SHIFT Communications Reviews | Glassdoor

SHIFT Communications Reviews

Updated September 25, 2017
34 reviews

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2.7
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Todd Defren
18 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Valuable experience here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Positive atmosphere, fun perks, young fresh culture, learn a ton as junior staffer

    Cons

    Agencies in general can cause quick burnout for junior staffers given overloaded teams


  2. "Senior Account Supervisor"

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

    I worked at SHIFT Communications full-time

    Pros

    Great location in the Financial District of San Francisco, great benefits and work perks, competitive salary

    Cons

    They did a bait and switch from the interview to starting the job. I was told I'd be working on large accounts but was given startups. My manager was a micromanager and would use me as a scapegoat for all client/colleague issues. Was not aware the company was going through turmoil when I started and was thrown into that mess which meant I could never please my manager. When I asked to discuss projects my manager never had time for me and was never around. Colleagues were not team players and would back-stab each other to get a leg up on their accounts.

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent in the interview process, don't micromanage a supervisor, be available to your team for guidance.

  3. "Good to get your foot in the door"

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

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

    Pros

    Exposure to many types of clients in different industries.

    Cons

    Salary is weak for an SF resident who wants to create a savings.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Just no"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Some people are nice, and you sometimes get free food.

    Cons

    Do not work here. SHIFT is an overworked mid-size agency that thinks it’s a big player just because it has a small creative team. It’s very sad, because in its quest for aggressive growth, SHIFT has become the very thing it has worked against all its time as an agency. Backbiting abounds, and you never get praise or recognition for a job well done – just more work.

    Especially if you are entering at the entry level: you will be underpaid, treated terribly, and take all of the work and all of the blame. With the exception of a rare few, upper-level management will talk down to you, keep you out of the loop, and undermine you.

    SHIFT has undergone too much business growth and does not have personnel or training programs to back it up, making everyone stressed and burned out. The turnover is very high, but the agency pretends it’s normal. This has resulted in a weird mix of the “old guard” who were hired in 2014 or before, during happier times, and new hires who have had no time to form meaningful connections with their coworkers. This leads to weird cliques. Run far and fast.

    Advice to Management

    End the empty promises to staff and prospective hires. Get clients selectively and let lesser ones go. Raise salaries across the board to actual industry rates, not made up ones you pretend are true. Raise upper-management accountability and training. Fire members of upper management who may be personal friends but no longer serve a material purpose. Create high quality but less work, and the culture will follow.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    everyone is super nice and friendly, and SHIFT offers trainings to help the interns learn about PR

    Cons

    there really was close to nothing for me to do on a day-to-day basis. i was proactive in asking for things to do, however i did not always receive work in return. my advice would be to get specific around the work you're interested in doing, and you'll be more likely to have more to do (e.g. share your interest in writing a blog post). i also think interns should have been offered feedback on a monthly or bi-monthly basis in order to get a feel for how they were doing - i felt that i had no idea where i stood with the company

    Advice to Management

    give the interns more to do so that they have the opportunity to prove themselves. take the time to train the interns because it will help everyone in the end


  6. Helpful (1)

    "You learn a lot, but the culture is off"

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

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

    Pros

    You will definitely learn a lot if you have a manager that is willing to work with you.

    Cons

    It's all about joining the right team at SHIFT. Some are extremely tight knit and catty, others are welcoming and collaborative. The drama here is UNREAL. More often than not people were talking about who was hooking up with who vs. client work. Made for a toxic environment.

    Advice to Management

    Stop ignoring the small stuff. You may not think its your place to step in regarding personal relationships, but people aren't speaking highly of the culture here.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Underwhelming Experience"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You can get a good amount of experience, if there is someone on your team willing to work with you. Other than that, the only other upside is that it looks good on your resume.

    Cons

    The clients are not very interesting which makes for boring, recycled pitches.

    There is a lack of communication between co-workers which leads to a number of other problems. My experience was that I was encouraged to up-level my work but shut down whenever I made the effort. My work was constantly ignored and unchecked, making most of my time a complete waste.

    Office politics seems to matter more than good work.

    Also, the environment seems very relaxed and comfortable at first but the employees are actually really two faced. The company tries to foster a friendly environment but it's all for nothing as the employees are untrustworthy. My co-workers seemed very nice. They would say great things about my work and demeanor to me but paint completely different images of me to my supervisors. I have never experienced such a nonsensical work environment before my time at SHIFT. I would tell anyone who's thinking about applying to look elsewhere. There is a lack of transparency at SHIFT which makes for a terrible work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to lower level employees. Make sure they have a voice. There is no point of company outings and employee bonding if there is no clear communication of expectations within each team. The President of the company is very personable but it's clear he has no idea what goes on in the different offices. Your company is only as decent or honorable as it's employees and right now, it's not looking so good.

  8. "Great Internship Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Intern in Newton, MA
    Former Employee - Intern in Newton, MA
    Recommends

    I worked at SHIFT Communications (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Collaborative environment, lots of young people, great culture.

    Cons

    Location isn't ideal. Sometimes not enough guidance/mentorship because everyone's so busy.

    Advice to Management

    Continue building the great team culture/environment!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Underwhelming Experience"

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

    I worked at SHIFT Communications full-time

    Pros

    - Unique siloed team structure
    - Somewhat interesting client roster
    - Friendly co-workers

    Cons

    - Unqualified "managers"/ team leaders who are expected to help younger employees learn and grow
    - Agency culture tries too hard to fit in or replicate the "cool agency culture" that many other agencies have succeeded in... ex: Shift claims to have an open office environment when that just means lower than usual cubicle walls; make shift ping pong table... hint: no one thinks ping pong in offices are cool; lack of overall understanding of what makes an agency "cool" (it's more than just a keg fridge in the office).
    - Agency frequently over delivers to clients who are underpaying for services
    - Upper management seems clueless to what their teams are actually working on vs. what they've promised to clients

    Advice to Management

    - Stop trying to be the "cool pr agency" and focus on helping your employees learn more about the industry.
    - Hire people who can actually meet the expectations of the designated title and make sure he/she understands how to manage up and down the team levels
    - Stop marketing the agency as a Boston agency when it's not. Twenty minutes outside of Boston is not Boston.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Seems better than they actually are"

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

    Pros

    It was awesome when I first started working there. Obviously had its flaws but one of the better agencies. They recently got acquired by National PR and have completely gutted the company. The soul is gone - the tech sector which made them SHIFT has disappeared. They let go the best of people and hired some of the worst and need to get their things back in order. My advice - don't work there. You'll get stabbed in the back by the people who think are supporting you the most.

    Cons

    They pretend that they have this incredible work culture. In the 2 years I was there, I only went on outings with friends. A lot of it is a facade.

    Advice to Management

    Get your things in order. Don't forget who you are.


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