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I have been working at HS2 Solutions full-time (More than 3 years)
This is a company with a vibrant culture. If you're looking for a desk job where your boss won't know your name and you can just do your 9-5 and go home, this isn't it. HS2 always feels like it's got a startup vibe going, there's beer in the fridge and you're allowed as much vacation as you want so long as your work gets done. Work hard, play hard.
HS2 is the first place I've ever worked where I see someone send out an email that they're leaving the company, and I'm just completely befuddled. They let you work from home, they make tons of room for your personal life. Another company would have to double my salary to get me to move.
Yes, the unlimited vacation is real. Obviously HS2 does a lot of client work so you can't just disappear right before a deadline (unless you negotiate for it ahead of time - and this happens all the time, if you booked a trip three months in advance just make sure everyone knows). For example, I had a difficult client for a year that nearly stressed me to death, and at one point when we got a break I took a week off and worked from another state for the next two. How many companies will let you do that?
People constantly take off early to pick up their kids from school, and the owners aren't shy when it comes to taking a ski trip. But if a client needs something done now, there are absolutely people who will pick up 60+ hours, even though they're salaried so they don't get an immediate bonus for doing so. There is plenty of room for advancement and an incentive structure that gives you a year-end reward, but it's definitely a work hard play hard atmosphere.
HS2 even gives employees quarterly financial reports as though it were a publicly traded company and you're the shareholders. I've never seen a company do that before.
Finally: It gets difficult to readjust to what "normal" business is like outside HS2. I heard a friend talk about how the IT department at their business is reluctant to get certified in a new software, even though the company has to use it. That's unimaginable at HS2. It wouldn't even occur to someone at HS2 to say they "don't" want to learn a new software, unless they have a real business objection to using it. If you're the sort of person who has your "preferred" methods and you're not going to budge for anyone, this is not the place for you. You're free to work in your own software and do things to your own tune, but when the client needs work done, you do the work.
Not everyone likes a demanding workplace. HS2 is a place where even if you've been there ten years you will still usually feel like the dumbest person in the room, because everyone is amazingly talented at something you don't know. If you're hoping to find a job where you're king of your own fiefdom, this isn't it. One day you'll be in awe of some wizard programmer who seems to know everything, the next you'll be teaching that person about a system because it's new to them. Everyone loves to help and share what they know, everyone is completely willing to help get you up to speed on whatever you need to get your work done, but you have to be able to hit the ground running.
Advice to Management
Could be a little more clear on future plans, sometimes the overall direction of the business takes a turn that the workers weren't expecting. You always know you're in good hands so it's not a worry, but you could stand to get a little more info up front.
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at HS2 Solutions.
Recruiter sends you enticing, although inapplicable benefits package. Engineer asks a few relevant questions and speaks at great lengths about his own processes and credentials and encourages you to get a very company specific certification. Feels more like you are being taken into a sales call effort specifically for that certification.
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