Merkle

www.merkleinc.com

Merkle Reviews in Columbia, MD

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
201 Reviews
3.4
201 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams
David Williams
145 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It was a great working environment with smart people where they try to empower their employees (in 34 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Running hard means work life balance sometimes suffers (in 17 reviews)

  • If you are not in senior management you have no chance to obtain this award (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

76 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Totally disillusioning

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Columbia, MD

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Good Ole Boy IT Shop

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sys Administrative in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Sys Administrative in Columbia, MD

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    A sweat shop makes rosy bubbles of fake hopes for young people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Analyst in Columbia, MD

    I worked at Merkle full-time

    Pros

    Hope to move up fast if you can endure all the cons longer enough, or say, longer than other team members . You will probably be promoted when all the team members left the team and only you become the veteran.

    Cons

    Every company has politics but here the politics means "gossip". It all depends on how your luck is, not the hard work. You might be working 70 hours a day with minimum wage and really making progress while just because your young lucky manager is jealous of your growth, your voice can never be heard. Promotions are based on random gossip, not work-related milestones. And your personal life also. And it will also affect your career. Here people are so bored and they can make stories for entertainment or for more malicious reasons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to manage people and put down your faking smile! manage up is necessary but don't act so vividly and not feel shameful. Caring about your employees is not just the saying. Do something!

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Really, really great place to work

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    This is a growth company on steriods! The opportunities here are tremendous, the work is challenging and the team is incredibly smart and talented. I'm never bored and I never feel stuck. All the reviews that say that Merkle is a sweat shop just aren't true. The company is very straightforward about this and teels you up front to expect to work 45-50 hours each week. They measure this, they look at the timesheets and they mean it.

    Cons

    In a growth company, there is always a lot to do. Don't expect to go home at the end of the day and expect to have everything done. It just doesn't happen. Its what comes with growth. Merkle constantly stretches itself so very often, you feel out of your comfort zone. But that is how you learn and how the company evolves and stays relevant. The pace isn't for everyone. But for those who want to excel - Merkle is a perfect fit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep being so open with information. The fact that you share so much with everyone is refreshing and energizing. It also builds high amounts of trust. Keep up all the recognition programs and awards. They mean a lot and i'v enever worked anyplace where I felt so appreciated. And please know, the negative comments listed here are from the vocal minority - people we probably never should have hired in the first place.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Merkle is a growth company where principles trump rules.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Director in Columbia, MD

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people everywhere
    Dedication of the workforce to go great work for clients
    Generally, leading edge technologies to work with
    No-rules vacation policy - lots of flexibility - ability to work remotely when needed

    Cons

    Running hard means work life balance sometimes suffers
    Revenue/profit forecasting has been lumpy resulting in several hiring freezes - but recent exec management changes and platform upgrades may help

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on growth
    Invest in acquisitions wisely - don't buy too quick

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    For IT Professionals, there are better places to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Director in Columbia, MD

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Enjoy working at Merkle

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Director in Columbia, MD

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

    Pros

    Many smart people--from bottom to top there are many smart people working at Merkle. I have especially appreciated that senior management is competent, and in my experience tries to make smart and fair decisions.

    Work schedule and location is flexible--the most flexible of companies I have worked at. You are expected to work hard and get the work done, but you can usually decide the how on your own terms.

    You are given independence in your work. I like places that hire you to do a job and let you do it. Most managers are so busy on their own projects, they don't have time to tell you how to do your job--they expect you to know your stuff and get going on your own. Not a place for people who need hand-holding, and frankly I like it that way.

    Merkle is heading in the right direction. The clients and project work in my case have been fantastic, and opportunities are plentiful. I feel like I am growing exponentially here, which is the biggest reason I continue to work here.

    Cons

    Salaries seem fair, but I hate the bonus program. It is not based on your individual performance in any direct way, and you can count on seeing maybe half the number you were promised.

    Merkle focuses waaaay too much on things like client billable hours. I understand they are running a business, but they need to flip this around to focus >90% of their efforts on client satisfaction, and then secondarily on client hours.

    Merkle invests very little in employee training and development at all levels.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on client satisfaction over everything else. Be consistent and smarter with bonus, promotion, and salary increases. Hire ahead of the work--things run too thinly here in terms of work per able body.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Fun place to work.

    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Columbia, MD

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    There is a lot of flexibility, fun events, smart people, and great chances to learn and grow.

    Cons

    The turn-over rate is way too high, and most people live for more money.

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hoping it gets better...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    salary, flexibility, company on-boarding is well defined/structured/helpful, some smart/helpful people

    Cons

    expectation that you "should" work after hours, not clear regarding specific job expectations and career paths/services offered at Merkle, not a great team atmosphere..feels like a "bait & switch" interview process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be honest, value employees that do great work , but work to live... not just those who work 55 hrs/week

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Political, Limited recognition of mid-level associates, Interesting Work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD

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

    Pros

    Interesting work, smart people; good place to get work experience for college-grads (Ex: database marketing, analytics, digital analytics etc)

    Cons

    Not much work life balance (55-60 hour weeks are standard); employees required to 'bill' minimum hours which add up to effectively no vacation time for the year; not recommended for associates beyond entry level; Limited recognition of mid-level associates; Need to be politically astute to get any recognition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Current culture is not conducive to building a long-lasting company; too much pressure on senior management to produce high number of billable hours translating into bad management practices and poor values.

    Doesn't Recommend

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