Merkle Reviews in Columbia, MD | Glassdoor

Merkle Columbia Reviews

Updated August 17, 2017
28 reviews

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Columbia, MD

1.0
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Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams
David Williams
23 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The extremely generous work-from-home policy and great benefits definitely stand out as the biggest pros (in 31 reviews)

  • You have the opportunity to work with really smart people (in 55 reviews)

Cons
  • Hard to establish work life balance (in 49 reviews)

  • Long hours (poor work/life balance) (in 30 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Losing my patience"

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Ability to work remotely, autonomy in your work, lots of free educational opportunities

    Cons

    Your direct managers do not work with you on your projects, so they have no clue how much or little effort you are putting in. They'd rather run you over with a bus than lose a dollar in revenue. Sometimes, management gets inspired and says that you are in charge of your career, but in reality, they tell you what account you have to work on and you have no choice but to follow their orders. There is a very strong male bias. I have literally been ignored many times by many people at every level despite the 'Women in Leadership' program in place. Unfortunately, it is only directed to women and not the condescending, gender biased managers that need the education on the matter of equality.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe this year, you can actually listen to what people are saying is wrong with the company and fix things. Short-term profit sacrifices for more quality staff will lead to long-term successes for clients. You are smarter than this. Stop doing things the hard way.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "lacking real leadership"

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

    Pros

    interesting area to work in

    Cons

    inexperienced leadership, old boys club

  3. Helpful (12)

    "Avoid Merkle - Plenty of other opportunities around MD"

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

    Pros

    - Nice building
    - Most people get along well and fit the culture
    - For new hires out of college, plenty of opportunity for advancement (because people keep leaving!)
    - Compensation and benefits are average

    Cons

    - You are expected to work 45-50 hours. Very, very few people are told this when they start.
    - These 45-50 hours are extremely aggressive. You will regularly work late hours, weekend and are expected to reply to emails/calls off hours. Everyone not manipulating the system gets burnt out fairly quickly.
    - Merkle keeps acquiring new companies while cutting costs. Wreaks havoc on your projects and day-to-day work.
    - Constant employee turnover. They will says it's "a little high," but it's unacceptably high when you also include the contract workers that quit before their 6 months is up.
    - The "no rules vacation" is really just a scam so they don't have to payout vacation time upon resignation. It's not a perk. Don't be fooled.
    - Over the last year or two, the company has changed directions from hiring "the right people" to hiring new college grads or whoever will take the salary without reading the REAL reviews on glassdoor first. It's not a place for quality experienced professionals anymore.
    - In IT, there are a few key people in management that are simply incapable of doing their job, and others regularly micromanage or derail projects. This has created a very negative attitude within the dept. It has become unbearable for most of the staff, which is unfortunate because they are extremely talented.

    Advice to Management

    I can't get on board with the direction the company is taking with employment or how IT is being run. Any advice I give would require a complete overhaul to make this an employee-investor-friendly company rather than just an investor-friendly company.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time

    Pros

    Great team members; people work really hard and are committed to their work
    Ability to periodically WFH is likely the #1 benefit at Merkle.
    An opportunity to learn a lot.

    Cons

    1) Merkle changes direction frequently. Your job description will likely change at Merkle. You can only hope you like the new roles and responsibilities. IF you’re asked if you want the new job description, but the only right answer is “yes”.
    2) Cost-cutting is paramount. You can be an employee for many years, but if you’re not part of the new vision, your position will get cut. There is zero job security. There are no benefits to being a tenured employee. All recent new benefits are directed at new employees - vacation policy and 0 vesting time for 401K match.
    3) Many positions are moving to China due to cost-cutting, so the expectation is for employees to be available during working hours in China to get work done.
    4) High turnover. It makes doing your job difficult as you’re constantly working with employees that are new to Merkle. Average tenure at Merkle is about 3 years. (Voluntary) turnover is 11% (note, its “voluntary”).
    5) If you get a bad manager, you’re stuck. Merkle’s sole answer to every issue or complaint is “talk to your manager”. Got hired by a great manager? Re-read #4. Your manager will likely change, either due to turnover or re-alignment. I’ve had about 8 or 9 managers at Merkle.
    6) The workload is unmanageable. LOTS of people working to exhaustion, making errors, causing re-work and more overtime. Try complaining to a manager that’s working even more overtime than you are. It’s useless and a manager’s lowest priority is his/her employees.
    7) Merkle isn’t doing anything meaningful to address problems 1 – 5. For some reason, HR is their primary focus to career development. Employees don't know or trust HR, so people only go to HR for help when they're turning in their resignation.

    Advice to Management

    Don't just talk about employees being a priority, we're tired of hearing that with no action. Actually DO something to help overworked, exhausted employees.


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Senior Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Absolutely none that are worth more than the cons

    Cons

    I was hoping it would get better as time passed but it was more horrible every day. Extremely long hours, virtually no guidance past corporate on boarding, completely lied about job description vs. reality. Very "clicky"...senior management protects people even when blatantly obvious that they are inappropriate and unprofessional. Absolutely no work life balance. If you don't really care to spend time with your family this is the place for you. From the employees to the job itself it was the worst professional experience of my life & I'm no stranger to hard work in my vertical in this industry for almost 20yrs, well respected & dedicated. Best move ever was to leave. No amount if money or WFH benefit was worth that experience.

    Advice to Management

    Lies lies lies right from the start...lied about the travel, lied about the job specs, lied about the state of the account, lied about team dynamics & how helpful everyone was...never was in a position with more back stabbing empty people ever... you really should be ashamed. It was horrible. Really look at your Directors. They're shiny penny's for sure...horrible people...your pharma vertical is a well known hot mess in the industry because the core group are ridiculous people. From when I started to a few months after I left over I counted over 9 people in & out within weeks or months of starting (less then a year) with one suffering from panic attacks - pharma vertical ... They we're running out the door...I along with them & my quality of life improved immediately...I was snatched right up by another company & been there ever since. Working hard for a company & people who certainly care about the bottom line, but also care about me too. Recruiters from Merkle are constantly calling people from my company ... Nobody goes, I make sure of that for their sake. Take a good look in the mirror.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Difficult time ..."

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

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    • Cutting edge technology and infrastructure
    • Many professional opportunities to grow quickly
    • Above market salaries
    • Able to work with very sharp individuals

    Cons

    • Huge overturn of talent with no rehiring for empty positions — work is inherently absorbed
    • Phenomenal burnout factor — average hours per week is 55+
    • Nonexistent work/life balance
    • Out of touch upper management with weak leadership qualities
    • A lot of unexperienced Chiefs and very few and exhausted Indians — top heavy organization
    • Abrasive cutthroat personalities throughout company leadership who are quickly are rewarded regardless of their negative impact on team morale.

    Advice to Management

    • Invest in the right people managers (trustworthy, committed to staff's professional growth, and not afraid to give their team players praise) to cultivate and keep top talent
    • Focus on filling positions immediately so burnout can be avoided and top talent can be retained
    • Hire the right industry leaders with pinpoint focus expertise for the particular vertical — do not retrofit or hire a "multifaceted" person that has no knowledge of the particular industry.
    • Many of the sharp individuals you work with also come with morale-destructive egos.

    Merkle Response

    Jul 16, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    We are sorry to hear about your experience at Merkle. We hope you were able to take away some experiences that will further your career moving forward.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Sell, Sell, Sell - Merkle's blind short term focus"

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

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

    Pros

    -There are some smart people working here but rarely come across them.
    -You can work from home and basically set your own schedule

    Cons

    - There is zero planning going on here
    - Sell your way out of the problem mentality
    - Poor execution across the board due to lack of process (scary for a 25 yr old company)
    - Management is out of touch and blind to the external market
    - Old guard mentality is pervasive throughout the org and needs to be turned over
    - High turnover all over the org so its hard to find anyone with internal knowledge and a fresh perspective
    - Its a sweatshop with a pretty wrapper (seriously)

    Advice to Management

    Advice to CEO: Clean house at the top and surround your self with people who know how to take the company to the next revenue milestone by adding the appropriate operational rigor and strategic planning knowledge. The longer you keep the existing team intact the worse it will get from a turnover and moral perspective. The churn is costing you a lot of money and if you do the analysis you will see it lead right back to the poor under educated executive team you have in place today.

    Merkle Response

    Apr 14, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    Merkle has definitely been growing extremely fast and we're sure that you, having been working here for more 3 years, have seen a ton of changes. Your viewpoint is valuable and we appreciate your... More

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians"

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible vacation policy
    Mediocre pay
    Ability to work from home
    Smart and friendly staff

    Cons

    Work life balance at Merkle does not exist. You are expected to meet unrealistic timelines with skeleton crews.
    Management focuses on hiring at the Director level and above...

    Advice to Management

    Merkle has a lot of work to do. Fat chance of becoming a greatest place to work.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "You can learn a lot but beware"

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

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

    Pros

    Worked with some very smart people who really care about doing a great job.

    Cons

    60 hour weeks will be the norm on many projects. Can go months working 7 days, nights, holidays and weekends. Sales rule so they promise everything without consideration of who actually has to do the work. Management wants the great place to work ribbon so bad they literally tell employees what to answer totally ignoring actually making any improvement changes. The worse thing about Merkle is they allow the Bullying of Employees. I witnessed several times great, long time employees humiliated, accused, and threatened by made up accusations. Exactly why this has been allowed to happen I do not know but it represents the scary underlying culture present at Merkle.

    Advice to Management

    Making money is not a life and death job, quit treating it that way.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Totally disillusioning"

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

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

    Pros

    There are some very smart folks at Merkle...but they leave before reaching senior positions.

    Cons

    Constant organizational changes create unnecessary challenges. An almost fetishistic emphasis on "company culture" - which as other reviews have noted, is white, male, redneck. High turnover for obvious reasons. A very 20th Century atmosphere of artificial competition.


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