HNTB Companies

www.hntb.com

HNTB Companies Reviews

Updated 29 December 2014
Updated 29 December 2014
173 Reviews
2.9
173 Reviews
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HNTB Companies Executive Chairman, HNTB Holdings Harvey K. Hammond Jr.
Harvey K. Hammond Jr.
87 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good benefits (Healthcare, 401K plan) and good diversity of work (in 15 reviews)

  • Salary and benefits are excellent, but justify how they treat staff (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management on the Board is pretty far removed from project managers who deliver the work (in 17 reviews)

  • The work-life balance doesn't exist (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

43 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    HNTB used to be a good, sometimes great, company. Today they are no better, sometimes worse, than their competitors.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Former Employee - Vice President in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I worked at HNTB Companies full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Compensation and office space is better than most competitors. Legacy relationships with clients and senior staff that are holding on keeps the company afloat. Still a strong civil firm if you are a civil engineer. Brand is still strong.

    Cons

    Execs have made several poor strategic decisions over the past 5+ years. Jumped into the Federal market years after competitors made their play - and now that business unit is already gone. Current design / build initiative has no solid leadership. Legacy clients and business are often ignored due to the current 'next big thing' investment mindset. Company micro manages time on job to a level that distracts staff from focusing on projects / clients. HR leadership manages the staff like a minimum wage workforce.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Position the company for a better future on your way out. Look outside your closed ranks for new ideas. Ask the younger leadership and staff for their opinion - and assign value to it. HNTB was built on big dreams - from time to time, really listen to the dreamers in the employee ranks.

    Target new verticals and new opinions, but don't forget what made HNTB - long term client and employee loyalty. Appoint someone to the executive ranks that looks/talks/thinks different than you. Stop laying off the young staff - invest in building a future pipeline.

    Most of the troops would settle for <10% annual returns in exchange for a better quality of life and an opportunity to deliver a project the right way. Salary doesn't guarantee loyalty. Stock returns don't guarantee happiness. Taking pride in one's work and having a reason to go to work everyday does.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    HNTB was a very good organization that lost its way.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at HNTB Companies full-time

    Pros

    Very talented employees, good organization, good salary, and interesting work.

    Cons

    All decision-making came from the top, top management made some very poor, short-term decisions, alot of politics. Very insecure environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plan better, come up with a strategy and then let your people help you achieve your goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great Company IF YOU'RE A ELDERLY WHITE Guy! Otherwise, forget moving up.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    HNTB is fairly close to my home. Parking is pretty good for a company located near downtown KC.
    Oh and the receptionist is very nice.

    Cons

    HNTB is the least diverse employer I have ever had the honor of working for. From Harvey to three levels below him... all employees are elderly white guys. This is not an exaggeration, this is not hyperbole... There is a cast iron ceiling at this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Either evolve to reflect the American population or PLEASE FOR THE SAKE OF HNTB'S FUTURE... RETIRE! There is great talent that you look down upon, explore elevating some of this talent to look across from you... or go the way of the dinosaurs.

    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Technological Dark Ages

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Analyst
    Former Employee - Project Analyst

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Established brand within engineering industry
    Nice offices
    Acceptable benefits
    Diverse hiring
    Corporate legal, insurance and contracting support
    Nice region-specif annual party

    Cons

    Segregation between engineers and admins (finance/marketing/etc.) profound. Team? Yeah--right.
    Proprietary financial software (Data Query, Budget Manager) is ancient, cumbersome to use.
    Information systems (financial, AP, HR, project) are disparate and, therefore, useful reporting requires significant manual processes prone to human error.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace old finance staff clinging to ancient, broken systems with senior staff with industry-specific experience.
    Invest in Deltek product(s) or other non-proprietary software to minimize cost and length of training. Replace junior staff who have no experience anywhere but HNTB because they have no basis for comparison when analyzing extremely poor quality of processes and software they have been given a fantastic amount of authority for running.

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company which could be greater

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    When it remembers what made it great - its work ethic, its development of employees, its transparency of information to employees

    Cons

    The outlook has gone from a long term planning view to a short term emphasis on results, leading to decisions that do not reflect its historical culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember what made the company great - and reinvigorate long term emphasis, planning, development.

    No opinion of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Very good until the last few years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA (US)

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    I spent my formative professional years at this company. I got to cut my teeth on some great projects and work with some great people. I left the company with plenty of good take-aways and will always reflect on the excellent peers, devoted staff, and sometimes excellent leadership. Pay was always above average and recognition was high for many years.

    Cons

    This all changed in the past few years. As annual sales were sent over $1B, the taste for continued growth and success outweighed the need to maintain a pleasant work environment. Excessive incentives promoted cronyism and overall bad behaviors. Unfortunately more and more of the bad characters got promoted up the chain. It's too bad because the good ones end up leaving and continue the devaluation of the once prime A/E firm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let up a little on TOJ. Some of your greatest leaders have left - feeling the pressure of the need for billable hours - or were let go. Remember that your future leadership needs continued vision, creativity and insight. If you continue to penalize the low-billable, you will be left merely with the mechanics of a sweatshop - commoditizion at it's highest.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Throw the bums out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    My co-workers are some of the brightest and most competent people, and are a pleasure to work with. Low- and middle- managers seem to recognize individual value.

    Cons

    Much of senior and sub-senior "leadership" is a serious threat to company viability. There is an extreme drought of company vision. At the very top, sure there is vision: 'make money'. Execution of that vision is extremely lacking, despite the best efforts of some sub-seniors who have the genuine interests of the company and its employees in mind. And that is the truly sad part - there are some extremely qualified and talented individuals in leadership that are thwarted by either competing political idealogies or an arrogant ignorance and lack of willingness to truly listen. It is terribly frustrating for those of us who are passionate about company success to see our *good* leaders be prevented from making meaningful, long-overdue changes. The only solution that I can see is for those senior leaders who have lost touch to leave. They are truly burying this otherwise excellent company. As an long-time employee, it genuinely depresses me to watch the degredation, and it is hard to imagine trying to outlast those who need to leave in order to enjoy a 'better day' at this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please, please, please get with the program. Learn to differentiate between quality leaders by measuring their performance in terms other than earnings/sales numbers. You will lose excellent people, and worse (for you, not them), they will join your competitors...probably with a passion to bury you in their new company's success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    A Bad Choice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Potential to work on some of the better projects. Reasonably good resources, technology, etc. Personnel are good to work with.

    Cons

    This is an organization that churns through employees and managers as if they were a commodity. Hard to understand how yesterday's CEO, division president, or office leader is no longer suitable in any capacity. Staff are tossed aside to meet weekly numbers. Turnover is probably as high as any in the industry and too much of it is due to layoffs. This is not the company it was 10 years ago. Today the only concern is profitability. And yet, after a decade of 20% annual growth the company has the same number of emplyees it had in 2000. If you go to work here, keep your resume fresh, your options open, and pack light.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give up the dogma and rhetoric. Walk around the floor and talk to the people who actually do the work. Stop talking about people being the most important asset and start believing it. Remember, every person you mistreat or fire could be a future, potential client. Few will miss the opportunity to not select you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Level of bureaucracy in this organization rivals the US government

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA (US)

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Good benefits, free lunches, specified responsibilities of well-defined roles, job security (in the proposal management role), intelligent (sometimes brilliant) coworkers, comfortable amenities for your workspace

    Cons

    Picture yourself working at a company in the year 1950, and you've got HNTB. Regardless of your department, this is a company that loves rigid processes, multi-level approval structures, and matrixes. The highest levels of this company are old men who are extremely resistant to change, and this filters down through the company.

    This means hundreds of hours every year of wasted time for employees who need to find information, get something done, or make a decision (because you have to get 5 levels of approval to push even a small decision through, leading to pointless meetings that last hours). Processes are rigid, even in special cases that demand flexibility. Requirement to take a Blackberry and a laptop at the start of your employment guarantees that you will be overworked because you never have an excuse for not getting something done. Unless you are in management, there are no bonus incentives for good performance.

    Can't recommend this company for the long term employee who wants to stick around, but if you're in a bind and you have no other place to go in a bad economy, you'll be able to handle about a year and a half before you start to pull apart at the seams.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop buying $1000+ lunches and give the dollar equivalents to your employees in bonuses. Restructure departments to eliminate unnecessary approval processes. Train management to practice positive reinforcement instead of cracking down on people whenever they make small mistakes. Increase your raises to retain employees. Eliminate redundant members of management. Buy established industry software instead of developing crappy internal proprietary software that doesn't work (this will save you money and eliminate hundreds of hours of employees' wasted time).

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Work was good, management was lacking insight

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    When left to the job, things were great but when senior management gi=ot involved, it was all about the bottom line and how to make them look good

    Cons

    senior leadership is just lost. Good people are let go if they are threatening or are not just yes men. It is all about the bottom line. It is never about the companmy's main assets, its people. Senior leadership are a protected class if they go along but watch out if you rock the boat.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    MAnagement needs to read the number of comments that say the same thing. It is a good company in spite of management. People are the assets. They need a voice and a direcction that makes sense. Too many pets and pet projects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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