KPFF Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

KPFF Reviews

Updated 27 November, 2018
91 reviews

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3.8
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KPFF President John Gavan
John Gavan
36 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great people, great clients, excellent engineering, collaborative and professional environment" (in 8 reviews)

  • "A collaborative and welcoming work environment" (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "Ability to move up is difficult given that this company is a flat organization that prides itself on that fact" (in 4 reviews)

  • "The medical benefits could be slightly better, no dental and medical cost is pretty high" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great work. Great People. Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in San Diego, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at KPFF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. GREAT VARIETY AND VOLUME OF WORK. As a young engineer, it has been amazing to be at a company that has breadth and depth in various markets. This provides numerous opportunities to grow as an engineer and will pay dividends down the road.
    2. GREAT PEOPLE AND CULTURE. KPFF puts a high value on relationships, at the very core of it's business model. This applies to client relationships, but also relationships among employees. Case in-point: it's not uncommon to see the upper-level employees taking time out of their day to join some break room fun at the pool table and ping pong table. Yes, that's right, this company devotes useable square footage to a break room where employees can relax and connect on a relational level.
    3. GREAT COMPANY. This company cares about providing good compensation and benefits. More than that, they care about the lives of their employees. In the good and bad, you'll see people go out of their way to celebrate with you or help you in a hard time,

    Cons

    KPFF seeks to provide an environment that is well-suited to self-directed career path. Sometimes this can make employees feel a little "lost," so to speak. Overall this strategy is a positive, and the leadership is committed to its employees' success, but it seems like the type of place where you won't go far unless you take the lead on your on career.


  2. "Assistant Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Project Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Assistant Project Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at KPFF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The organization is incredibly open minded to entrepreneurial individuals. If you have an interest in something, and can show that you have the ability to profitably take on work, most people in leadership will support you. The principals are generally a well-versed and strategic group, who are widely trusted to be driving the company while thinking about the long-term stability and profitability.

    Cons

    While the flat organization and independent operating structure allows for great flexibility and adaptability, the lack of centralized data management can cause gaps in information flow and inconsistencies from one project/group/division/manager to the next. Similarly, those with an interest in cutting edge technology would likely find the speed to adoption of new project management software in this setting to be stifling.

  3. "Great work experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CAD Designer in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - CAD Designer in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KPFF full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work on different types of projects

    Cons

    Haven't notice any cons so far


  4. "Seems Nice, Look Under the Surface"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at KPFF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of friendly people, emphasis on fun.

    Cons

    Management hard to pin down. Loses good people for various reasons. Keeps plodders forever.

    Advice to Management

    Look in the mirror.


  5. "Civil Design Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Civil Designer
    Current Employee - Civil Designer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KPFF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay, semi-annual bonuses. If you work hard, you are recognized. Able to work remotely in inclement weather, and any overtime is paid or can be used as comp time. Flat organization provides lots of exposure to various projects and clients.

    Cons

    Some people are working from home too much. Certain PM's will throw you under the bus to save face for their screw-ups. That being said, try to make a good impression on people you like working with, so you have a good outlook, and variety of work.

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes the PMs who bring in the most work are not good managers. If they have a better business relation, pair them with a midlevel engineer that can assist with red line reviews, allowing said PMs to continue bringing work in.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great for gaining experience quickly, but unclear career progression"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Design Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Design Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at KPFF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Opportunities to take on lots of responsibility in a short amount of time. Great for building up skills quickly as a junior engineer.
    - Young office with amazing co-workers who are passionate and determined. Many people are more than willing to answer questions and work through problems together. Any positive outlook is due to the passion and drive of the younger staff and the managers who recognize that and are able to say "no" to unreasonable clients.
    - Overtime compensation

    Cons

    - Depending on your group, you can get stuck with certain projects. You must be vocal and adamant in order to not get pigeonholed into any design category. Needing to take initiative is one thing, but having to without much support is sadly more common.
    - Flat organization structure and ambiguous career trajectory make advancing in one's career very unclear and subject to favoritism.

    Advice to Management

    - Younger staff need support not only with technical skills, but also (an even more importantly) with management and leadership skills. This is especially important when younger staff are so frequently given management roles on projects.
    - Add structure to reviews. Defining personal goals, discussing career trajectories, and setting performance metrics (and, of course, revisiting them) with each employee will improve younger engineers' sense of ownership and clarity about how they can advance in their career.
    - Avoid working with clients who don't understand the value KPFF brings to projects and have a track record of frustrating or unsuccessful projects. Even if we get paid, this continued relationship takes a strain on engineers in the form of constant rework and long hours with no purpose.


  7. "Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at KPFF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    People are great. Interesting projects. Potential for advancement.

    Cons

    Advancement without a college degree is a challenge. Principals run the gamut from great mentorship to judgemental critics.

  8. "Senior Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at KPFF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The majority of people were very supportive and flexible work schedules.

    Cons

    Very slow to respond to bad behavior

    Advice to Management

    If people tell you that someone is awful to work with, you should not only believe them, but take corrective action, no matter how talented of an engineer they are.


  9. "Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at KPFF full-time

    Pros

    Top notch and a huge breath of resources are available to engineers. Senior staff is busy but commonly takes time out of their day to answer any questions other engineers have.

    Cons

    My experience tells me KPFF sells themselves a little high. Still a solid company.

    Advice to Management

    Be more realistic and honest with your employees and the people you interview with.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Sacramento, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Engineer in Sacramento, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at KPFF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    City is awesome. Free coffee

    Cons

    Principals and Associates will treat you like garbage.
    Ranks are filled with B players, thinking they are A players. Best engineers move on after just a couple of years. Expect high turnovers/layoffs the moment there is shortage of work. High working hours and Overtime pay is 1.0. Structures Principals are not good people. Civil and Surveys are now short of worthless, the moment key players left the company.

    Advice to Management

    High turnover should be a concern. Company makes lots of money, but unable treat employees the way they deserve.