Aquent Recruiter Reviews | Glassdoor

Aquent Recruiter Reviews

Updated August 21, 2017
15 reviews

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4.0
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Aquent Co-Founder and CEO John H. Chuang
John H. Chuang
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work/life balance, ability to work from home some days or come into the new office which is in a great location (in 41 reviews)

  • Ridiculously good benefits and perks (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • As with many staffing agencies, there is no paid time off (in 15 reviews)

  • some paid time off would be nice (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Flexibility, great benefits and entrepreneurial culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Recruiter
    Current Employee - Recruiter
    Recommends

    I have been working at Aquent (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Several locations- can move around. Flexibility and autonomy. Strong reputation with clients and candidates.

    Cons

    Compensation can be higher in other agencies


  2. "Needs improvement on how they handle diversity in workplace - if there is any?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Recruiter in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Recruiter in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Aquent (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good people making up a fun culture and fun workplace with a party-like vibe overall,.

    Cons

    Not the best workplace to manage diversity,.

    Advice to Management

    If you don't want to interfere or don't know how to manage any diversity related topics/issues, I would stop hiring anyone that can potentially bring that question/topic in.

  3. "Recruiter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiter
    Former Employee - Recruiter
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Aquent full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits for both the contractors and employees.

    Cons

    Large company- making decisions for all areas based on what is best in one rather than the individual area.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Sr Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Recruiter
    Current Employee - Senior Recruiter
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Aquent full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    great (and i mean stellar) benefits. they do listen to staff and communication trickles down well. there is autonomy and self driven metrics. great overall training access and support too. great leadership

    Cons

    technology for internal systems is on eternal upgrade which is good/bad. The ongoing striving for improvement is great but you are launching into the field way too early. allow for more work at home

    Advice to Management

    Keep messaging across Aquent & Vitamin T equal. There are different standards for the different managers on different teams which causes a lot of internal challenges. Otherwise, great job!


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Aquent is a great place to start a recruiting career!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Talent Agent (Recruiter) in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Digital Talent Agent (Recruiter) in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Aquent full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The best part about Aquent is the people, hands down. I worked with such dedicated, smart and talented individuals across multiple offices, I am proud to have been a part of that team! Work/life balance is 100% accurate here, this is very much a 9-5 job! A lot of people I worked with have kids and its a great place for working parents, there's a lot of schedule flexibility. The unlimited vacation time policy is absolutely amazing, I could take off as much time as I wanted, even around the holidays. I was given a brand new Macbook Air to work with which was awesome, and they pay $75/month toward your cell phone bill. You get $8000 a year to spend on continuing education. They even have a lottery you can enter for a free week-long stay at their Hawaii beach house! Overall I do think Aquent is a great place to work and would recommend people there in a heartbeat.

    Cons

    -There's no opportunity for advancement. At all. The only exception is if you decide to go to the Account Director side. If you join the recruiting team everyone has the same title, so you can never be promoted. You may see different titles on LinkedIn, but internally, everyone holds the same position as a Digital Talent Agent.
    -Raises are pretty small even if you are an above average performer. You do receive a quarterly bonus though.
    -Aquent is an extremely numbers driven organization, so if you don't hit your metrics you are constantly scrutinized.
    -You are often times working with clients through a VMS and are trying to fill jobs that you have no information about, and have no access to the hiring manager.
    -Their internal talent database is old school and desperately needs to be cleaned out and updated.
    -There is no secretary in the office, so our phones were constantly ringing off the hook with random calls and requests.

    Advice to Management

    Management in Boston always seemed to be extremely disconnected from the rest of the workforce. They would try to institute policies (i.e., Business Interviews) that truly didn't make sense for our line of work.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Awful West Coast Experience - Don't Fall for the Hype!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiter
    Former Employee - Recruiter
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Aquent full-time

    Pros

    Aquent has good benefits for full-time employees and contractors.

    Cons

    I implore anyone looking to work at any of the West Coas offices to reconsider - or at least do your due diligence so you know what you are getting into. If you are early in your career...you may be able to learn something from Aquent and then apply your learnings to a better company; if you are more experienced, you may find this environment childish, uninspiring and frustrating.

    This review is based on my personal observations and experiences, as well as what I heard first-hand from colleagues.

    Aquent is a big company. Working on the West Coast was awful. Two of my coworkers described the environment akin to "Mean Girls" - an analogy I completely agree with. I regularly questioned management's trustworthiness and even had confidential employee-employer conversations shared with other non-management employees. One of my colleagues who is also no longer at Aquent had a similar problem.

    Turnover is rampant. The ENTIRE office (with one exception) turned over TWICE in the time I was there. There were incidences I witnessed and heard about where employees didn't make their numbers and we're let go - even if the circumstances were no fault of the employee. I witnessed what some saw as a "habit" of thinking they needed more people and then hiring, but subsequently letting them go because the business wasn't there. I heard complaints about the "my way or the highway" philosophy - a behavior I witnessed numerous times. There was at least one instance where someone went into the office for their first day and never went back.

    Entrepreneurial? This is something that many people I encountered at Aquent simply laughed at. There is a lot of talk about being "entrepreneurial" which gets some interviewees/new hires excited (me included!). That excitement seemed to dissipate however as "entrepreneurialism" gave way to arts & crafts-like "campaigns", such as painted orange rocks delivered to clients to illustrate a "rock solid relationship". Not to mention the very typical Starbucks Gift Card.

    Untrustworthy? I witnessed numerous situations where leaders were friendly to someone's face, then talked poorly about them behind their backs. Other colleagues witnessed the same two-faced behavior. I witnessed leaders giving specific direction to an employee and then reprimanding that employee (in public) for following her direction when a problem arose. This is common - they tend to "remember" their own versions of events that do not align with other peoples' accounts of the events. I also witnessed inconsistent standards - it seemed like some people were rewarded/reprimanded and others were not - even when they performed the same way. Some of the people i worked with regarded this as favoritism.

    No Leadership Skills. From a leadership perspective, I have no faith in Aquent. They may be good at "keeping the trains on schedule" but they have no leadership competencies. This is evidenced by their quarterly State of the Business video conferences - sure, they know the revenue and profit numbers, but try getting an answer about how they determined the forecasted numbers or information on thoughts about the industry as a whole. When I would ask what was happening in our clients' industries that could affect staffing, they could not give me an insightful answer. When leaders came back from a Leadership meeting at corporate headquarters, they would tout the benefits of some hot new initiative. They knew all the buzz words but when anyone asked questions about how the hot new initiative ties into the industry, business world, our clients, etc., they had no clue. I began to question the leaders' business savvy.

    This is certainly not a comprehensive list of my personal experiences and observations, and experiences shared with me by other Aquent employees. Hopefully, there is enough here in my review as well as other reviews to help you make an informed decision about whether you want to work for this company.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "west coast management/VP team, the worst i've ever experienced in my career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Recruiter in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Recruiter in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - the company, i loved. exceptional benefits, free beach house, on-going learning, new technology.

    - i love recruiting and was very successful while i was here.

    - enjoyed the agency-type atmosphere, cement walls, nice aesthetics over all, comfortable work space

    Cons

    - the absolute WORST team of management, in the san francisco location (specifically, the VP-level team and above, on the west coast) in my entire career.

    - when i first started there (before the current management team) they promoted a holistic environment, emphasizing "employee friendly" conditions. however, they hired former robert half managers to run things and the traditional/archaic and oppressive way they treat their recruiters/sales team is horrific.

    - it wasn't the most intelligent team i've worked with, or very authentic people…. but hey, they had great shoes and if you kissed up to certain management in a phony way, you were rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    dear aquent corporate-- pay more attention to who you have managing, it's sorely affecting your image:

    based on your highly unsophisticated and subpar management/or "VP team" in san francisco, you're severely lacking in all the things you seem to want to achieve (in reputation) throughout the business community.

    which is: grace, intellect, prestige, quality, integrity and respectability. oh wait, those all mean pretty much the same thing. touché.

    you were once a great company and i'm sad to see it's steep decline since 2006.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Good place to work, but management needs a BIG wake up call.."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Agent/Recruiter in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Agent/Recruiter in Boston, MA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, base pay is good in comparison to other "staffing" agencies I've worked for.

    Cons

    There are so many meetings and "initiatives" management thinks will help us make more money. In fact, they are taking us away from doing our jobs. There is a constant pressure to hit specified metrics for the initiatives, rather than focus on the core of our jobs - talking to and submitting people for roles we have open.

    I realize all companies have their "Cons", however, I can say I have never worked as a recruiter in a staffing firm where I've had to do SO MUCH busy work, ON TOP OF my "core job" - recruiting.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your staff before implementing new initiatives. Be realistic about expectations - we can't sit in meetings all week and still be expected to be productive at our jobs.


  9. "Good company, leader in the space"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Aquent full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, lots of great managers who have tenure, flat structure, transparency. They are a leader in the space and are growing. Their marketing materials and commitment to industry involvement help establish legitimacy for employees.

    Cons

    Pay is lower than competitors, flat structure makes it difficult to advance, your experience depends a lot on which group/manager you work with. The new structure focusing on a small number of large accounts is great for clients but can be stifling for employees.

    Advice to Management

    Reward successful employees (financially and with promotions), use metrics but trust employees to get things done.


  10. "Great company, poor HR/Recruiting Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Recruiter in Atlanta, GA
    Former Contractor - Recruiter in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Aquent as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great jobs
    Great hiring managers
    Great company image

    Cons

    HR and Recruiting Management
    Poor ATS