Barkley Reviews in Kansas City, MO | Glassdoor

Barkley Kansas City Reviews

Updated August 2, 2017
44 reviews

Filter

Filter

Kansas City, MO Area

3.5
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Barkley CEO Jeff King
Jeff King
32 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

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 13 reviews)

  • From the fruit fridge to all the kegs of free beer (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be a struggle if you let it (in 10 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Executive Design Director"

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

    I have been working at Barkley full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    people, the project work, work environment, 401K, ESOP

    Cons

    Some AOR work is too production heavy; certain account leads tend to care about placating clients above being a legitimate creative and strategic partner. Pitches don't have to be painful to be powerful.

    Advice to Management

    Empower the day to day teams, they know the most about what is going on. If someone feels more like a cog than a person they loose passion.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Culture of insecurity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Barkley full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    They have a fitness center and offer a lot of perks like free yoga and boot camp classes. Also they do quarterly agency days where the agency closes down and they have a community improvement day, creative symposium or some other team-building event. They also do monthly staff meetings to keep everyone updated on new biz pitches and wins, promotions, new hires, etc.

    Cons

    When I started at Barkley, it was a fun place to work. Everyone worked hard but loved what they did and we had fun. There were lots of people who had been there 10+ years. Over the last few years, they've created a culture where nobody wants to accept accountability when something goes wrong, for fear of losing their jobs. There's a lot of finger pointing and throwing people under the bus. You'd be hard-pressed finding someone who's worked there longer than 10 years, besides the COO and CEO. There's no loyalty. Nobody's job is safe. And you can feel the tension in the air. They also now do quarterly reviews, which gives them an excuse not to give annual pay increases. Also, for as large of a company as they are, their benefits are pretty expensive.

    Advice to Management

    Pay a little more attention to the people who aren't constantly pointing fingers at others because the finger-pointers are usually the people who are screwing up. Start being more generous with the pay raises and make all of your employees feel appreciated. The perks are great but most people don't have time to enjoy them.

  3. "Advertising, yeah!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There's a rocket on the roof, and free beer!

    Cons

    Dedication is expected from you, but don't necessarily expect the same in return. Choose your allegiances wisely if you value your job.

    Advice to Management

    Don't lose sight of those who dedicate their lives to your successes.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Art Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Short lived and unappreciated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. "Strategy Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Layoffs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  9. Helpful (7)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Overall Great Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


Showing 44 of 94 reviews
Reset Filters