HackerAgency Reviews in Seattle, WA | Glassdoor

HackerAgency Seattle Reviews

Updated June 23, 2017
71 reviews

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Seattle, WA

2.5
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HackerAgency President/CEO Spyro Kourtis
Spyro Kourtis
54 Ratings

71 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free snacks are always a good thing (in 15 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 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Account Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Really enjoyed most of the people that I was able to interact with on a day-to-day basis. The individual teams were tight knit and worked well together.

    Cons

    Too much emphasis put on utilization and not enough on improvements on current processes, which lead to unhappy clients, and ultimately lost business.


  2. Helpful (11)

    "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.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "Made it to Hackdom"

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

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

    Pros

    Aside from a nice office setting in downtown Seattle, that's it.

    Cons

    Besides what dozens of current and former employees have stated in multiple (and plentiful reviews), Hacker Agency is truly the hackdom of advertising and direct marketing. Creating direct marketing mailers (sooooo 1980's) is obsolete, but Hacker thinks a 1% response rate is stellar.

    Slow to understand and embrace digital and online, Hacker has been left to wander the streets of advertising and marketing blind without a cane. When you add in their dysfunctional, bi-polar "not in my playground" attitude, it sets the stage for a catastrophic fall of the greatest magnitude.

    Employees join and then leave (sometimes mysteriously) almost daily. Performance management (as well as leadership) is non-existent. Accounts and clients are jumping ship at record pace. It was once said that if you worked at Hacker Agency, you earned a purple heart and became qualified to work anywhere.
    Now, companies and agencies are reluctant to hire former employees due to PTSD. Just read any of the 100+ reviews for a better perspective.

    Advice to Management

    Apologize to the 100+ employees that you've mismanaged, mistreated, abused and neglected. The parent company needs to do something. Are you listening?


  4. Helpful (15)

    ""Turn around" complete…."

    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

    Pros

    A good legacy. Good direct marketing know how, but too much change has hurt the company. The company is now shrinking and losing clients and talent.

    Cons

    A fish rots from the head.

    Advice to Management

    A bully with glasses, lipstick, and a dress is still a bully.


  5. Helpful (17)

    "Talent and Experience at Hacker has been gutted......."

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

    I worked at HackerAgency full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Most of the people were solid and took great pride in their work.

    Cons

    Management has a shotgun blast approach with them going in all different directions. The company is plummeting and actual talent is being hemorrhaged by the day. Management just had the "oh no, do something" approach. They made no actual effort to improve the culture, they just did enough to look like they are going thru the motions and trying to fix the problem. Now they are sitting on mostly a staff of inexperienced millennials while all the actual experience and talent is making waves at competing competing.

    Advice to Management

    Come up with an actual plan, and get all of management on the same page. It is almost to the point where IPG/FCB should step in and scrap all of the leadership and start over.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Past employee"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at HackerAgency full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very talented teams to work with.

    Cons

    Leadership doesn't share information with teams.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Going in the correct direction"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fantastic group of people, throughout the agency

    Cons

    Lack of diverse accounts puts everyone's jobs at risk

    Advice to Management

    Be willing to take on work that previously was seen as outside of your core offering

  8. Helpful (2)

    "From a creative perspective"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Art Director in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Art Director in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People you work with daily, most people are very friendly, even upper management
    Location of the office, views from your desk (if you have a window seat)
    Holidays and pre-holiday early releases
    Benefits (health insurance options are pretty extensive and are very inclusive)
    Free drinks and snacks available
    Free dinner if you know you'll be working late (while working late is a Con, this is definitely a Pro)

    Cons

    WFH policy makes working with some team members difficult
    Work is pretty siloed for some groups
    Clients can be a drag on creative ideas
    Some positions have pretty heavy workloads and sometimes can cause late work nights

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing forward on your culture initiatives. Maybe invest more in employee training when you see potential in new or younger people to encourage them to stay rather than finding new opportunities elsewhere. Promotions and hiring from within is also a big retention booster. Personally, I'd like a bit more defined career path not only for me, but others in the creative department. Creative can be really hindered by glass ceilings when people in upper-level positions never vacate positions which happens often in our industry.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Be Smart, Add Value, Get Rewarded"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Spoiler alert: I am not an angry and disgruntled employee with an axe to grind! I’m not here to tip the scales or anything, but with that said I do feel like sharing my personal experience is a bit overdue.

    I have had some really amazing opportunities here to grow, develop, and pursue work that I am actually interested in and even passionate about (gasp!). By having initiative, awareness of what needs to happen, and some degree of digital savvy I've really been rewarded and given the chance to help with or lead projects that someone with my experience level probably wouldn't be given at a different and/or larger agency. If you're smart, scrappy, and willing to challenge the status-quo in order to improve things, then you can be really successful at Hacker. I've met some great people here and worked on some really awesome projects. Especially over the past year, there has been a lot of focus and resources put into making Hacker a better place to work. There's obviously no 'magic potion' when it comes to changing culture or improving an entire company, but contrary to a lot of reviews here, most people are really committed to making this a decent-- heck, even enjoyable place to spend 40 hours of your week.

    Cons

    This 'culture' thing seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. If you think it sucks here, and that's the attitude you bring to work, then yeah, it's probably gonna suck. Do I think everything here is perfect? No, of course not, but the undying mantra of complaining and commiserating from some can be really toxic. Funnily, I've also heard, 'well that's just the way it's always been' from some of the same mouths and that sentence doesn't get anyone far either, whether it's work, your life, or the world in general. But anyway, I'll step off my soapbox now...

    But honestly no, not everything has been all sunshine and butterflies from my perspective either. Things can move really fast, and if you take pride in your work (like I do), you may end up having to pick up the slack or come up with solutions to make things happen and get campaigns launched in time. But I feel like that could be any company? Also, we're in the midst of a continual transition to being largely digital and there are still aspects and teams within the agency that may not be fully there.

    Things can also move slow here. Whether it's finalizing a promotion, or implementing a new process, if you aren't willing to take initiative and put fire under some bums when needed, then you may end up frustrated. Administrative support can be extremely bureaucratic at times as well.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate future plans and strategic focus(es) moving forward with clarity and transparency. People like to feel involved. Understand *why* there are departmental divides and take tangible steps to remedy the 'us against them' mentality so we can just focus on doing good work. REALLY commit to bringing in good talent and ensure egos stay down in the lobby where they belong.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "What a dump"

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

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

    Pros

    Good first agency job. If you can make it here, everywhere else you go will seem like a cake walk.

    Cons

    Everything not mentioned in the Pros.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up.


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