The Barbarian Group Reviews

Updated March 5, 2015
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3.1
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Recommend to a friend
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Sophie Kelly
8 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Creative in New York, NY

    I worked at The Barbarian Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great fun office culture. Really creative environment. Nice cool people with great humor. The benefits were solid and promotions and raises came pretty regularly. The real focus was doing great fun work and enjoying doing it. The Barbarian Group is a great place to go to everyday. Once I had broken through and established trust I was able to amazing work at Barbarian.

    Cons

    There are some growing pains and a bit of difficulty defining the company in its most recent form. If you are super serious or hyper logical it may not be the best environment for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep moving forward. Take a look at tweaking the website and posting more of the work. There's a lot of great work that is not on the site.


  2. Depends on What You Need

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

    I worked at The Barbarian Group

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    — People are laid back.
    — There is good work happening usually, and there are smart/passionate people around creating cool digital experiences.
    — The CEO seems to understand how the business needs to improve from a development perspective.

    Cons

    — They are the worst at project management and I cannot state that enough.
    — Due to the lack of creatives in management, the agency does not seem to understand creative process very well and is downright awful at setting expectations and time management.
    — Design and artistic execution is poor.
    — You will be expected to be available to work every waking hour of your life... there were many 3am nights/weekends. Oddly, it seemed 5pm - 3am was the only time I received good communication.
    — The previous comment about the culture being an "aging frat boy" is on point — you are either "in the drinking club" or you are left out, and they take too much pride in how "cool" they are with zero humility.

    Advice to Management

    Please take interest in your employee development. I watched juniors to seniors waste away on fast-paced tasks for your main client, being given no challenge and no chance to learn how to be better directors. Sure, it brings in a butt-load of cash, but be up front if that's all you are after. On that note, care about your employee more than the client — their time and health matters. Your upper level needs to learn how to manage their project staff better; in fact, build better teams to begin with.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Nothing learned, nothing gained

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

    I worked at The Barbarian Group

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

    Pros

    The office is pretty cool.
    Very relaxed working hours - 10am starts, most leave by 5.30pm.
    Good health insurance.

    Cons

    This was a very disappointing experience for me and I wouldn't recommend this agency - it was not awesome.
    As a company, they haven't really done anything notable since 'Subservient Chicken' in 2007 and they still talk about that ALL THE TIME. They claim credit for a load of stuff that they had nothing to do with, especially in pitches, which seems unethical. The vast majority of their work is keeping social media feeds full of brand messages which is neither interesting or inspiring.
    I'd say it's a good place to do an internship or your first year out of college but there's not much you're going to learn here. It was evident in my time there that all the smart people left, leaving mediocrity to run the place. It's more like a holiday camp than a place to build a career - everyone is very young and very inexperienced.

    Advice to Management

    You need to seriously rethink how the place is run - and earn some respect, of which there is none right now. The CEO has insecurity issues and seems to be very limiting to the aspirations of the agency. She's an ex 'ad agency' person (not my world), doesn't seem to know what she's doing and has no time for technology or UX - it's all about selling banner ads and social media campaigns. She brings a huge amount of stress to the office and is extremely unprofessional in her dealings with staff - shouting, swearing, banging on the table. This is made worse by the fact that the management team all seem to hate each other and will make snide comments about each other quite openly in the agency. Overall, projects are constantly mismanaged and the quality of the work is often poor. I was very happy to get a new job and leave the 'Superdesk' to the Barbarians.


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  5. A very dysfunctional and confused agency

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

    I worked at The Barbarian Group (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    It's easy to slip away and not do any work at all for months on end without anyone noticing.

    Cons

    The management is a hodgepodge of incompetent egos that love their own voices. They try to look like some sort of creative agency but never does any real work. It's all social media stuff and banners. The entire thing is a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Resign.


  6. Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Analyst in New York, NY

    I worked at The Barbarian Group full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Awesome culture, very friendly, upbeat environment. Everyone is super helpful and is willing to help you move ahead in your professional goals.

    Cons

    Despite flexible scheduling, unless you're living in NYC it's a tough work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    My only advice would be to have more departmental and internal reviews to keep that collaborative feel going, otherwise with increase workflow and projects it's starting to feel a little tough to get a hold of you.


  7. Awesome Place

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Designer in New York, NY

    I have been working at The Barbarian Group full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Many clients.
    Great culture.
    (Mostly)Great leadership.
    Fun projects, especially for social media.
    Amazing place to start out at.
    Even better place to be mid-level at.

    Cons

    Too many pitches as of late. (Fall - 2013)
    They disrespect junior talent leading to a high turn over.
    Salaries aren't the best.
    Otherwise, not much.

    Advice to Management

    Love your juniors!


  8. Good place to start out

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Designer in New York, NY

    I worked at The Barbarian Group full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Everyone is awesome, and it's easy to make a name for yourself at a junior level when you have countless opportunities to take leadership roles on big projects. The culture overall is great, the divisions bond really well. There's free stuff in the office all the time.

    Also awesome that there's a CEO change.

    Cons

    Upper management seemed to be a bit all over the place especially on pitches. Which are super stressful. It can get a bit slow at times and you need to be motivated to create things on your own time. Easy to get stepped on in meetings from executives.

    Advice to Management

    Work more with everyone, just because someone is a junior or just lower on the totem poll doesn't mean their opinions should be tossed away.


  9. The times, they are changing.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in New York, NY

    I worked at The Barbarian Group full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    - Smart place, very open to new ideas and an "entrepreneurial" sense of engagement/management
    - Great environment for tech / developers - management within tech is top notch
    - Flexible work from home, great vacation (though I've heard this has changed more recently)
    - Good work/life balance

    Cons

    - Disorganized, processes change on a weekly or monthly basis
    - Company culture has come to resemble an aging frat boy
    - Difficult to get recognition without playing politics (but this is true of most agencies)

    Advice to Management

    Slow down. The attrition rate was out of control when I left; I believe it's been staunched more recently. Look at the internal problems of the company, and realize there's no shame in solving them with new solutions - the culture of the first five years doesn't scale to what TBG is trying to be today. Sophie Kelly will be good for TBG.


  10. Not as awesome as they say.

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

    I worked at The Barbarian Group

    Pros

    On the surface there's a lot of great things here: nice big work space with the freedom to float around, free snacks/coffee/soda, great benefits, somewhat decent compensation, occasional parties, generally laid back environment. The people here are hit or miss, but you may make some friends that will outlast your time here.

    Cons

    This agency is very much a slave to its clients, which means you will be too. Poor management of projects, time, and resources puts a lot of stress on the creatives/developers that deliver the end result. Some people here are just juvenile and quite a few lack the appropriate training to be adept at their job. It's very reminiscent of high school in that it tends to be cliquey and those who stay quiet will remain nameless wallflowers. If you want be noticed then prepare to be a loud, obnoxious kiss-up, otherwise be surprised if you ever get acknowledged for your hard work.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to the needs of your worker bees. Hire some real project managers with more common sense. Perhaps a refresher course in people skills is in order for HR as well.


  11. Unethical, unprofessional, intolerable atmosphere

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

    I worked at The Barbarian Group full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The agency has a good reputation among some circles.

    Cons

    Where to start? The ongoing sexual harassment? The lack of project management? The lack of ethics when it came to billing practices? "Barbarian" is not a name chosen lightly. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my contacts at the client company, so this made it possible for me to endure working with TBG as long as I did. But was relieved in the worst possible way to learn that the client was dropping them, and I left soon afterward.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some grown-ups to lead the company. You have a lot of talented people coming and going through your doors and it seems worthwhile to manage things a little better so that more people will stay longer with the organization.



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