Barkley Reviews | Glassdoor

Barkley Reviews

Updated October 12, 2017
87 reviews

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3.3
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Barkley CEO Jeff King
Jeff King
55 Ratings

87 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 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. "Great People"

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

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

    Pros

    The best part of working at Barkley was the people! Enjoyed everyone on my team old and new. Generally positive attitude all around and enjoyed coming to work each day.

    Cons

    Sometimes felt frustrated with philosophies and the way things were done without a lot of opportunity to discuss.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to employees at different levels and teams and applying their thoughts


  2. "Only some departments matter"

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

    I worked at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    They have amazing office perks. From the fruit fridge to all the kegs of free beer. The work environment is fun and the people can be awesome.

    Cons

    Benefits and pay are low for the market and the agency is only willing to invest in certain departments. If you are not a member of the creative or strategy teams you may as well kiss your opportunities for advancement goodbye. It finally will get to you as you watch individuals who have given their heart and soul to the company fail to be recognized over and over again in favor of their hot new strategist.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to every department. You have talented folks in creative and strategy, yes. BUT, you also have amazing people in account, accounting, project management, and media.

  3. "Account Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    Fun place to work right out of college

    Cons

    No work/life balance
    Untrustworthy management
    Constant lay offs


  4. 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.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Looks Great From the Outside"

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

    I worked at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    Free beer
    Free produce
    Beautiful rooftop deck
    Adequate paid time off
    401K
    ESOP

    Cons

    Incredibly "cliquey."
    No real training for new employees
    Lack of communication regarding employee performance
    Very low pay
    INSANELY high cost of medical benefits
    Toxic work environment


  6. "Good Intentions, Good People"

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

    I worked at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    They are built on principals you can believe in, and they deliver on those. They have a hard time balancing those with the demands of a nationally competitive ad agency. But, they try.

    Cons

    Structure suffers from imbalance of technology vs vision as the lead driver on projects. And, a lack of project management people and systems is painful - I think they were working on a system.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Art Director"

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

    I worked at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    Great people. Approachable leadership. Fun culture.

    Cons

    Weak/inexperienced account management and weak/inexperienced creative leadership leads to mediocre results.

  8. "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.


  9. 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.


  10. "Always Evolving In A Good Way"

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

    I have been working at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    - Employee-Owned (you're hired as a partner, not an "employee")
    - Leadership pushes models and teams to fit the needs of the future business landscape
    - Great culture with a strong sense of "we're all in this together"
    - Entrepreneurial in practice, not just in theory
    - Collaboration is highly valued
    - Company is run fairly "flat" - not much hierarchy in place that could inhibit contribution or access
    - Very diverse client relationships and service offerings beyond traditional communications work

    Cons

    - Due to the flat structure, some teams and individuals tend to get over-worked (it's the nature of the biz)
    - Roles/Titles don't always match up with ability, which can be confusing for some

    Advice to Management

    - Keep evolving
    - Strengthen PM & Management capabilities
    - Continue to assess internal SWOT


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