Essence Reviews | Glassdoor

Essence Reviews

Updated October 9, 2018
148 reviews

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3.8
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Essence Global CEO Christian Juhl
Christian Juhl
93 Ratings

148 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "It's the best I've worked for in the industry because of not only doing great work but it has a great culture that is people centric" (in 17 reviews)

  • "Great people, and a company which (while it doesn't always get it right) really does care about employees" (in 12 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Amazing Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    The Essence culture is unlike any company I've worked at. They strive to make it a fun, relaxing, and inviting place for everyone who walks through the door. You walk into Essence and you know it's filled with hard-working individuals who care about what they do. Even with all of the changes the company is going through, everyone works hard to make sure the company sticks to it's roots and values.

    Essence is special because everyone genuinely wants you to succeed. You immediately receive support and guidance on your first day and continue to feel supported every day.

    Cons

    When we acquired another company, there were of course growing pains. We're all in multiple different offices in 3 different regions and continents and that can sometimes make it difficult to get what you needed done quickly. Everything at Essence happens very fast and you need to make sure you're on top of your work and adapt quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to make sure your employees feel valued every day. As the company grows and we add more people and clients, our company culture should stay top of mind.

    Essence Response

    Feb 2, 2018 – Essence People Team

    We’re thrilled to hear how much you enjoy working at Essence. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. We’ve informed our people team of your perspective but please feel free to reach out to... More


  2. "Great place to grow"

    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 Essence full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Tons of geniuses doing new and interesting things in marketing; really great learning experiences and kind wonderful people to work with. I loved growing up here.

    Cons

    Can be stressful to work agency-side - always last minute deadlines. Easy to burn out and not a lot of support from management as there's always a fire somewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focused on training and mentoring; encourage younger workers to upskill and take control of their career trajectory.

    Essence Response

    Jun 28, 2018 – Essence People Team

    We truly appreciate you taking the time to leave a review about your 8+ years of working at Essence. You have seen Essence grow and expand throughout your time here – thank you for choosing to be... More

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Boys club that pretends to empower women"

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

    I worked at Essence full-time

    Pros

    - Great client roster to build your resume with (if you get out alive)
    - You can work remotely (because they know you will quit if you can't WFH and rest after a 4 am client deadline bender the night before)
    - Great self development courses (Emily and Gen are a company highlight!)

    Cons

    - The company makes a lot of big promises, with very little action - press releases about female empowerment in the industry, with a very stark contrast as to what's actually happening on the ground in the day to day
    - No consistency in promotion tracks across teams and departments - very clear it's tied to manager's connections and popularity contests
    - After building out groundbreaking campaign measurement strategies and asking to present at the company meeting - you will be told no, and then senior men on the team (who had nothing to do with the campaign or its incredible success) will present your work as their own to leadership, give you zero credit for your work let alone invite you to the meeting
    - Hours are insane, as 50-70 hour work weeks are practically expected; almost everyone I worked with had to take walks or bathroom breaks to cry / scream / shake it off before heading back to work for another 6-10 hours
    - They will bring in younger talent with 5+ years less experience and offer them OVER what they asked for by $10K (and only $10K less than you are paid with said 5+ years of experience) while also telling you you don't deserve a raise/promotion, while also being unable to articulate WHY you aren't being promoted, other than 'you don't want that stress because if something goes wrong your job is on the line and you could get fired'....then see multiple people you trained as interns (6 years less experience) get promoted to the same title you left
    - Some team members are able to coast by doing absolutely nothing while being nitpicky about everyone else's work, and even going so far as to comply with any/every ridiculous client-imposed 1-12 hour turnaround, while also being held to the same deadlines on all other projects....and then being taunted with 'that sucks, have a good night' as they head home for the evening and leave you to work until ungodly hours trying to please clients
    - You will be expected to work nights, weekends, and drop everything (even if at the hospital with a family emergency or god forbid have plans to workout or see friends) to please clients - with completely unrealistic expectations about what it takes to do the work
    - Team members with significant others and kids always sign off on-time or early, leaving 'single people with nothing better to do' with all the work on a regular basis
    - Leadership thinks they understand the perils of being in the trenches, then will say callous remarks about 'if you think advertising's tough - maybe you're in the wrong industry' at company roundtables meant to address/problem solve critical company issues
    - When you go to leave, they won't even try to offer you a pay bump because they already got your campaign strategy on paper and hired someone younger for cheaper so they no longer need you
    - Despite grandiose promises to be different than every other agency, this is in fact worse - because they think they are different yet constantly overpromise and underdeliver

    Advice to Management

    - Promote women and across teams equally
    - Stop bringing in younger talent to bring costs down - it's exhausting for those actually leading team and tasked with constantly onboarding
    - Have empathy for employees you're working to the bone - and actually fix it, not just buy avocado toast in attempts to distract from the poor quality of life
    - Never lose Emily and Gen, they keep people sane and their self-improvement tracks are the highlight of this company

    Essence Response

    Aug 6, 2018 – People Team

    We appreciate you taking the time to leave this review and want to assure you that we take all feedback seriously. If you are interested in speaking with us about your experience further, please... More


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Learn Fast, but Overworked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Essence full-time

    Pros

    Very bright and ambitious individuals on the team, and every campaign is a new test which allows you to grow immensely in a short period of time.

    Cons

    Almost no focus on internal growth and mobility and team leadership caters way too much to the client, creating unnecessary work that is backed up or piled on to other required work during tight deadlines. Not enough pushback for the sake of the team. High turnover

    Essence Response

    Jul 10, 2018 – People Team

    Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We prioritize employee career growth and strive to promote a workplace that encourages our people to speak up if they need support managing their... More


  5. Helpful (9)

    "GREAT......... if you're white"

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

    I have been working at Essence full-time

    Pros

    Some smart and amazing co-workers

    Cons

    - Discrimination and any serious complaints are swept under the rug by HR and not acted upon.
    - If your manager doesn't see any value in you (or like you) then expect no movement or career progression.

    Advice to Management

    - Compare compensation and promotion frequency for ethnic minorities in comparison to white counterparts.
    - Take complaints seriously and act on it, follow up, show the employees you're invested in them and not just upper management.

    Essence Response

    Jun 19, 2018 – Essence People Team

    Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review; we value your honesty and candor. This type of feedback is certainly not easy for us to read and we recognize that it must not have... More


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Don't Believe The Fake Reviews"

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

    I worked at Essence full-time

    Pros

    Slightly higher than average agency pay

    Free snacks

    Cons

    Somebody is definitely writing fake reviews here. Essence is a terrible company. There's no work/life balance and you constantly spend late nights. The company goes through a reorg every 3 months and they expect you to work on things you never did before without any training or fair notice. The turnover rate is extremely high and people literally quit every week. This was the worst job I ever had in my life and I highly regret stepping foot in that office even after I found a lot of red flags in my interview. They get paid off commission so the clients constantly change their mind about what they want and you have to redo your work that you've been putting in overtime in for weeks for. They are so afraid to lose Google as a client that they let them terribly abuse employees and never say anything to them.

    Advice to Management

    Stop lowballing employees, charge per hour not by commission so you can pay employees more

    Stop changing everyones jobs every quarter, if you have to reorg for the hundreth time again then stop giving people 2 weeks to learn a whole new skillset.

    Stop hiring people who aren't qualified for their roles, this company constantly hires people to do something they've never done before in management roles. They end up causing confusion and overworking their team because they are incompetent.

    Make a conduct guide for clients. This company makes so many guides but yet they have none for the people who need it most. Google is abusing your employees and you let it slide.

    Essence Response

    Jul 10, 2018 – Essence People Team

    We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Let us assure you that we take all feedback very seriously and we'd like to invite you to discuss with us the points you raised. If you are... More


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Love this company, need to watch expansion"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Culture, people, autonomy to work.

    Cons

    Absorbing of WPP arms means more employees and needing to monitor ways of working and culture closely so that Essence culture doesn't change.

    Advice to Management

    Watch expansion closely to monitor for any potential pain points before they happen, not after.

    Essence Response

    Jun 28, 2018 – Essence People Team

    We love that you love Essence.

    Thank you for sharing your concerns about our expansion. We hear you and we want you to know that we remain focused on retaining everything that is great about... More

  8. Helpful (2)

    "A good egg"

    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 Essence full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Essence has its heart in the right place - they are focused on their people and their clients. This doesn't come at the sake of growth - there are always new opportunities and new clients to work on. The best part about Essence has to be the other people you work with. Everyone is smart, driven, funny and helpful.

    Cons

    If you often have meetings with Essentials in other offices, the time zones can be difficult. But it does mean interacting with folks from countries and cultures all over the world.

    Essence Response

    Apr 30, 2018 – Chief Learning & Culture Officer

    Thank you for your 5-star review. We agree, it can be challenging to work across multiple time zones but we are glad that you see the benefit to this too. Thanks again.


  9. "Assistant Media Planner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    great people to work with, rewarding entertainment account

    Cons

    extremely long hours, low compensation/reward

    Advice to Management

    help employees have a work/life balance

    Essence Response

    May 16, 2018 – Essence People Team

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We take this feedback seriously and would welcome the opportunity to hear more about your concerns. If that’s something you would feel comfortable doing, please... More


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Fake Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Services in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Client Services in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Essence (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very few. Some great people in analytics.

    Cons

    The earlier reviewer is right. It's a frat culture at the top and this is felt most in the US offices. They are the kind of people that use sports analogy every day - it's gross and alpha male. The Global CEO is clearly on the spectrum. As the other reviewer said, 'he's elitist'. And he doesn't know how to motivate people. In terms of the culture, they keep employees high on sugary cereals in the morning or drunk on alcohol in the evenings to numb them from the terribly boring work. They make, measure, and optimize banner ads for Google. They have almost no social media offering. If you want to work with dynamic clients, think creatively, and build proficiency in programmatic as well as social media, go work somewhere else. If you are a guy that talks about sports all the time, like banner ads, and value free cereal and alcohol, you will fit in nicely.

    Advice to Management

    New leadership, through and through. A woman CEO would help.

    Essence Response

    May 16, 2018 – Essence People Team

    We appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Please know we take all feedback very seriously. While you're no longer a current employee, if you'd like to discuss this more we're most certainly eager to... More


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