Search Optics Reviews | Glassdoor

Search Optics Reviews

Updated April 13, 2017
119 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.5
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Search Optics CEO David Ponn
David Ponn
81 Ratings

119 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Of course the free lunches are awesome (in 21 reviews)

  • Great coworkers, lots of opportunities to try new things, laid back culture, great work life balance (in 5 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Loved working for Search Optics"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Marketing Coordinator in Ferndale, MI
    Former Employee - Digital Marketing Coordinator in Ferndale, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Search Optics (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great coworkers, incentive programs, beer on Fridays. My manager worked individually with us to develop our skills.

    Cons

    Inside sales was not the place to make a lot of money and constantly on the phone. Didn't enjoy the mix of constant cold calls or working on our customer list.

    Advice to Management

    The division between inside and outside sales was huge and the inside sales people could tell the outside sales people had zero clue what they were doing.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Don't waste your time."

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

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

    Pros

    Free coffee and snacks, Yearly company outting with prizes, occasional food truck for lunch, friendly co-Workers, did i mention free coffee.

    Cons

    Poor management, the uppers fails to listen to the employees. Certain managers should not be in thier positions, they either dont know what they are doing providing no guidance or simply lack managerial skills.

    Work life balance no longer exists in the company.
    The bonus structure no longer benefits the employee.

    Poor planning throughout various departments

    Company continues to fire or not value thier best employees. Sales is a revolving door.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees, and get rid of the managers that lack the necessary skills to make Search Optics Successful again.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Negative people = Negative Reviews"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Services in Ferndale, MI
    Current Employee - Marketing Services in Ferndale, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers, lots of opportunities to try new things, laid back culture, great work life balance. I work in Marketing Services in Ferndale and think most of these negative reviews were written by a few angry employees who were fired or quit due to poor performance and poor attitudes. Get a life, move on and take some personal responsibility for your issues.

    Cons

    Chaotic, poor communication, lots of leadership changes, lack of long-term strategic planning, too many senior, high paid sales people who don't know our products, processes or people but seem to be protected by the execs. Decisions on who to let go seem random.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your people and have some patience. Changing leadership too often has caused growth to slow and hurt morale. Keep communicating with us! We need to know where we are headed.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Wealth of Opportunity and Learning Experiences"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Services in Ferndale, MI
    Current Employee - Marketing Services in Ferndale, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is an energetic fast paced company. They are aggressively reaching out into new regions and verticals, which provides a wealth of opportunity and learning experiences. I love that I can make an impact here. If I want to make a change to strategy or suggest a new process those options are open to me. I can walk down the hall and discuss changes with senior management and actually make things happen.

    We work hard, but SO makes a point to try to keep things fun. They routinely treat us to lunch, food trucks, BBQs and out of office events group events, holiday parties, etc.

    Search Optics is evolving, which can be challenging at times, but opportunity also comes with with those challenges. From what I've seen, the company rewards those individuals that step up.

    I'm excited to see where we will be this time next year!

    Cons

    I actually don't have much to complain about. I've received more than one promotion and several raises since I've started. I've been treated fairly and with respect by my peers, senior management, and the Partners. I'm not sure where all the negativity comes from, I'm not seeing it.

    It takes a certain disposition to be able to weather the fast pace here, maybe not everyone will thrive in that environment. It can be stressful at times, but you have to stretch to grow.

    Advice to Management

    It can be tough on on the employees, too, during the rough patches. Don't forget we'll have your back if we feel like you have ours'. Employees crave communication from The Partners.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "sales"

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

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

    Pros

    some great people to work with and some not so great (but sure thought they were) - free lunches but I heard this has gone away - most google certifications per employee in the industry( most were achieved through online cheating) - a healthy training program (but finding anyone who could train was a chore)

    Cons

    Fading technology, not enough infrastructure to support what the sales team sold - clients suffered with long delays, broken sites ..... the ownership team is just a bunch of boys who are more interested in their toys than growing the business. Lots of unfulfilled promises. misleading job descriptions and job offers

    Advice to Management

    SELL SELL SELL or at least get out of the way


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Great Company with room for Growth"

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

    Pros

    Though a growing international business, it still maintains a start-up feel in that is allows it's employees to shine if they want to take the initiative. Room for growth and learning.

    Cons

    Not always the best communication and even within teams there is a lack of "we are in this together."

    Advice to Management

    Boost team morale and provide more opportunities outside of work for team members and co-workers to support each other.


  8. Helpful (17)

    "Truly the most unethical, awful company I've ever worked for. RUN WHILE YOU CAN!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Services in Ferndale, MI
    Former Employee - Marketing Services in Ferndale, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Like some previous reviews have said, I've never worked with a better group of people in my life (with the exception of management). Free snacks, water, coffee, soda, and occasional free lunches.

    Cons

    I truly don't know where to even start. I was with the company for approximately 2.5 years, and I can honestly say it was nothing less than awful. When I began with the company, it was a wonderful place to work. Over the years, I watched more turnover than anyone could ever dream of, and I watched the company quickly decline into the cesspool it is today.

    Management is 100% blind to the opinions of their employees. They create these fake "safe place" meetings where they ask everyone to voice their opinions of the company, morale, culture, etc. and what they can do to make it better. Those meetings lead to individuals having targets painted on their back, which leads to their inevitable departure from the company.

    The newly-promoted manager of my department was downright mean and incompetent, to say the least. Not only did he spend his days on Reddit while the rest of his team drowned in work, he was extremely hostile and is a huge reason as to why more than half of the team has left in the last month. Almost daily episodes of slamming his keyboard on his desk or sitting there huffing and puffing made all the employees on the team uncomfortable; this was in addition to the constant sexist and bigoted remarks. He takes pride in telling the team that he's going to micromanage everyone, which further lowers morale when you're already buried with work. As soon as he walks in the door every morning, instant depression sweeps across the team. He likes to complain about the rest of the employees having a "negative” attitude; however, when half of the team leaves in large part due to him, it's blatantly obvious that he's the one with the toxic attitude. HR is non-existent, which is why this has been allowed to progress for so long; when issues are brought up to senior management, they'll do anything to protect the other managers.

    Lack of solid time-tracking material in addition to their "flexible scheduling" leads managers to falsely accuse employees of not working full days, even when the employees regularly work many hours of unpaid overtime every weekend from home. No matter how hard you work or prove your loyalty, expect to get your integrity questioned regularly. Having a flexible schedule at Search Optics isn't remotely worth all the drama that comes with it.

    The company does nothing but give false hope to the employees on a daily basis. This includes the ideas of promotions, raises, and bonuses. Like previous reviews have said, they like to use every buzzword in the book to make the most awful situation seem like it's going to be okay. Newsflash: It's never okay. The company falls apart more and more every day. In fact, the company has completely destroyed the morale of its most loyal and tenured employees, which leads to their best talent walking out the door. If you're not already a manager, you can expect to never be promoted or appreciated in any way.

    The communication between departments is horrendous. Useless meetings constantly waste valuable time, while important information can't ever seem to be communicated properly. Account launch dates, budgets, and understanding of services being sold are constantly being misinterpreted, and most teams end up doing the job of the other teams that can't manage to do theirs. Pretty great when you're already understaffed, right?

    "Sketchy" doesn't even begin to describe their business tactics. The company likes to boast how many Google certifications their employees have, but guess what? Everyone was paid to take those tests. Not to mention, everyone cheated. They lie to their customers about margins being withheld, try to cover up poor campaign performance, and will do anything to make a buck, regardless of whether or not it'll actually benefit the customer. Unfortunately, the sales employees are forced into this, or face termination.

    Advice to Management

    At this point, you've made it blatantly obvious that you have no desire to listen to anything the employees say in regards to management, culture, or compensation, even though you have the worst Glassdoor rating in the industry. What's there to advise? Learn to value, respect, and invest in your employees; they are your #1 asset.


  9. Helpful (18)

    "Horribly disconnected and mismanaged company - you can do much better."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Services Employee in Ferndale, MI
    Former Employee - Marketing Services Employee in Ferndale, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You won't find better coworkers anywhere else. The people you work with every single day will become some of your best friends, if not just for mutual hatred of the workplace.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? From the top, management is completely deaf when it comes to their employees' opinions. They have absolutely no idea how to keep their staff motivated or happy and spew the same message whenever issues are brought up: "Don't worry, there are some big opportunities just over the horizon!" Well, those opportunities are just going to pass you by when you have no staff.

    People are quitting left and right because of the rock-bottom wages and misguided direction, yet the company still seems to think that they're just going through "growing pains". This excuse is floated around constantly every time someone leaves and does nothing but make the remaining staff uneasy. It is also an extremely naive point of view to have; when half of your team is gone within 2 months, there should be some red flags.

    The Human Resources department is non-existent. At the time of my departure, Search Optics had exactly one HR employee (based in CA). The HR Manager position (currently empty) is a rotating chair, constantly changing on a monthly basis. This is not a good sign and downright blasphemous for a company of this size.

    Promises are constantly broken. Whether it's about staffing-up to take some stress off of their employees or raising the alarmingly low pay, management seems to enjoy using all the buzzwords in the book without understanding the gravity of their words.

    The business decisions are laughable. Contracts are desperately signed at extremely low margins, often after other agencies have already turned the client's terms down. Search Optics likes to say that they'll sign any deal to be seen as an "every-man's agency", but they do so at the expense of their employees.

    Management's idea of a "competitive" salary is a joke. During the interview process I had with my now-current employer, you would have thought I was performing a stand-up routine when I disclosed how much I was making at Search Optics. Expect a maximum of a 5% yearly raise, if you even get one; at $34,000 with two years with the company, 5% is insulting.

    At least in the department I worked in, junior management is incompetent. If you work here, you can expect to find the least mature and most unprofessional person you've ever met as your supervisor. These managers seem to always let their position go to their heads, making their staff extremely uncomfortable and dread coming to work. Whether it's sexist remarks, bigoted views or just being flat out mean, your supervisor will not make you enjoy your job. Also, the lack of an HR department means nothing will change.

    Bonus structures are changed on the fly, depending on how the company is doing. When the company is in a slump, they suddenly change from a performance model to a revenue model. No matter what, expect to get screwed out of your well-earned bonus.

    Advice to Management

    You enjoy finding "young, raw talent", but you need to understand that these employees are neither young, nor raw, forever. They need to be fairly compensated and shown the respect they deserve once they've proven themselves as an asset to the company.

    Make an effort to actually listen to your employees. Don't sit on your office with the door closed thinking everything is okay, because the current situation is anything but. You are losing countless tenured employees due to extremely low salaries and completely unfair expectations and you don't seem to mind; failing to make radical changes very soon will almost certainly mean entire departments being vacant.


  10. Helpful (12)

    "Going Downhill Full Throttle"

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

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

    Pros

    Co-workers, free snacks and drinks. The pros WERE some of the people you let go. Free lunches were nice and a benefit but you cancelled that July 1, 2016 in another "cost-saving" tactic that you promised to replace with something else. And "bowling party" isn't it.

    Cons

    Recently laid off multiple key players including my team's manager. The department is now doomed as is the rest of the company since we're the only department that brings in ANY money or accounts plus is the only one that can seem to KEEP any accounts. All the over-paid "directors, vp, evp, or svps" seem to only lose any major accounts but point the blame to anyone else. Unfortunately they're the ones buddying up to the partners and plant gossip and negative MIS-information in their ears. There's no hope unless you're in the inner circle. They lost /let go of the only reason I've stayed here. I'm actively looking for a new job and now the rest of our department is too.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck. History keeps repeating itself and unfortunately you're not learning from it.


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Growing Pains"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Free lunch daily, nice facilities. Talented technical staff.

    Cons

    International expansion, growing pains. Constant shuffling of personnel and priorities make this a difficult environment to grow and achieve in. Very high turnover in staff, particularly sales. Talented junior tech staff paid very low entry wage.

    Advice to Management

    Strengthen support staff. Assist staff more with professional development. Compensate better for entry-level.



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