Catalyst Online Reviews | Glassdoor

Catalyst Online Reviews

Updated June 5, 2017
47 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.0
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Beth LeTendre
21 Ratings

47 Employee Reviews

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  1. "A Decent Company To Work For"

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

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time

    Pros

    The employees who work for the company are all nice. The office environment is very laid-back and casual. The CEO is friendly and talks to the employees in the office. Despite being part of a large company, people act more like they are at a start-up.

    There's a good life-work balance. Unlike other ad agencies, most employees leave by 5pm to 5:30pm everyday, if there isn't any huge projects going on.

    There's a decent coffee machine, free candy, free fruit every one in a while, free bagels once a month, a Thirsty Thursday (the Seventh Inning Stretch) on Thursday. Every once in a while there will be free food. There is also two annual company parties and those are always a blast.

    The company has good benefits and you get a reasonable amount of time off.

    I have learned a lot since I have started at the company. The upper level staff have a lot of knowledge and are willing to share their resources, if you ask. (There's no organized training process.)

    Cons

    The worst part about working here is that the office sucks- it's ugly, in a boring location, and the IT is bad.

     It's very ugly and poorly maintained. There have been several dead mouse sightings in the past few months. The cubicles are extremely high that it makes you feel extremely isolated. It can get depressing sitting in an office like cubicle where you can barely see any of your fellow employees.

    The location of the office isn't great either. Newton is an extremely wealthy and boring suburb just outside of Boston. It's nice if you are say an older settled-down suburbanite , but it isn't nice for young people (which majority of the people in the office are). It's annoying to get to on public transit, which can be an inconvenience for some people, considering compensation isn't enough to afford a car if you have student loans. The lunch options in the area suck, it's pretty much just whole foods and irish pubs. The location makes it difficult to go to networking events after work, go drinking after work, etc. as most of them are Downtown near the Seaport District. Even if you drive, you don't want to bring your car with you to a drinking event downtown. Most of the larger agencies are downtown, so you think Catalyst would follow suit.

    The IT infrastructure is awful. I constantly have trouble with many things that are out of my control. The local IT is great and cannot even fix all of the issues. It's just a lack of effort overall. We are digital marketing company, we need working internet.

    Salaries are reasonable, but in the slightly lower range. This would be okay if it wasn't so difficult to get a raise here. Since Catalyst is owned by large companies, the raises have to go through all of those making it difficult to get a raise. This leads to a high-turn over rate. Majority of the people I know who left loved it here, but the only way they could make more money was to go to a different agency.

    Advice to Management

    Work on improving the office- I've already noticed you are trying to make some improvements which is great.

    Fix IT- Giving everyone a brand new think pad is great, but when the Wifi and shared drive don't work we still cannot do anything.

    Make it easier for employees to get raises.

    Keep the friendly, start-up like attitude.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "SEO Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Organic Search Manager in Newton, MA
    Former Employee - Organic Search Manager in Newton, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    A few good people I've met at Catalyst. A few were even knowledgeable and genuinely tried to do good work, which was surprising given that many deliverables were lacking quality in some fairly substantial ways. A good place to get started, then get out asap. run! this organization is not a keeper.

    Cons

    Learning and development opportunities are a complete lie. Initiative is not really recognized nor rewarded. Good performance is not rewarded. Promotions are not based on merit and generally lack transparency. Lies and promises are common place. Total lack of standards, zero training, people are mostly not on the same page.

    Advice to Management

    Start new recruits with a comprehensive boot camp. Have deliverable training sessions. Reward performance. Spread bonuses outside of account directors. Reward performance across the team. Read these comments. I have been following this thread for a couple of years now, and realized that nothing has changed. So, someone must be dropping a major ball in the organization. Not sure what the hell is going on, but something does seem disjointed.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Trainwreck"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Group Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Group Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Outside Catalyst Boston, within the holding companies, they seem to try. Politically, within GroupM they seem to have some sway. But that's the most upbeat thing I can attest to.

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    Inept leadership
    Dishonest leadership
    Bilking clients for understaffed accounts
    Questionable ethics
    Human Resources is a laughing stock within GroupM

    Advice to Management

    Ask yourselves, are you only in this for the money? If so that's fine, but don't kid yourself into thinking you best-in-class. GroupM should dissolve Catalyst and spread the good parts into the rest of the org and toss the rest to the rubbish bin.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Myopic leadership with no vision or strategy. a service organization that cannot keep up with industry trends."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Search Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Search Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Health Benefits but not worth staying for the potential of moving to other functions at GroupM but unlikely cause so many accounts have left.

    Cons

    Poor pay not competitive. Disjointed ill informed and uninspiring executive leadership from Managing Director up driven by a myopic CEO who cannot lead thru good or bad times

    Advice to Management

    Change out executive team and let the GroupM agencies take back the function.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "The Most Exciting Agency To Work For"

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

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

    Pros

    Great practice and collaboration among all teams; work cross-functionally is encouraged.

    New ideas are valued; you get the change to actually implement them, if and when feasible.

    Initiative taking is always noticed and rewarded.

    Cons

    Catalyst functions as a start-up, which creates constant opportunities for development and growth. If embraced, this can be turned into a benefit and not a downside! Catalyst ROCKS!


  6. "A Place To Start Your Career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paid Search Associate in Newton, MA
    Current Employee - Paid Search Associate in Newton, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You can expect to learn a lot very quickly here at Catalyst even though you know nothing about paid search when you first came. Since Catalyst is a GroupM and WPP agency, you can enjoy all the benefits these two parent companies provide. PTO is pretty good, first year employee have 3 personal days, 6 summer days, 10 vacation days and 10 sick days. It's a lay back environment, and no micromanaging.

    Cons

    It's in Newton, somewhere far away from downtown. The office have old style cubicles with high walls, which makes it hard to communicate with your team members. The promotion process is unclear that you don't know when you can be promoted. Catalyst needs to get approval from GroupM to promote their employees. Salary standard is very much below national average listed in Glassdoor.

    Advice to Management

    Give clear career path to the employees and increase the salary standard.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "It's okay, though not the best place. It could better."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paid Search Associate in Newton, MA
    Current Employee - Paid Search Associate in Newton, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good vacation package and lots of time off.

    7th Inning Stretch - Every Thursday there is free beer and snacks before ending the day. This is a good opportunity to meet people some of the people you weren't or won't be introduced to.

    Every month they buy Birthday Bagels for breakfast.

    Assorted candy bowl and on some random days they'll be fruit.

    Decent coffee machine.

    Though not much interaction happens with all employees, they are all nice and passionate about their jobs.

    Cons

    There was no on-boarding process as a new hire. I got a quick presentation from HR detailing some benefits, and the usual HR stuff.

    Was not introduced to anyone in the office other than my team.

    There isn't training for new paid search associates. You're basically given a training guide for you to follow in your own on top of making sure you fulfill tasks assigned to you.

    Tall cubicles does not encourage collaboration and flow of ideas. Sometimes it can feel like everyone is a robot working in their cubicles. No one really talks to each other, it's a bit weird.

    Advice to Management

    Develop an actual on boarding process so employees don't feel lost. A sense of direction and knowing who is who is important in any organization.

    Consider a more open set up for the office. Perhaps shorter cubicles?

    Invest in getting nicer furniture for conference rooms and keeping things tidy.

    Connect with employees and ask them what can make Catalyst better.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good starting point"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SEM Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - SEM Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Catalyst Online (More than a year)

    Pros

    Catalyst is the Search arm of Mediacom, which is a Group M agency. Entry level associates will learn A LOT, and quickly. You'll get to participate in cool events courtesy your reps, Beer Friday, Happy Hours, snacks and coffee galore. There are also for the most part, really cool people working there.

    Cons

    Associates are definitely underpaid, but if you get bumped up, you'll be on your way to making as much as you deserve. Depending on the client--organization and quality will go from passable to utter shitshow.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees more, promote from within, and you'll have less turnover. Right now it's a revolving door.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great office culture & fun group of hardworking people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time

    Pros

    The best part about the Seattle, WA office is the team. Everyone gets along; there's no drama and no sense of cut-throat competitiveness. Work life balance is very important and we are encouraged to remain attentive to our lives outside of the office, whether it's family, hobbies, travel, or personal health. Big brand clients are generally very friendly and the work is meaningful. Overall the best SEO company I've worked for.

    The location of the office in South Lake Union is also really nice, with access to a fully stocked kitchen, seasonal kegs, healthy fruit, lounge/video game areas, and a foos ball table.

    Cons

    Having off-site HR and IT departments can make it hard to know where to go for certain issues.
    Sharing office space with other agencies can be loud and distracting if you sit near the congregation spaces.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to learn"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Search Manager in Newton, MA
    Current Employee - Search Manager in Newton, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Learn a lot about SEO/SEM
    Flexible hours (no one cared if I showed up a little late or left a little early)
    Cool and smart people for co-workers

    Cons

    Upper management needs to understand that "good enough" for the client isn't good enough for a first class company. I was turned down several times for asking to improve projects because what we were doing was "good enough".

    Advice to Management

    Trust some of the lower tiered people if they have good ideas, swallow your pride and great things can happen.


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