HZDG Reviews | Glassdoor

HZDG Reviews

Updated July 19, 2018
67 reviews

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2.6
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Jerry Zuckerman
40 Ratings

67 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "There are a lot of really nice people at HZ" (in 5 reviews)

  • "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" (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • "There is absolutely no safe-zone" (in 3 reviews)

  • "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 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. 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 HZDG 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?


  2. "Abusive"

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

    I worked at HZDG (More than a year)

    Pros

    Walking away from this place is the best part. I'll never forget that feeling. Wind in my hair and a fresh take on life. Though, the nightmares of that CD will persist, maybe, forever. She is, frankly, hideous. In all ways.

    Cons

    Their creative management is abusive. There is no other word for it. They treat the majority of their staff like garbage. Only the "favorites" receive treatment that would be acceptable. This place does pump out some creative work—it's really good, in fact. But at what cost? They clearly don't care about their people, as droves continue to be driven away. If you can, stay away at all costs—there are other agencies that also produce great work and don't use abusive tactics to get there.

    Advice to Management

    .

  3. Helpful (1)

    "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 HZDG 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.


  4. 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.


  5. "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 HZDG 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


  6. Helpful (7)

    "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 HZDG 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.


  7. Helpful (14)

    "We're not making this stuff up. It's that bad."

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are some incredibly talented people at HZ. I really enjoyed working with many of them. Free beer, sometimes. Great Christmas party and dinner at the owner's mansion.

    Cons

    Where to start...

    Onboarding: one useful session of administrative stuff. For the rest you are on your own. Except for the hours-long gossip sessions from my manager that not only wasted my time but made me uncomfortable. I suppose it was meant to educate me about the traits of some of the people I would have to work with. I'd rather have learned that sort of thing myself and instead focused on learning about the actual work at hand.

    Management: immature, unaccountable, ineffectual, unresponsive, untrained. They'd give you the impression that they wanted to help. But they just tried to placate you with excuses or a small token of a "fix" like creating another meeting. When my direct manager displayed behavior that in just about any other workplace would have been cause for termination, I was told to "manage up". I was told they knew there were "growing pains"; "it's a marathon, not a sprint". I was told to "stick it out".

    Benefits: make sure get the benefits you pay for. I did not. My managers and HR would ignore/say they were working on it/convenient response of the day. I was bounced from one person to the other except for the owners, who I was told not to contact about this issue. What? In retrospect I should have gone to them but even then I'm doubtful anything would have been done.

    Manipulation, CYA, gossip, being mocked in front of your coworkers, head games are the norm here. Working here felt like being constantly hazed. Read the other reviews. We're not making this stuff up. The reviewer who wrote about workplace trauma being a real thing hit the nail on the head. Writing this brings it all back.

    Advice to Management

    I was so excited to get the job and very disappointed about feeling like I had no choice but to leave HZ. I felt I had a lot to offer the company and likewise could have learned from the enormous talent that worked there. Advice to the owners: the dysfunctional family atmosphere isn't going to cut it in the long run. Perhaps other teams are better, but the team I was on was nothing short of toxic. You'll probably respond to this with your usual "we're sorry you didn't enjoy your time here... we're committed to change". But if you really were, you would have taken things seriously when they were presented to you during my employment.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great people, inconsistent leadership"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at HZDG full-time

    Pros

    Some of the best people around, kind and talented.
    Lots of clubs.
    Lots of freedom.

    Cons

    Culture of fear in account team.

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "A serious learning experience"

    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 HZDG full-time

    Pros

    Great clients and creative work.

    Cons

    I can not say that I didn't gain anything from my time at HZ. I grew within my profession, I learned, and I met a few great people. But these few positive moments are nothing in comparison with the unprofessional work environment, political games, verbal abuse, and constant anxiety this company had caused me. They tell you from the beginning this is "sink or swim" workplace, and they truly do not help you swim. Most of the managers are hard to reach- they leave at 2pm, are on vacation, "working from home," or unavailable. This was majority of the first two months I started, and it is a terrible way to onboard someone, get them the help they need, and have them succeed. I was hired after one interview, and I should have known right then that this process was the first red flag.

    Everything at HZ is about who you know. Upper management gossips about everyone, even to junior positions. The issues discussed between upper and higher positions were unbelievably inappropriate- talking about other managers, the CEOs, coworkers & employees. This type of behavior started from my first week, which at first I thought was "funny" or "cool" and later realized this was a form of bullying that did not stop the entire time.

    There is absolutely no safe-zone. If you think you are having issues with a manager/coworker or a certain project, there is no one you can go to (including HR) to get help on the issue. If you do, everyone will know within an hour or two. There is absolutely no transparency, and I found it to be a constant string of headaches trying to figure out what anyone was actually asking and/or thinking. I spent majority of my time in a whirlwind of confusion, and in my case in particular, this could have been because of my erratic manager.

    I could name at least 5-6 managers or higher positions throughout multiple departments I worked with that ever single person in the company had issues with, is incompetent, and/or negatively effected other peoples work. Even when one of these (lower) managers were treating me inappropriately (the entire time I worked there- verbal bullying, mismanagement, terrible feedback, etc.) they were not punished for their actions. The feedback the managers gave were solely based on their mood that day, and this form of mismanagement and abuse was told to upper management and totally ignored. They said a lot of "I understand or we all know that about xyz" but nothing was ever done about this. I do not ever want to work at a company where my entire team says "Don't ask our boss this today- he/she is in a bad mood" " He/she is going to get pissed at you're question, because they're not in the mood to deal with it." So many issues were left unsolved, so many questions were unasked, and so many problems could have been avoided if people knew how to separate their personal and professional lives. HZ was one giant mind game.

    I will say, I had opportunities to do some of the most creative work I've ever done at HZDG- I learned a lot, but at the expense of my sanity, self esteem, dignity, and respect- which is never worth it. I hope HZ begin to take these reviews seriously and realize their lack of proper management is insane. HZ talks a lot about "caring for their employees" - but I'm not quite sure if thats true. A lot of employees I talked with (ones that have worked there for years) also agree, and I'm not sure why exactly they have chose to stay for so long..

    HZ has completely changed my mindset on what I'm looking for in an employer, and in some ways I'm glad I went through this terrible experience because now I know how *not* to be treated.

    Advice to Management

    Please take what I've said seriously to avoid these constant issues with your employees.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Prepare yourself to get burnt out!"

    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 HZDG full-time

    Pros

    - They're very good at standing out compared to other ad agencies in terms of their brand. They really like to show off.
    - The work is good and it's ideal for someone right out of college. (if you're willing to accepted below ideal wage)
    - Some really nice people there... buuuut then the rest of them are two-faced.

    Cons

    - They've created an environment that is perfect for people who sync with their lifestyle. It's like a sorority.
    - They LOVE to play favorites.
    - Their main office is way too far from DC.
    - The people who stick around are very cliquey. Those people are the HZ's biggest gossips.
    - HORRIBLE pay. They do not know what it means to pay a decent wage. People with the same level of experience as their employees are making x3 more money.

    Advice to Management

    Try to accommodate every employees needs and expectations. Try and make this more of a family environment than a frat guy's party and be a little professional.

    HZDG Response

    Jun 15, 2017 – Chief Operating Officer

    We are sorry to hear that HZ wasn’t the right fit for you. Our team is dedicated to cultivating an environment that empowers our employees to make meaningful connections with clients and colleagues... More


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