Vulcan
1.9 of 5 40 reviews
www.vulcan.com Seattle, WA 150 to 499 Employees

Vulcan Reviews

Updated Jun 20, 2014
Vulcan – Seattle – “Northwestern View from Vulcan Offices”

All Employees Current Employees Only

1.9 40 reviews

                             

4% Approve of the CEO

Vulcan President & CEO Jody Allen

Jody Allen

(24 ratings)

12% of employees recommend this company to a friend
40 Employee Reviews
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Good people.

    Administrative (Former Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsGood salary & great benefits - medical/dental/vision, PTO, 401k matching, and cool perks you can only get working for the Allen family. I was fortunate to work with a great team of people. Most employees are smart and hard working. Chance to work on or get exposure to some really interesting projects.

    ConsEveryone has an "expiration date" - the longer you've been there and the higher your pay, the closer it gets. Lots of poorly thought out layoffs over the last years I worked there. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of dollars are wasted "just in case" the owners want to go somewhere/do something (they usually don't). People who go to HR with legitimate complaints are usually the ones who end up losing their jobs.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat employees with respect. Recognize the value of having knowledgeable & loyal long-term employees who make a little more money over the high turnover that currently exists.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    A "Family Business" with a wide breadth of initiatives and experiences to be had

    (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsThe breadth of initiatives that Vulcan takes on is amazingly wide: the scope ranges from local to global, internal media projects to world-changing initiatives like climate change and ocean health. The compensation package is a good: salary midpoint targets at 60th percentile of the market, reasonable vacation and personal days that increase with tenure, private gym in the building, health club reimbursement, good health care coverage, and all kinds of fringe benefits that come with ownership of three major sports teams. The company is at the size where there's diversity of activity, but small enough where one could get to know almost everyone in the company, and the people working here are talented and great to work with.

    ConsVulcan is after all a "family business", and there are idiosyncrasies that come along with that. Vertical communication, up and down, is not healthy: there is some "yes"-men/women mentality, and I think honesty in interactions suffer for that. Despite being an organization owned by a billionaire, there is an unreasonable financial austerity when it comes to HR that can sometimes stifle growth of employees and success of projects. In my opinion, the performance appraisal process here is very counterproductive. Employees are graded on a curve (remember college courses?) HR rejects the notion of "stack ranking", but under the hood, managers have to stack rank to determine how their teams members are distributed under the curve. The curve is determined by how well the company and department has been rated that year. The PA and goal-setting processes together extend over several months.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat employees as people, not human resources and focus on people's strengths more than their weaknesses.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    It's not worth it

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsBenefits and some of the talented people. There were some interesting and unique projects you may have a chance to work on.

    ConsI would give them 0 stars, but 1 star is for the benefits and perks. Everything else is a con. Upper management that won't listen or take credit for your ideas. As others have said, CEO is not available and doesn't interact with employees. There was also no clear direction from the owners. Directives could change on a whim and contradict previous ones.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRevamp your upper management completely. Some are hanging on and provide very little value and take credit for things they don't do.

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

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    Interesting Work, Culture of Fear

    Analyst (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsThis company has very smart people who desire to do well. The benefits are good and the 401k match is great. The work is interesting. There are celebrations (Cinco de Mayo) with beer and wine.

    ConsAm approaching my six month anniversary and realize that I have made a mistake. There is a climate of fear. If you make a mistake or express an unpopular opinion, you go on the radar screen for being fired. Everyone is just a disposable pawn. This is a small company, yet the CEO doesn't interact with the employees. My coworkers tell me that the way to survive is to stay under your desk and keep your head down.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep your head down and keep your resume updated.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Low morale generated by random firings of talented people, great benefits

    Manager (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsGreat benefits: matching 401k, good health insurance, decent vacation time, salary is okay. Good projects that really do have the potential to make a difference. There's almost no where else I could work and do what I do here. For that, I feel extremely blessed. Smart, talented people work here. Vulcan recruits and hires the best of the best.

    ConsMorale is just lousy. Anyone who has survived more than a few years operates by keeping their head down and trying to stay "off" the owners' radar. Once you're on the radar, it's just a matter of time until you're fired. Good projects, but the Owners are never satisfied with the project outcomes no matter how successful that project may be, they will always find the negative. Upper management who deal with the Owners are constantly demoralized...and that flows down. Upper management is working hard to cut bonuses...so if you're negotiating for a salary, don't take the bonus into account. Work/life balance is off - but remember you'll get fired eventually anyway, so don't work too hard. Thankless job. No opportunity for advancement...but you can take on more work!

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou're in a really tough position. I don't envy you. Morale is already so low that cutting bonuses even further will just demoralize everyone even more. Is it worth it?

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    The highest highs, and the lowest lows

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsOpportunities in some positions to work on interesting projects. Good benefits.

    ConsOpportunities in some positions to work on the dumbest ideas you've never heard of; be prepared to be assigned work based on the fact that they fired the person in front of you. Armed with no tools (including the reason why the previous person failed), no support, no expectation of succeeding, no additional salary and no change in title, you will also be gone someday. Do not expect the bonuses or pay raises you are promised when hired.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpper management can't do anything to change this environment. It's the crazy leading the powerless.

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

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Do you remember that add .... a guy working for monkeys?... yeah, this is that place.

    (Current Employee)

    ProsThe company has the money that others in this economy do not. Benefits are good, same as salary.

    ConsDepend were you work, but my experience is this: Not many people there knew about my field, upper manager level clueless, derogatory, etc... the big problem for me was that they didn't accept anything different, they think they are right all the time, more concern about their image with the Allen family/C-level than really the content of he projects, etc. As another review said... it's just keeping up with the toys of the Allen family, a lot of low morale, a lot of firing... becomes a place of sharks... if you know more than your bosses, good luck with that, because they will try to cut your head (if you are very smart, you could be replacing them), or they will block your ideas, or they will fire you....

    If you have worked a lot on building your career, in my case, I have 16 years of experience, national and international and I have a Ph.D. on my field, don't go there!! you are not going to make a lot of contributions to your professional growth there.... how do you justify that your immediate boss was the one without vision, that the projects were without a solid follow up, no consistency on portfolios?, etc...

    Advice to Senior ManagementRead the reviews here

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

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Hardwork is not rewarded or respected; You will be disposed of for no reason.

    (Former Employee)

    ProsLearned a lot and worked with incredibly smart employees during my tenure. Company embraces change; enjoyed the freedom and flexibility to evolve business standards and add value. Work life balances is ok if you can leave the stressful enviroment at the office but most likely you won't.

    ConsThis company does not value it's employees. During my time I watched well respected, talented and loyal employees fired regularly and for no reason at all. Management will give you an excuse or spin the reason but all the employees know that they "insert name" were fired for political reasons or thrown under a bus. This creates an enviroment of paranoia and CYA at all levels. Very unhappy place to work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIn my opinion the current leadership especially in HR and Legal is creating an increasingly toxic enviroment. Talk honestly with employees besides these Executives. Listen, they can't all be wrong.

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

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    Unique opportunity to participate in world changing initiatives

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsBreadth of projects, diversity of colleagues from varying industries, Vulcan only perks, Ability to contribute to world changing initiatives and see direct impact

    ConsWork/life balance can quickly go askew when new project launch, growing pains as culture shifts

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue with what you're doing around going deeper into the organization for feedback - the exposure is appreciated and I would imagine the perspective gained is valuable

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

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    Very Negative Company to work at

    Program Manager (Former Employee)
    Seattle, WA

    ProsThe pay and the great people that work on the lower levels within the company. The abilty to work on creative items.

    ConsThe CEO has no experience and is the relative of the owner and diceided to run the company as a personal playground for her amusement.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement understands that they have to play the games they do to get a nice paycheck and there will always be people that can separate work from the pay they receive.

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

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Vulcan reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Vulcan CEO Jody Allen. All 40 reviews posted anonymously by Vulcan employees.