Barkley Reviews in Kansas City, MO | Glassdoor

Barkley Kansas City Reviews

Updated February 22, 2017
41 reviews

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Kansas City, MO Area

3.3
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Barkley CEO Jeff King
Jeff King
30 Ratings

41 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people who give you every opportunity to succeed, great clients that give you great projects to work on, and great work comes of it all (in 12 reviews)

  • Work/life balance is good, if you know how to manage your own time (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be a struggle if you let it (in 9 reviews)

  • The boys club got very old after awhile (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Art Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barkley full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits like free avocados, an in agency gym with workout classes 2-3 times a day to burn off your free beer. The agency is an ESOP, owned by the employees; so you get stock based on salary and longevity of employment. Relaxed environment.

    Cons

    Creative opportunity varies depending on client and team.

    Advice to Management

    Keep challenging clients.


  2. "Good people, Needs some re-prioritization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    Great company culture and many great people. The company emphasizes adding good to the world, which is apparent in everything from community service projects to the client work.

    Cons

    "Always on" mentality, in the sense that there are definitely times people will need to work very late into the night (although it can often be from home or the office). If something comes through after standard work hours, which is very common, you are expected to get it done. Depending on your position it is common to have 75-90% of your day taken up by meetings, so there is very little time to complete tasks throughout the day.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management does a great job trying to drive new business and position employees for long-term growth. Advancement needs to be more focused on contribution and ability, while less focused on years of experience. Prioritize strategy and executions that have maximum potential for impact over what seems flashy and award-worthy.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Short lived and unappreciated"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    ESOP employee stock option program is valued based on your ranking and shares are bought on your behalf and after 3 years of leaving you get a payout. Bonus money is also a nice perk but it goes up and down so you can't count on a set amount.

    Cons

    Boys club, clients are lied to in pitch process, vacation accrues at the beginning of the year so vacation isn't available at the start of the year. 401K match is low so don't expect them to pitch in much extra. Also the health insurance options are good but the employee pitches in way more than they should and Barkley doesn't cover as much of the health insurance cost as some other agencies.

    Advice to Management

    Stop listening to upper execs and account about client needs. Spend time understanding how all department work together and are currently supporting existing clients so it resonates with prospective clients.


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  5. "Strategy Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Strategy Intern in Kansas City, MO
    Former Intern - Strategy Intern in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Barkley as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people who give you every opportunity to succeed, great clients that give you great projects to work on, and great work comes of it all!

    Cons

    There are definitely times where you're forced to work really long hours that can take a toll.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe give the interns the chance to move around from department to department so they can get more experience.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Layoffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Copywriter in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Junior Copywriter in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Barkley (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Barkley is a great place to work. Young people, lots of perks.

    Cons

    Jobs are not secure.

    Advice to Management

    Try to hold on to your employees. People have families to support.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Not my cup of tea. Might not be yours either."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Management in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Account Management in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Good agency perks - parties, kegs, free food, gym, bootcamp classes, holiday gifts, involved in the community.
    - Reputation - Kansas City people know Barkley. It's fun to work for a company that has recognition in the community.
    - Flexible schedules - you can come to work from home, go to appointments as long as you get your work done.
    - Community service - participated in pilot programs in the community #BInlcusive, #AddGood.
    - Employee owned - you own part of the company and it goes into an ESOP that you can access after you leave.

    Cons

    *every experience at Barkley is very unique to your client, so this was my experience in account management on one of the largest at the agency *

    - Political. You better make connections with the right people, or you won't move up (or worse). This was stated from VP-level partners.
    - Lack of organization and structure - every team and every project works very differently. NO traffic system - all work flows through email which is nearly impossible to track. Creatives could get away with ignoring all emails even though that was the way work was assigned, but then you were to fault if the project was behind schedule. Project management was hired to help with this and for the most part, they have but there are still some very obvious cracks in the process.
    - Absolutely no yearly raises - reviews are quarterly and there is never a discussion about raises. You don't get promoted until you make those political connections and "get noticed" from upper management. Pay is also below local industry averages, so expect that as well.
    - Lack of understanding of digital - broadcast is king and the creative and strategy teams don't understand what resonates with the digital audience.
    - Nepotism.
    - Too many cooks - every project was very complex and convoluted because there were entirely way too many people with opposing opinions. It was never clear who had the final say.
    - Egotistical & competitive - way too many members thought their opinion was always the right one. It was never a discussion - even with the clients. If you disagreed, there are members who would legitimately yell until they got their way. This created an environment where partners were afraid to give their opinions for fear of starting an argument.
    - Lack of responsibility from creative leadership - Creative leadership got away with changing their minds about work after it had been presented to the clients - this would lead to more client reviews, client frustration, loss of client trust and overall backstepping of the project.
    - No work/life balance - it's very normal to see partners consistently there until 8pm.
    - Clients have no boundaries or consequences. Often treated like a vendor and not a partner - clients can get away with 25 rounds of work and never be penalized. Why? Lack of proper contracts and scopes. Leadership had rushed this part of the partnership in the beginning and now entire team pays for it.
    - Employees are disposable - I've seen a large amount of people let go after a short period of time. There was no effort to look for another team or opportunity for the employee. Rather, they just let that person go and look for the next shiny object. Employment is a two-way street and Barkley should take a better look at their side of it.
    - Women/minorities in leadership roles - not many. Currently 4 of the 16 shown on Barkley's leadership page are women. None are minorities.

    Advice to Management

    Take a closer look under the surface.
    -Don't always trust what you are hearing from VPs - they are telling you what they want you to know and they know you want to hear.
    -Value the people. Advertising is a human-based industry and you're getting a reputation for being frivolous with valuable employees.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Overall Great Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work environment
    Great people to work with
    Leadership has done a great job in the past 5 years rebuilding the agency to one of the best creative shops in the region

    Cons

    Pay was mediocre
    Work/life balance is definitely an issue

    Advice to Management

    More effort should be put in training and professional development. While the upper level management's vision setting and transparency is great, there isn't


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Ok at first"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The office space is cool, they offer decent time off and casual dress like most agencies. Lots of promises at first that never developed.

    Cons

    There is no growth opportunities, when discussed the answers were vague. Typical agency environment with unstable future. They aren't interested in keeping good people.


  10. "Best Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Creative in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Creative in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barkley full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Perks on perks on perks, leadership really goes out of their way to keep you feeling happy and appreciated. Quarterly performance reviews and lots of celebratory rewards along the way. Jeff King is an excellent CEO. He makes time to connect with employees on all levels. I genuinely trust his judgment.

    Cons

    It's hard for me to think of any cons. Barkley is honestly my favorite job I've ever worked. I guess I wish we didn't have to pay to park in the parking garage. Other than that, Barkley is seriously amazing, inclusive, and fun. Here, you're surrounded by people who really care about your growth well-being.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work. Our culture is amazing and inspiring. I'm honored to learn from the best.


  11. "A Creative Playground"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Art Director Intern in Kansas City, MO
    Former Intern - Art Director Intern in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Barkley as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Barkley offers a wonderful mentorship program that equips you with the experience and knowledge to be successful in advertising and beyond. As a creative intern, I worked on, pitched and sold real client work in addition to getting ample hands-on time in the studio.

    The office was large and a blast to work in. Easy access to top-level creatives. Competitive, but good midwestern values. Complete with beer on tap, pool table, shuffle board, pinball machine and a rooftop garden and grill.

    The relationships you make don't stop when you walk out the door. Dedicate your time and you will leave (or stay) with a pool of personal connections with and people who will become invaluable as you begin to navigate your career.

    Cons

    Sometimes money can get in the way of the creative. Sometimes management can be a bit of a boys club. Sometimes you don't know what you're doing. Sometimes you work really long hours to meet tight deadlines, though as an intern, you're not expected to stay past 40 hours a week. (But still, get your job done.)



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