Barkley Reviews

Updated Apr 8, 2020

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3.1
43%
Recommend to a Friend
78%
Approve of CEO
Barkley CEO Jeff King
Jeff King
76 Ratings
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 14 reviews)

  • "Great benefits like free avocados, an in agency gym with workout classes 2-3 times a day to burn off your free beer(in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work life balance can be a struggle if you let it(in 14 reviews)

  • "There are definitely times where you're forced to work really long hours that can take a toll(in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Come to Barkley if you want to grow."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Brand Leader in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barkley full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Barkley has grown significantly in the past 18 months. Not only in new clients, but also in how senior leadership manages the agency. The company is taking a more consultative approach to client work, getting further into the clients' business to solve business problems, not just communication problems. The growth provides lots of opportunities to learn. If you're a self-starter, this is the environment for you. You'll get as many opportunities as you want. I'm learning a lot here that is going to help me throughout my career.

    Cons

    The growth comes with long hours. But the teamwork helps make up for it.

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  2. Helpful (3)

    "Worst professional experience of my life"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Barkley full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Beer on tap, margarita Thursdays, nice outdoor rooftop, some fun people

    Cons

    Keeps certain family members of founder on staff even though they're a nightmare to work with; sexual harrassment from management goes unpunished; underpay yet overwork employees

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  3. Helpful (1)

    "Satisfied overall, company always felt like it was growing and learning."

    4.0
     

    I worked at Barkley

    Pros

    Kansas City is a great place to live / work and being the middle of everything was a huge perk. Super fun clients.

    Cons

    Company changes can be stressful.

  4. Helpful (2)

    "Has changed a great deal in the last two years; for the better"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Long Time Creative With Perspective in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Barkley full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I've seen a lot of transformation since Sonic left nine years ago. The client roster is much more diverse now. Biz model and pitch model is now consistent. Senior management no longer includes some of the eccentric creative elements that used to behave badly to Jr. talent. We don't reinvent the wheel over and over in pitch situations. Sr. leadership tries to listen to suggestions and weekly standup meetings celebrate the four corners of the org from IT to HR to Creative to Design. Current ECD is a dedicated actual decision maker. Strategy and Design have emerged as real strengths of the current biz model. Barkley bought out all the old shareholders in Sept to get all ownership internal. If are interested in your career, you absolutely can impact the org. So if you read an older review I'd take it with a grain of salt.

    Cons

    New biz is on a year plus winning run, and keeping up with the wins has been hard. There are a lot of openings across the company and it may be time to cool it while teams get staffed. Good problem to have I suppose as a few other long standing KC creative orgs continue to shrink. And it's probably not for jr. talent that wants to come in at 9:15 and leave at 4:45 so they can get to their side hustle and happy hour. It's a career building shop. Admittedly that's not for everyone.

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  5. "Ehhh"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Media Team in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Barkley full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Dog Friendly Office Snacks Flexible Schedule Big Set of Clients

    Cons

    Seems like Barkley throws a lot of fluff and big talk to their clients and then can't really deliver all the time If you aren't in a client facing role, you aren't really important Company culture feels forced and inauthentic The "Gratitudes" stuff is really corny and no one really cares. It's just an opportunity for the same old people to just hear themselves talk and be a cheerleader People are ALWAYS late to meetings. Never been in a meeting that didn't start at least 5-7 minutes late Communication across offices is very poor Some people aren't good at their jobs at all, and then that effects the rest of the team on the account Very little training

  6. "Same old story."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Barkley full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    you work on big clients

    Cons

    over worked under valued under paid no one listens terrible leadership

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  7. Helpful (1)

    "Does not recommend."

    1.0
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Director 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Barkley full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule. Great location downtown.

    Cons

    Does not recommend. Biggest regret of my career.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Chewing partners UP lately."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Barkley full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Tons of very bright and nice people Short, weekly all-agency meetings are nice Great space/location and pretty modern tech amenities Potential for great mentorship and growth if you’re on the right team

    Cons

    There is zero pushback for psycho clients. The word “no” is not in Barkley’s client-facing DNA. It’s bold, sure, but usually stupid. It fosters phony relationships built on unseen, internal stresses. Teams give away oodles of free work in the hopes of earning brand brownie points, but it just scares our talent away, and makes for spoiled, bratty clients in the long run. New biz is ambitious, probably to a fault. We roll out red carpets and fabricate capabilities just to impress, only to implode when it comes time to execute with available bandwidth. Barkley is trying to scale as fast as possible, but teams can’t even keep up with existing workloads and people are constantly leaving.

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Gain Experience"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at Barkley full-time

    Pros

    Great folks to work with.

    Cons

    Most weeks are 50 + hours

  10. Helpful (7)

    "Broken Business Model"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Barkley full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Cool rocket on top of building.

    Cons

    Lot's of talk, no walk. Can't compete with modern agency models. Still reliant on "Cannes-Like Objects" creative model. Woefully unfit to solve real business problems for clients. Underpaid, young, inexperienced staff. No "big brains" when it comes to business. Ridiculously fixated on being cool and winning awards. Unearned egos are pervasive. Work spaces are incredibly messy and lacking in privacy. Senior Leadership only cares about lining their own pockets. This model is spiraling and can't seem to find an upward path.

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Found 119 reviews