Catalyst Online Reviews
50% would recommend to a friend
(67 total reviews)
63% approve of CEO
Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "Senior leadership has no direction and is making it up as they go along." (in 5 reviews)
- "4. Low Salary and absolutely brutal conditions that keep employees overloaded with work." (in 5 reviews)
- "Low pay and Infrequent promotion periods" (in 4 reviews)
- "The leadership team was actually pleased that we only lost 30% of our staff last year." (in 3 reviews)
- "Total lack of effective management, they are too busy bickering with each other to lead their teams." (in 3 reviews)
Found 67 of over 70 reviews
Updated 30 Jul 2022
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- 1.010 Dec 2014Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
There's a good chance you'll work on some big clients, which is a great resume builder. You get to see how other sides of the media business work outside of search and social. Work/life balance is good only if you don't care about being guilted into staying late (and if your team is somewhat competent). The job titles are also severely fluffed up at least one or two levels, which fools a lot of recruiters. But that can also be a con (see below).
In 2 years working in the NY office, I can honestly say that Catalyst is the most poorly run company I've ever encountered. Senior leadership has no direction and is making it up as they go along. They merged all Group M search and social with no plan in place, which led to understaffing, mass confusion, budget cuts, and caused anyone with any sense to jump ship. Doesn't help that HQ is in the middle of nowhere in the outskirts of Boston. The job titles don't mean anything. They hire people as "managers" with less than 1 year experience. A tip to the recruiters poaching from Catalyst - if the person started out as a manager and never got a promotion, that means they were entry level and never got any better. There were a lot of those people. Also ask them if they ever actually managed anyone (answer will be no). This leads to "directors" (and sometimes even their bosses) stuck doing menial work that associate level people should be doing.6
- 3.010 May 2016Paid Search AssociateCurrent Employee, less than 1 yearNewton, MA
Good vacation package and lots of time off. 7th Inning Stretch - Every Thursday there is free beer and snacks before ending the day. This is a good opportunity to meet people some of the people you weren't or won't be introduced to. Every month they buy Birthday Bagels for breakfast. Assorted candy bowl and on some random days they'll be fruit. Decent coffee machine. Though not much interaction happens with all employees, they are all nice and passionate about their jobs.
There was no on-boarding process as a new hire. I got a quick presentation from HR detailing some benefits, and the usual HR stuff. Was not introduced to anyone in the office other than my team. There isn't training for new paid search associates. You're basically given a training guide for you to follow in your own on top of making sure you fulfill tasks assigned to you. Tall cubicles does not encourage collaboration and flow of ideas. Sometimes it can feel like everyone is a robot working in their cubicles. No one really talks to each other, it's a bit weird.2
- 1.06 Nov 2012Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee, more than 1 year
There are some really great people that work here or have worked here. Unfortunately, the more competent they are, the less time they're likely to stay.
A fun yet professional culture is supposed to take the place of competitive salaries, but this place is neither fun nor professional. Zero training of any kind is provided. There aren't enough people here to do the work nevermind manage new employees and set them up for success. Even if all current open spots were filled, we're still grossly understaffed. Some departments have people doing twice the work they should be just so GroupM can save on a few salaries here and there. If you're looking for a job that teaches through negative reinforcement, allows the account team to override the decisions of everyone's actual manager and act like your boss even when they aren't, and sets you for failure from day one, then this is the place for you.3
- 4.012 Nov 2012Organic Search MemberCurrent Employee, more than 1 yearNewton, MA
Working here has given me the opportunity to contribute to the success of some of the largest brands in the world. Before Catalyst, I did not work on big brand name/budget accounts so it is pretty exciting to see, first hand, how Search Marketing plays a vital (and growing) role in their overall digital/online strategies. I am very happy walking into the office each morning, and a big reason for that is due to the laid back, but professional atmosphere. I have made many friendships here that extend beyond the office and am very fortunate to be working with some very bright folks.
The newton office is pretty drab in comparison to that of the NY office. Recent re branding efforts seems like we are moving in the right direction, and I am eager to see what exciting surprises the marketing team has in store. Team restructuring during the Summer caused a few confusing/tense weeks, but in my opinion, nothing outside of what I expected. I like where we are headed.3
- 2.013 Jan 2017Organic Search ManagerFormer Employee, more than 1 yearNewton, MA
A few good people I've met at Catalyst. A few were even knowledgeable and genuinely tried to do good work, which was surprising given that many deliverables were lacking quality in some fairly substantial ways. A good place to get started, then get out asap. run! this organization is not a keeper.
Learning and development opportunities are a complete lie. Initiative is not really recognized nor rewarded. Good performance is not rewarded. Promotions are not based on merit and generally lack transparency. Lies and promises are common place. Total lack of standards, zero training, people are mostly not on the same page.2
- 2.06 Jun 2012ManagerFormer Employee
Excellent Clients Caring, engaged, and smart colleagues
Total lack of effective management, they are too busy bickering with each other to lead their teams.5
Catalyst Online Reviews FAQs
Catalyst Online has an overall rating of 3.1 out of 5, based on over 70 reviews left anonymously by employees. 50% of employees would recommend working at Catalyst Online to a friend and 35% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has been stable over the past 12 months.
50% of Catalyst Online employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Catalyst Online 3.8 out of 5 for work life balance, 3.1 for culture and values and 3.0 for career opportunities.