factor — average hours per week is 55+ • Nonexistent work/life balance • Out of touch upper management with weak leadership qualities • A lot of unexperienced Chiefs and very few and exhausted Indians — top heavy organization • Abrasive cutthroat personalities throughout company leadership who are quickly are rewarded regardless of their negative impact on team morale.

    Advice to Management

    • Invest in the right people managers (trustworthy, committed to staff's professional growth, and not afraid to give their team players praise) to cultivate and keep top talent • Focus on filling positions immediately so burnout can be avoided and top talent can be retained • Hire the right industry leaders with pinpoint focus expertise for the particular vertical — do not retrofit or hire a "multifaceted" person that has no knowledge of the particular industry. • Many of the sharp individuals you work with also come with morale-destructive egos.

    Merkle Response

    Jul 16, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    We are sorry to hear about your experience at Merkle. We hope you were able to take away some experiences that will further your career moving forward.


  3. Helpful (17)

    High risk, no finish line, no reward, no life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some very smart people in the trenches. Desire to survive or make it out of this sweat shop fuels bonding and networking. Heavy reliance on remote work makes it easy to look for a new job after you figure out you've been bait and switched and headed nowhere. Pay was pretty good. Career opportunities good since people leave non stop. You might get lucky and end up in a good shop or work for a good team.

    Cons

    This is really negative but I hope to save somebody from making a mistake. No days off ever. Weekends and holidays were used to play catch up, including status meetings at the beginning and end of the day, and you working during the day. Reliance on offshore assets means no sleep as well as you work your US shift and offshore (China) shift. Routine days were 4 am to 10 pm, with work through the night 2 or 3 nights a week. You are completely expendable at any time if the billings don't support your existence. Old timers know how to make sure the hammer falls on the newer (less than two years) staff when cuts come, they play dirty, and you won't see it coming until it's too late. Everybody is a boss (account, strategy, functional, sales x 2 or 3 at each position discipline x number of accounts you are assigned) and they are minimal contributors except to yell for more work. You get to be the one or two people working all night to deliver, again and again while six or eight in the functions above leave early for yoga class or show up late to drop their kids off at the bus - and you have more than one client who's account person could care less about your other client responsibilities. Meanwhile, one of my coworkers was written up and threatened with firing for missing a client call when he was unconscious in the ER from a septic infection. Take a look at how many open positions there are at all times (and watch how they reduce the postings to feign there is no revolving door.)

    Advice to Management

    None, I presume this is how you want have things work. Sociopaths don't have the capacity to care. Keep your conference line access codes confidential, you are continually putting client teams in a bad spot as we get blindsided by your unfiltered comments that are heard by the client and cause uncomfortable questions about the raw disrespect you verbalize toward clients (or maybe you have a mole in management feeding key clients).


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Sell, Sell, Sell - Merkle's blind short term focus

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - General Manager in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -There are some smart people working here but rarely come across them. -You can work from home and basically set your own schedule

    Cons

    - There is zero planning going on here - Sell your way out of the problem mentality - Poor execution across the board due to lack of process (scary for a 25 yr old company) - Management is out of touch and blind to the external market - Old guard mentality is pervasive throughout the org and needs to be turned over - High turnover all over the org so its hard to find anyone with internal knowledge and a fresh perspective - Its a sweatshop with a pretty wrapper (seriously)

    Advice to Management

    Advice to CEO: Clean house at the top and surround your self with people who know how to take the company to the next revenue milestone by adding the appropriate operational rigor and strategic planning knowledge. The longer you keep the existing team intact the worse it will get from a turnover and moral perspective. The churn is costing you a lot of money and if you do the analysis you will see it lead right back to the poor under educated executive team you have in place today.

    Merkle Response

    Apr 14, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    Merkle has definitely been growing extremely fast and we're sure that you, having been working here for more 3 years, have seen a ton of changes. Your viewpoint is valuable and we appreciate your ... More


  6. Helpful (8)

    Too many chiefs and not enough Indians

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible vacation policy Mediocre pay Ability to work from home Smart and friendly staff

    Cons

    Work life balance at Merkle does not exist. You are expected to meet unrealistic timelines with skeleton crews. Management focuses on hiring at the Director level and above...

    Advice to Management

    Merkle has a lot of work to do. Fat chance of becoming a greatest place to work.


  7. Helpful (8)

    You can learn a lot but beware

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Manager in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Production Manager in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Worked with some very smart people who really care about doing a great job.

    Cons

    60 hour weeks will be the norm on many projects. Can go months working 7 days, nights, holidays and weekends. Sales rule so they promise everything without consideration of who actually has to do the work. Management wants the great place to work ribbon so bad they literally tell employees what to answer totally ignoring actually making any improvement changes. The worse thing about Merkle is they allow the Bullying of Employees. I witnessed several times great, long time employees humiliated, accused, and threatened by made up accusations. Exactly why this has been allowed to happen I do not know but it represents the scary underlying culture present at Merkle.

    Advice to Management

    Making money is not a life and death job, quit treating it that way.


  8. Helpful (8)

    Totally disillusioning

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There are some very smart folks at Merkle...but they leave before reaching senior positions.

    Cons

    Constant organizational changes create unnecessary challenges. An almost fetishistic emphasis on "company culture" - which as other reviews have noted, is white, male, redneck. High turnover for obvious reasons. A very 20th Century atmosphere of artificial competition.


  9. Helpful (9)

    Good Ole Boy IT Shop

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sys Administrative in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Sys Administrative in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work with some smart and knowledgeable people.

    Cons

    If you like to talk about how many guns you have, how often and where you shoot them, where to get good deals on bullets, hunting season, killing animals, then this is the place for you (Monster Trucks, Tractors, and Country Music are up there too). If your interests are in boating and fishing, how to clean fish, how to cook fish, and the best beer to have with your fish or venison then you might fit in. This is a very redneckish shop and favoritism is shown towards those who actually have or pretend to have interests in guns, hunting, fishing, and drinking. Otherwise, you are an outsider. Most of this IT shop is white and male. The insiders work less hours and get promotions, the outsiders get used until they burn out and leave. Morale is low even amongst the insiders. They have a really hard time recruiting people. This has led to a lot of promoting from within which is a good thing until it is overdone. There is now a huge talent gap that has resulted in their most talented people getting bogged down in lower level work.

    Advice to Management

    Launch an internal investigation targeted at your IT leadership. They are the reason that you lose good IT people faster than you can replace them!


  10. Helpful (12)

    For IT Professionals, there are better places to work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Director in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    · There are some talented people in IT but most are unhappy and/or looking for other opportunities. · Opportunity to get your hands on the latest technologies.

    Cons

    · What do you do when you don't have enough people? Use the same resources for multiple functions and call it a "matrixed organization". Get used to having multiple bosses and conflicting priorities. There are far too few people to support the large infrastructure, they are slow to hire, and they struggle to retain talent. Hiring freezes are in place more often than not.. · Meetings 7-8 hours a day (they provide greasy pizza for lunch). And just to make sure that everyone is in sync they will have more meetings to discuss the previous meetings, these are called "alignment meetings". This is an effort to get your 5 different bosses on the same page but you will still get conflicting direction. There is no way to get your work done during a normal business day so you are expected to get it done at home in the evenings. · The free expresso, coffee, soda, and chocolate is to load you full of caffeine and sugar. · Benefits are awful, your portion of health and dental costs will be a lot more than you may be used to, 401k matching is trivial and vesting is not incremental and takes 6 years, they implemented “No Rules Vacation” that is closely monitored and totally contradictory. · Beer, Beer, and more Beer - It just doesn’t seem wise to have a few beers and then head out into rush hour traffic. The company not only condones this but seems to encourage it. · A weekly resourcing meeting is held in IT where all resources are assigned 47 hours of work (the standard Merkle IT work week). This is manipulated to falsely reflect that IT is properly staffed when in fact it does not account for many other tasks that staff is pulled into. · Production issues are abundant, on-call duties are a nightmare and even if you are not on-call you will often get pulled into issues in the middle of the night.

    Advice to Management

    Take a closer look at your senior IT leadership. They may keep costs low but it is at a much greater expense. Don't be fooled by the "Greatest Places to Work" survey results. IT staff was pressured to the point of coercion to provide positive survey results. A large group of employees decided to mark the highest rating through the whole survey but later regretted this. Lower the Merkle flag, it should not be flown at the same level as the US flag.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Clueless Senior management needs help!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great People...very nice building. Free drinks!

    Cons

    There is never any positive feedback from management. You can work very hard and you can add value to this firm but you will never feel like you have done enough. also look at the make up of upper management....this will tell you a lot.

    Advice to Management

    You need new thought leadership at the top...Get rid of the dead weight....Add some diversity.



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