Sparling Reviews

Updated April 28, 2015
8 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Any Status
Employment Status

Reset
2.5
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Eric T. Overton
5 Ratings

8 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Design Consultant Intern

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

    I worked at Sparling as an intern

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The culture was fantastic. All of the designers, engineers and managers were more than willing to help and provide feedback on work and projects.

    Cons

    There were some internal lack of top leadership. Top leadership did not take interest into what projects were active and what technical problems were occurring.

    Advice to Management

    Take more interest into what projects are active, and what issues that your designers are facing every day.


  2. About time for a good review

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

    I have been working at Sparling full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Healthy investment in staff. Exciting projects. Striving to push the envelope of new technologies. Great culture of quality work. Nothing but great experience as an employee.

    Cons

    Outdated technology slows production. Org structure is dense and challenging to follow. Poor health benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Clean up the org structure. Fix the health benefits. Improve transparency of leadership. And seriously, get some computers that are less than 6 years old.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Horrible Company Culture

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are a few great people at this company, but there seems to be a web of secrecy among management so you can never be sure who to trust.

    Cons

    Sparling's culture is very bleak. Employees walk with their heads down and do not talk to one another. Employees count every minute they are working. Health benefits are extremely expensive and get worse every year. The company is broken into design studios who share people but also compete so it creates a hostile working environment where every manager is competing for time. The IT Department adds to the poor culture. If you have a problem with your computer and ask for help, they will make fun of you first before fixing it. The many Principals at Sparling lead with their emotions. If they don't like you, they won't talk to you. If they do like you, you'll get special treatment. If you are planning to leave the company, they will ignore you. Many individuals who have contributed to the company for a long time are leaving and taking their knowledge and experience elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees, don't lie to them. Shutting doors and pretending everything is okay is not valuable for anyone. If you don't spend time on the growth of your employees, they will leave to find a company that will.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    Fun projects, elusive upper management, panicked atmosphere.

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

    I worked at Sparling full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Sparling's diverse repertoire of specialties can provide the opportunity to work on many different interesting projects, and there are still many talented and friendly people hiding amongst the ranks. Refusal to compete on price helped them to survive the worst part of the recession, and gives headroom to deliver a superior product when projects are managed well.

    Cons

    It's tempting to point fingers in a lot of different directions here. The IT department is less people-friendly than most, and the marketing department is downright embarrassing. These hurt morale, but aren't the core problem. More centrally, upper and middle management have been unable to drive profits high enough to afford the top-heavy structure they've created. A focus on the glamour of acquisitions has caused a lack of investment in the talented people they already have. These (failed) acquisitions have caused them to hemorrhage both money and employees, so benefits are declining and talented people are leaving and taking their experience with them. Their old-world strategy to keep people around is to try to trick them into buying in. They claim to value continuing education, but this is not borne out in practice, so knowledge isn't getting passed down before people retire or leave. The dire state of things has most people operating out of fear now, so middle and lower management is constantly in panic mode, borrowing "resources" (it's pronounced "people") from other studios to put out today's biggest fire. Communication from the top is almost non-existent, and when it happens, only serves to try to convince everyone that everything is fine and we just need to hang in there.

    Advice to Management

    If you really want to do high-level consulting, start acting like it. Your people are your most valuable asset. Start valuing them. Be honest with them, trust them, let them own things and give them a safe place to fail and learn. Maybe you're scared to invest in them because you're afraid they'll leave, but that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's like refusing to change your oil because your car is going to die eventually anyway. Stop buying shiny new companies you can't afford and start maintaining the one you have. Employees come and go. Give them a reason to stay.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Company has lost touch with it's greatest assets, it's employees

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I guess I would have to say that they have a nice office? Even though they pushed two offices into one.

    Cons

    Upper management does not listen to it's employees even when they are surveyed, saying that changes need to be made. Top heavy management that are not billable that walk around doing nothing.

    Advice to Management

    Replace CEO and get a fresh perspective.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work. Good Culture.

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Stable working environment. Not too much micro managing going on. Ability to work with various consulting studios is nice

    Cons

    Seen a few layoffs and a few people leaving for other opportunities. I think some are nervous about their security as the company has occasional layoffs or restructures do to fluctuating bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    Work harder to keep good employees. Don't lose them to your competition.


  8. Helpful (1)

    No room to advance

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Very smart talented hardworking people below the management level.

    Cons

    The business is so poorly run that all of the perks of working there have disappeared over the years. Benefits are no longer any good. Offices are closing. Raises haven’t been given, bonuses haven’t been funded. The company tried to grow by buying other companies at a time when not a lot of money was coming in. Because this is not a sustainable business plan, it collapsed on itself because when it didn't have the customer base to sustain so many employees. This may be a good place for entry level employees to work for a few years to get some experience before moving on.

    Advice to Management

    Why the focus on constantly getting bigger?….what is wrong with a well-run “smaller” company? Much preferred to a poorly run “larger” one. If the company wants to grow, it needs to happen organically. You can’t just grow by buying other companies.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Was a great company at one time but current leadership is out of touch with staff

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

    I worked at Sparling

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Great line staff that care about what they are doing. Nice portfolio of services.

    Cons

    Top leadership needs to be replaced; they are isolated and have difficulty being honest with themselves. Great at creating a vision but don't think decisions out very well and create disastrous results that affect employees and their families.

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job of listening to staff and communicating reality; be honest about your mistakes and don't roll out the marketing 'machine' to paint over them.



Showing 8 of 8 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.