RPA Reviews in Los Angeles, CA | Glassdoor

RPA Los Angeles Reviews

Updated May 7, 2017
94 reviews

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Los Angeles, CA Area

3.7
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RPA President & CEO Bill Hagelstein
Bill Hagelstein
42 Ratings

94 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance is unbeatable (in 29 reviews)

  • Happy hours every Thursday during the summer (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • So there are lots of rounds of approvals, and it's really hard to move up and grow (in 5 reviews)

  • lower pay, long hours, takes 2 years to get promoted (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "RPA is a big ol family!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The agency has some of the best people on the planet working there. They will brighten up even that darkest days and everyone feels like family.

    The creative process is very collaborative and for the most part, all teams are encouraged to help shape creative thinking and campaign development.

    Lots of flexibility to work however you need. Managers work around scheduling needs - long commute, family situations, etc.

    Cons

    The agency can sometimes be overburdened by the process. It takes a long time to get things done partially because of the way things are managed and partially because communication can be fragmented.

    Some teams are still somewhat siloed. When collaboration doesn't go right, it usually means a key team was not included in planning until the end of the project.

    Advice to Management

    Actively communicate with all levels of teams. Missions for some groups have changed drastically with no regard for the path entry level workers are looking for or even more senior members of those groups.

    Transparency has improved greatly, but continued efforts to make sure people are well informed of the happenings of the agency are important. No one likes being in the dark, especially if it's around changes to their job description.


  2. "RPA can and should improve; but it's not the worst place to work..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Integrated Account Executive in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Integrated Account Executive in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - $100 cash gift bonus for Christmas
    - Great holiday parties
    - Lots of good people
    - (And in the past couple of years) lots of NEW people
    - Great central area in building for community lunches (good for getting sun and getting to know your co-workers)

    Cons

    - (Some) upper management do not know how to be good leaders and back up their team
    - Lots of people hate their jobs there and just don't say it (a lot of them told me after I left)
    - Once upon a time it was a great place to work and people know its not up to its potential

    Advice to Management

    - Stop hiring/keeping managers who are too scared to rock the boat
    - Support your employees, they work really hard and want to like their job
    - Work on training your managers to lead well (notice I said lead, not manage)
    - Bring back the lunch and learn for your employees; if they know you value their growth in the industry, they'll work that much harder for you


  3. Helpful (4)

    "So that happened"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Intern - Intern in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at RPA as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The place was great for a first agency to intern at. No one expected too much and everyone wants to offer advice. The projects were fun and you had great little opportunities to be creative and get some clever work in.

    Cons

    The chain of command was convoluted. You can spend days working on a project to find out you were given ill-informed instructions. People don't seem to have a concept of time there, and the creative doesn't actually feel all that creative.

    Advice to Management

    Micromanage less,and stop trying to be "cool". Accept that you aren't or at least stop trying to convince others that you are. Pay people for the hours they work, not the hours you told clients it would take to do the work that was impossible to get done in that timeframe. And when you have great interns, hire them and pay them what they are worth right away. Don't wait for another agency to show interest before they are suddenly worth your time. Extended internships... give me a break.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Hostile"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    It's located in Los Angeles, California . Unfortunately, I really can't think of anything else. Believe me, I have tried.

    Cons

    I don't know why they call this place the "country club" it's purely abusive from the top down. The top execs like to micromanage every team. Even if your direct supervisor wants something for you, for the benefit of your job and the greater good of the company, the VP or some person above them will shut you down - for no particular reason. Aside from that, It's 2017 and they make you pay for snacks, pay for parking, and if you ask questions, they don't hear you out. They just tell you that's how it's done. They also don't let you take vacation time for your first 6 months and no 401k match for your first 2 years, plus you don't get fully vested until after 6 years. AND they think they're doing you a huge favor with health insurance, but Cigna blows and is out of network for nearly everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like they're not just a number.


  6. "A great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    RPA it's a fantastic place to work. With their independent status things move faster and career progress further. Good accounts and great people, definitely a place to work in LA.

    Cons

    Slightly traditional (management wise) and often afraid of taking big creative risks. Missing some attention to craft in their creative pieces.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work and the unique spirit that makes RPA one of the best places to work. Open more opportunities to junior creatives to shine, maybe some open briefings that everyone can participate. Also give more top management job opportunities to women.


  7. "Great agency, great people. Flawed in transparency and opportunities for career growth for creatives."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interactive/Digital Creative in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Interactive/Digital Creative in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Great people and great location
    - Autonomy and ownership over client work
    - Agency and leadership is invested in supporting proactive employees' ideas for making positive changes
    - Creatives of all levels and types (traditional, digital, UX) get to lead projects and present their own work to the clients
    - Individual designers get simulatneous exposure to many projects and clients
    - Many happy hours and social activities
    - Fun working environment

    Cons

    Job opportunity and limited career growth for designers:
    - Division between digital design and UX work can be limiting and often non-transitive for digital creatives who wish to pursue more hybrid and popular design roles in UX, interaction, and product
    - Production process follows a very waterfal" approach which limits individuals interested in broader creative growth
    - Hands-off leadership often meant there was little awareness over the scope of an employee's influence and how much extra time certain employees would spend on projects which resulted in burnout
    - Performance review requests for employees are arbitrarily sent out to coworkers at the managers' discretion
    - Feedback, even if positive, is often not necessarily specific, actionable, or representative of the employee's contributions
    - There's no way to provide a review for your manager, so it's unclear how lower-level employees can influence the quality of the leadership

    Recognition/compensation
    - Salary was significantly below market for the role and even within the industry. Management was not open to reconsidering in salary negotiation
    - Employees were discouraged from talking about salary, and when it was discussed it was often discovered to be unfair
    - No clear communication on how employees can move up levels. Promotions and raises in Interactive/Digital Creative department were often a result of employees getting competing offers elsewhere
    - Loss of clients often resulted in salary/promotion freezes, layoffs, and a drop in employee morale
    - There was a lack of transparency with salary allocation including how it translates to years of experience and quality of an individuals' work

    Advice to Management

    - Provide a clear and transparent trajectory for employee growth in order to match up to the competition
    - Reward dedicated employees (especially creatives and engineers) in order to improve happiness and reduce the number of people leaving due to dissatisfaction
    - Have a metric for employee happiness and structured way to periodically evaluate feedback
    - Provide a way for employees to submit truly anonymous feedback in order to get a pulse how employees really feel


  8. "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Awesome work environment. Great staff. Creative juices flow.

    Cons

    Long work hours. No longer offer overtime


  9. "Amazing Intern Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great opportunity to own projects, good community for mentorship, learning new skills

    Cons

    Did not get any contact with clients

    Advice to Management

    HR seemed a little cliquey and played favorites.


  10. "Not the best, but not the worst; good place to start"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at RPA full-time

    Pros

    - Some cool accounts but a lot of fluctuation; one key account who "keeps the lights on"
    - Pretty laid back atmosphere, but lots of hard workers
    - 35 hour work week (usually not)
    - Winter break: Christmas Eve - New Years day off
    - Happy hours

    Cons

    - Pay is not competitive which leads to high turnover
    - PTO cannot be taken until 6 months in
    - Limited sick days
    - Communication lacking
    - No formal training
    - Managers are good at managing up but not down, which sucks for entry-level workers

    Advice to Management

    Provide formal training for managers, especially those who have never had to manage down.


  11. "Account Coordinator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Account Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Fun environment for young professionals. Lots of free happy hours, dinners, company parties, live music on Fridays etc. Phone bill paid for.

    Cons

    Unless you work overtime hours, hourly pay for account management starting off is horrible. I counted on the over time to pay my rent/bills. HIERARCHY is the best way I can describe RPA. I often felt uncomfortable asking questions to higher ups. Lots of my team members were stressed and overworked. For a smaller company, very high turnover.


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