Kelton Reviews | Glassdoor

Kelton Reviews

Updated December 11, 2017
30 reviews

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3.3
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Kelton CEO and Co-Founder Tom Bernthal
Tom Bernthal
20 Ratings

30 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "A great place to learn, grow, and contribute"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Fun, challenging projects with a ton of great brands
    - 'Raise your hand' mentality for people who want to try new things or evolve their role outside their job description
    - Transparent leadership team who are actively involved in project work
    - Ability for junior staff to quickly improve their skill set and play a meaningful role from start-to-finish on projects
    - Ability to learn from a diverse set of smart thinkers
    - Great groups of people in all offices who genuinely enjoy working together
    - Everyone has a voice, whether an intern or director, first day on the job or 10-year employee
    - Managers care a lot about developing their teams and providing them with new growth opportunities
    - People care about getting to know coworkers outside of project work (via events, happy hours, retreats, etc.)

    Cons

    Kelton isn't a place where you can show up and just earn a paycheck - the bar is set really high for all employees. The people who do well at Kelton are those who are comfortable finding solutions, pitching in to help others, and are OK working in the unknown; those who don't succeed typically need formal processes to thrive. One example is onboarding - while there's a set agenda for new hires with many conversations and trainings lined up, new team members are typically put on projects on their first day and immediately asked to help contribute. It's ultimately a more fluid environment which has been a struggle for some people in the past - you truly learn on the job.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Don't get stuck here - trust me."

    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 Kelton full-time

    Pros

    -Good place to learn market research/how to interface with clients
    -Good amount of travel for those on the qualitative team
    -Some truly great (and smart) people
    -Decent snacks
    -Nice open plan office (but not particularly conducive to getting work done)

    Cons

    So many things to say here...but to keep it simple, Kelton is completely mismanaged as a company and as an executive team. Case in point - the mass layoff in August of 2017 completely blindsided the majority of the company. None of us were informed of how badly the company was performing at any point...no indication whatsoever that this could be on the horizon, especially after HR planned an exuberant, all expenses paid (granted, amazing) trip to NOLA mere weeks before the layoff happened. Word to management - maybe don't spend that kind of money on fancy trips and then lay off 30% of your company? I don't know, just an idea - I'm sure almost everyone would have forgone a trip to keep at least one of our team members on board (because like I said, the people are the one saving grace of Kelton...the couple that are left). People have been leaving left and right after the layoffs, and it's definitely had an effect on team morale.

    Besides that, Kelton can be fairly disorganized at times and not a lot of processes are in place (all things that come with working for a small company). HR (in LA) is probably one of the worst I've ever encountered - not professional at all and never felt comfortable going to them for anything. The higher-ups play favorites, and there are certain people who get advantages that others don't. Like I said...unless you're desperate for an unstable job, probably best to stay away and look for something better.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage your finances. Don't use layoffs as a first resort.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "please please please, don't work here"

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

    I worked at Kelton full-time

    Pros

    good culture, fun people, fine office

    Cons

    very poorly managed. virtually 0 foresight or outlook.

    Advice to Management

    Figure it out!


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Smart crew, but trouble brewing"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Talented, friendly folks in all three of our offices. Tough client challenges are met with innovative research and solutions. Fast-paced learning environment.

    Cons

    After recent layoffs of 15-20% of staff (most in NY office), people are on edge, sad about losing friends, and skeptical of leadership's ability to manage company and look out for employees. Only a month before layoffs, hiring was still fast-paced, and we blew a TON on a fun but frivolous company retreat/party. No real answers provided for why.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the difference between sponsoring employee FUN and earning employee RESPECT.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "20% out at Kelton - beware more layoffs coming"

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

    I have been working at Kelton full-time

    Pros

    It has very poor leadership. COO was also kicked out.

    Cons

    Beware that more layoffs coming. It is very top heavy.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Immature Company Growing too fast"

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

    I worked at Kelton full-time

    Pros

    People get promoted fairly quickly, there is lots of company sponsored socializing and drinking

    Cons

    Management doesn't care about employee happiness, just that employees look happy in social media posts. They hire people right out of college, mostly USC, and underpay them until they quit in approximately 2 years. Way more money is spent on company drinking and catered lunches than on things that count, like salaries. Recently moved to an open plan office that is in a cool and trendy area but is designed to look cool in an architecture magazine and isn't at all good for quiet or thoughtful work. Junior members are often overburdened with travel and there is very little training or standardization for jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees. Throw cheaper parties and give everyone a raise.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Serious growing pains"

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

    Pros

    Kelton is earning a reputation for itself in the market research space, partly due to an impressive roster of clients. Employees get exposure to a variety of fields and methods, which can mean lots of opportunities for growth and learning.

    For those looking to make a career in market research, there can be long-term opportunity for advancement within the Kelton team. Lots of higher-level staff have been on board for 3+ years, high performers are promoted, and interns are often hired for full-time positions.

    The business is strong and growing, and there's no reason to except any change in the coming years. For hires who are a good fit, there can be a promising future at the company.

    Cons

    The operations of the company haven't kept up with growth. A number of former employees have expressed frustration with the HR team's inability to handle issues with managers or issues in the workplace, and they can end up amplifying issues instead of resolving them.

    The growth of the company means that project assignments can outpace growth of staff, and employees can be expected to work long hours -- many work 8-8, with extra hours put it on weekends.

    There's a focus on building culture, and some great initiatives currently in place, but at the moment it falls short of what most young workplaces look like.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the resources are in place to support the team as the company grows.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Fantastic culture, great growth opportunities"

    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 Kelton full-time

    Pros

    Kelton is a place where there are amazing opportunities to grow and flourish. Senior leadership is very accessible here and knows the employees - no employee here is treated as a number.

    The culture here is fantastic -- there is a big emphasis on collaborative work, both between different research divisions and between different project teams. There are many opportunities to grow and every employee has the opportunity to make their own path here.

    Cons

    Kelton is doing quite well as a company and as a result more work is coming in the door than we have bandwidth for. Hiring is aggressive, while being careful to only bring on employees that are a good fit. The result is the employees who are here being staffed on projects that they might not have time for.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Anonymous Employee"

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

    I have been working at Kelton full-time

    Pros

    The people are wonderful! The company is doing well and growing so it's an exciting time to be a part of the team. If you are managed by some of the good managers you'll have a great experience.

    Cons

    Onboarding, HR procedures, and overall management are not up to par with where the company is. A lot of departments are understaffed.

    Advice to Management

    Having a great company culture has nothing to do with drinking.

    Kelton Response

    Jul 21, 2016 – Talent Manager

    We appreciate the feedback! Will work on the points raised.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great culture, great place to grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kelton full-time

    Pros

    There are plenty of opportunities to grow and gain experience in all stages of a project. Great culture and it's a very flat organization, not subject to the office politics of bigger companies. The client list is growing and there are really interesting projects coming in.

    Cons

    Sometimes feel strained for resources. During busy times, there can feel like there are bottlenecks and can feel understaffed for the amount of work coming in. To maintain the culture, hiring is very selective and doesn't always keep up with the growth in projects.


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