HackerAgency Reviews | Glassdoor

HackerAgency Reviews

Updated November 16, 2017
126 reviews

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2.0
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HackerAgency President/CEO Spyro Kourtis
Spyro Kourtis
88 Ratings

126 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free snacks are always a good thing (in 16 reviews)

  • I've met some great people here and worked on some really awesome projects (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is difficult to achieve for many (in 14 reviews)

  • Long hours, bad pay, loud environment, bad pay, bad at overtime pay (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Getting Real"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Change is in the air. Focus on high performance direct has returned. No more bandwith expended on the fluffy stuff that was not paying the bills. Great smart people. Let's go!

    Cons

    Current transition is hard and breeds uncertainty.

    Advice to Management

    Focus!


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Awful."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at HackerAgency full-time

    Pros

    Free snacks, views, some coworkers

    Cons

    Everything else not mentioned above

    Advice to Management

    This is the worst place I’ve worked in my entire career. Top leadership who have been around for decades have outdated views and no respect for the people who actually do the work. What people lack in skill and smarts they make up for with pure nastiness. I’ve seen company officers yelling and throwing things in each other’s offices. Everyone is too overworked to address bad behavior and so it becomes the norm. Turnover is extremely high, and it says a lot that the department with the highest turnover is HR, which now consists of one extremely overworked person. The system is broken.

    The company is extremely top-heavy for its size and appallingly bad at management and planning. In the last year, they hired a female president because they realized that it looked bad that most of the officers were white men, then pushed her out. Hired a bunch of directors and paid them six figures, but they wouldn’t buy a new microwave to replace one that broke last winter.

    The company knows about its terrible Glassdoor reputation and has employees write fake reviews to boost their rating. I developed health problems from the stress of working here, which is pretty common from what I hear. Lots of late nights, no wellness perks, no budget for employee groups/gatherings, four rounds of layoffs in the last two years, the surprise change of the employee handbook so they no longer have to pay out PTO when you leave… I could go on. Major client losses and failure to win new business have death knocking at Hacker’s door.

    Someone needs to pull the plug on this mess.

  3. Helpful (14)

    "Top Heavy Boys Club"

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

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

    Pros

    HR department - have been working overtime since Hacker laid off close to 100 employees in less than a month. Despite all the uncertainty HR have continuously answered all of my questions and been a great resource. The sad thing is, I'm sure management haven't even noticed.

    Cons

    Where do I start? The company is so top heavy now, even with 27 employees - there are atleast 20 who do zero work. It is comical how they talk about being a 'start up environment' in every restructuring meeting - but they don't realize that they could save a bunch of money by getting rid of some of the PM directors (who drop the ball at every opportunity). The same Dir.PM has had nearly every PM that works for them leave - you'd think upper management would spot the common element in all these people leaving.

    There are some amazing people who work here, don't get me wrong - but those at the top are bereft of what is actually going on. It's just a boys club at the top, with an inner circle of people who just perpetuate the same B.S everyday.

    Nothing is going to change, it's a sinking ship with a shockingly poor level of BD and New Business Acquisition.

    Advice to Management

    What do you say to someone on their deathbed? With zero prospects or ability to win new business - the writing is on the wall. You got rid of 90% of the people who actually did the majority of the work, so now that is being lumped on to those who are still there. How long do you expect people to stay when they are working 65+ hrs a week!?


  4. Helpful (15)

    "Dying on the vine"

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

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

    Pros

    I got paid and the check cleared

    Cons

    To many to list. Just run away as fast as you can

    Advice to Management

    Keep telling the shrinking staff how important it is you travel to Cannes every year

    HackerAgency Response

    Nov 2, 2017 – Human Resources Coordinator

    Thanks for the feedback. We are sorry to see that your experience working at HackerAgency didn't fulfill our intentions.
    We do hope that while you were here, you were comfortable to share your... More


  5. Helpful (17)

    "Volatile agency going through a lot of change"

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

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

    Pros

    The people. I am very lucky to be on a good team with amazing people.

    Cons

    Hacker recently divested from their parent company and in the process laid off about 2/3 of the staff. While there is never an easy or good way to do this, there certainly were things that should have been handled better.

    Advice to Management

    Live by your core value of "people first". At the top of your list should be your employees. Do right by your employees, treat them well, invest in them, and they will do the same with your clients.

    HackerAgency Response

    Oct 24, 2017 – Human Resources Coordinator

    We are in the midst of a harsh reality of the advertising agency world.
    Yes, this has been a volatile year with a lot of change. With the strength of our legacy of client retention, we have been... More


  6. Helpful (18)

    "Sinking ship with nearly 65% laid off"

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

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

    Pros

    - There's some good people, but most will be officially laid off by 12/4, including myself.
    - Decent office and location, but we'll see how much longer that will last.

    Cons

    - Unable to retain clients. This led to 3 sizeable layoffs in less than 2 years. The last being close to 65% where Hacker had to utilize the WARN Act.
    - They made a change in our PTO policy that was unfavorable for all employees WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE. They changed the accrual rate so laid off employees would ultimately accrue less PTO and sick time during their 60 day notice period. They also changed the policy so that no one would be paid out unused PTO. On top of that, they let us stumble onto the updates on our own.
    - Horribly negative and depressing atmosphere. Everyone on the short "stay" list is looking for another job to get out of here ASAP. I'm interested to see who will be left to do any work in a few months.
    - Leadership left us in the dark for 4 months on when and how lay offs would come after losing clients. We all had to come into work preparing for it to be our last day for that whole time period as we thought the lay offs would be as they were the last 2 times - where you were let go immediately with most getting chump change as severance.
    - The most loyal employees (10-20+ years of service) were practically punished this round of lay offs as they received $0 for the severance I'm sure they were expecting.

    Advice to Management

    Have some empathy. I appalled that the CEO admitted to understanding the PTO policy change, but said he thought "no one would care" and further argued it was perfectly legal. Most people were saving up PTO to be paid out a little extra money for when the majority of us were inevitably laid off. To sneakily take that away is something I can only imagine a sociopath would be able to live with.

    HackerAgency Response

    Oct 24, 2017 – Human Resources Coordinator

    Our ship isn't sinking, but the boat will be smaller. Saying goodbye to friends and colleagues is not easy. We are working through each of these situations uniquely and confidentially. We are not... More


  7. Helpful (17)

    "Honest Review"

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

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

    Pros

    Great place to get your foot in the door if you're just starting out. They like to hire junior employees to do the grunt work because it's cheaper.
    Snacks
    Sometimes there are events
    Drinking is often part of those events
    Almost all of the people you work with will be great

    Cons

    Let me just clarify, I am not bitter. I love the people I work with in all the different departments. I don't mind the work or the hours. But there are some hard truths that need to be said.

    No transparency. Leadership announced upcoming layoffs over a MONTH ago and it's been crickets since then.

    They can't earn new business. The leadership has failed to win any new substantial clients with big business within the last three years. They win clients but only get a minor slice of business from them. Because of this, the employees are laid off and punished. Constantly being told we're not doing a good enough job - even though our numbers and results speak for themselves.

    No spine. Leadership's 'the customer is always right' attitude with our clients has lead to terrible work on our part. Allowing the client to dictate testing, strategic and creative has given us a bad reputation and makes us look like a boring and spineless agency.

    Priorities are not straight. By ignoring their junior employees and looking to hire new 'superstars' to fill their management positions, they've overlooked prime talent. There are so many incredible people within the agency that are immediately overlooked.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent.

    Focus on your strengths and stop trying to be something you're not. Hacker is not a 'cool' or 'edgy' agency. It never will be. Hacker is a smart, results-driven data machine. That is the key to the company's success.

    Get in a position where you can dump clients. If they get to the point where they're jerking our chain and making us run around in circles, we need to be able to say 'enough is enough'. That kind of relationship with a client hurts the agency's reputation in all aspects and burns out great employees.

    Don't give BS presentations about what new business is in the pipe. Show us results.

    HackerAgency Response

    Nov 2, 2017 – Human Resources Coordinator

    We would like to apologize for the delay in responding to your feedback and want to thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback and opinions. While we may not always agree with one... More

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Targeting and Media Strategist"

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

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

    Pros

    Snacks, Compensation USED to be competitive.

    Cons

    Long hours, micro management, processes built for print were implemented for digital, Restructuring led to quick changes, segregated departments, poor training, a plethora of meetings (meetings about meetings).

    Advice to Management

    Communicate better and listen to employees. Care about more than the bottom line.


  9. Helpful (13)

    "The rise and really hard fall of Hacker."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Creative Director in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Associate Creative Director in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    One of the few agencies where you can get promoted internally. Good-hearted, talented people. ... Snacks?

    As an agency, they are talented in providing the client concrete results. When they have results...

    Cons

    Toxic work environment. Siloed departments. Deplorable leadership.

    HackerAgency is suffering and dying due to their old-fashioned rules on marketing. As an agency, they had amazing strength in print and providing results, but they were slow to adapt to a digital world. What's worse, is their antiquated direct market view has seeped into every aspect of their management, which has resulted in a tragic downfall. They have also spent so much time resting on their laurels, that no real innovation or forward thinking ever came about.

    Advice to Management

    I could go on about how Hacker's leadership should gut their leadership and try to improve the workplace environment, but the damage is too far gone.

    Instead, I recommend you work on an apology to all of the employees who have been laid off as the agency is shattered and scattered across its umbrella parent corporate monster. As leadership, you have run this agency into the ground and should be ashamed at the poor work you have done for your employees.


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Abc"

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

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

    Pros

    Money and benefits are good.

    Cons

    Abuse not worth the money!

    Advice to Management

    You are condescending & disrespectful. I was warned not to take the job there, but I didn't heed the warnings. Can't believe the hell I experienced. Worse than what the folks told me who warned me not to go there!


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