Sullivan Higdon & Sink Reviews | Glassdoor

Sullivan Higdon & Sink Reviews

Updated August 31, 2017
27 reviews

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3.3
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Ali Mahaffy and John January
4 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great People, Great Values"

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

    I have been working at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    GREAT LEADERSHIP: They've worked extremely hard to be approachable to their employees. This is most evident with where their "offices" are located - completely out in the open for anyone to drop by and talk with them.

    They pay attention to the details - how an employee's sick kid is doing, a joke from last week, upcoming office events, etc.

    CARING CULTURE: People here really care about each other. On my first day, I was introduced to every single person in the office, and people made an effort to come by my desk multiple times throughout that week.

    Since then, I've had great experiences overall - it feels much more like a small agency versus a mid-size one.

    Besides this, they have an awesome development coach that comes in once a quarter or more whenever needed. She sits down with each team and/or the agency and walks through real life problems like work miscommunication, team strength applications and how to learn from someone with a different personality.

    GREAT VALUES: "Hating sheep" is the name of the game here. But besides that, SHS holds everyone to a high standard, ethically, relationally and with their work.

    Yeah, it's not a perfect system. I don't always see people being accountable to each other and leadership, but it's a good standard to uphold.

    CAREER ADVANCEMENT: I've seen several people on here complaining about this only being a place to "start" your career. I'm honestly clueless what they mean there: I've been here less than a year and I've already received one pay increase and a major promotion.

    It's not rocket science. Do your job, talk with leadership if you're not happy where you're at, and go after it.

    Cons

    INCOME & BENEFITS: The pay and benefits are fairly average. As someone that's still relatively early in my professional career, I feel quite good with the pay I'm receiving, but I know some who tend to move on because they feel SHS isn't providing enough for them. My thoughts are if you're primarily in this career for the money, than SHS isn't for you.

    SOCIAL CLICKS: Like every marketing agency, people do tend to form smaller social "clicks" and don't always feel comfortable including others. This isn't something unique to SHS, but I thought I'd mention it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Seriously - this will continue to be a great place to work as long as you keep hiring awesome people and foster the values you've set in place.


  2. "Had hoped for better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Brand Manager
    Current Employee - Brand Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They like to have fun, want to be a cool place to work.

    Cons

    Not up to the times and don't run like an agency should. Projects are very slow. Trying to cultivate people more but it is slow moving.

    Advice to Management

    Standardize process . Don't get too far away from the people doing the work.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Bottom of the barrel."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Brand Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Assistant Brand Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This place attracts talent. SHS has some truly cool perks like beer thirty and a cool, chill culture. Sheep hater mentality is unique in the industry. The people here are the reason why you'd want to come join this team.

    Cons

    While they attract talent ... it's all short lived because they lose it quickly. A lot of talk and little action. Projects are left in limbo and fizzle out (remember the side business of Volcanic?). They don't value the talent their people bring to the table. They value young guns who will work for peanuts. Raises are a joke and bonuses are nonexistent. There's no clearly defined growth plan unless you are one of the chosen few handpicked by management to be a golden child. Then, and only then, will you be bred to take the very long, long journey to middle/upper management. Management also struggles to attract and maintain new business opportunities, which is the lifeblood of the agency world. A dedicated (and seasoned) new business team should be considered to ensure the security of the agency in the future.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate what you have when you have it. Because these sheep are going to get smart one day and flee the flock. With the new senior management regime, I hope you're willing to take calculated risks for the betterment of the agency. You owe it to the loyalists among you to make it happen.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Wichita Office and KC Office are Night and Day"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Wichita, KS
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work/life balance is fantastic. Within reason, you're free to come and go as you need to take care of personal things. Relaxed dress code, beer 30.

    Cons

    Anyone interviewing for the Wichita office shouldn't be fooled by the high ratings SHS has on this site. Most of the high ratings are being given to the KC office.

    The Wichita office has constant turnover, therefore there's never enough resources to get projects finished for clients.

    Clients and projects are being lost in the office and there's a lack of urgency from senior leadership to get any new business in the Wichita office. It seems like it's a matter of time before the Wichita office shuts its doors for good.


  5. "Very disappointing environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Service in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Account Service in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They have a fun office building in the Crossroads District in Downtown Kansas City. The office space is a very open environment where it should be easy to work with team members.

    Cons

    The management has no concept for onboarding a new employee. There's no chance for training or shadowing other team members before you have to start producing. This is especially critical to have a solid understanding of the client before you have to start presenting ideas and troubleshooting projects that aren't doing well. In addition, management gives poor advice on how to handle difficult client issues. They also don't support account management when that advice is taken and falls flat with the client. Management also has very little time to deal with the day-to-day issues. Instead, they are consumed with looking for new business at the expense of current clients.

    Advice to Management

    Don't bring in new people unless you are prepared to support them. A sink or swim approach does not lead to a helpful environment and hurts client relationships as well.


  6. "Home."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Brand Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Assistant Brand Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People spend their entire careers looking for a place like SHS. The people are smart, quirky, motivated and collaborative. Everyone has each others' back, both within individual teams and overall. I'm proud to say that over half of my very close friends are folks I've met at SHS.

    If you want a place where you will be challenged daily and rewarded for hard work and individual expression (both financially and in responsibilities) this is the place for you. If you're not ready to put in overtime and get a little messy (but have a blast doing it), look elsewhere. Work hard, play hard, prosper.

    P.S. Our co-CEOs rock. Hard.
    P.P.S. I was not paid to say that.

    Cons

    The free beer we get on Fridays isn't craft. Single tear.

    On a more serious note, bad hires happen. It's a fact of life. The issue is when bad hires are allowed to stay on waaaayyy past their expiration date. We're not cats; 9 lives aren't necessary. SHS could do a better job of being *less* understanding/forgiving when performance and attitude is truly poor and is bringing others down.

    Advice to Management

    Cut your losses. Sometimes people just aren't right for the job-- whether it's a culture clash, lack of required skills or all-around active disengagement, it affects everyone else, and makes the true hard workers feel less valued. The same goes for less-than-profitable ventures. Sometimes the clients we take on don't seem to jive with our visions for the future. Let's put ourselves out there and jump in on some higher-risk pitches rather than grabbing for the low-hanging fruit. Let's also cut out small, experimental departments that have shown little to no growth or profitability over the past 2+ years. You know what I'm talking about. It's not personal.


  7. "Love SHS, Hate Sheep"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work at SHS and I absolutely LOVED it.

    From day 1, I was welcomed with open arms and felt as if I was apart of the greater SHS family. Are you looking for a smaller-mid size agency with the opportunity to work on larger scale accounts? If so, then SHS is the place for you.

    SHS is full of the most creative, enthusiastic, pure of heart and hard working employees that I have ever been around. We came to work hard every day but had a blast along the way - working hard was never so much fun!

    Each day you will challenged to be better than you were the day before. And you will be expected to hold your peers to that same standard.

    I love SHS with all my heart and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to work there. Had I not moved across the county for personal reasons I would still be there.

    I will always hate sheep and I will always love SHS.

    Cons

    none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none. none!!!!

    Advice to Management

    Keep being awesome! you guys rock. I couldn't think of a better tandem. Love you guys!!

  8. "Great Experience and Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Service Intern in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Account Service Intern in Wichita, KS
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sullivan Higdon & Sink (Less than a year)

    Pros

    SHS is like a family, and everyone knows each other at the Wichita location. Employees are passionate about their work, and they participate in a vivid corporate culture. If you are considering an internship with SHS, you will become an important contributor to the team. One thing that I really appreciated about my summer internship was that I was valued and held to a high standard.

    Cons

    Working in an agency requires working at a fast pace and meeting quick deadlines. You might expect a little stress on the job, but it's nothing that the corporate culture won't compensate.


  9. "Great atmosphere and opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I want to work somewhere that I can enjoy going every day, use my brain, have good conversations to solve a problem and not feel so stressed out that I can't leave work at work and go enjoy my non-work life. I can do all of those things at SHS. Great people working on a team together, and opportunities to make up new ideas to try out.

    Cons

    Many agencies have beers on Fridays. I wish we had more than Miller Lite and Bud Heavy. How's that for a con? Truly, I enjoy working here, so I don't have much negative to say.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the management style, forward thinking and trust they put into the teams and individuals. They share a lot of information with us that might not be public at other companies, and they seem to want us all to enjoy working here.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "The only thing good is the people."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Brand Manager in Olathe, KS
    Former Employee - Brand Manager in Olathe, KS

    I worked at Sullivan Higdon & Sink full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people, especially the entry and mid level ones, are incredible. Management doesn't realize how awesome these folks truly are and as a result, can't retain them for longer than a year or so.

    Cons

    The decision makers invest in the wrong things. A lot of money was poured into a program called Volcanic which is not yet profitable after a few years. They've bit more than they can chew because they don't know how to market it and leverage to existing and potential clients. But they're in too deep to change momentum (or to admit they're wrong). Benefits are lackluster. The hours are rough depending on the client. But the people made up for it during my time there.

    Advice to Management

    The turnover rate lately has been extraordinarily high. Take a moment and consider the reasons why. Employees need to be made the priority.

    This is a great place to start your career. But with your current program, you make it impossible to advance your career here. Reviews are nonexistent and other than personal drive, little structure is given on how to advance. So if someone is happy being a junior/associate/assistant level for three-five years before being recognized as being worthy of advancing, you're going to attract that exact kind of complacent talent.


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