HNTB Companies Reviews

Updated 28 July, 2014
Updated 28 July, 2014
161 Reviews
3.0
161 Reviews
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HNTB Companies Executive Chairman, HNTB Holdings Harvey K. Hammond Jr.
Harvey K. Hammond Jr.
81 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good benefits (Healthcare, 401K plan) and good diversity of work (in 13 reviews)

  • I got to cut my teeth on some great projects and work with some great people (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • The upper management could be annoying to deal with at times (in 16 reviews)

  • Company seems to be trying to find its way in the Design-Build realm (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

39 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
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  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Company has evolved from great place to work to a sweat shop focused on pushing ESOP price.

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

    I have been working at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Good place to learn ropes and network with clients and other engineering sub-consultants

    Opportunity to work on diverse and large mega trasnportation projects

    Cons

    Company is way conservative in business practices and is extremely averse to risk.

    HNTB tried to play in the federal market sandbox and it did not turn out well since they would not open offices overseas (except for Guam which is not really a true office) and did not understand how to perform work for Federal govt in an efficient manner.

    Board of Directors is only concerned about pushing ESOP stock price higher. Board of Directors is setting up golden parachutes for the senior management and little guys will be left holding the bag.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HNTB is in danger of becoming a mom & pop engineering shop while the Walmarts, Kmarts, and Targets (Engineering company giants) of the world continue to grow. The Boards inactions and refusal to commit to becoming an international player will in the end doom the company to mediocrity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Very turbulent. In 2.5 years I had three managers and three different sets of expectations for my same job position.

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

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Good location, good facility, good people.

    Cons

    Extremely long work hours and no understanding from management regarding work life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Review current management in some areas to ensure they have the skills to lead teams in unbiased/ fair atmosphere.

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

    EX-HNTB

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

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Non-Technical PDHs.
    Overtime (when there is a budget).
    Office equipments & Technical Support are above avg.
    Federal Div.

    Cons

    Technical Development is non-existence. Either you have already the experience before you join or you have to learn technical skills on your own time. They would spend thousand of dollars on many non-technical seminars (management, young professional career, etc.) and spend very little effort in teaching their younger engineers on the basic technical skills or traits. Upper management would place that responsibility to their overwork PMs or Squad Leaders (no training budget of course...wouldn't want to lower the TOJ).

    A lot of turf wars between Division / Regional Leaderships (i.e., a lot of red tapes to share work btw division or business groups). I heard a colleague actually got lectured for trying to share her work btw different groups in the same building.

    Volatile company leaderships (e.g., multiple CEOs in a span of two years, frequent changes in Marketing leaders, etc.). It seemed that Upper Management only look at their precious spreadsheets (or worse... listen to the Business Group) when they are making management decisions. When it come to managing their talents and their wealth of experience. They are just CLUELESS.

    Upper Management rarely being honest with their employees regarding the company's health. Btw, who came up with all of those growth projection numbers?

    Too much focus on "Mega" projects. Upper Management would rather downsize their offices than pursuit the smaller projects. The problem is their winning record has been poor for the last couple of years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of upper management staffs that are not capable of bringing in work. If you're a Senior PM and above you should have some sort of marketing goal and be accountable to it.

    Find a system to manage your talents and share the wealth of experience that the company have accumulated over the years. You have talented engineers but they spend most of their time reinventing the wheels and getting frustrated.

    Finally, be honest with your employees. Why paint such a rosy picture during those so call "all-hands meetings" when they see that their colleagues are getting let go left and right? They're not a kid. They know what's going on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    "wild and crazy"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - SiteManager Data Coordinator  in  Fort Benning, GA (US)
    Current Employee - SiteManager Data Coordinator in Fort Benning, GA (US)

    I have been working at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Great pool of YOUNG smart people
    Great short term benefits
    Lots of interesting people
    Great at building bridges
    Great PR

    Cons

    Management listens to who talks the loudest
    Can't get anything done too much red tape
    Decisions based on the politics not performance
    Management refuses to cancel projects that are not promising
    HNTB Federal has to many oxygen thief’s retired military with no skills

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Throw the towel in on HNTB Federal and BASE4D

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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