Barbarian Reviews | Glassdoor

Barbarian Reviews

Updated July 12, 2017
34 reviews

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3.1
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Cathy Butler
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34 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "In response to "Mixed Review" on 12/16"

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

    Pros

    I was hired by the current HR team at Barbarian and had a completely different experience. They were super buttoned up, strategic, helpful and kind from day one and have made sure I’ve been taken care of throughout my time here.

    My first week was filled with introductions to my team members, clients and people that I should just know in the building. In the last year plus, I have been provided opportunities to work outside of my account, on new business and along side our leadership team. The execs here are always accessible - the SuperDesk in general I think makes it easy to work with and/or meet people at every level.

    But like any agency, there are days and weeks that are nutty. Luckily, I truly enjoy the people I work with - they are some of the best talent in the industry and it's a large part of what makes Barbarian such a great place to work.

    Cons

    We have the typical agency pains.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Who's steering this sinking ship?"

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

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

    Pros

    - Excellent time off (20 vacation days plus holidays)
    - Decent insurance (company pays for your deductible)

    Cons

    - Atrocious CEO. Faceless in times of hardship which is what the past seven months has been. The type of person that would rather cower behind an e-mail instead of telling you bad news to your face. Sits at his computer in the corner all day doing....what? Totally hands-off to the point it feels like he doesn't care about anyone. His actions (or lack of) send a strong message that he he doesn't want to be there.

    - Less than a handful of good talent remains and even those people have one foot out the door

    - No executive team remains. Combine that with Peter Kim's lack of involvement and it's unclear who actually runs TBG.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "It was awesome until it wasn't"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Somewhat flexible with opportunity to work from home as needed, but that depends on your supervisor
    - Excellent benefits and ample vacation time
    - Great salary
    - Work ebbs and flows as a typical ad agency. You'll work like crazy for awhile on a pitch or a project and then have a ton of downtime that makes up for the crazy busy periods.
    - A handful of nice people

    Cons

    - Like high school. You need to be one of the cool kids to move up regardless of how hard you work or the quality of the work. I have a feeling my dept head at the time had a rough go of it in hs and was making up for it with a fancy title in a hot field. Actually, this was probably the case for a bunch of dept heads and directors.
    - Handful of really nasty people with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove (probably to the kid that made fun of them in high school)
    - Management likes to flex their boss muscles and will often assign work for the sake of doing work.
    - Was trying SO hard to become this tech focused digital agency that they lost their way. They made a lot of hires that were traditional agency, including many that thought they were in the mad men era, along with some really tech focused creative hires that thought it was too silly and didn't stay long.
    - Review process. Like any review, peers state pros and cons. However, management and HR would latch onto a con and instead of actively working with you to improve on it, they would just use it as an excuse when convenient to keep you as a worker bee in your same position and not move up...unless they think you're cool enough to hang with them.
    - Work from home opps really does depend on your supervisor. Some supervisors wanted an abundance of facetime, even during slow periods, which is messed up when you do have remote workers...

    Advice to Management

    I loved working here at first, but the people hired started going downhill. The good people left one after another. The quality of the work and clients followed the same pattern. Now it is on its last legs and everyone left is looking for a way out. Extremely sad.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Down, But Not Out..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Amazing people that make up the heart of the agency
    -People tend to work hard and deliver what needs to be done
    -HR is always accommodating and tends to have employee interests at heart

    Cons

    -Upper management issues have taken a major toll on employee morale
    -Since the removal of Sophie Kelly, the environment has been one of nonstop uncertainty
    -Company becoming more and more of an in-house Samsung shop, with less focus being put on the other clients

    Advice to Management

    I think a better effort in being transparent would've done wonders over the past 6 months. We're still dedicated in helping make TBG be the best agency it can be, but we need to not feel like we're constantly watching our back in doing so.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Sr level"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Senior Level in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Level in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very young, friendly environment, free snacks, food and beer, a handful of talented people

    Cons

    They are really challenged when it comes to resourcing projects and managing their workload. Several people have left due to lack of work life balance, you WILL be expected to be available 24/7 and may even have to cancel your vacation to accommodate their poor planning. When the teams are taxed, the quality of work goes downhill, people stop caring and just push projects out the door...which is unfortunate. This place is pretty much a free for all where anything goes...if you need any sort of structure or process this isnt the place for you. (The superdesk is a metaphor for the roller-coaster ride of your life while you are working there!)

    Advice to Management

    Focus on resourcing, management and structure perhaps this will help you retain top creatives


  6. Helpful (1)

    "It's going to be fine?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Barbarian full-time

    Pros

    There is a handful of people that work at The Barbarian Group that are amazingly talented and extremely easy to get along with. The bathrooms are very clean and there is often free food.

    Cons

    The entire place is a mess in terms of process. The people that came and went attempting to help the situation were either pushed out due to personality conflicts with the CEO or they jumped ship as soon as they had the chance.

    There is the CEO at the top, a handful of department leads, and then a sea of worker bees. If are not a department lead you are a bee with no room for advancement. You could work yourself to death for 10 years and maybe have a title change. If you don't believe the review you should ask the people that work there.

    The hours you are expected to work are crazy. Even though the place doesn't start buzzing until 10AM you are expected to be on call every minute of the day and night. Don't expect to stop looking at your email at any point until the day you quit.

    Advice to Management

    Spend time mentoring and listening to your employees. Most of them want to work on quality campaigns and grow in their careers.


  7. "Barbarianism"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Intern in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Intern in Austin, TX
    Recommends

    I worked at Barbarian (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Efforts & initiative, highly appreciated. Very friendly & helpful co-workers, mentally stimulating workload.

    Cons

    The only con is that I couldn't continue working with them after my internship ( my schedule wouldn't allow it )

  8. Helpful (10)

    "Getting worse every week"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Level in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Level in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Barbarian full-time

    Pros

    Having been here a few years, I've seen Barbarian at different stages. And disappointingly, it's at it's worst right now. The new office is cool but the calibre of clients, projects and the work is of a very low standard, I am often embarrassed when I look at the work other agencies do v the noise we make about little wins and insignificant stuff. Overall, I put this down to the CEO who would be OK as an Account Director at a big agency but is WAY over her head in this job. I know for an absolute fact that many of the reviews on here are drafted and approved by her to keep the rating high. That is disgraceful behavior and just one of the many ways Barbarian cheats potential clients and employees.

    Cons

    There is literally no process, especially on pitches. 'Leadership' doesn't lead and the CEO is brash, rude and incompetent. Sadly, there used to be a lot of awesome and talented people working here but now it's a very mediocre place and the smart employees seem to be looking for new opportunities. The founders seem to think they've had their time and are completely absent. Most days, I feel like I've burnt a lot of emotional energy for very little reward. As I update my resume, it's hard to pinpoint much to be proud of in the last 18 months. My career has stalled and I plan to move on asap.

    Advice to Management

    The CEO and Management Team need to work together and come up with a plan that instils some confidence. Right now, the CEO might well be 'working her tail off' as per the (fake) review below, but it's all misdirected energy and she doesn't have the support of the agency. Most of us think she's a pretty horrible person. The other leaders need to take the controls, get involved and allow people to work to their best capability.


  9. "A great place to work, minor tweaks needed to realize potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Talent does a good job in hiring a mix of talented and just sociable, nice people. It is likely the most cordial office I've worked in. There's a high level of digital talent and people passionate about the Internet, though the department strengths tend to ebb and flow as the company grows. Current CEO is awesome and really cares about the place/works her tail off. Culture, office plan, and values are strong.

    Cons

    Resourcing needs to be improved. Note: Culture prizes entrepreneurialism and figure it out/can do attitudes. People used to a ton of structure and being given exacting deliverables might have challenges. Sometimes pitches can be a ton of work and stress the agency.

    Advice to Management

    Operations needs tightening. Top performers need more clearly defined goals and KPIs other than the popularity contest that sometimes HR reviews can devolve into. But overall things are on the right track.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    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.


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