SmithBucklin Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

SmithBucklin Chicago Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
106 reviews

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Chicago, IL

3.6
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SmithBucklin CEO Matt Sanderson
Matt Sanderson
16 Ratings

106 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work/life balance; Good benefits; ability to work on many different activities (in 8 reviews)

  • Experience that in many cases someone so green would not get the opportunity to learn (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is non-existent (in 20 reviews)

  • No work life balance for not enough money (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Love the employee benefits!"

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

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

    Pros

    There are some wonderful benefits to working at SmithBucklin. The employee stock option, scholarship program, all the learning outlets they provide is better than any other place I've worked. I recommend working here!

    Cons

    All the pros weigh out the cons in my case.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Enjoy the work and the company"

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

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

    Pros

    The company has created a culture that allows for continually personal development and growth. I was able to start at entry level and through the challenging and engaging work I was given receive several promotions.
    Not only are the people that work here caring on a personal level but they are passionate about their work. I've also enjoyed the opportunity to meet leaders in the different industries and from across the world that we serve.

    Cons

    Due to the nature of the work, it's not a 9-5 job. There are times when you have to work evenings and weekends.


  3. "Like a family"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Dedicated, well-intentioned, hard-working employees are greatly valued. In return, you are treated like a member of a tightly-knit family. The people here actually care about you. The work is fulfilling, meaningful and challenging. You will never be bored if you have initiative and drive.

    Cons

    Like any family (and any company), it has its issues. Acknowledge them and doing what you can to help resolve them. This is how it works in a family.

    Advice to Management

    never stop listening


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good experience if you don't burn out"

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

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

    Pros

    - great people
    - the amount of experience you'll get here is pretty impressive. you'll get to try your hand at a lot of different tasks.
    - nice office location

    Cons

    - workloads are heavy and most employees seem to burn out within a couple years
    - on that note, this company is always hiring because there is a retention problem
    - staffing is too lean for the amount of work that needs to be done
    - blame culture is alive and well
    - unnecessarily high-pressure environment from manufactured stress
    - little to no training for employees
    - my supervisor was the worst I've ever had
    - microwaves were disgusting


  6. Helpful (2)

    "I really like it here"

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

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

    Pros

    - I work with a bunch of highly-motivated, intelligent people that enjoy what they do
    - It's rewarding work that actually has an impact in the real world
    - Each day offer new challenges, but I enjoy that and it has pushed me to grow personally and professional

    Cons

    - Like all companies there is some turnover here, but because of how closely you work with peers throughout the company on a daily basis, when a colleague leaves it can be a real bummer.

    Advice to Management

    - Make an effort to find more ways to solicit feedback and innovative ideas from employees
    - Continue to be transparent


  7. "Model is not sustainable"

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

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

    Pros

    If you are right out of college you can get about 5 years of experience in one year. However, you will be worked like a dog, underpaid and routinely thrown under the bus. In fact, you'll be under the bus more than at your actual home, given the enormous number of hours you will be expected to put in.

    Cons

    Very outdated business model. Hire people right out of school and get them to work an average of 50 to 60+ hours a week. Bill the client associations a very inflated hourly rate for these young people, but pay the staff based on 40 hours (and at a very low rate). Ka-ching -- put the rest toward the executive bonus pool. Forget all the talk about employee-owned; you'd need to be there for years, and at a highly compensated level, for that to even matter. And yes, every honest (i.e., bad) review is followed by a bunch of hilariously fawning 5-star reviews written by SB's HR and PR flaks. Especially loved the one about "it's like a family." Yeah, the kind of family where you call DCFS!

    Advice to Management

    Revise the model or you will eventually fail big time.


  8. Helpful (4)

    ""Not for everyone" is an understatement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - MCS Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - MCS Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SmithBucklin full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You'll get valuable experience very quickly at this company, which is great experience for recent graduates. Co-workers are generally kind and hard-working.

    Cons

    Pay is low for the city and even lower for the amount of work that's expected. Turnover is high and expected. A lot of the (fake) reviews on this site warn that SmithBucklin "isn't for everyone." They should really say what they mean: You're a workhorse when you're here, and you're either okay with that or you're not. (Most people aren't.)

    Advice to Management

    Departure after departure after departure in MCS. Your employees are miserable, but you're not doing anything about it, are you?


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Get the Experience & Go"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -A lot of high-visibility work that you can add to a portfolio
    -Do a lot of work/have responsibility that is above your pay-grade (this is a pro because you get decent experience very quickly...but also, obviously a con)

    Cons

    -Unbearable blame culture that is completely unnecessary
    -None of the executives are even experienced in their backgrounds. AKA, none of the marketing executives even have a marketing background
    -Everyone acts like they are there to help you when they absolutely are not
    -Everyone acts like they care about the client when it's all about just covering yourself
    -Management has no idea how to manage nor do they value their employees. They are unorganized and disloyal. When they do organize themselves, they immediately take out all consequences of disorganization on their subordinates.
    -No work life balance for not enough money
    -No training on any of the tools used
    -No asking for help without being shamed

    Advice to Management

    Please just start treating your employees with respect. If you're going to throw us under the bus, at least be nice about it. We are not robots.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "I stay here because of the career opportunities"

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

    I have been working at SmithBucklin full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits including PTO and a scholarship program are amazing - I have used the scholarship program twice toward my masters degree. The people are genuinely concerned about my well being and helping me grow my career. I have received four promotions since I joined the company and I've worked in two units and on multiple different clients. As long as I keep getting opportunities there's no reason for me to leave. The pay is fair and I also get a decent bonus in December.

    Cons

    If you want to leave at 5pm each day and have a stress free life this isn't the place for you, before I came here I worked for two other companies and the turnover was much higher. My supervisor and unit head are always asking me how I'm doing and trying to support me when things are tough or it's a crazy busy period.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in more technology platforms that enable better collaboration. Also why do we still use internet explorer for Recording time. That's crazy and so outdated.


  11. Helpful (7)

    "Don't do it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SmithBucklin (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good coffee
    Convenient office location
    Nice office environment (aesthetics)
    No shortage of office supplies (the good kind too!)

    Cons

    The environment, the created sense of urgency for every task, overthinking ever single task and meeting after meeting after meeting. Such a waste of day. I came to SB to work part time because it fit my schedule. I was older and much more experienced than everyone I worked with, including my manager. Unless you know the right person or kiss up to the right people, their are no careee opportunities other than what you were hired in to do. HR places lots of emphasis on titles and it trickles down to the employees. Managers and Directors treat their employees awful and rank was regularly thrown in your face. They love to hire new grads who have little to no experience in the work force because it's easier for them to manipulate them. Do not listen to the other reviews, it IS expected of you to work on weekends or after hours. The pay is laughably low and the benefits are terrible. But again for a new grad, anything with a paycheck looks good.

    Advice to Management

    Find some new people, stop assigning the same people to different associations and giving no one else a chance. HR needs to be more involved with employee satisfaction. Many younger associates are scared to speak up when they are being treated poorly. And for the love of god, please take a look at who your core executives are. If you have 3 or more employees under the same person quit within a week of each other, you might want to look closer at the person managing them. The CEO Matt is a genuinely good person but he's very blinded by his relationships with certain people.


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