Swirl Reviews | Glassdoor

Swirl Reviews

Updated January 4, 2019
47 reviews

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3.4
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Martin Lauber
20 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "There are some nice employee appreciation events such as on-campus happy hours" (in 4 reviews)

  • "Work life balance is great on some accounts, you just have to get lucky" (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • "Cons are more apart of the industry: being in client service, there will be some late nights, some stressful deadlines, etc" (in 3 reviews)

  • "Truly some of the biggest snake oil salesmen in San Francisco" (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Amazing place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Management team that is very genuine, caring and places priority on people.

    Cons

    Presidio location is amazing but may be a difficult commute for some.


  2. "Great Place To Work!"

    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 Swirl full-time

    Pros

    -Great work culture
    -Great media department

    Cons

    -Lower salary than other agencies in the city

  3. "Media Strategist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    the culture is great and leadership is supportive

    Cons

    they could compensate their employees better.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Terrible leadership team"

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

    I have been working at Swirl full-time

    Pros

    Very cool Presidio office location

    Cons

    The creative leadership team is clueless. Truly some of the biggest snake oil salesmen in San Francisco. No innovation, just all talk. If you're looking for creative career growth, don't come here.

    Advice to Management

    Agencies are (thankfully) becoming a thing of the past. Give up.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Pros and Cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Swirl hires great people who are fun to be around. There are some nice employee appreciation events such as on-campus happy hours. Decent benefits and a beautiful office. Work life balance is great on some accounts, you just have to get lucky.

    Cons

    Little room for personal growth based on current client set. Budgets typically don't allow for innovative or interesting work. Management does not seem clued in to employee needs. No formal training programs are offered. Swirl is great at letting entry-level employees get their feet wet, but oftentimes it feels like in order to save money these employees are given way too much responsibility, resulting in large mistakes, make-goods, and late nights covering for your coworkers.

    Advice to Management

    Be willing to pay people what they deserve in order to retain talent. It's great that some team members get to dive into the deep end, but they need more oversight from senior team members.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work at."

    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 Swirl full-time

    Pros

    Some of the most talented and down to earth people I've ever worked with.

    Cons

    Upper management not transparent on the status and direction the company is moving in.


  7. "Loved this place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Swirl full-time

    Pros

    The culture at Swirl is unmatched. Long hours but the people make it worth it. The Co-CEOS are a dynamic duo whose unique collaboration makes the agency successful on many levels.

    Cons

    High turn over. Focus on investing in the talent you already have.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Ups and Downs All Around"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Incredible people to work with; Swirl does a great job of hiring people who will contribute to teams, develop friendships, and embrace each other's different, quirky natures.
    - Beautiful work environment; if you can make it out to the Presidio easily, its a gorgeous location (minus the lack of food options available).
    - Snacks; the kitchen has plenty
    - Company 'mission' or 'core values' focus on kind, talented, hard working team members, and aim to create a 'family' or 'community' feeling amongst the company - something rare in many ad agencies
    - Fun events; happy hours, quarterly parties, holiday events - they even try to celebrate national donut day...
    - Interesting range of clients; if you are lucky you will find yourself immersed in the best ones, fortunately this agency is not pigeon-holed into one type of work
    - Hours are pretty fair (some long nights, some short days, flexible work arrangements for many)
    - Great benefits (good healthcare + coverage, holiday time off, outside of work clubs/sports/activities etc.)
    - Pathways to career development are pretty robust (but you need to take the initiative first!)

    Cons

    - Lack of transparency from higher management; which leads to employee uncertainty, mistrust, and general trying to jump ship
    - Poor integration between departments (and often times a lack of emphasis or support on a whole department..)
    - Can be difficult to get there (unless you have a car and want to pay for parking, which Swirl does not reimburse)
    - Occasional 'Surprise!' Monday layoffs
    - Quite a few terrifying clients (also some really great ones!)
    - Insistence that everybody eats 'healthy' (stop removing the M&Ms from the trail mix..)
    - Lack of resources; never enough people to do what you need to get done
    - Clashes between upper management (why does nobody agree here?)
    - General feeling that the company does not know which direction it is going in, what clients it might secure or how those accounts are doing, occasional money woes that result in cuts in different areas of agency spending, and what sometimes feels like a high turnover rate

    Overall - you can do REALLY well or REALLY poorly at Swirl - and it all depends on where you land. What team you're on, how your direct report handles their team, what department you're in, what clients you're on, how well Swirl is doing business and financial wise at THAT particular moment, how you bond with co-workers, how far you live from the Presidio, whether you enjoy trail mix with no M&Ms, etc etc etc.

    So go in, interview, get a feel for it - but make sure you set up your expectations, needs, wants early on in the game. Know that you may land a role at a place that's awesome for you, or you may be one of the unlucky miserable folk. If you make certain you've prioritized and communicated -from the outset- what you're looking for in a company, in a role etc. then you can know what you're getting yourself into, and make the best of Swirl!

    Advice to Management

    Please be more transparent with your employees. We know when you lost an account, when you've lost money, when higher management stopped showing up for work.. Transparency and honesty helps everyone feel like we're in this together.

    Make sure you value and support each department equally - so the work in the agency feels like a shared, team mission.

    And stop giving us M&M-free trail mix.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Needs serious improvement"

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

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

    Pros

    The location is phenomenal. A lot of great perks. Some of the people are smart and easy to get along with.

    Cons

    Employees are dramatically underpaid considering how much work we put into the company. Also, management needs a lot of help. A new media VP was just hired and the reviews from their previous company speak for what kind of "talent" they are recruiting into these high-level roles.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Love it here"

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

    Pros

    The people (enough cannot be said about this wonderful group of individuals), the team support, beautiful and quiet location, tons of perks (great health insurance, happy hours, snacks), massage Fridays, an HR department that helps organize fun clubs and activities.... The list goes on

    Cons

    Some late nights, can be high stress

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent with what is going on at a high level. Communication is key and keeping your employees in the dark does not help anyone