Brafton Reviews | Glassdoor

Brafton Reviews

Updated May 18, 2017
171 reviews

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171 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • People, 401k, work from home policy (in 47 reviews)

  • Work-life balance seems to be very good (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can become a challenge (in 14 reviews)

  • Unrealistic amount of work expected to be completed (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Opportunities for the taking--if you're motivated."

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

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

    Pros

    Entrepreneurial culture, upward feedback encouraged, creative vibe, great people and competitive pay/benefits (despite some reviews). I look forward to coming in each day and appreciate seeing the immediate impact from my ideas. I love this place.

    Cons

    Some things scale fast, others take time due to capital investment gaps. That's been the only limit, everything else is utopia from the people to the place we work and the culture.

    Advice to Management

    Follow your clients' hearts, reward and develop your people. Keep on the great path you've started and never stop retooling.


  2. "Senior Writer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Writer in Elmhurst, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Writer in Elmhurst, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The top pros include flexibility, PTO, benefits and your coworkers.

    Cons

    There's a massive information-sharing problem between sales, content strategists, managers and all editorial staff. The workload invariably leads to burnout at some point.

    Advice to Management

    Have client-facing employees (ie. writers and CMS) understand what the sales team is selling to new business from the very beginning of the relationship. Create alignment from the start to ensure all teams can meet or exceed expectations.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Honest Review: Growing Video/Animation department makes Brafton an ideal launch off point"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Animator in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Animator in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I think its easy to forget that whether you work for Buzzfeed or Brafton, most content based companies have the same problems when it comes to low starting pay and tight deadlines. This is across the board, and I think its a bit unfair that Brafton keeps getting beat up on by people with little to no comparative experience.

     This review is also for the video department and does not reflect on other departments.

    In a relatively short time at Brafton I received a promotion, good benefits, and watched the director streamline and mold the workload of the department for both the benefit of employees and clients. I became a better animator, efficient at handling clients and internal management, and formed personal and professional relationships that last outside the company.

    The projects have very fast turnover and must be developed with economy. An animator or videographer tends to be their art director- its a kind of autonomy you might experience at boutique studio, just accelerated. This sort of trained self sufficiency will give you a leg up anywhere.

    Job security is very good if you can hit your marks and keep swimming upstream.

    Many ex-braftonians have used their experience to move on to better things in an alarming variety of industries. I find it hard to be bitter about any aspect of this job when my experience and relationships at Brafton directly bettered my life after moving.

    Cons

    Bacchanal after work parties may be not to everyone's tastes.

    Company culture at the moment is geared more toward an aggressive sales force than developing or defining a product.

    Some customers come in with a negative attitude based on experiences from other Brafton products and their expectations often have to be re-managed due to miscommunication between Sales, Strategy, and Production.

    Starting pay is low but not dissimilar to most start ups. In my experience the department heads really want their employees to be comfortable and appreciated and will have your back when it comes to review time and asking for a pay bump. Living in Boston on Chicago wages is never easy, but good work is definitely rewarded for creative and diligent employees in the video department.

    Advice to Management

    Video/Animation may not be your bread and butter at the moment, but it will be! You have some very talented, very dedicated people on board. Invest in them! As previously mentioned, the changes Perry, Jim, and Zoe brought to the department were palpable in just a matter of months. Take a few a more risks with budgeting and make sure they have the tools for continued success.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Brafton is an excellent place to grow your skills"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Animator in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Animator in Boston, MA

    Pros

    - Great sense camaraderie within the video team. Friendly working environment.
    - Opportunity to get plenty of experience in a rather short period of time
    - Good structure for rewarding motivated individuals who clearly communicate their goals.
    - Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    - Lack of collaboration on individual projects
    - Growth within the company eventually means more managerial duties / less time for creative work, which is fine if your ambitions are to climb the latter.

    Advice to Management

    My advice would be continue to try and foster a collaborative environment which allows people to learn from eachother. It definitely improved towards the end of my career there, but I can't stress enough how valuable that is for a team, and the individuals. That said, the video team management does a great job wrangling the high volume of work while keeping everyone happy.


  6. "Mixed Bag"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - News and Content Writer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - News and Content Writer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Great people
    - Good skill building opportunity
    - Things seem to be improving
    - Executive team is very accessible

    Cons

    - Low pay
    - High volume
    - Changes, though usually good, are handled sloppily

    Advice to Management

    Don't remove the majority of advancement opportunities without clarifying what the new pipeline looks like. Pay your writers more so you can hire more talented people. Find a way to make those margins work, or you'll never address your turnover rate.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Might be worthwhile... depending on your background"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Writer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Writer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Brafton full-time

    Pros

    Great coworkers who can quickly become friends. Ample advancement and learning opportunities if you put in the time and do good work. Work from home is an excellent plus, and probably the reason I stayed on so long. A good learning experience overall, especially if you're new to the world of office work. I was able to take the skills and experience I gained and move on to a position that was much more suited to my interests. Now I'm quite happy and on a good trajectory, career-wise.

    Most people at Brafton - at least in editorial - are well under 30. If you're significantly older than that, you might feel out of place. If you're in your 20s, you'll likely fit right in.

    Cons

    The workload is far too heavy, and everyone knows it. Word counts did decrease significantly during my two years at Brafton, but not enough. I had one of the lowest wordcounts around because I worked on high-level "premium" clients, and I still struggled much of the time. It's easy(ish) to pump out 2,000 or so words a day, but the result won't be be great. Clients won't be thrilled, and you won't be proud of anything you've produced. Brafton feels like bootcamp. Once you get out, you'll find you have ample time to accomplish tasks, and the product will be better as a result. How about that!

    There are systemic issues with interdepartmental communication. Yes, that's true everywhere, but I'd say it's worse than average here. The sales team makes promises to incoming clients that editorial teams simply don't have the resources to keep. We would consistently land clients knowing it was only a matter of time before they moved on because we couldn't meet their expectations. Because editorial is generally overburdened as it is, we would welcome cancellations. Overall, there's very little incentive for editorial teams to keep clients on board because rewards for keeping business go to account management. This is another thing Brafton was working on changing when I left. Hopefully there's been some movement on that.

    On the other hand, the better reward would be to raise writer salaries, which are painfully low. Unfortunately, Brafton's business model relies on exploiting its writers by overworking and underpaying them. It's difficult for most writers to finish their workload within 40 hours a week. With new changes to DOL's overtime laws, I don't imagine this will remain true for much longer, and I'm very curious about how Brafton will respond.

    If you already have adequate experience, and you're not desperate for a job ABSOLUTELY RIGHT NOW, don't accept an offer from Brafton. If you need to pad your resume, it's worth thinking about. Plenty of people survive the experience relatively unscathed.

    Advice to Management

    Charge more for your services and pay writers more. The low salary demonstrates just how little Brafton respects its writers (even though they produce the company's central product). Make sure the business you take on is a good fit for the company, or you will just put more stress on editorial and account management.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Don't ignore all the negative reviews, there's a reason there's so many."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Brafton full-time

    Pros

    Work from home/PTO allows a great opportunity to interview elsewhere when trying to escape this company.

    Cons

    Border-line minimum wage, little room for advancement (especially given layoffs), don't invest time in employees so you'll learn very little.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Hard Pass"

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

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

    Pros

    Reiterating what everyone else has said, Brafton is an ok first job out of college. You get to work with some amazing people who you will remain in contact with long after you’ve all left. The WFH benefit is also great, because many days it will be incredibly difficult to drag yourself into the office.

    Cons

    It’s difficult to write about all the cons without sounding like a parrot, but what everyone else said in their reviews is completely true. One of the biggest issues is that Brafton promotes people who don’t have the experience or understanding required to be in a leadership role. My manager did/does not have a single clue as to what is going on, and it’s very evident that the whole team is suffering as a result. Brafton has a significant number of problems, but the manager of my team was 90% of the reason I left. Brafton will tell you that they value your feedback, and maybe they enjoy listening to it, but I have not seen a single instance where they actually implement any changes based on the complaints people have made. A majority of the managers and executives are only looking out for themselves and don’t care what happens to the employees actually doing the grunt work. Honestly, it’s more of a place to do mediocre work that pays (some) of the bills until you can find a better position. Not every job outside of Brafton is going to be perfect, but I can guarantee you’re going to be happier in some way, shape for form.

    Advice to Management

    Take a business class


  10. Helpful (11)

    "RUN FAR, FAR AWAY"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Content Writer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Content Writer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Brafton full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -You will bond with fellow writers over awfulness of Brafton and your work life.

    Take ANY job over a job at Brafton. You will be more fulfilled working retail or bartending, and freelancing on the side.

    I am writing this solely because I saw a Brafton job posting and want to prevent/help/warn others from making the decision to accept an offer from Brafton.

    Cons

    Do not take the myriad of negative reviews lightly. Every word is accurate. Before accepting my Brafton offer, I read through the Glassdoor reviews and interpreted them as exaggerated words by angry employees. I was wrong. Do not be like me.

    -Everything.
    -Depressing/sweat shop atmosphere. People experience anxiety attacks for the first time in their lives due to the work conditions.
    -Low pay. Long hours. UNREASONABLE work load.
    -Major, company-wide layoffs come with no warning.
    -Every day is mundane.
    -Ruins any love for writing.
    -Management values quantity over quality.
    -HIGH turnover rate (both by choice and by layoffs).
    -No one is familiar with Brafton and the clients/companies your write for don't have any name recognition, so the work you do will not stand out when looking for future jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Regardless of your failed and hopeless business model:

    -Stop being more concerned about the color of the office walls than of the well-being of your employees.
    -Invest in your employees and treat them with respect.
    -Don't waste your money on frivolous aesthetics (paint color, bean bags - that no one use, wall art, parties, cheep beer) and instead focus on being able to pay your employees three months down the road.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Company is going no where!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Generation Executive in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Lead Generation Executive in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Sales experience is excellent, however the manager in charge left the company shortly after a mass exodus of senior reps.

    Cons

    They sell a service. You know how that goes.

    Advice to Management

    Don't lie.


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