KBS Reviews | Glassdoor

KBS Reviews

Updated July 7, 2017
95 reviews

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3.4
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KBS CEO Guy Hayward
Guy Hayward
7 Ratings

95 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Definitely gives you the freedom to maintain a work/life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • Large variety of clients and some very smart people in upper-middle management (in 8 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Senior Art Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Art Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Art Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people, the best HR people, friendly environment, good creative leadership.

    Cons

    Lack of ambition. Getting better with the new CCO.

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing towards creative work. Everything else will follow.


  2. "Good culture, creative"

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

    I worked at KBS full-time

    Pros

    Strong leadership that is open to new ideas. Pay a little low for brand new employees, but scales quickly with talent.

    Cons

    Some growing pains with recent acquisitions of smaller companies. Communication between companies is a little weak.

  3. "Great working experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Content Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Digital Content Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Amazing company culture & benefits.
    - Good hiring methods, resulting in competent and motivating colleagues and teams.
    - Constantly striving for better programs, bigger business, and company morale.
    - Reasonable hours for an agency. Honestly. Definitely gives you the freedom to maintain a work/life balance.
    - When the agency lost some business and had to contract, they were extremely helpful and transparent with those being let go. No one left feeling unappreciated.

    Cons

    - Bad client, but the agency isn't to blame with this.

    Advice to Management

    I had a great experience working here, and I'm going to miss the place and the people, especially. Some of the most inspirational people in leadership I've had the pleasure of working with (looking at you, Katie & Matt).


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Worth a look at KBS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Business Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KBS full-time

    Pros

    Mid size agency, family feel. Great young talent that just want to do good work and transform the business model.

    Cons

    In a transitional state with revamping talent, but mean a huge opportunity for talent that is willing to work and work down.

    Advice to Management

    ensure you are taking care of the talent that is worth keeping.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great people, Solid work,"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    KBS is full of smart and friendly people, and many of the teams are close-knit but not cliquey, which makes day-to-day work more enjoyable and efficient.

    Most of the clients are not marketing-first businesses, which gives strategy and product teams lots of room to shine, though it sometimes leaves creative teams frustrated.

    New HR initiatives (in NY office, at least) are starting to help address some transparency and benefits problems, issues that probably contributed to employees on-the-fence deciding to accept other offers.

    Office was recently renovated and has a bright, open design. Unless you live uptown, you'll prefer Soho / Hudson square to midtown, both for the neighborhood's vibe and the lunch options.

    Cons

    Senior leadership is generally smart and trust-worthy, but is kind of a boys club that you're most likely to break into by speaking loudest (literally) and getting yourself invited to happy hour whiskeys often.

    All-agency meetings can feel like pep rallies, and when they include news of losing business, there's a drink-the-kool-aid feel to them. This hurts morale, rather than strengthening it. You're not advertising here, you're speaking to employees. Positive spin shouldn't be part of that.

    Employee reviews have lacked structure/timetable, and compensation is lower than NY industry average. A brand new review process hopefully solves the first problem, but who knows about the second.

    Advice to Management

    Continue success/emphasis on hiring the best, most motivated candidates. Keep up increased effort on new business. 2016 was tough, but our grit is already paying off in 2017 with new wins.

    But remember your employees like leaders because of their hard work and honesty, not their self fashioned celebrity/hero status around the office. Your experience is much different than ours, and our day-to-day satisfaction is first and foremost based on our team's leaders and dynamic. And in the end, better compensation will help retain talent more than any new workplace perk/program.

    KBS Response

    Apr 11, 2017 – President

    Thank you for taking the time to write a very thorough and thoughtful review. We appreciate the time it took and the constructive nature of your note. So happy to hear that you are experiencing the... More


  6. "CD"

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

    I have been working at KBS full-time

    Pros

    great people working here that help each other out and are trying to do the best work possible given constantly shrinking client budgets.

    Cons

    not enough people working here. too much work, not enough bodies.

    Advice to Management

    need more people

    KBS Response

    Apr 11, 2017 – President

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. I agree the breadth of work we have within the agency continues to expand. This is great news, but has a short-term effect of a very strained team. As such, we have... More


  7. "Senior Designer/AD"

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

    I worked at KBS full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic culture/employees, decent benefits, tons of opportunities.

    Cons

    Work/Life balance was always off.

    KBS Response

    Apr 11, 2017 – President

    Thanks for your feedback. Our goal is to create a comprehensive employee experience which includes compensation, work/life balance and a supportive learning culture. There are 3 specific things we... More

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Flailing leadership and a failing company"

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

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

    Pros

    - Some very smart people to work with.
    - Plenty of booze and partying if you're into that.
    - Work life balance is reasonable so long as you're not pitching.
    - Great benefits, crap salary
    - More likely to get a promotion in title since they can't actual pay anyone more.

    Cons

    - Managers are great performing individuals who are hired or promoted and have no idea how to develop and direct people. Often micromanaging or just doing all the work themselves.
    - Executive Leadership claims one vision for the company, then pitches a different vision with every pitch.
    - Lots of loses - layoffs, lost accounts, lost pitches. No change in leadership or strategy. Anyone remember the definition of insanity?
    - Really stupid people making stupid decisions that everyone pays for.
    - CEO isn't all that bright or empathetic - claimed in an email after the election that was meant to comfort and calm people that he's a proud "brexiteer"

    Advice to Management

    Replace yourselves with mature leadership - or at least get some coaches. Be honest about the state of the company. Inspire people to your vision and then stick to a strategy that implements that vision.

    KBS Response

    Apr 11, 2017 – President

    Thanks for sharing feedback. We can assure you that we’re committed to this agency. We will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of both our employees and clients. We value your input and... More


  9. Helpful (3)

    "KBS"

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

    Pros

    There are big name clients and some very dedicated individuals that drive this agency.

    Cons

    The work of the junior level members is taken for granted and they do not pay well. After not paying a competitive salary, they expect employees to work insane hours and then do not look to promote internally when a more senior position opens up.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on your current staff and stop bringing in new individuals to try and solve all of the issues.

    KBS Response

    Apr 11, 2017 – President

    Thanks so much for taking the time to provide feedback. Our intention is to provide a healthy work environment for all employees – which involves compensation, work/life balance, creative opportunity... More


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Bumpy at times but changing for the better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Some good people and some strong creatives. Some people aren't jiving with the change but it's never easy. Old school thinking is out and some people aren't comfortable knowing they aren't up to par when it comes to skill sets. You can't write a tv script anymore and call it a day. The work is more complex now. Agency gets good briefs and invited to pitch from major brands. Lots of happy hour laughs. There are some new people who are pushing the work and making it better.

    Cons

    Some things need to change. There is a culture of complacency and 'this is the way we've always done it'.

    Can be a lot of hours sometimes but that's because the clients have a lot of big briefs going at once.

    People like to have lots of meetings and complain about why things don't work instead of doing something about it and making great work.

    Some leadership is questionable.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce meetings. Reduce talk. More action.

    KBS Response

    Feb 28, 2017 – President

    Thanks for writing a review. We couldn’t agree more that a meeting culture does not drive creativity. It’s probably an industry-wide problem, but that’s no excuse. We’ve studied a few great... More


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