Callison Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Callison was an international architecture firm based in Seattle, Washington. Callison was founded by Tony Callison in 1975 and grew to 900 employees around the world prior to its acquisition by Arcadis NV in 2014. In October 2015, Callison was formally merged with another Arcadis subsidiary, RTKL Associates, to form CallisonRTKL headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.Callison planned and designed r


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Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"Extremely backwards. No forward thinking initiatives to implement the necessary tools needed in order to fully flourish and promote profitability. Administrative leadership is sorely lacking, lazy, and old. It's difficult for a young person to be inspired by curmudgeon and uninspiring management. Office is headquartered in Baltimore so don't expect to be recognized for excellent work or think you're absolved from layoffs during uncertain economic times if you're located in another office. Severely underpays across the board for all employees under the the AVP level. Constantly changing processes and job responsibilities without a clear plan. It seems as if executive level management is throwing everything against a wall and seeing what sticks."

Former Employee - Senior Staff says

"Communication is very poor across depts and offices Employees are treated like machines Seattle office has been undergoing a very poorly managed renovation (which is seriously surprising given it’s their industry!) So many people with very low morale and burnout Really, really high turnover in some depts (like 80% in less than 2 years) Supervisors and trainers can be located on opposite costs from the people they manage Very quick training and then you are thrown into the job with little support or resources Work load is ridiculous and unsustainable Technology is old and not well maintained Work life balance and employee satisfaction are really just PR buzzwords, with little actual actions put in the place Just a general feeling that the company exists to make money for shareholders and nothing else"


"Senior management in disarray. Lack of leadership and vision"

Former Employee - Designer says

"Unrealistic time frames are set, which contribute to the production of low quality work. The expectation is you should be able to produce 30 logos in 3 hours and a 100-page print book in 8 hours. Asking questions or making edits requested by the client to help improve the quality of the work is unwelcome. You will get called out for helping other team members as well -Human Resources says “don't help others.” If you want an 8 hour day job with a nice paycheck, where work is produced with little consideration for solving problems, but for the sake of having it done, then this is the place for you. However, if you want to be creatively challenged and produce thoughtful, quality work this is not the place for you."

Former Employee - Project Architect says

"Transparency: There is really no support for individual growth for people really wanting to be contributors to the firm. In the studio where I was employed people were laid off at will if projects were no longer there. I had a lot of talent to offer but felt that if I am not constantly meeting unbelievable project timelines, I had no business being part of the firm. I actually got disciplinary letters from HR stating that I had to make drastic improvements with both speed and quality. NO respect for work life balance: Putting 50 to 60 hours at the firm with coming in the weekends to work is part of the firm life. NO additional compensation, you are expected to dedicate. I understand that in a bigger firm competence is the number one value and strong point, but when you are forced to compete against the others so that you stand out all the time, it literally puts the others to the dust."

Former Employee - Senior Designer says

"Blame culture is the company culture. Instead of working through design ideas, people step all over each other to get ahead. There’s only a handful of great people in upper management. Teams are poorly managed and those in middle management are on total power trips. When they can’t deliver what they promised, they blame the people working for them. I witnessed a senior associate VP blame the design being rejected by a client on a junior designer. JUNIOR DESIGNER! Very poor work life balance and if you want a family, this will not be a good place to be a parent. I have seen harassment of pregnant women, parents being chewed out for needing to take time to take their kids to the doctor, etc. Overall, it’s one of the worst places I’ve ever worked at."

Former Employee - Receptionist says

"hostile environment They will overwork you poor training your opinion will never matter"

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"The list of cons outweighs the pros by tons. My experience with the management and leadership was horrible. They don't know how to manage or train people, don't care to learn how to, and don't take responsibility for their actions. They're negative about most everything and everyone in the company and don't care much about their working relationships. If you want to learn a new skill or progress as a professional, you'll have to do it on your own time. Growth isn’t a priority, and there’s a massive lack of internal opportunity. There’s also extremely little structure on how the comm team works and intakes different projects. Everything’s last minute, willy-nilly, hurry up and wait. To make matters worse, the communication between managers and employees is very poor but this doesn’t seem to bother the managers. What this leaves you with is an environment that does not allow employees to be involved, learn, and grow. It could be a good place to work but the way managers treat and speak to employees is also a massive issue and plays a large role in what ultimately makes people leave. The managers generally aren't held accountable for their actions so the behavior continues and managers below them see it as acceptable. It’s a cycle they’ve created yet fail to see. They've created the revolving door on the team. People leave managers not jobs. It’s the worst place I have ever worked, and I would never recommend anyone to work here."

Senior Interior Designer (Former Employee) says

"You will never advance while you work for this corporate owned monstrosity. And everyone here is just as angry and incompetent with design and management. You will produce nothing of value while they expect you to stay all hours of the night. ZERO LIFE WORK BALANCE. Management in god awful from the top tier down to your daily project manager/ architect. There are a few gems of people who work here, but when push comes to shove its dog eat dog. Oh... and your pay will be below average while you slave away and they hire and fire just to get someone cheaper even after all your dedication. This sounds written out of anger... but just... DON'T. The day I quit was one of the happiest day of my life."

Designer (Former Employee) says

"Overall, it was a very stressful period of my life. I would be required to stay till 9-10PM without being able to put that time anywhere. So basically I was working for free for about 10hrs a week. Management needs A LOT of work as they are only looking at numbers rather than the outcome of the project. Staff is friendly, but are blind to the stress they are putting all the employees through.Lunch & Learns, CoworkersNo work-life balance, Lack of management"

Associate (Current Employee) says

"The "revolving door" culture makes this company ideal for new graduates to learn the ropes, but is detrimental in the long run. When your supervisor clearly has it worse than you at no fault of his own, the motivation to take risks and seek promotions is non-existent.-Huge firm with many different parallel departments if you are looking for a change in pace, Free coffee-No investment in its employees, Detached upper management, Work is monotonous, Work flow is years behind the curve technologically"

Office Administrator (Former Employee) says

"no creativity, strict work structure, terrible social environment. Super corporate and bland. If donuts once a month is all you need to be happy choose this company"

Associate (Former Employee) says

"Local management are very nice and supportive. Almost too nice. Constructive criticism/feedback was limited and often came when it was too late to make corrections. While supervising leadership was approachable and encouraging, an employees value is calculated by higher management using billable rates and project efficiency and not by general value added. For example, you could spend hours of overtime hours working in the office, but end up on the chopping block if that work is not considered billable. The company is very generous in compensation and benefits. This generosity also increases the chance that the company will be over their quarterly budget and cuts will be made. They become short staffed, so the cycle continues. The HR department works heavily on creating team building opportunities, but those opportunities are often in conflict with tight project deadlines and emphasis on maintaining a billable rate quota. Anyone interested in working here should know that the design teams are friendly and talented, and they make an effort to make everyone feel like family. However, don't make yourself at home for at least a year. I strongly advised to have a plan B in place and I strongly discourage anyone from making major purchases dependent on your new salary. They are currently experiencing the growing pains of being acquired by another company and merging with another large architecture firm. When the process first started, the process was fairly transparent and upbeat. However, I noticed a large shift in staff moral towards the negative as layoffs were madePeople, Benefits, Downtown location, Quality DesignHigh employee turnover"

Support Member (Former Employee) says

"This was my introduction into the architectural industry. What I have learned is that domestic architectural design projects have been in decline for many years, and most of the major design activity is happening in the Middle East and China. To their advantage, the firm has pursued global work for quite some time. The challenge now is to reestablish the firm in the domestic market by pursuing rollout or retail rebranding work. The hardest aspects of the job: - Figuring out which projects are cleared for public knowledge - Finding the right people who have the authority to discuss project details - Discovering how involved the practice was for any given project (e.g., which project phases did Callison participate in? Who was deemed the architect of record?) - Locating background information and images for completed projectsAnnual bonus, the Seattle office is in the heart of the retail district, the firm is proactively nurturing a younger generation of designers and architectsNo 401K matching benefits, no work processes mandated by leadership, most projects are under NDA so there is minimal opportunity to market projects, tribal knowledge has been lost"

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