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Animalz

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Animalz

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Animalz FAQ

Have questions about working at Animalz? Read answers to frequently asked questions to help you make a choice before applying to a job or accepting a job offer.

Whether it's about compensation and benefits, culture and diversity, or you're curious to know more about the work environment, find out from employees what it's like to work at Animalz.

All answers shown come directly from Animalz Reviews and are not edited or altered.

39 English questions out of 39

August 9, 2021

What is the retirement plan like at Animalz?

Pros

- If you like writing and editing, you will write and edit a lot. - BIG name clients. - Some (if they’re still around) of the best people you’ll ever work with.

Cons

- A relentless pursuit of growth means Animalz takes on clients it can’t handle and gives them to already overworked content managers (we’re talking 50+ hours many weeks). Clients churn and employees burn out (and eventually leave). - Animalz will sacrifice you for the client. Content managers have been verbally abused but client contracts are sacrosanct. - As of this writing, employee turnover has skyrocketed and leadership has said little more than “this is what you expect from an agency.” - Vacation is hard to take. You have to communicate far in advance and find your own coverage (typically a freelancer). More often than not, you’re working extra hard before your time off and extra hard after. - Internal tools are held together by duct tape and a prayer. Not a week goes by without something going down. - Toxic positivity has infected the company. Venting and other forms of negative talk have been strongly discouraged. - Animalz claims to be women-led but a man is at the helm (the chairman). - Animalz made a big deal about its DEI efforts but followed up months later with… a meeting. And so far, nothing else. - The company is rife with favoritism and that comes with bonuses, reduced work, and praise; it also comes with prejudice and that comes with insults, extra work, and distrust. I’ll let you guess how favoritism and prejudice break down along gender, race, nationality, and sexuality lines. - Animalz pays poorly. If you really want to work here, work here for a year, and then leverage the experience and brand to earn 30K more elsewhere while working less. - Benefits are awful. There are no paid holidays (aside from a couple of “floating holidays”), no dependent coverage, and leadership has laughed off the idea of a 401K match. End-of-year bonuses take the form of Amazon gift cards. No home office stipend. - Leadership has been “taking steps to improve things” for my entire tenure and no progress has been made. If anything, it’s gotten worse. Don’t trust them.

Advice to Management

Please stop talking about your feelings and consider, really consider, the feelings of your current (and departed) employees. The company is hanging by a thread and I don’t know if you realize that. The content managers ARE Animalz and they aren’t happy. We’re a few key employees, a few key clients, away from forever losing our (so far, great) employer brand. Once that goes, I don’t know how we’ll recover.

There are no paid holidays (aside from a couple of “floating holidays”), no dependent coverage, and leadership has laughed off the idea of a 401K match.

August 9, 2021

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August 9, 2021

How are senior leaders perceived at Animalz?

Pros

- If you like writing and editing, you will write and edit a lot. - BIG name clients. - Some (if they’re still around) of the best people you’ll ever work with.

Cons

- A relentless pursuit of growth means Animalz takes on clients it can’t handle and gives them to already overworked content managers (we’re talking 50+ hours many weeks). Clients churn and employees burn out (and eventually leave). - Animalz will sacrifice you for the client. Content managers have been verbally abused but client contracts are sacrosanct. - As of this writing, employee turnover has skyrocketed and leadership has said little more than “this is what you expect from an agency.” - Vacation is hard to take. You have to communicate far in advance and find your own coverage (typically a freelancer). More often than not, you’re working extra hard before your time off and extra hard after. - Internal tools are held together by duct tape and a prayer. Not a week goes by without something going down. - Toxic positivity has infected the company. Venting and other forms of negative talk have been strongly discouraged. - Animalz claims to be women-led but a man is at the helm (the chairman). - Animalz made a big deal about its DEI efforts but followed up months later with… a meeting. And so far, nothing else. - The company is rife with favoritism and that comes with bonuses, reduced work, and praise; it also comes with prejudice and that comes with insults, extra work, and distrust. I’ll let you guess how favoritism and prejudice break down along gender, race, nationality, and sexuality lines. - Animalz pays poorly. If you really want to work here, work here for a year, and then leverage the experience and brand to earn 30K more elsewhere while working less. - Benefits are awful. There are no paid holidays (aside from a couple of “floating holidays”), no dependent coverage, and leadership has laughed off the idea of a 401K match. End-of-year bonuses take the form of Amazon gift cards. No home office stipend. - Leadership has been “taking steps to improve things” for my entire tenure and no progress has been made. If anything, it’s gotten worse. Don’t trust them.

Advice to Management

Please stop talking about your feelings and consider, really consider, the feelings of your current (and departed) employees. The company is hanging by a thread and I don’t know if you realize that. The content managers ARE Animalz and they aren’t happy. We’re a few key employees, a few key clients, away from forever losing our (so far, great) employer brand. Once that goes, I don’t know how we’ll recover.

There are no paid holidays (aside from a couple of “floating holidays”), no dependent coverage, and leadership has laughed off the idea of a 401K match.

August 9, 2021

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August 31, 2021

What are some insights into the strategy or vision at Animalz?

Pros

Your fellow writers and editors are amazing people. They are talented people. Your direct manager really does care about you, your work, your experience. Unfortunately your direct manager is unable to make most necessary changes to the teams and processes that everyone needs to be successful. Exposure to some really cool clients. Truly remote, * kind of sort of * flexible hours (depending on where you live). Your peers live around the globe. I’m pretty sure all six inhabited continents are represented in some way. It should be noted that regardless of where you live, you are expected to work mostly Eastern US hours. I’m going to list benefits as a pro because they are much better than a lot of people have access to, however, I would not consider them “competitive” or “really great.” PTO is 20 days + 5 floating holidays. There are “unlimited” sick and personal days. However, given the nature of the business, it’s hard to really take quality time off because it means more work and stress on the other end for lost time and missed quotas, or asking other team members to take your work while you’re gone, or finding freelancer coverage for yourself while you’re gone. Regardless of where you live, bank holidays/federal holidays are not recognized (there are 11 in the US). This is where you can use your 5 floating holidays. It’s also worth noting if you aren’t US based, you are an independent contractor, and as such, you are not entitled to any benefits. This is despite the fact their website says everyone is hired as a “full time” employee. There is also no dependent coverage. Working here might be a good fit if it’s your first job, or you are brand new to content marketing. The pay is somewhat decent by that standard.

Cons

Both employee churn and customer churn is bad. Employee churn is the worst I’ve ever seen at any company I’ve worked for. At the time of this writing, most people seem to be leaving the company after having worked only six to nine months. Though leadership will tell you at a 100 person company, losing an average of four employees a month is * totally normal. * There’s non-solicitation clauses added to client contracts, saying that no Animalz employee can work for them for two years. Usually non-solicitation clauses are added to a * worker’s * contract to stop them from going to work for the competition in fear of sharing secrets and processes. This can’t be said for Animalz. There is no secret sauce strategy or process at Animalz (though their PR stunts would suggest otherwise) — the entire company is successful because the people who work(ed) there are smart. If you ever want another job (and you will) this is not the place for you as you will not be able to work at any company that has used Animalz. If you have any experience, or a particular niche skillset or knowledge, the pay is not even a little bit competitive. Animalz is likely not going to do much to further your career if you already have experience. You’ll recognize pretty quickly your skillsets are being taken advantage of and unfairly compensated for. They purposefully hire way below what they know you’re worth and promise to “promote you quickly.” Some people get promoted, others do not. Their transparent salary system was a sham and they’ve since replaced it with salary bands that have nonsensical requirements and actually caps out individual contributors at a lower salary than the older leveling system. It’s very clear their new plan is to keep people at low salaries, burn them out, then replace them. There is no structure to grow people. Leadership is really good at making sure new employees don’t see how problematic things are until a few months in. In your first few months you’ll likely be asked to write a Glassdoor review by more than one management team member, because in your first few months you’ll likely have a positive view of the company (hint). You know it’s a bad sign when the only active, positive people in meetings, video chats, and on Slack are those who have all been there less than 3 months. I re-read the review someone wrote in 2019 about what life is really like at Animalz, and unfortunately it seems not a lot has changed since then. People have been complaining about the tools and processes for a very long time. They are not scaling with company growth. At all. Dealing with these unworkable tools and process takes up so much of your time it’s astounding. You won’t have direct access to the tools you need. Accounts are either a giant shared email (which comes with problems), or it’s potentially under someone else’s work email (that may not even work there anymore)! People have to bug other people in Slack for passwords or to get 2-factor codes for a tool they’re using someone else’s email for. The whole workflow is chaos. But leadership continues to say everything is fine, because surveys show people are fine with the tools. Yes, when your entire staff is constantly churning and the majority of them are brand new, they will not spot the problems with workflows and tools. Leadership is dismissive of those who have been at the company a while who give negative feedback because it is undoubtably a smaller percentage, and therefore in the minority. This is no-doubt used as an excuse to not invest money into working processes. There’s been a huge breakdown between two tools that are integral to the company and instead of fixing them, leadership’s response was to tell everyone that they need to practice the value of “ownership” and deal with it themselves. The way they deal with internal tools is actually frightening, both from an employee perspective as well as a security perspective. The work-life balance is an interesting one. Some people seem to do okay and some people are continuously working 60+ hours a week to get things done. Yet, this has nothing to do with how talented someone is or how time-oriented they are. This is pretty much up to luck on who your clients are. Some clients are easy. Some clients are toxic. The current growth-over-everything mindset means the company is taking on clients regardless of if there’s bandwidth to work with them, regardless of how niche or technical they want their content, regardless of if they have buy-in to be a part of the feedback loop and have time to work with a CM. There is no matching process for clients and CMs. It very quickly starts to feel like a content farm. They have implemented “custom workloads” to adjust for burnout, however, “custom workloads” seem to be a thing that is dangled in front of everyone, but no one really knows how it’s supposed to work — most people haven’t seen any reasonable change. In fact, in a recent company update, leadership was bragging about how they were able to get new hires to be putting out content at the highest level of the old quota system in their third month. So which is it? Do people get custom workloads, or do they need to quickly learn to churn out content based on the old quota system? No one knows. I would suggest you seek out a CM on LinkedIn who has been at Animalz at least 6 months and ask what the current workload situation is like. If your job is a CM, be prepared to be a CM, strategist, project manager, and account manager. You have to manage and keep track of the entire client relationship, as well as strategize, write, perform administrative duties, and provide reporting (reporting is a nightmare and mostly always broken). If you happen to be a freelancer who is thinking about working here, this job is basically still freelancing, except you don’t have any control over which clients you work with. Your direct manager is theoretically supposed to be a strategist, and they are talented strategists, but they have no time to actually help with strategy — they are constantly people managing as well as onboarding both new clients and employees. And they are usually also managing freelancers, as the business does rely heavily on freelancers to keep up to pace with clients. They have plans to introduce a new team structure, however that plan is little more than a few bullet points on a slide. There’s no details, no job descriptions, no actual answers on how any of it will work. CMs, regardless of their level will still have to carry the brunt of all the work until it's figured out and then won’t be promoted even though they’ve been doing all the work. If you are brand new to content marketing, don’t expect much of a supportive education here. You need to do it on your own time and likely find your own resources. They claim you can get a solid education on strategy, SEO, and writing, however no one has time to teach you anything. People will try to be helpful and share knowledge, but you can also see that most people around you are overworked and burnt out. It’s simply not a good learning environment. Beyond that, tenured and experienced employees are leaving at a rapid rate, leaving few employees left who know the business to learn from anyway. There has been so much lip service about making “ideal customer profiles” to match with CMs, about how they want to integrate L&D to invest in people, how they want to create custom workloads rather than a straight quota based system, how they want to be more active with DEI. None of these things seem to be able to move past the planning phase. There is no concrete timeline or real action being taken on any of it. Again, I would suggest seeking out a current CM at the company who has been there more than 6 months to get an accurate view of the current state of these things. And lastly, leadership. Toxic positivity and deflection seems to be at the core of leadership. Leadership will talk your ear off about transparency, but refuses to answer hard questions or address anything negative. Every single problem the company has is ignored (or blamed on the pandemic) until the issue feels like it’s going to cause an implosion. I think the delusion they have is that if they don’t talk about it, employees will forget the issues exist. Churn rates say otherwise. They very clearly focus on keeping brand new employees happy and write off existing employees as soon as it’s clear those employees no longer think the company is shiny and perfect, or have the audacity to ask a tough question and expect a real answer. Leadership consistently makes public posts or gives interviews about how great the Animalz process is and how Animalz is different. These posts kill employee morale because the posts are so hypocritical and not realistic to the experience and process at all. How Animalz says it operates and how it actually operates is a difference of day and night. If in the end you decide to work for Animalz, I highly suggest you watch any video that is available of company all-hands meetings and the CEO’s office hours (from the past four/five months of this posting at least). They are all recorded and made available to employees who couldn’t attend. These videos will shed some light on the deflection and failure to address the reality of the issues.

Advice to Management

Stop deflecting and take responsibility for what’s happening. The issues at Animalz have nothing to do with the pandemic (other than people have decided that with more remote opportunities they don’t need to put up with toxic environments that take advantage of them). Don’t announce initiatives or plans until you actually have something more than a few sentences on a slide deck — have a real plan. Turn your lip service into action in reasonable, concrete timelines. What I can’t really fathom is how you expect to maintain any sort of reputation as your cohort of ex-employees grows extensively, and quickly. Also, when three positive reviews go up in one day it looks desperate. People on this site aren’t that stupid.

Both employee churn and customer churn is bad.

August 31, 2021

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August 11, 2021

How are career development opportunities at Animalz?

Pros

INCREDIBLE company culture that truly encourages growth by having open conversations about struggles and working together as team to solve them. You never have to be afraid of saying "I don't know" or asking for help. The team motto is "content writing is a team sport" and at Animalz they really live this out. They also really walk the talk when it comes to work-life balance and promoting mental and physical health. People openly message their teams and say "hey I need a mental health day, be back tomorrow" and their manager will be the first to hop in and reply "Great, hope you feel better!" There is so much support here. For being a 100% remote company there is also a robust work culture with a lot of opportunities to connect with people on a personal level (they even have scheduled "watercooler talks" where you just talk with someone you don't know about life and get to know them). Their process is really driven by producing excellent content, but also cultivating excellent writers. They focus a lot on setting personal development goals and truly want to put things in place to help you get there, they actually put clearly outlined expectations and plans in place for you to get promoted and want to see you succeed. One obvious example of this is: when I applied they asked how much I wanted to make, I gave them a number and they said "cool, but we think you're worth more than that, how about $20K more?" Our CEO is also great - super approachable - and the whole leadership team really cultivates a culture of transparecy which is great.

Cons

Because it's 100% remote there are a lot of tools to acclimate to and context switching can be a challenge. I know our leadership is putting several initiatives in place to address this though.

Advice to Management

More proactive and process-driven content ideation/approval/ strategy flow for clients. From where I sit, it feels like we're shooting from the hip sometimes. Also, less tools.

For being a 100% remote company there is also a robust work culture with a lot of opportunities to connect with people on a personal level (they even have scheduled "watercooler talks" where you just talk with someone you don't know about life and get to know them).

August 11, 2021

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September 2, 2020

What kind of career opportunities exist at Animalz?

Pros

I've been at Animalz over a year now and I really enjoy the job, the clients, and the people I work with. - The company is growing fast so there is tons of opportunity for advancement if you can put in the work and grow with them. - At the same time they truly seem to value individuals. They respect vacation time, family obligations and the need for all employees to step away and recharge. I love the people I've met there. - It's a truly flexible work environment with no set hours and nobody breathing down your neck. - It's a woman-led company focused on encouraging diversity. Salaries are transparent and level based which keeps the playing field fair.

Cons

- The company is growing very fast, but still in a bootstrap startup mindset, which can be stressful for employees. They tend to take on more work than they can handle so there is often an atmosphere of scrambling to keep up. - There is a lot of work to go around, and it's an agency, so you have to be prepared for constant deadlines and a never-ending to do list. It's fine once you get the hang of it but it's a huge adjustment for a lot of people. - The benefits are only so-so. 20 days of vacation time (including major holidays) isn't anything to write home about, and the health benefits, while good, don't cover dependents.

Advice to Management

The company is doing great now, in large part thanks to the hard work of the employees, so start considering ways you can give back to them.

The company is growing fast so there is tons of opportunity for advancement if you can put in the work and grow with them.

September 2, 2020

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39 English questions out of 39