HZ Reviews | Glassdoor

HZ Reviews

Updated September 4, 2018
69 reviews

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2.6
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Jerry Zuckerman
42 Ratings

69 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "As with any company that has grown as quickly as HZ there have been some growing pains, but the pros far outweigh the cons" (in 4 reviews)

  • "I knew sexism was real but I never experienced it more than when I worked at HZ" (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Definitely proud to work here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I just read some of these reviews for the first time and I am appalled. This does not sound like the place I work at.

    HZ challenges me every day. Its a place you have to bring your 'A' game to in the morning and you can't go home without leaving everything on the table. Its filled with a ton of young and passionate people that are all looking to make their mark and do great things. It can be electric and exciting.

    You get to work on projects that you can be proud of, it can be portfolio-worthy from day one. Its empowering to be in a room when a junior level person throws out an idea that sticks and you see the whole team get behind it.

    Life-long relationships are built here, not like at a typical 9-5... you bond with people over the outrageous often laughable deadlines and late nights, but then we always get it done—together.

    People say they don't feel supported here, but I am an employee who in contrast feels incredibly supported. I provide transparency to my senior management and share frequent updates about concerns and challenges so they can support me when things go wrong - do these other people wait till the 11th hour? I get the support and guidance I need, I feel valued and that my voice is heard.

    Everyone who writes a review says the people that work here are pretty incredible, its definitely true. I think anyone can find their people at HZ.

    Cons

    Its clear that as of recent there have been some growing pains, other people's comments that HZ feels stuck between being a big or small company are accurate. However, I also think its understandable after years of a lot of growth/change, I believe it will likely resolve itself and settle like everything else does.

    There is a feeling of pressure and like you always need more resources to get the work at hand done. Eventually more people get hired when its needed, but it feels like it always is after you've been short staffed for longer than necessary.

    Advice to Management

    Everyone who works here just wants to be supported and know that you have their back. Priorities for management may be to be a great supervisor, leader, mentor, etc.— but make sure you also take the time to really get to know your team members. Make sure they feel supported and better yet, empowered. If all management can encourage one another to truly do this I think a lot of the feedback you read here can be addressed and solved with some better communication and more empathetic leadership.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "1 Star Is Too Many"

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

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

    Pros

    Some of the most talented and most creative people I've ever worked with were at HZ.

    Cons

    One day the water to the office was cut off and when we asked if we could go buy a few bottles of water for people we were told "Not at this time". That should be the end of this review, but I'll press on for those hopeful few looking to work at HZ.

    I knew sexism was real but I never experienced it more than when I worked at HZ. I watched men with less experience rise further, be given more opportunities, throw out the same ideas as I had and be rewarded. I was talked over, I was told to be less aggressive, and in one terrible meeting was told to smile. I watched it happen to me, and I watched it happen to others.

    My time was wasted trying to "play the game" to get on good projects, to get the work I wanted, to get the opportunities I knew would boost me forward. In the words of another HZ employee "Good people don't get good things here" Men and women struggle equally in this way and will until some very senior leadership people leave.

    If you are the kind of person who doesn't blink twice at climbing over bodies to get to where you want, if you have tastes that were popular in the 70s and the confidence to force them on every project, right or not, or if you are looking to blatantly flaunt your adultery then HZ is the place for you. However, if you feel that empathy and real, human conversations with one another are the best way to lead and grow, you owe it to yourself to look somewhere else.

    ....and the label "Woman Owned Company" means nothing when your maternity policy could be classified as "technically legal".

    Advice to Management

    Step down.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Run far, far away from this place"

    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 HZ full-time

    Pros

    Hopefully you can find some co-workers to band together with and commiserate in the misery that is extremely poor management.

    Cons

    HR is grossly inadequate. Not only do they ignore any expressed concern over management behavior, their execution of important paperwork is negligent and unresponsive. I was owed disability money during a leave and all HR had to do was sign paperwork so that I could receive money that I contributed to MY coverage. They not only failed to sign the paperwork after weeks and weeks of time, but refused to return many calls and emails in an attempt to resolve the matter. This place is run by inept "management" and operates as a churn and burn factory. I had such high hopes because I witnessed some real talent come in and out, but left when I realized there was no way to rectify my own career development at such a poorly run business.

    Advice to Management

    Thanks for withholding my earnings from me when I needed it most. Good luck with that style of work ethic.

    HZ Response

    Sep 7, 2018 – Chief Operating Officer

    Thank you for your feedback. We are very sorry to hear that you felt you had a negative experience during your employment at HZ. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to... More


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Slow decline"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at HZ full-time

    Pros

    Talented folks who actually do the work, flexible hours (for everyone other than the Account Services team)

    Cons

    1. Can’t decide if they want to be a big company or maintain the small business model
    2. Below average pay
    3. No proper and formal training of employees who seek out new experiences or knowledge
    4. No onboarding process
    5. If someone wants to learn a new skill, encourage it. It is mutually beneficial
    6. Significantly delayed reviews. In some cases they never happen at all
    7. No clear objectives, review process or path to promotions
    8. Loads of unnecessary politics which drives down morale for some of the hardest working people at the agency
    9. Senior leadership doesn’t have any understanding of new and emerging technology
    10. Senior leadership looks at design through the “everything is pretty” lens, instead of being usable and forward thinking
    11. No support or understanding of the importance of the UX process or research
    12. Letting personal views or issues get in the way of putting the client in the best position to succeed
    13. Unrealistic budgets for almost everything, which sets up the project managers and department leads to fail
    14. Unrealistic timelines. Everything is always hot. I get that agencies are like this, but HZ takes the cake
    15. Lack of transparency with employees on the status of the company.
    16. People vanishing without any idea why
    17. Admit when there are layoffs, don’t hide it from by sending out cryptic emails to staff
    18. Having paychecks withheld due to missing time in the most archaic time management tool in existence (Clients & Profits)
    19. Not providing the proper resources for people to do their jobs (video editing on a laptop that is barely powerful enough to write emails)
    20. Poor benefits package for families
    21. Need to open a DC office (co working space is not a legit office), where senior level talent can be recruited, and properly staff up the interactive team (PM, Tech, Design)
    22. No consistent empowerment of senior level CD’s to do their job. Constant meddling from senior management
    23. No formal HR department

    Advice to Management

    Listen to these reviews. Where there are common themes, you may want to address them instead of brushing them under the rug.

    Decide if you want to be a small business or not

    Empower your leadership team and stop meddling

    Hire an ECD that can run the creative side, CCO needs to distance herself


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Designer"

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

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

    Pros

    If my future self could advise my past self, the future self would say, “No. Do not accept this job offer. They all seem cheery and nice in the interview but time will expose the underbelly of truly manipulative individuals. Run.” But no, I wanted the challenge and was seduced by their work. Time has passed but I still shudder when I think of those people. Of course, there are a few incredible people that are fantastic and (for some reason) choose to stick it out. But they cannot carry the water for Gunga Din. And indeed, the most horrible ones never leave. They get promoted! What a great culture and message. In short: treat people HORRIBLY and you’ll be sure to move up. If you do choose to work here, that will have to be your tactic.

    Cons

    I mean. Total lack of management. Genuinely horrible people. Inter office bickering. Gossiping. General gross behavior. Many in need of anger management. Screaming fits. Passive aggressiveness. Super cool office though so totally worth it.

    Advice to Management

    I mean. Keep going. You’re making a ton of money so why stop? How you do so obviously makes no impact.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Trust the other bad reviews, avoid this company"

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

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

    Pros

    - You'll work on some well-known clients.
    - Many of the people here are nice and friendly.

    Cons

    I agree with almost every bad review on here. Some of them go a bit too far but overall you should trust them.

    Senior management really is as bad as everyone else says it is and you'll notice that many of the higher rated reviews come from senior management themselves:
    4 stars "Enough with the negativity" was written by an ACD
    5 stars "If you like challenges.." by a Senior manager
    4 stars "Overall positive experience" by a manager

    This really highlights the problem with HZ. Senior management think everything is going ok and the company just has a few growing pains while completely ignoring the consistent and repeated feedback from everyone else about just how bad things really are.

    Advice to Management

    From my time at HZ I've learned that giving any advice to management is pointless. Over the years I heard the same complaints over and over again from different people in different departments. You know what needs to be fixed and you are refusing to do it.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Social Media Analyst at HZDG"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    HZDG is employed with awesome people

    Cons

    The scope of work can be limited at times.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Typical agency experience, the good balances out the bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at HZ full-time

    Pros

    - Flexible hours
    - Managers who care about you
    - Fun and interesting work
    - A social environment that makes the busy times more manageable
    - Cross-department training can happen if you want to learn something new

    Cons

    - Senior leadership isn't the most transparent, and small things take a while to be approved for a small-mid sized company
    - HR and hiring is a slow process as well
    - Long work hours where many people log on after they leave for the day and on weekends


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Designer in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits, Company gifts, PTO days, some cool people.

    Cons

    Environment is entirely unprofessional. Higher ups think its OK to bring their negativity into the office and spread it amongst coworkers just because they "can". An absolute miserable place for anyone to start out their career in. What everyone says is true. I wouldn't recommend this company to anyone.

    Advice to Management

    Know who you're employing to lead. Make sure they are leaders and not people that step on others to show that they're in power.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Designer/Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer/Developer in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Designer/Developer in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I had the privilege of working among some of the most talented and passionate individuals I've ever met on some of the coolest brands around. It is a fast paced, deadline driven, dynamic workplace with lots of food.. there's always food!.. seriously today there was a cookie party.

    You will be challenged, stretched, and mentored. I suppose it depends on the team you join but I found that all my supervisors encouraged innovation and were always willing to give me sound advice.

    The culture is awesome, the owners are around and very nice but I think my favorite part is being around people who care deeply about their work. There's a saying within HZ that states "you're a creative here", and they live up to it, at least on the teams I was on.

    Hours are flexible so long as communication is open, office is really cool, random gifts throughout the year, lots of events here and there, and join the coffee club!

    It's hard work no doubt, but immensely rewarding. I would recommend HZ to any creative who loves their craft and willing to be challenged.

    I'm leaving to pursue a different career path but I've genuinely loved my time here. Thank you all so much : ).

    Cons

    Keurig coffee ; ). No swimming pool on the roof.

    Advice to Management

    Though I was only here for a year or so it felt like family. Something that really left an impression on me is how Karen and Jerry invited teams over to their house for dinner, that was really cool. Actually any time that I got to interact with Karen and or Jerry was surreal because they are so friendly and not scary, intimidating bosses. Not to mentioned they're married which is even cooler. That's not really advice, but it certainly stands out among previous places I've been at.

    There were many people I never interacted with, perhaps do some company building exercises?


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