Golin Reviews | Glassdoor

Golin Reviews

Updated December 12, 2018
85 reviews

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3.5
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Golin CEO+International, CEO+Vision, and CEO+Operations Jonathon Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick
Jonathon Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Wonderful office with great people" (in 17 reviews)

  • "Perks like Unlimited PTO and 1 Work From Home day per week are a great bonus but not always taken advantage of" (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work life balance can be tough at a more junior level" (in 14 reviews)

  • "Right now it seems there's little appetite from the senior management to change" (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Diversity and Inclusion"

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

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

    Pros

    I’ve been here for five years and what initially attracted me to Golin is what continues to keep me here. The creative+ innovated environment and commitment to diversity and inclusion are some of the main reasons why I love coming to work every day. They also have some of the best benefits and flexibility programs in the country! Recently Golin’s managing director, Ginger Porter, has brought tremendous change to our organization creating an even more welcoming environment and elevating our diversity and inclusion efforts. I have seen Golin hire diverse team members who come from all types of backgrounds that have allowed them to develop unique insights and expertise. As a Latina in the workforce, I had always strive to find an employer that embraces the same values and opportunities as I do.

    Cons

    Although we are located in an awesome building, it's a little hard to get to but we manage.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Behind the times"

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

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

    Pros

    • company practically runs itself
    • no need for A+ ideas
    • most co-workers share your sentiment
    • no need to stand out

    Cons

    • slow moving company
    • not a place for career growth
    • will keep you past 7pm often
    • 3 white male CEOs will introduce themselves to you with a tone deaf "ad" video

    Advice to Management

    Take a step into the 2018. Is a coincidence the company loses its best and brightest to the big tech companies? Sometimes it seems people are there as a stepping stone or necessity and once they're good enough they leave.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "The real reason diverse people don’t stay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Golin full-time

    Pros

    WFH is a nice perk
    Free ice cream, food and snacks

    Cons

    Lack of diversity (there are less than three people of color in leadership positions)

    Couldn’t be my authentic self, often felt like an outcast being a person of color.

    The agency talks a good game about diversity, but then allows White executive director to embarrass others.

    Low pay

    Work is not meaningful, often given assignments that no one else wants to do.

    Minorities often don’t climb the corporate ladder, those who have been there more than 3 years are in the same position.

    High turn over

    Whites love the agency

    Advice to Management

    Hire people who will make a difference instead of those who is a favorite among others.


  4. Helpful (22)

    "You do not Have Her Back"

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

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

    Pros

    Working at Golin looks good on paper and gets you connections to some big name clients

    Cons

    We are used the the annual gimmicks you roll out for self-promotion. The Untern program? Silly and pointless but fairly harmless. Unlimited vacation? Nice in theory if only employees were empowered to take advantage of it. Climbing a mountain to save an endangered species? A total waste of time and resource but it gave everyone a good chuckle.

    But with Have Her Back, you've gone too far. How dare you take a very serious issue and use it for agency promotion when you don't actually follow the standards that you are preaching about? You are in no position to lead a discussion on this matter with your three white male CEOs and your history of protecting and promoting individuals who are guilty of the behavior you wax on about. It's disingenuous, and a real insult to current and former women employees who've been subject to sexual harassment, gender pay disparity and other disadvantages there. So many talented amazing women at all levels have left the agency, been pushed out or not considered for leadership positions, and no one had their backs.

    Advice to Management

    Take a real stand by cleaning house of the known perpetrators -- you know who they are and they are the first to joke about the initiative and the issue in general.

    And since you love a bold and brave idea, how about this? Take a look at the pay gap history between current and former men and women employees at the same levels, and give women back-pay to the start of their employment there to make up for it. That would get you the kind of attention you seek, even well beyond the PR trades.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Executive Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Golin full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people have worked here. Some still do.
    Location in Chicago is great.
    Good client base.

    Cons

    Just look at the voluntary turnover in the last 12 months. It’s got to be an agency record. Lots of client turnover too.

    Why?

    It’s all about the leadership- or I guess really it’s about the total LACK of leadership. The people running the place want to be personally famous more than they want to run a great agency. Or to be a great place to work. Sad but true.

    Not the Golin it once was.


  6. "Good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Social Media Associate in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Social Media Associate in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Golin (More than a year)

    Pros

    Get to work with lots of big-name clients. The benefits are really good with unlimited PTO and working from home. Across the board, you usually get to do fun and interesting work.

    Cons

    The hours can be a little long and it can be hard to find a work/life balance. Things are very fast paced, so it can be very stressful.


  7. "Review"

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

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

    Pros

    Company culture, leadership opportunities, Unlimited Time Off (LifeTime Benefits)

    Cons

    Not enough bags of Doritos at our weekly Social Hour gathering.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Golin Drinks Their Own Kool Aid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Say in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Say in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Golin wow'd me with their Lifetime benefits, relaxed atmosphere, promise of exciting work, nice colleagues, and big brands. I can say with all honesty I'm not sure I've ever worked with people as nice as the people at Golin.

    Golin is a big name on any resume and promises some big name clients as well. I wouldn't stay longer than a year.

    Cons

    Despite pushing Courageously Happy, Lifetime, Have Her Back, etc. it's all smoke and mirrors. Golin is all fake PR so it's never surprising when the agency pushes these things out with a timely town hall meeting and press releases. Sadly, in a few weeks, it will all be forgotten and management will move on to the next hot button issue. For example: A company with 3 male, while CEOs put out Have Her Back only to try to avoid negative PR. Did they actually change anything at the top? Nope. Still 3 dudes up there.

    Unfortunately, as with almost all agencies, they're losing money at an insane rate. Despite clients cutting back, over service is rampant in all aspects of Golin and all regions. Resources as well as people are scarce and you'll rarely take a relaxing vacation without an "emergency" call or text. These wouldn't be an emergency if Golin didn't over service and managed client expectations.

    Advice to Management

    I'd say listen to your employees (especially the employee surveys) but I know that won't happen. The best advice I can give is embrace change rather than fighting it or putting fake patches on it. If you only promote employees who drink the Kool Aid, you're surrounded by those who will always say yes rather than push the company forward.

    One other piece of advice is provide training. It's clear many in upper management have never taken a management class. Promoting those to a management position without actual training is awkwardly apparent in meetings (both inside the organization and client facing).


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Golin New York - A Great Place to Grow Your Career"

    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 Golin full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Golin brings in incredibly talented people, and even those who don't stay long almost always move up elsewhere. The client roster is robust and full of brands you've heard of (and some you haven't, yet). The culture is inclusive and engaging. Perks like Unlimited PTO and 1 Work From Home day per week are a great bonus but not always taken advantage of. Golin is an incredibly developmental environment where everyone learns quickly and works collaboratively. Politics is almost non-existent.

    Cons

    The level of access to senior management and empowerment is great, but is not universal. Due to aggressive new business growth (a positive) there is a lot of work to be done. Some employees get burned out and don't feel like their concerns are being heard.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in talent. Don't skimp on PR and digital marketing resources. Continue to make diversity and inclusion a priority. Stay ambitious from a revenue standpoint, but not at the expense of employees or existing clients.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Great culture and clients"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Golin's Chicago office has an awesome work culture. I have genuinely built meaningful, important friendships with my coworkers and it makes the sometimes thankless work and stressful activations much easier to bear. I look forward to catching up with coworkers and feel supported by many in the office.

    The benefits are also phenomenal. Unlimited PTO and WFH is the future and I feel lucky to work at a company at the forefront of this movement. Golin also has a strong roster of big-name clients doing a range of work, so the opportunity to touch projects in multiple sectors is available.

    Cons

    This isn't any fault of the agency, but it isn't uncommon to be severely micromanaged, belittled or talked down to from senior members of your team. As with other agencies, pay is low for entry level while the caliber and demand of work is high. It makes it hard to feel that the work you are doing is valued and appreciated.

    I can understand why the G4 model is a selling point for clients, but it can stifle your growth and opportunity as an employee, especially one that is entry level. 95% of creative and writing work is executed solely by the Creative G4 community. Yes, that makes sense, but in an industry that prides itself on creative thinking, it is disheartening to not have the opportunity to ideate or write copy at the same liberty as the creatives. G4 really silos employees, which in turn hurts their professional development as they are not getting a wide array of experiences that are common at other agencies.

    Advice to Management

    It is wonderful to see D&I as a landmark initiative, but the way the conversations of D&I are presented by the largely white, straight leadership seems it is more a box to be checked than a genuine interest in shifting the company culture. Marginalized identities aren't numbers on a scorecard to be tallied. There needs to be a serious shift in perspective from leadership to truly address the diversity issues present at Golin, or else minority employees will continue to leave.