Northlich Reviews | Glassdoor

Northlich Reviews

Updated April 14, 2017
24 reviews

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2.8
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Kathy Selker
10 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Making Positive Changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Northlich (More than a year)

    Pros

    Outstanding team of talented and committed professionals
    Excellent work product - creative, digital, PR and social media delivers excellent results for clients
    Diverse roster of clients
    Lots of opportunities for personal growth and advancement
    Culture of peer recognition and bringing proactive ideas to clients
    The acquisition/merger of Forza Marketing has added sr. leaders to the organization as well as additional expertise in PR, content, publishing, lead generation and social media.

    Cons

    High turnover
    Lack of clear roles and responsibilities (who owns what)
    Sr. leaders are not enabled or empowered
    Northlich is a small agency that functions as if they were much larger. The company dramatically downsized due to economics but never adjusted their process or evolved their culture to adjust to todays "lean and mean" environment. Portions of the agency are bloated, expensive, slow and unable to meet the demands of clients who want a simpler, more streamlined creative product.

    Advice to Management

    • Annual goals and tracking against those objectives need to be communicated.
    • All employees need to understand how the agency makes money. Most employees don't know the budget for projects, nor do they know their hourly rates.
    • Clients should be evaluated on their profitability, not on the size of their budget. Some of the agency's largest clients are less profitable than our smallest.
    • Corporate emphasis on meeting billable hours target encourages hoarding of work vs getting work done in the most efficient way possible.
    • Too many layers in the creative department that add expense and complexity to projects.
    • Lack of management discipline. Constantly shifting priorities due to how management is feeling about the health of the agency.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Not a place you want to work"

    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

    Pros

    Some really smart people
    Cool (if over-sized) office space

    Cons

    Too many to name them all.
    People are jumping ship faster than they can be replaced. Turnover is roughly 50% for the last year.
    A constant change in processes leaves teams rarely knowing how to get things done.
    Processes are overwrought with layers - nothing can be done simply and clients pay the price.
    CEO plays favorites and has a penchant for changing her mind often. She makes decisions based on who she likes, not what is good for business, the client or the team.
    Financial information isn't shared the team and a lot of people are worried.
    Even the fun-squad events seem to lower morale.

    Advice to Management

    Northlich is not the powerhouse it once was. It is time to update the processes to create a new lean-and-mean model. Leadership, what is left of it, needs to be more transparent with the staff and stop blowing smoke.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Passive Agressive"

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

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

    Pros

    Rank & File: great people! Smart. Passionate about what they do.

    Cons

    CEO is a train-wreck. She has no idea what it really takes to get the work done. She has her favorites - but those change regularly and the previous one is tortured until they quit. She constantly asks for advice but never listens anyway. If you aren't working 12 hours a day, you are not committed. TURNOVER is outrageous. It is so sad.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the agency to someone who knows how to run it. Stop the parties - they are merely a bandaid to the real issue.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "A Solid Place, Really Gaining Momentum"

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

    Pros

    -- A good group of diverse clients across healthcare, restaurants, retail, and cpg
    -- A smart core of people who produce smart work / enjoy doing it together
    -- Forza acquisition has brought smart agency pros with experience
    -- Winning new business

    Cons

    -- Finally recovering from some of the leadership turnover that zapped office energy and culture (this was a con that many of the reviews from the past 12 months touched on that's far closer to a neutral today)
    -- Agency processes could be far more efficient, more defined, more repeatable
    -- The physical office is in a silo'd part of downtown with few food/bar options within a short walk

    Advice to Management

    Don't panic. The most painful times at Northlich are when leadership is concerned (about talent leaving, about losing a pitch, about losing a client) and they start helicopter over projects or adding more steps to an already poor process. This causes people to spin their wheels, and it leads to inefficiencies where time and effort can be wasted.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "What a disaster"

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

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

    Pros

    Some great folks doing hard work.

    Cons

    Work is so much harder when the CEO doesn't understand the business. Lots of passive aggressive behavior from the CEO create an environment of extreme ups and downs.

    Advice to Management

    Look at how many times the leadership has turned over since Kathy Selker bought the place. It tells a clear story that Kathy is the source of the issues.


  6. "Designer"

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

    I worked at Northlich full-time

    Pros

    Large Agency
    Well Known Clients
    Friendly people

    Cons

    Lack of clear leadership
    Rapid turnover


  7. Helpful (4)

    "More Upset at the Senior Leadership Level"

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

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

    Pros

    There's great parking available and very reasonably priced. The office is very attractive and comfortable to work in. There's always a party going on in the office.

    Cons

    There is a constant stream of employees coming in to the company and leaving the company. The senior leadership is a disaster and the CEO needs to be replaced.

    Advice to Management

    Make an offer to the employees so that they can buy the agency from the current owners and then get rid of the entire senior leadership staff. Let Northlich start completely over without the current leadership team.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "New management is a breath of fresh air"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The new leadership is incredible...smart, talented, constantly challenging the staff to be better, to learn and to think much bigger than Cincinnati. And it shows in the work and the awards we win. Our new(ish) COO has been open and transparent with the agency about our strengths - and weaknesses. He is a breath of fresh air and I'm excited to see where he takes this agency.

    Management is supportive of personal and professional development, and works hard to enable employees to maintain a good work-life balance. Some reviews say morale is low but I have worked in places where promotions and pay raises are scarce, where the work sucks and people dread coming to work. Northlich is not even close to that place. We have a lot of fun here. Everyone really does get along and the work is better for it. I feel supported and love coming to work every day.

    Bottom line: If you want to be comfortable and fly under the radar, you won't like it. Your opinions will be challenged and you'll occasionally work long hours. We're an ad agency. If you don't have the stomach for it, don't work here. If you do, you'll thrive.

    Cons

    Northlich went through a rough patch during the recession. I can't think of an agency that didn't. Unfortunately, it's still recovering and the reputation of this agency lags several years behind the reality. I think former employees that worked at Northlich during its downswing do this agency an injustice by spreading negativity around town. I do think that Northlich will be an agency to watch when the CEO retires and lets the new management take over.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hire good people who make this agency smarter.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Love this Job"

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

    Pros

    Strong culture and team spirit
    Smart people. You will learn something new here, and be inspired to get better.
    Great core values
    Solid leadership
    Great work life balance

    Here's the deal. I came to Northlich in 2014. My friends in the agency world told me not too. "Northlich is a roller coaster" as one of the other reviewers put it. I was a little worried about that but I took this job because of three people, one of which is the COO. He's smart and interesting.

    I've found Northlich to be challenging. It's work, so somedays you long for your sofa, but in reality I'm challenged to be better at my job, which is something that is hard to find. I learn new things about our craft and feel as though they are giving me more than a paycheck.

    Any agency can be a little bit of a roller coaster. Some weeks, long hours are the norm. But I feel like I get rewarded from the senior staff. They recognize hard work, dedication, and give value to it. Balance is important and I feel they have that. While it's not always peaches and pie, I truly love and enjoy my job.

    Cons

    Like most companies, Northlich can be a little slow moving
    Poor location, isolated near the river

    What sucks? Well sometimes the hours, sometimes the clients like any agency. My biggest complaint is the location, it's isolated from downtown, but I hear they are thinking about moving closer to the city center.

    While there are obviously people that I like more than others, there aren't to many politics. Get your work done, contribute and you'll do well here.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to your people. I was most impressed when someone recently announced they were leaving for a competitor, (you) the owners got up and clapped. I'm always inspired by people who care about people.

    Keep the lines of communication open, it's appreciated by the staff.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Once great but now very sad place to work"

    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

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

    Pros

    It was good to work in a company with a creative aspect to the business because of the energy and excitement attached to a creative work product. There are a lot of little parties and always a lot of food and drink for the staff, but I would rather not have the parties and have a better pay increase.

    Cons

    The pay is very low with small annual increases. The annual review process is dated and is not a fair system. It allows for middle level managers to play favorites among the staff. The CEO is the worst when it comes to playing favorites.

    Advice to Management

    Find someone to buy this agency so you can unload the current CEO and senior leadership. Maybe then you'll be able to save this agency.


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