I have been working at Verndale full-time (More than 10 years)
I have a unique perspective on Verndale because I have been working here for almost 15 years. I may be the leader of development now, but the majority of my time has been spent working on the front lines on projects. I'm not a partner and my investment is due to the time and energy and passion I have put into it. Am I objective? Perhaps not. But nobody writing reviews here is, and I think hearing from someone who has been here for as long as I have is ultimately far more useful than someone who gave it a shot for 6 months and gave up. It breaks my heart that a handful of people who have reviewed Verndale could say only negative things. If they truly couldn't find positives to go along with their negatives, then you seriously should disregard their review entirely, because it isn't honest.
1. If you are willing to work hard for an idea that you care about, you can absolutely make a difference and affect change. Whether it be a recommendation for a new technology, an idea about a strategy on a project, or snacks in the kitchen, people here will listen. The key is that YOU need to own it as well. If you are going to complain about something, then bring a solution to the table and Verndale will do something about it.
2. The people who work here are highly intelligent, skilled, humble and most importantly, deeply care about the work and the other people. And this absolutely includes the management. Every decision I make is in the best interest of the people in my group first and foremost.
3. The benefits are solid and compensation is competitive. Verndale is always on the lookout for new benefits that can show their appreciation. Contrary to other reviews, raises and promotions ARE common for those who have earned them. I think if one of the other reviewees did not get a raise/promotion, it most likely was because of their own performance.
4. Amazing clients. I remember the first clients I worked on with Verndale: Small Business Association of New England, PI Worldwide, Boston Athletic Association, Rewarding Work, Statewide MLS. Those clients and projects had their challenges and merits and I would never discount them. But when people asked me what websites I worked on, they typically didn't recognize the clients. NOW, it is truly awesome to say we work with SeaWorld, Stanley Black and Decker, Honeywell Aerospace, L'Oreal, Seminole Gaming, Carnival Cruise Lines, Ohio State, VW, Honda, just to name a few. Verndale is a serious player here and it is exciting.
5. Verndale builds trust and real relationships with our clients. Remember those first clients I mentioned above? Verndale is still doing active work with some of them! 15 years later! Does every relationship work out? Of course not, every project has its challenges, no amount of planning or skilled work can get around that. However Verndale finishes the job, no matter what it takes. They own all of the challenges and help clients overcome their own internal challenges. They do it together. And our clients respect us for that.
6. The work is challenging, fast-paced and the projects complex. Yes, that is a Pro. We work our tails off at Verndale. We also strive to work smart so that we can minimize the 'challenges' and laser focus on the areas that deserve it. I learn several new and interesting technologies/platforms/skills on every project that I work on.
7. The partners are inspiring. They have poured their hearts and souls into Verndale. I've watched them do it. They navigated Verndale through the tech bubble burst of the early 2000s on sheer will and all the ups and downs that have come since then.
Nobody and no company is perfect. Verndale is no exception to that rule. It's not easy to grow as they have, to take the work they are doing, and the clients for which they are doing it, to the next level. Everything you learn is based on going down at least a few wrong paths before figuring it out and getting on the right path (or at least the best one for now). Every developer should understand that fact well. Our management team is open to seeing the flaws and committed to working tirelessly on every single one of them.
1. Turnover does happen. Some periods have more and some have less. As others have said, part of that is agency life. Some people just can't hack the periods that are fast-paced and stressful. I can't deny that some of it is because of mismanagement of situations. But each one of those situations comes with a lesson learned and I can promise you that Verndale didn't get to where they are now because they ignored those lessons. They OWN those lessons.
2. Verndale has struggled in the past with scheduling for projects. When you have a slew of projects coming down the pipeline with moving start dates and moving launch dates, and a big group of people with various skillsets, those don't all magically align. There were times where bad choices were made and I can see why people then got a perception of being just 'resources'. But Verndale has been working really hard to make sure that doesn't happen anymore. For every project that comes up, they analyze the needs and the skills it will entail and are prioritizing who would be a great fit and would enjoy the project, instead of who is 'available'. A big part of my job now is doing this and it matters immensely to me.
3. There has often been a necessity to sink or swim (although everyone has always been given ample time to learn to swim). People have had to learn both skills and internal processes on the job and in the project. But Verndale recognizes that is something that isn't beneficial for the business nor for the new employee. They have new programs in place now (not at some indeterminate time in the future but right NOW) that are helping to solve this issue. As I mentioned before, Verndale does care about these issues and is working hard to solve them.
4. Verndale has allowed some clients to 'take advantage' of them. In the services business, the customer is always right. They want to make their clients happy. And unfortunately there are people out there who take advantage of that. They are learning to say 'no' if it is appropriate. They still haven't mastered it. But Verndale knows that they need to and are working diligently to be able to back up their reasons so they can set the correct expectations early on and be firm with clients.
5. When Verndale was a smaller organization, they were also a lot younger. With youth comes inexperience. They used to focus on bringing in younger people, it seemed easier. They've realized that easier in the short term is not necessarily good for the long term. It is 100% worth it to pay for someone who is experienced, mature, stable and knows what they want. They want great people who are in it for the long haul.
Advice to Management
When working in a fast-paced industry such as ours, it is easy to lose track of what Verndale is accomplishing NOW, by being distracted with what is coming down the line. Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Continue to make it a priority to celebrate the successes and the people who made them a reality.
We are nothing without the amazing people who work for us. Continue to put them first no matter what, even over clients if the situation arises. Prioritize the benefits that mean the most for them, including career advancement and education. Listen to their recommendations on how to better their projects, how to improve work life, and their requests for the type of work they love.
Don't settle for B level people who just work hard. Aim for all of your employees to be top notch A-game stunning colleagues, who work smart, are team players, own their decisions, act on their ambitions without the need for hand-holding, and are passionate about what they do.
I worked at Verndale full-time (More than a year)
Verndale is working hard to simultaneously grow, optimize itself, and stay competitive in a very difficult industry right now. On the positive side, this means that if you are proactive and good at what you do, you will have opportunities to work on awesome (and in some cases high-profile) projects, advance if you apply yourself, create your own role, and contribute meaningfully to the organization. The people are also generally great, I certainly made some friends I will hold on to for quite some time.
Change happens quickly and frequently at Verndale as the company continues to grow and try to find new ways to do things. This can create a hectic-ness and inconsistency that makes it difficult in some departments to feel like you have a definite set of things you are working on and towards that you can focus on. The company also has a tendency to over-process itself, applying the rigorous structures that clients appreciate to internal ideas and initiatives in ways that can be stifling. Finally, there is a bit of a sense of crony-ism among the executive team and those they work with regularly that can be alienating.
Advice to Management
Focusing less on growth and more on stability for a while will go a long way to setting the stage for the future and for happy employees. Also moving away from thinking about the company in terms of the "inner circle" and everyone else on the part of the executive team would create a more welcoming environment where people feel like they are more appreciated and part of the team.
I worked at Verndale full-time (More than a year)
If you're ok completing mundane tasks with an easy paycheck, this place could be good for you. But if you strive to take on more interesting projects, you should look elsewhere.
There's an abundant amount of VP's who have a complete lack of knowledge in industry trends and technology, making it an uphill battle to transition them into an actual technology company, and not a web marketing company from 2001.
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I have been working at Verndale (More than a year)
It's a pretty unique place in that there is a ton of opportunity to do really cool stuff and learn a lot pretty quickly if you're willing to dive right in to the deep end. There is a lot of room to have a very significant impact on the company.
Management is generally open to change and willing to try something new if you can present a better way to do things. They're very committed to making the company the best it can be and are for the most part good about transparency.
The office has a very collaborative feel. People are almost always ready and willing to help however they can.
They're great about things like working from home, time off, in-office perks (dogs, beer, lots of food, etc.).
The work is going to be hard. There is a lot of great stuff going on but no one is going to hold your hand and show you the way. You have to dig in on your own and take the initiative.
Not everyone is cut out for that so there is some quick turnover with people who discover it isn't for them.
They have the classic problems of a growing company, where there are tons of things they need to get to and only so much time/people available to do it. That means some things naturally get pushed down the timeline, sometimes it feels indefinitely.
The office is in an up-and-coming part of South Boston but at the moment it's not very nice and there isn't much useful stuff in the immediate area. There are some big plans to build up the area and you're a short drive from some really nice areas.
Advice to Management
Be as transparent as possible. It helps to see what's going on and why things are being done a certain way.
Make training/advancement options more clear so people know what is expected of them.
Access to great technology.
Easygoing corporate culture, so long as you understand the expectations.
Family friendly management.
The agency model means you get to work for an array of clients on different things. New challenges all the time - great for people who can't get enough learning.
Lots of really talented and motivated folks on staff.
Transparency from top management around profitability (EBITDA).
Corporate goal of creating a "partnership" with clients, a LTR if you will.
Company continues to grow and evolve.
Well thought out and implemented WFH/remote strategy.
It's an agency. There are billable hours targets.
There are client driven deadlines, some of which can be overly ambitions, but you DO have say in what can be accomplished and on what timeline.
There are times when you are approaching deadlines where the culture dictates that you work long hours to meet the goals.
Company continues to grow and evolve. Evolution means change, and not always to your liking.
Advice to Management
Be up front when hiring about the agency model and what it can mean. I worked in the industry before and understood the demands. It can be tough. I've seen folks come and go who really didn't "get" and really didn't like the whole deadline driven agency model thing. It's not for everybody.
Keep up the transparency on the financials. In this industry, understanding the cash flow helps you understand your income potential.
Continue the controlled growth, and continue to be candid about what that can mean. The culture of a small firm is different from that of a medium firm, and so on. Prepare folks for that in quarterlies.
I have been working at Verndale full-time (More than a year)
Verndale is an awesome place to work. The culture is transforming, the people are passionate and the actual work is top notch. It's great to work in an environment of go-getters, where innovation and creativity is highly encouraged. There are many perks, but personally the most rewarding one is being a part of a team that cares so deeply about the work they do, as well as how they can help to make other co-workers' jobs easier. The thought leaders at Verndale are brilliant, approachable and so passionate about his or her practice area.
The focus on technologies can be some what swayed, however, leadership is addressing that issue as well as every issue that comes forth from employees. There is open communication and transparency, so employees have insight into what is going on beyond the day to day.
Advice to Management
Continue to keep up with cultural events that have been taking place more recently. Keep encouraging creativity and innovation. Continue to listen to your employees' needs, because they are the heart of what we do!
I have been working at Verndale (More than 3 years)
Verndale is an amazing company to work for and is a great fit for those who are go-getters and want to grow and learn. The opportunities for career growth are plentiful. The work is exciting. The people are super fun and intelligent. Managers are very clearly invested in their employees. All in all, Verndale fosters a great environment of collaboration and there are learning opportunities with every project.
Sometimes the lack of diverse technologies can be a challenge, but management has recognized the need to add new technologies and expertise across the landscape so this should be changing.
Because of company growth sometimes the client work load can be a bit much but that's typical for any organization that is growing and expanding.
Advice to Management
Keep doing what you are doing - the investment in management training, the culture and open communication isn't unnoticed.
I worked at Verndale (More than a year)
Verndale has a great culture and very smart, hard working, fun employees. Like a typical tech company, there's beer, free food, dogs, and company outings. Also like a typical tech company, you get thrown into the fire pretty quickly and have to learn to fend for yourself. This is great in the sense that you learn a ton, have independence to make decisions, and are rarely bored.
In my experience, hard work is not necessarily praised or called out (because you're expected to do whatever you need to in order to produce quality work), but that doesn't mean it goes unnoticed. I received fair promotions and raises, although I would say that you need to advocate for yourself and tell your managers what you expect in terms of advancements and salary increases. They're not going to come knocking on your door with raises. You may need to push for a defined career path and incremental raises, but it will typically be well received.
Because Verndale combines strategy, creative, and technology work, there is an incredible amount of knowledge and experience to be gained. The client work can be exciting and innovative at times (or stale and boring, depending on your team/budget).
The management team is very open to new ideas, processes, and tools, which is ideal for those who enjoy improving their department/organization and working on internal initiatives.
A lot is expected of employees, which is alternately empowering and stressful, but I did find that I grew much more confident and knowledgeable with each hurdle I was pushed to overcome.
As mentioned above, you are thrown into the fire right off the bat and forced to sink or swim. This can be incredibly stressful, and while you learn a tremendous amount, the lack of training and support can make the work overwhelming. You're expected to work as much as you need to to meet deadlines, so the work/life balance is not great. There are periods of downtime, but due to turnover and staffing problems, employees are often overallocated. I generally worked 50-70 hours per week.
A general sentiment is that the Sales team and senior management will do anything to get the sale, including promising unrealistic budgets and timelines without assigning additional resources, lowering rates, or offering support. This leads to poor team morale, as team members feel like they're set up to fail right from the get-go. Especially because the team has no input into the sales process and, again, is faced with an unsupportive management team, who is fully aware that the terms of the contract were unachievable.
While not necessarily Verndale's fault, many of the clients are disrespectful and rude to the teams. This is a general "vendor" problem, but in my experience, the Verndale management team makes no effort to rectify problems, even when issues of unprofessionalism are raised by multiple team members. That left a bad taste in my mouth, as the money and potential reference were valued much more than employee satisfaction.
As many other reviewers have mentioned, management is young. This means that they're generally fun people to hang out with that don't take things too seriously, but it also means that your manager doesn't usually have the experience to advise you appropriately when needed.
Resource and budget management need to be matured. There is a Traffic team that manages resourcing, but due to turnover and a general lack of staffing, the resources assigned to a project often can't start when needed, which is a major pain point, especially because timelines often are immovable.
Advice to Management
Invest in formalized employee training and continued education (such as certifications). This will help both you and the employee, and will make employees feel valued rather than feeling like replaceable cogs in a machine.
I worked at Verndale (Less than a year)
This isn't the worst place to work. You could definitely do much worse.
Hard chargers are generally rewarded and promoted.
It's a good place to cut your teeth and get experience.
Free snacks, drinks, and Friday lunch and beer/wine
Management tries to care, but...
Management is in over it's head.
Incompetent "hard-chargers" in key operational positions steer the company from one half baked initiative to another.
Management policies and genuine attitudes perpetuate a negative, adversarial, and antagonistic operational dynamic between employees, offices, departments, and clients. This is probably the biggest issue that prevents any real progress from being made and contributes directly to the employee and client satisfaction problems.
Egos, arrogance, and/or blind denial prevent the recognition of real problems or their effective resolution.
Sr. Management historically puts more emphasis on its sales and marketing efforts and much less on the quality and merit of it's core operations, inevitably setting clients and employees up for future disappointment due to the organization's inability to deliver.
Advice to Management
Stop bouncing from one half baked initiative to another. Focus on your employees and let them focus on your clients. Stop getting in the way.
I have been working at Verndale full-time
Verndale is very ambitious and motivated organization. Since i have been at the organization, I have seen continual (mostly positive) growth of both the clients and the team. As we have moved into the enterprise space over the past several years, we have been able to bring on board some of the most talented and inspiring team members to date. If you have ambition and are willing to work for it, you truly can have an impact to how your team and the business work, much more so than any other place I have worked. The leadership team always has an open door policy for new ideas that help improve the organization, and people are well rewarded for their contributions to making us a better company.
Growth in any organization comes with growing pains. Verndale is no different. The work isn't easy, and anyone who works in professional services knows the clients aren't always easy either. If you can keep with the pace of the team and the clients, you will learn a ton from people who care about what they do.
Advice to Management
Be careful not to overreact to every issue that disgruntled people bring up. Don't pay too much heed to comments from people that don't like the snacks or lunch you bring in for them. If that is the most important thing they have to say, they probably aren't focused enough on the team and the work. There are going to continue to be people who love working here, and others that do not, and that is ok. The main thing is creating a strong team that really wants build great things together. Everything else falls into place much easier if that is your foundation.
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