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3 people found this helpful  

Good starter job for fresh out of college kids

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Analyst I  in  Houston, TX (US)
Current Employee - Analyst I in Houston, TX (US)

I have been working at IHS full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

Good benefits
Pushes you to be adaptable to change

Cons

No actual advancement
Low pay raises
Too many acquisitions
Always in reorganization

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Stop acquiring so many companies

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Other Reviews for IHS

  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Abysmal.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - European Sales
    Current Employee - European Sales

    I have been working at IHS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I had a short commute to work and the helpdesk person was capable.

    Cons

    Dishonest management.
    Poor pay.
    Loads of older, retirement age loafers
    No career advancement possibilities
    Poor deliverables to clients. Shoddy work everywhere
    Good, hardworking people inexplicably driven out

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Aquire some ethics. How can Management knowingly cheat paying clients out of anything less than a solid deliverable? How much longer before clients realise that IHS' substandard/average work is by design?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 23 people found this helpful  

    Good paycheck but you will be ashamed of yourself for having to treat subordinates poorly

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

    I have been working at IHS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great place if you can get the stock; good place to hunker down if you can't find a better salary anywhere else, some great people still left from aquired companies. Good place to NOT be a manager

    Cons

    Disingenuous corporate culture; short term thinking from Denver; disregard for long term quality. Bad place to be a manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    IHS can be a great company or a terrible company to work for, depending on what you want out of an employer and your function in the company.

    It is a great place if you're in it for the short-term financial reward and you are at the level where your compensation is partly company stock, or bonus tied to stock performance, because the stock price and the financial performance of the firm are the SOLE objective that drives the place. If you are one of the people managing the costs or administering the machine, you're in a good position. Counter-intuitively, if you are one of the producers (e.g., an analyst or consultant...anyone who contributes to producing the output to clients) you are viewed as an "input" into the process...a factory worker, however high-level.

    To understand the employment experience at IHS, you need to understand how the place REALLY works. There is much internal ballyhoo about "customer delight" and being "THE source" of energy information and insight, but rest assured there is one thing that rules: quarterly financial performance. IHS says it is the premier provider to energy clients, but that is a business that it just "happens" to be in...It wants to be a private equity firm. It is really it is an M&A machine with a fairly simple formula: acquire companies with a book of business/forward revenue annuity, but then eviscerate them cost-wise, keeping only the resources in place so 90% of the revenue is sustainable for the short term. This way, IHS folds in the revenue stream of the acquired company but jettisons much of the cost, usually by staff layoffs over the medium term. There is much talk about "integration" and "the portfolio effect" but the true synergies are small... the real value that is generated this way is minimal compared to the impact of the ruthless cost-cutting. Of course, over the long term, it's not a sustainable model--product quality will deteriorate. But the leadership in Denver doesn't care. The "synergy" story is a wonderful narrative to present Wall Street, who eat it up. However, in reality the stock price is kept up by cutting costs: reducing staff, reducing benefits, and squeezing water from the stones (employees) through the pressure-cooker environment. When "organic growth" and impossible targets for incremental revenue growth are not met, costs are simply cut further. Additionally, products and client services at IHS just need to be "good enough" so clients don't drop and not an ounce better...which is a far different philosophy than the "world class" standards previously upheld by some of the brands that it has digested, like Global Insight. This erodes longtime relationships between employees and clients. But future problems don't matter to the 20 or so managers in Denver who will have long cashed out and working on the next harvest when everything unravels.

    Note of this is "wrong" from a business perspective...but this is a review about the work experience, not the company performance. If glassdoor were a website for financial performance, IHS would be 5-star.

    The impact of this on the work experience is unsurprising: there is a lot of friction between employees who come from acquired companies and whose careers are dedicated to providing a long-term, world class service to clients, and their mediocre-minded IHS keepers whose motivations are to "harvest" the brands over the short term. (Note to anyone who might sell your company to IHS...take the money and run; don't stay on to see your company dismantled...it is like seeing a house you built by hand heartlessly torn down to build a strip mall).

    Group heads are coerced into agreeing to unreasonable revenue growth objectives that Denver simply pushes down in a brute force sort of way, with no intelligent design or regard to whether they are practically achievable. Then, in turn, the hapless group heads need to perform as best then can--at whatever human cost to their teams reports--or else suffer headcount reductions as a puntive measure.

    It is a steady paycheck, though; if you need to pay your mortgage and you can avoid becoming victim to the frequent, seemingly "regularly-scheduled" layoffs, which seem to be driven not by any managerial decision but rather by some anonymous, risked-based spreadsheet in Denver. Layoffs are never personal, and most managers have little discretion to administer or push back on them--they are always cost and risk-based. If you're in Europe (labor laws) or are some sort of protected class, you're less of a target. But the downside of the latter is that the place accumulates a lot of "fat" in Europe by the way of older workers that are grandfathered in to salaries that they could never get anywhere else in today's climate (thus, they hunker down at IHS). While some of these "retired-in-place" run around scared that they'll be terminated, many have "checked out" and just don't work hard. This creates a palpable resentment in the young people who also fear the constant threat of job loss, but at the same time don't get raises, promotions, but are working much much harder than those who are trying to cling on so they can ride it out until retirement. The near-retired are a sullen lot; retiring IHS would be a sad end to a career.

    The constant threat of job loss of course brings a baseline tension and anxiety to the workplace, but it may be the most cruel to middle managers, who simultaneously have to toe the mark when it comes to the "happy talk" about investing in employees, career growth etc. but at the same time are virtually powerless to move careers forward. Having to speak "on behalf" of the company is a demeaning experience. The only thing keeping the place from experiencing a mass exodus of talent is the poor job market.

    One of the most terrible places to be is middle-management, where you are forced to be the company's "patsy" and become the person that implements the layoffs. Being the person who sits across the table from a good, hardworking employee and tells them they are fired is a terrible thing. But what is even worse is having to be the person that explains that this is not happening because the company is struggling: it's only happening because the management chooses to be immesely profitable instead of taking slightly less profit. This is an outrightly demeaning position to be put in.

    One of the biggest problems for anyone who is still at IHS from an acquired firm, or anyone who joins but mostly works with a group that used to be a Janes, Cambridge Energy, Herolds etc. is the massive cultural disconnect between these former companies' (now, pseudo-groups) cultures, and that of IHS. These firms were high-end, positive-energy, and highly intellectual workplaces; the very attributes that made them great. IHS, by contrast, has a "middle American" mindset, and manages much more like a manufacturing culture via command & control. One person in a New England office jokingly hung a sign with the classic quote "Beatings will continue until morale improves" but was reprimanded and made to take it down, likely because it hit too close to home. (The irony was likely lost on the rather dim IHS human resources person). For the type of employee that came from a higher-end "insight" business, IHS is a soul-sucking experience.

    There are many regional disconnects in the corporate culture. The Denver culture is like the corporate equivalent of living in a combination of North Korea and Stepford (for those too young to get the reference: fake) there is a disingenuousness about the place that is as subtle as it is nefarious. According to all the employee surveys, group meetings, kool-aid talk, etc. everything is "GREAT" and we're all "ACHIEVING THE VERY BEST!". Company meetings have a religious "revival" feeling to them, and there's a less than subtle USA "bible-belt" sense to many of the meetings. One leader--who openly speaks about being a pastor or minister in his church--will talk about virtue on one hand, yet oversee the layoffs of single mom secretaries trying to get by on the other. In the US, the company doesn't recognize Veteran's Day or MLK day, but there's always a "Spring Holiday" day on the christian Good Friday. But nothing is ever done about the constant pressure, understaffing, terrible morale, etc. Nobody dares to be the squeaky wheel for fear of getting put on the layoff "hit list". IHS does not like complainers. At IHS, everything's "great!". The disingenuousness that you're forced to live eats away at an honest person's sensibility. Even smart people seem to suffer from a bizarre need to apologize for the place, perhaps in deep denial and as a self-defence mechanism. Like all abusive relationships, it robs you of energy and you are somehow left believing that it's your fault. Constant lip-service from Denver and the blatant hypocrisy in administering card stacked "colleague engagement surveys" are laughable.

    Financially, IHS is an a well-performing company, but this is borne at the cost of employees' wellbeing. Go in armed that this place cares about stockholders--not stakeholders--and employees are no exception. It is a great place to make money in the short term on your way to somewhere else (which is exactly how the Denver execs are treating it) but don't expect a supportive environment or career fulfillment. It is a place where you'll be forced to treat others in away that will make you look back and feel ashamed of yourself.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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