Spencer Ogden Reviews in London, England | Glassdoor

Spencer Ogden London Reviews

Updated April 24, 2017
51 reviews

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London, England (UK)

3.5
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Spencer Ogden Chief Executive Officer Bradley Lewington
Bradley Lewington
2 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The only limiter is your own ideas/ambition/hard-work (in 19 reviews)

  • Extremely upbeat work environment, bright colors, beautiful highly designed work space (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Compromised work-life balance at times (in 9 reviews)

  • The company tries to encourage a 'Wolf of Wall Street' vibe, which entails a lad culture and cut throat enviornment (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Spencer Ogden : Great culture = great reward"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Energetic and vibrant working environment, we all love coming into work!
    - Good commission scheme and the incentives are realistic and achievable for all employees (new starters / veterans) - use to be annually now they have added in quarterly incentives
    - Far from a micromanaging environment, although you are monitored the management really invest their time in providing constructive/positive feedback, especially for the trainees this gives them great confidence in their ability and will essentially help them develop and progress quickly
    - Clear career progression, we all know where we are and what needs to be done to reach the next step
    - Majority of the salesfloor are willing to help when I am unsure of something - I have found the environment to be very helpful (we all want to succeed and this is a part of our competitive environment).
    - Although a global organisation, it has this family feel as everyone gets on and will socialise after work (this is not option but it's nice to have the choice)
    - High performing: seeing each desk contribute to the success and growth of the company is rewarding and another reason as to why its a great place to work; we are all great at what we do

    Cons

    - It can be long hours and high expectations however this is part & parcel of a recruitment company that are on the rise and going places

    Advice to Management

    - Keep on top of your team, make them feel valued and the reward will come
    - Don't fall into the micromanaging trap, that is a thing of the past and we need to keep it that way to attract the best talent

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Apr 4, 2017 – Ops Director

    Thank you for your detailed review. Noted re our management culture which we've worked hard to refine over the last 12 months.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Any other company is better than SO."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Avoid at all costs for the sake of your mental health.
    I felt impassioned to write a review here after seeing all the marketing propaganda against negative reviews. All the negative reviews here are true!

    Cons

    Bulling management who treat junior members of the team with no respect. They run quarterly graduate recruitment drives but will not invest time or effort in your growth or development.

    Advice to Management

    Realise that employees are people not robots.


  3. "Great company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I can honestly say that working for SO has been a revelation. I thoroughly enjoy my role here and that in part is down to the people I work with. I feel valued and respected by my managers and colleagues alike and there's a real feeling of inclusion for everyone in the office, the culture as a whole is great. There's ample opportunity to progress your career and support and training is offered to make this happen, recognition is given where it's due and I think that's hugely important. The incentives are excellent, as are the staff perks; free fruit, end of month drinks and team lunches to name a few. I love coming to work and I think that really speaks for itself!

    Cons

    I'm yet to find one!

    Advice to Management

    No advice, just a note to say that I think the changes implemented since the start of the year have enhanced the business even further and I'm looking forward to the rest of 2017

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Mar 21, 2017 – Ops Director

    Thank you for your review and its great that some of the changes made at the start of the year are having an impact. We are committed to evolving and refining our culture whilst investing in our ... More


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  5. "Loved It"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place to be, work hard and you will be rewarded. All the resources you need are provided. Staff are treated with respect

    Cons

    Not everybody does well, but this is down to how much work you put in, like most recruitment companies. Hours can be slightly longer than average.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing a good job. KPIs are in place but sometimes do not need to be enforced. Call times are good.

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Feb 8, 2017 – Ops Director

    Thank you for your review.


  6. "Enjoyable Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun company with lots of opportunity if you work hard. Surrounded by driven and ambitious colleagues. Healthy internal competition amongst teams. Fun incentives and great office location.

    Cons

    High churn, long working hours and high pressure. To some these are cons but if you want to succeed these are expected.

    Advice to Management

    Stop posting photos of empty offices to attract new talent, focus on the people you have now and use their success as a marketing tool to attract new hires.

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Jan 9, 2017 – Ops Director

    Thanks for the review and really good point about focusing more on our people!


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Recruitment Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time

    Pros

    Large open plan office - fun office environment to be involved with - Lots of out of office activities organised be the management team.

    Cons

    Heavily KPI focused - Top achievers receive preferential treatment - commission structure very poor compared with other recruitment agencies in the industry

    Advice to Management

    Increase commission payout - treat all employees equally - Get rid of Bullhorn as the CRM - roll out Sales force or teamleader

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Jan 9, 2017 – Ops Director

    Thank you for your review. Recruitment by its very nature is a KPI focused job, similar to any in sales. Our commission scheme is among one of the most competitive in the market today. The ... More


  8. Helpful (2)

    "The grass (carpet) isn't always greener elsewhere! 3.5*"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Operations in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Operations in London, England (UK)
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company is less than a decade old which, for anyone who's worked in a long-established firm with set ways and the same faces looming at the top year after year, can be refreshing.
    I've been allowed (in parts, depending on manager) to work in a way that suits me and bring some of my own knowledge and experience from outside this company to my role. I also have been given freedom to express myself and not be reprimanded, in speech and in my style of dress (within reason!). On the surface, recruitment to those not in Sales can seem very same-y and bland, but I have met some great characters over the years at Spencer Ogden.

    Some of the managers have learned well from others' mistakes and successes and have worked really hard to turn the company from what at times felt like a struggling very small and unstructured business, to a much more professionally and ethically run firm with goals and a more inclusive attitude towards all staff.

    For consultants there are an abundance of incentives and targets to get on board with, some are achievable, some much much harder but something to work towards nonetheless. Bonus schemes (various) exist for most support staff in finance, operations etc. There is a chance to make decent working relationships here and being thrown in at the deep end like I was on arrival, can be very character-building!

    I haven't worked many places where those who are fresh out of Uni/first job can have the same opportunities without the CV to back it up, which can be positive and a good foot on the ladder. I also find that the 'culture' (changed a lot, still a good laugh and modern but at times has been perhaps a bit too 'lad' and driven by sales and not other teams) is a good way to get through your working day, with focus on fun as well as money-making and an upbeat and bright office.

    Cons

    I can't speak from a consultant's point of view, but I've been around them for long enough to understand a lot of their frustrations and witnessed changing management and super challenging KPIs they experience. I agree with some negative points made on the way the company used to be but I think this is changing and I believe I and others who have been here a while have had a hand in this.

    Nobody should think this is an easy industry or company to stroll into and make a name for yourself or walk away a 'baller'. I worked in O&G recruitment prior to this (large company) and it was just as hard at times.

    A lot of new people start and leave frequently, but this is a fact of recruitment. It's something that took me a while to get used to.

    Sometimes staff who have been at the company a while may miss out on perks newer joining staff are enjoying, in terms of pay brackets and incentives. I have sometimes relied on good friends at the company to look out for me and vice versa.

    Advice to Management

    Don't wait for something bad to happen for you to decide to take positive action. I feel this is happening now, but it has been reactive rather than proactive for years prior.
    Keep building on the need to make all staff feel included and this will benefit everyone. It is improving greatly and the fun factor need not be removed in the process!
    Incentives for back-office staff are just as important as those for Sales, even if they are not expensive or money-driven to achieve.

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Jan 10, 2017 – Ops Director

    Thank you for your well rounded review. Support services incentives is something we are looking at for 2017 alongside more benefits associated with tenure


  9. Helpful (7)

    "An honest review from a Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There once was a time where Spencer Ogden was rated really terribly on Glassdoor (around the time I started at the company) however I have noticed that the rating have really changed, and every negative review seem to have a slanderous comment falsifying everything that review has stated, from someone within the marketing team.

    So with this in mind, I wanted to write an honest review, outlining what actually happens within Spencer Ogden.

    Pros:
    It is true, the incentives can be great. If you're good. If you're not then it;s pretty rubbish, but that's normal. Now that I work in a company that's not so incentive driven, It's really nice to have every single employee appreciated and recognised. In Spencer Ogden this was not the case. You were only appreciated if you brought in a lot of money, which often was down to luck, having someone below you leave and taking all their business, or having other people in the office give you business. Or course some of it is down to hard work as well, but that's usually when you've been there a year +.

    The offices: yes, the offices are very "designed". Sometimes a bit gimmicky but clients do like it, and it does make it a nice atmosphere to work.

    Cons

    There have been some comments on a previous review stating that "This review is a mist of exaggerations and falsifications." - this is not strictly true, so I shall endeavour to confirm or deny the following:

    "Working hours 8-6" - not strictly true. The working hours are 8:30 - 6 (5 on a Friday) however if you turn up at 8:01 prepare to have a real telling off and the spanish inquisition as to why you didn't call to explain that the traffic was bad. If you leave at bang on 6 every day, do expect to have this brought up in a manager meeting at some point, asking why you aren't working hard enough.

    "if you don't make a placing of haven't hit your target in the week you are presented with a doughnut for 0" - not strictly true, this practice had been stopped by the time I started (Jun 2014) however this did happen for a good couple of years before I started, and stopped because it made someone cry (understandably). The term doughnut is still thrown around though if you haven't billed for the month. A throwback to the good old days.

    "You are bullied & teased - new starters get pranked in front of the whole office" - again not strictly true. Office pranks do happen and I personally did witness a number of new starters get called by their managers/team mates pretending to be a client with a job. That call was then recorded and sent around the office.

    "Drug Wolf of Wall Street Culture" - Now, I only knew of one person who took drugs at work, but I would not be surprised if many more did take them. They was a strong drug culture on the nights out with work, including the need at one Christmas party to for the bar to tell one of their employees to station themselves in the men's bathroom to continually wipe down the surfaces. Make of that what you will.

    "High turnover" - now this one is true. I was at the company a year and a half (leaving the end of 2015) and during that time, I started with 15 other grads and by the time I left there were only two other people remaining. Probably a quarter of the departed were fired by my calculations. However the two remaining people are doing very well. And they are lovely people.

    "call stats sent out 3 times a day for the whole office to see" - that is true. If you've done poorly, expect to be ridiculed for it.

    "power hour" - an hour where you're forced to stand in order to "create excitement". Now this is true, although it was stopped during the time I was there and only done maybe once a fortnight or something like that. It was just as horrible in its reduced capacity as it was when we did it every day. I never did any successful calls during that hour. I hated it.

    Some other things to consider:
    - the office is kept at a constant 16 decrees celsius, which did little to improve anyone's mood, and was particularly unfriendly unpleasant for women, who have a tougher time in the cold.
    - being a woman of non-Caucasian ethnicity, I did become the butt of many sexist and racist jokes.
    - Managers are very hit and miss. I had a truly wonderful manager when I first started at the company, and he was incredibly supportive and so selfless in his managerial style. He then left to make himself an amazing life elsewhere in the world, and I was stuck with a manager who knew nothing about my market, who cared only about herself and her billings, and was prepared to do anything for success. She subsequently took a lot of business that should have been shared out amongst the team, and I now have heard that she's since stepped down and not doing too great. So I guess she was never destined for a managerial role, but SO should have seen that. Or at least stopped it when people were quitting all around her (myself included).

    There were many other things that I didn't like about the company, but I appreciate that they're personal things and may come across "petty" and result in me receiving a character attack from the marketing team who are really trying to turn this glass door page down. However I do feel like I've covered the basics and I hope that I've given people enough information to know what kind of company they are getting themselves into.

    It's a great company for some, horrible for others. Just be prepared for a "lad" mentality and environment.

    Advice to Management

    Some managers in the company are incredible - most of which have been there for years and it's clear that they're well liked. Some of the others are really terrible. And you need to be able to see the warning signs of a terrible manager. Managers are supposed to light a fire within you, not under you. My first manager inspired me no end, my second sent me running to the hills.

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Oct 17, 2016 – Ops Director

    Thank you for your candid review and opinions. A well rounded review with some valid points. Key to note that its not our marketing team who write these responses but a board director who is involved ... More


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Worst Recruitment Agency to work for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    At first you will be wowed by the smart looking offices, you will then start to resent the fact you can never hear what your clients are saying on the phone or even what you are thinking. You will start to realize that the stylish designs of the offices are nothing but a cover up for what is essentially a terrible company.

    Company incentives and competitions are very good, however it does seem to depend on which team you are on to the quality and frequency of these.

    The dedicated training team are very good and really helpful.

    Cons

    The Senior Management is terrible in the most part, full of people who were either in the right place at the right time or who are friends with the right people. If these people were so good at being recruiters why in crunch times do you not get them back on the phones? Rather than have them stomping around the offices spurting useless tit-bits of information and pushing phone times and KPI's down your throat.

    Back office and accounts department are useless, the company puts in the awkward policies that may work in their overseas offices but ate mute here in North America and just cause recruitment consultants issues and make us look amateur to our clients.

    The treatment I witnessed of some fantastic recruiters when they were having a bad week/ month with a client drop out or candidate rejection was just awful. The behind closed door conversations and the back stabbing at this company was the worst I have seen at any company.

    Base salaries and commission schemes in North America are low/ average.

    Advice to Management

    Move away from your boys club mentality and be more open and honest with your staff.

    Vastly improve your back office functions.

    Actually talk to your staff do not assume, look at who is actually billing and who is just recycling contract to perms.

    LISTEN to your senior people and action

    Spencer Ogden Response

    May 3, 2016 – Ops Director

    Thank you for taking the time to submit a review. I am sorry the experience you had at SO was so different to the vast majority of staff who have worked in our very successful American offices. We ... More


  11. Helpful (18)

    "Awful - Read this"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Design of the Office. Nothing Else.

    Cons

    If you're reading this and considering accepting or applying for a position at this company, then think very carefully. Accepting a role at Spencer-Ogden was the worst decision I ever made.

    If you look at all the reviews on this website, they are all done by internal staff because they know that if they were to rely purely on the reviews of its previous staff, the company would be rated in the bottom 5%.

    I accepted a job with Spencer-Ogden straight out of University and was excited about the prospect of moving to London and kicking off my career in the city. Don't be fooled by all the bells and whistles dangled in front of you, they are there intentionally to divert your attention away from the awful conditions implemented by the company.

    - No relocation package (most decent grad jobs provide this)
    - Working hours: 8-6 (If you're not at your desk at 7:45 you are questioned, if you leave bang on 6 you are stared at)
    - If you don't make a placing or haven't hit your target in the week you are presented with a doughnut for 0
    - You are bullied & teased, that is just the culture (every new starter gets pranked from staff in the company about a potential placing. Everyone listens in and watches as you're humiliated)
    - Drug "Wolf of Wall Street" culture - they have even had a Wolf of Wall Street party
    - KPIS - (key performance indicators) aren't taken as such. If you don't hit your KPIs you will be sacked
    - Out of my grad group (11) only 2 of us were left after 2 weeks, either sacked or left.
    - Call stats sent out 3 times a day for the whole office to see (you're then called up on your performance)
    - Power hour at 10am. You're made to stand over your desk (not sit down) for an hour everyday. This hurts your back and is meant to get you "moving". Pretty outrageous tbh.

    Now you may be thinking "oh this guy obviously couldn't handle it, I can". Well, I thought the same and truth be told, if you're thinking that then take the position and see for yourself. This isn't the company for you if you want to grow, develop and learn. It is a sink or swim company looking to sap the life out of eager & hungry graduates and rinse them for every penny.

    If you value yourself and your development then take the time to look elsewhere. There are many more great companies out there looking for good quality candidates such as yourself, trust me, I know. I am now with a company who values me and its staff, I've been here over a year and don't plan on leaving.

    I can only give you my experience, but please, don't be fooled by all the glamour, glitter and bogus Glassdoor reviews.

    All the best.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your staff as people, not cattle.

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Mar 7, 2016 – Ops Director

    We are usually appreciative of well rounded reviews from either current employees or those who have moved on. This isn't one of those . This review is a mist of exaggerations and falsifications. This ... More


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