Environmental Resources Management

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Environmental Resources Management Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 114 reviews

78% Approve of the CEO

Environmental Resources Management CEO and Director John Alexander

John Alexander

(54 ratings)

50% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good working environment, opportunity to work with big company and interesting projects(in 11 reviews)

  • well known company in legal and oil and gas industries(in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is hampered by project deadlines and stoked by over-worked partner-level ERMers(in 8 reviews)

  • Terrible customer relations, work environment, health and safety issues(in 5 reviews)

114 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to learn, but not to stay - top heavy.

    (Former Employee)

    ProsThe company is involved in a lot of global projects with some noteworthy clients, so there is work with professionals with different backgrounds from all over the world. The project scopes and clients vary, and you are able to learn a lot of different things in different sectors. For the most part, there are a lot of smart people who are willing to provide guidance, feedback and insight on your work. It is safe to say, that the majority of the people you work with make your work day.

    ConsThere does not seem to be a succession plan or a development path, as it appears that all junior level employees are easily replaceable. There's no room to grow as a junior level employee; it seems like only senior level consultants and partners are hired in order to drum up business with new clients - this leads to a logjam at the top, and nobody moves up. The ultimate focus is on being billable, but with the bill rates being so high, it is difficult to spend time to learn your craft, which causes very high stress situations. As sr. managements focuses on retaining clients, it seems project managers are placed on projects where they have no technical expertise in, causing for confusion and panic.

    When it gets busy, the office becomes hectic and stressful, with unrealistic timelines due to the high bill rates and low budget provided (done to stay competitive with the rest of the industry). However, when business is slow, there is a fight for precious billable hours, and menial work is assigned. In both scenarios, the goal is to be as billable as possible, which leads to a tense work environment and low employee morale.

    It appears that the salary is not competitive with industry standard, but the promise of "raises and bonuses" make them competitive - not exactly true as voiced by other reviews here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDevelop junior staff and from within, and invest in the futures with the company - it may seem like hiring from the outside is quicker an d better, but in the long run, this may prove to be a negative. Provide them with opportunities to learn their craft and hone their skills. Provide opportunities for staff to grow, instead of just typecasting them to one specific type of work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros-Great team
    -Friendly atmosphere in the London office, I had a global role where I regularly interacted with people from all levels, and I found that everyone was always extremely welcoming, willing to help, and down to earth, regardless of seniority.
    -Genuinely flexible working hours

    Cons-Be prepared to put in a lot of hours!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Pleasant Company to work with, and working environment. I've maintained my relationships.

    Consultant Level I (Former Employee)

    ProsFriendly and encouraging atmosphere. Pleasant-natured work and work place. Efficient and centralized work systems. Provide adequate resources. Acknowledged career development

    Conssome corporate bureaucracy and passing the buck. Although the atmosphere and general quality of professional engagement varies from office to office and from person to person.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEngage directly wherever possible, passing the buck often results with a lower value outcome.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Working in sustainability proves unsustainable

    Staff Environmental Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    Pros- One of the more accommodating companies I've worked for with regards to working remotely.
     - Office building is in a super convenient location for public transit, and an unlimited Orca (public transit) card is provided.
     - Colleagues are hard-working and smart.

    Cons- In order to meet your "billability goals" (huge in consulting) you'll be working unpaid overtime. (Potentially lots of it)
     - Sick time counts against you. While it's part of a benefits package, in order to meet your billability goal, you'll have to make that time up with, you guessed it, unpaid overtime.
     - There's little or no incentive to working efficiently, you'll still have to find work to fill those hours. (Even though it's a salaried position, every time card must have 40 hours or more on it.)
     - Even those at the lower levels (CL1, CL2, CL3) who receive bonuses, it's nowhere near compensating for the unpaid overtime spent.
     - Wages are not competitive. The salary I receive is not commensurate with the cost of living in this city. Seattle just passed a $15/hr minimum wage, which, after the unpaid overtime, tracks closely to (and some weeks is greater than) what I take home.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe key to retention is not better training, it's respecting work/home boundaries and not expecting those who work 20 hours over the weekend to still put in 40 hours M-F.

    If you're sending someone into the field on your project, it behooves you to ensure they are prepared. Rather than ask them if they've got it all, take a shot at bullet-pointing the different tasks that you expect to be completed. Even better, prepare a field memo of the different tasks. Those PMs who do this are so much easier to work for.

    Just think of this - if you're building (on) years of CSM, and the results matter, applying an anxiety iron is not the solution. Instead of "are you ready? Why aren't you ready?", maybe try "here's a list of things I thought would be helpful as you _________(develop wells, collect soil samples, etc)."

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great technically, but too focussed on excessive profit

    Environmental Consultant (Former Employee) Auckland (New Zealand)

    ProsGood projects, global networking, opportunity for transfer, cool people.

    ConsFocus on excessively high profit and growth targets result in overworked and frustrated employees. You're either in love with the company and willing to do anything for the partnership's aspirations, or better off elsewhere.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLower targets and invest in the quality of your employees lives.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    No place to build a career

    Project Manager (Former Employee) Austin, TX (US)

    ProsOffice location - They are using the office location to attract talent who want to work in trendy downtown Austin. Downtown Austin is a great place to work, lots of walking distance lunch places and always special events going on that you can catch during lunch or after work etc. The open office concept they are going to is great, the offices are big open areas with a telemarketing or customer service call center atmosphere.

    ConsOn the other hand once you gain more experience you will realize you are going nowhere. You are either a partner or a worker at ERM. When something goes right the partner takes credit. When something goes wrong its the project manager's fault. You're not allowed to do anything without the partner's approval which is inefficient particularly since they are nonresponsive. They are making a lot of money off the staff and they are ruthless in pushing for higher billability - and you have to find your own work. The staff turnover is high and their business model is ok with that. They plan on you being around for a few years and moving on so that's why they are constantly recruiting. This is no place to build a career. Its just a job for a little while.

    This a white collar sweatshop run by an unethical group of partners. They lied about advancement opportunities to get me in the door. Then they dumped a sinking project in my lap that already had significant budget and schedule problems and held me accountable for it in order to protect the partner and his buddy who had run the project into the ground before I was involved. Also, in many years in this field this is the first time that a supervisor tried to coerce me into taking an unethical track to benefit a client. ERM used to be a place that would roll up its sleeves and get the job done but now it is a risk-averse corporation loaded with bureaucracy and "CYA" procedures that keep you from getting anything done and it thrives on smooth and flashy but empty words.

    They use salesforce.com religiously as a platform to track clients and marketing efforts and project wins but they don't give licenses to everybody so those with a salesforce license are at an advantage.

    Advice to Senior Managementno thanks.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Health and safety issues are a constant jeopardy

    Geologist (Current Employee) São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)

    ProsDuring 2y experience in ERM Brazil I could work with key clients.

    ConsMy beyond the awful work environment, having as responsible for the code of conduct and human rights a professional who harasses morally more employees than any other is a shame for a company of global recognition.
    This is a huge problem that causes widespread dissatisfaction, generates high turnover of senior consultants and worsens the weak sense of team

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    10 people found this helpful  

    The place is falling apart

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe company loves to tout it's "people oriented" focus. It's also considered a growing company although it has handled it's growth incredibly poorly

    ConsThis is a pressure cooker environment that you do not want to come to work for. The growth has led them to hire outside for about 90% of their leadership positions and they simply do not promote from within. There is no room for advancement and the current leadership pool is of the short term variety that comes in, siphons off what profits and perks they can and then bails out before things go wrong. They've been doing that for a few years now and it's gutted the company of any long term talent. Turnover is astronomical and management likes to capture meaningless buzzwords like "One ERM" and beat everybody over the head with them till we're sick of it. The truth is, our counterparts around the world are treated and compensated very differently and "One ERM" rings very hollow. The growth has caused them to become incredibly centralized with the power concentrated in England. The English tend to be very arrogant and treat the Americas and other divisions with disdain. Local decision making and creativity has completely evaporated and London orders everyone around like children now.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDitch the current centralized train of thought. You've abandoned the principles that got you to this point and indeed - fired many of the people who got you here. I'm not sure anything can save this company at this point in time - I think it's probably too late by now.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Internship

    Intern (Former Employee) Seoul (South Korea)

    Pros-Great brand name within industry
    -Very talented people to work with
    -Interesting and challenging work

    Cons-Pay isn't great
    -Zero training
    -Billable hours mentality

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on training your juniors more

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Was an excellent place to work before ERM bought out OASIS Environmental.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsClose-knit office, good place to gain great amount of experience.

    ConsERM took over and got rid of smaller contracts. Mass exodus of employees made the office experience less rewarding and fulfilling professionally. Hired too many upper management personnel to help win large contracts, but actually lost a great deal of work. Management couldn't keep employees busy with 40 hours/week, so started asking people to begin taking personnel time off. Not good.

    Advice to Senior ManagementShould have never sold out to ERM.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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