Wire Stone
2.8 of 5 36 reviews
www.wirestone.com Sacramento, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Wire Stone Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2014

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2.8 36 reviews

                             

44% Approve of the CEO

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Dan Lynch

(16 ratings)

39% of employees recommend this company to a friend
36 Employee Reviews
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    Great company, non-competitive salary

    Account Management (Former Employee)
    Fort Collins, CO

    ProsCreative environment, friendly people, challenging work, good work-life balance. Many outings that involve family. Cool area.

    ConsHire at a competitive salary, but then the salary never increases by much. After 3 years of no to very minimal raises, your salary is no longer competitive, and many leave for better pay. Hard to retain employees for longer than 3-5 years, because they don't offer decent raises.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReward long-term employees with competitive salaries and proper job opportunities/titles. Experience is worth the money--your clients will thank you, and ultimately, so will the books.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Stagnant company for the last few years and this won't change soon

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat for someone who is just starting their career. You have the ability to work on some very cool projects for some larger clients.

    ConsDo no expect a raise or career growth here. Very rarely will they promote people. The company is all talk with very little follow through.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop thinking that you can compete with the larger agencies. Find a niche and run with it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Nice place to start, but don't expect to move up or get raises

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Fort Collins, CO

    ProsOffices are small and close-knit. The people at my level felt like family and the amount of FACs and free lunches was fun. But if you don't get on the "good list" with upper management, you may as well look for the door.

    The amount of drinking that goes on in these offices is both light-hearted fun, but also sometimes depressing. There is a semi-annual trip to Las Vegas so all the teams across the country can meet face-to-face and drink together. There was some kind of team-building in there too, but mostly it was drinking and partying. Actually a pretty good time if you avoid thinking about all the other things they could be spending money on (such as raises, upgrading systems, not laying people off).

    This was a great place to get my foot in the door and build up my resume early in my career. They do get a lot of big-named companies to work with: HP, Motorola, Microsoft, Jordan, Cartier, Boeing, etc. But don't expect to move up. They'd sooner hire a new person than promote from within and they certainly weren't willing to help their employees grow in their career.

    The schedule was flexible and working from home was an option. Though more frowned upon by some managers than others. You could pretty much expect the building to be cleared out by 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. Some times it was so flexible, that no one had to be accounted for. If you were on managements "good side" it apparently didn't matter if you wandered in at 10am, took a 2-hour lunch break and left by 4.

    ConsThe pay was terrible and uneven, not at all based on merit or experience. The upper management likes to talk about raises, but never actually gets around to handing them out. I knew of several higher-level employees that had been without raises for years and basically had to threaten to quit to get any kind of increase. In fact, being a small company, they raised the price of health care every year I was there, which essentially meant I was making less money each year I stayed.

    Meanwhile it seemed the managers were always having random site trips, everyone else was always having to cut budgets, but it apparently didn't apply to them. If you managed to get on the "good side" of their clique you might get invited out to party and drink with them while they were in your town getting all that important work done...

    There was no matching 401k, and the expensive benefits were not all that great. We often talked about reviews at the end of the year, but rarely managed to finish them and actually get feedback from our peers and managers.

    Upper management seemed to have NO IDEA what they were doing or how to run a company. One month they'd say we were doing great, another they would tell us that we need to cut back expenses, then we'd have a slow summer month (as we did every year) and they would panic and lay off a few people, then we'd be busy again and everyone is expected to work 120% to make up for the low head count, then they'd send us all to Vegas to party and drink booze, and then we'd get back and a month later few more people get laid off… clearly not great at planning ahead.

    If you are hired for grunt work of any kind, don't expect an opportunity to move up. I saw many talented people hire on as entry-level and even after showing their skills and proving their worth, they were basically offered to stay where they were (and be paid poorly) or leave.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpend some of that travel/booze money to take some management classes. Plan ahead for slow times so you don't have to keep reducing the workforce only to then be short handed. Reward your hard-working employees: EVERY single ex-employee I've talked to resents how unappreciated they were.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Unless you're entry level or unqualified, save yourself the frustration

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Fort Collins, CO

    ProsThe work at Wire Stone alternates between disorganized chaos and totally dead. Employees to show up late, leave early, and generally just do as much or little as they like. If you can keep your head down as client deadlines approach you can get away with being bad at your job or just doing very little. It's a bit dicey as someone is generally going to get blamed for the chaos but nothing is ever done about it so if you don't mind a bit of stress every once in a while it can be quite nice.

    Almost nobody ever gets fired. An employee can be incredibly bad at their job or generally lazy and they won't be let go. If you're good at politicking you can buddy up with the higher ranking people in the office and get away with just about anything.

    There's a semi-regular trip to Las Vegas in which the highest ranking people in the company spend crazy amounts of money to gather the entire company for an all expenses paid meet and greet weekend with LOTS of drinking. It's actually a great time as long as you don't think about all the other stuff the money should be spent on.

    If you're a completely unqualified entry level worker, Wire Stone will generally hire you anyway as long as you're willing to work for a low enough wage. A "senior software developer" was hired a while ago who had zero computer experience. They tend to base your title on your age, not your experience so it could be a good job for someone looking to switch careers late in life, it could also be a great job for someone just graduating college looking to get something on their resume.

    ConsThe leadership is not to be trusted in any way whatsoever. They routinely lie to employees about the state of the company, saying whatever fits their goals at the moment. In one of the monthly meetings employees were told both that the company was breaking profit records and singing amazing new clients, and that there wasn't enough money for raises this year. About every 18 months the leadership claims they're finally getting serious about raises and employee reviews. I have been with the company long enough to see 4 of these and never once had a review go full circle (out to my managers for review, and the come back with feedback).

    The compensation is incredibly uneven, not based at all on merit, and the only way I've ever seen anyone get a raise is by getting a competing offer and threatening to leave. During the time I worked here I had my pay cut several times due to rising health care costs, tight economy, or whatever else leadership came up with.

    The heads of each respective office are a very exclusive clique and they often remind the employees of this. The one thing you can do to get fired (I've seen it happen twice) is to get on their bad sides. They often go on "sales trips" which are glorified vacations to international destinations. The international office for Wire Stone consists of one person and if not for the fact that it's necessary to be "international" to get contracts with Wire Stone's largest clients, I would suspect it serves only as an excuse for regular trips to Europe.

    The benefits are quite bad. The 401k has no matching and the health care plan gets more expensive every year. If you're told that the 401k will soon have matching, don't believe it. I was told that when I was hired, as were several of my coworkers. As far as I can tell there are no actual plans to do this.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGiving advice to management is an exercise in futility. The management is the problem. Their disconnected nature and general lack of competence creates systemic issues in the company that will not be resolved at least until a change occurs.

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

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    Run! Run as fast as you can!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Fort Collins, CO

    ProsSome nice folks down in the trenches doing the real work.

    ConsWhere to start.....absolutely no leadership. They are too busy flying to Europe and staying at 5 star hotels to visit the office in "Europe". Which did no real work, and I am convinced is just a scam so they can travel there on the company's dime. At the same time the "workers" were being asked to cut back on expenses. 401K match was taken away when the economy hit the down turn and never given back, but they still needed to travel to Europe to visit the smallest office in the company.

    Top management was referred to as the "clique". They are all about nepotism. The term "FOT" was used to signal if an employee was favored by a certain MD and if they were they could be completely incompetent, but were untouchable, but beware it also worked the other way. If they got mad at you, deserved or not, watch out. I saw many a good person forced out because the MD no longer "liked" them. This could happen to anyone as many projects are given over to the teams already doomed from the start due to poor planning, and unrealistic promises to get the sale. The team then had to kill themselves to save it while inept management and sale was jetting around doing whatever six figure income, unfireable folks do.

    Advice to Senior ManagementClean house and start over with new management---get rid of the clique. Just because they founded the company does not mean they are good managers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great company - never a dull moment!

    Senior User Experience Developer (Current Employee)
    Boise, ID

    ProsThe company and management team treat you like an adult. As long as you're getting your work done, meeting commitments, and abiding by the manifesto (which I love! - see below) you'll get along great!

    Manifesto:
    1. Act like an owner
    2. Bring your A-game
    3. Find your 'we'
    4. Don't be a 'stone thrower
    5. Your word is your bond
    6. Don't be a prick
    7. You are 'they'
    8. Keep your kimono open
    9. Don't be a Houdini
    10. Look in the mirror, not out the window
    11. Create 'moments of magic'

    ConsLots and lots and lots of projects which can be both good and bad. You have to push back and set good boundaries!

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore team get togethers; more opportunities (and time) for skill development and conferences would be nice too - being able to checkin with the outside world, broadening the horizon can be very empowering, energizing, and ultimately benefit our clients.

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

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    Rapidly growing best small company

    Salesforce Consultant (Current Employee)
    Boise, ID

    ProsVery professional environment, have great knowledge upon the industry,have best clients,management is there for you every step of the way in helping you with anything you need. senior management is great. Wirestone treat employees very professionally. The atmosphere there is amazing and everyone is very friendly.

    ConsI dont see major cons. As company is growing they should move to bigger offices in some locations.

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Innovative agency, but needs to increase employee investment

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsMedium sized agency with many different brands and projects to work on. If you make personal career growth a priority, you can find great mentors who will guide you along the way.

    Teams within the company often act like a family, and work together to share information and create the best possible work for clients.

    ConsThe company appears to be stuck in an awkward growth period. There is a divide between new employees eager to grow and succeed, and some long-term employees who have become comfortable. Many employees have been at the company for a number of years and may need to attend more events or training sessions to be excitied about the latest trends in digital marketing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in your employees. The more opportunities and tools you provide each individual, the more they will want to stay and help wire stone produce great work. Nurture young talent and beef up the HR department.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Best place to work

    Senior Strategist (Current Employee)
    Sacramento, CA

    ProsWire Stone is a medium sized agency with an impressive client roster including Microsoft, Boeing, Motorola, Nike, Conagra...to name a few.

    We have an amazing workplace culture that is not for everyone: we work hard and we comeback the next day and work even harder. The caliber of talent that people working at Wire Stone is truly impressive - and they are nice people! The type of people one friends on Facebook not because you have to, but because you want to.

    In terms of career opportunities it's pretty simple: those who act like owners and bring their A game are given wonderful opportunities to learn and grow. People who work hard and smart are respected and valued by management. Personally, I've never had a better supervisor. I receive invaluable mentorship, which has helped me become a stronger professional and a happier person.

    Clients truly respect the caliber of the work delivered by people at Wire Stone. It's not uncommon for clients to refer to Wire Stone as "partners" - and it's also not uncommon for clients to say "I love what you guys are doing for us" or "you guys blew our socks off".

    ConsGrowing pains of medium sized agency competing against the big boys. We are the David in the David and Goliath story. We don't have access to all the infrastructure, purchasing power, etc. that larger agencies do.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep going with operations and HR improvements; don't let your foot off the metal. We need to keep beefing up our sales group and nurturing blossoming talent.
    We need to continue hiring slow, but please fire faster when new recruits don't have what it takes to be part of our company.

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

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    Innovative Agency with Smart, Self Starters Working with Amazing Clients

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI've worked at wirestone for over 5 years. There are exceptions to every pro and con I list here, but overall this is how I feel:

    - Able to work with amazing brands on a diverse set of projects.
    - Wirestone values its clients and delivers amazing work to them time and time again.
    - Project management at wirestone is top notch (I'm not a project manager).
    - Incredibly talented people. Ideal for self-starters, and those who take ownership. Not ideal for those who need to be given direction and a lot of structure.
    - The wirestone culture is fantastic.Work-life balance is valued.
    - Employees are held accountable for what they achieve without micromanagement.

    Cons- Lacking HR resources.
    - Executive leadership sometimes seems reactive and paranoid, rather than proactive and confident, with its employees.
    - Salaries seem to be comparatively low compared to other employers. Management is doing better about this lately, however.
    - Inconsistent processes across offices.
    - Inconsistent (sometimes non-existent) review process.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe realistic when talking about our company and our future. Set realistic, achievable goals, share them with the company, and let's stick with them.

    - Strive for a consistent wirestone experience across offices and disciplines.
    - Invest more into HR.
    - Invest more into operations.
    - Invest more into training.

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

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