Cadmus Group FAQ

All answers shown come directly from Cadmus Group Reviews and are not edited or altered.

16 English questions out of 16

17 January 2020

How are the career development opportunities at Cadmus Group?

Pros

Great people, interesting projects, some flexibility

Cons

All about the hours, no career track, exec team out of touch with staff, serious management issues

Advice to Management

Value your staff, develop career opportunities for staff

All about the hours, no career track, exec team out of touch with staff, serious management issues

17 January 2020

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2 October 2018

What kind of career opportunities exist at Cadmus Group?

Pros

Perfect employer for moralless, micromanaging masochists who like watching rocks grow. If you've ever wanted to work 60 hours in a week on a proposal then get ordered to work weekends for not doing enough billable work, this is a great opportunity. If you have an advanced degree but miss life as an undergraduate intern, Cadmus works at just the right level of sophistication. You'll spend months doing mindless data entry and making minor formatting adjustments to documents. The culture is really supportive of people who distrust others, and like demanding compliance on the smallest issues. If this describes you, you'll be promoted fast. Just avoid being supportive of other people; that's really frowned upon. Also great for small government advocates: Cadmus seemingly exists to leech as much money from the government as possible.

Cons

Multiple employees have been hired to positions they did not apply for to do work they do not enjoy and are not qualified for. No opportunities for professional growth. Salaries are significantly below competitors and public sector consulting generally (If you're interested in Homeland Security consulting, go to Hagerty Consulting or CNA. They pay better, are more prestigious, and have better reputations.)

Advice to Management

Fire Homeland Security middle management. Recent senior leadership changes are positive, but middle management is clearly resisting changes. Seriously reevaluate hiring practices to better align to the actual needs of the job.

If you've ever wanted to work 60 hours in a week on a proposal then get ordered to work weekends for not doing enough billable work, this is a great opportunity.

2 October 2018

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30 August 2019

How are promotions handled at Cadmus Group?

Pros

- Echoing others on here, Cadmus has some of the smartest people I've met. There is a marked difference in workplace styles and cultures between teams, and a few teams are quite down to earth and fun people to be around. - Smaller nature compared to other consulting firms in the area should be an opportunity, but see below.

Cons

To say that Cadmus was a disappointment would be an understatement. The October 2nd, 2018 review on here mirrors many of my thoughts, however harsh. I should be clear that my thoughts relate specifically to the seemingly struggling Homeland Security and Emergency Management sector of Cadmus. I’m not qualified to comment on the organization as a whole. Basic project management skills are lacking throughout the organization as most of the project managers and supervisors are internal promotions who have never worked outside of Cadmus/Obsidian after college. They don’t appear to have had strong training or experience in managing either projects or people. Work is not transparently or equitably distributed. Sadly, it pays to establish an uncritical, ingratiating relationship with key individuals in the organization early on or you will find yourself struggling to find work or advancement. On that front, attempts to be proactive and seek out work is met with lukewarm reception at best. A colleague of mine had to write a memo to the now departed division director just to finally get put on a proposal after having a long period of no work – a proposal which, of course, would not even count to his billable hour requirements for the month. Analysts at our yearly check-in this past year complained that we were being asked to bill hours to projects we hadn’t worked on, were consistently not given work, and were consistently being given taskings on par with intern-level work. Worse, we had brought up all these issues last year and nothing had changed. The senior individuals in the room seemed completely unaware of the practices being cited. It’s clear that the Associate level is a bottleneck in the transparency and effective management of the Homeland Security sector. Lackluster pay is justified as a reflection of Cadmus’ business model differing from those of other contracting firms in the area. This is more legitimate than others will admit and I do understand Cadmus’ frustration over constantly being compared to Booz Allen. However, over my time there I would see benefits cut back, PTO cut back, and the DC office shuttered. All of us would have understood these decisions, but they were often presented in intellectually dishonest ways that ended up being explicitly called out in some of our staff meetings. Dour CEO presentations highlighted that the company clearly prizes billability and utilization rates over either the quality of its output, or building its analyst base or staff development. As legitimate as the business model argument is, it also reflects a tacit recognition that Cadmus’ business model is low-level, low complexity work that can be done by undergraduates who leave every summer for grad school or for a job whose business model does allow them to pay their employees at a level commensurate with the hours and responsibility demanded by Cadmus. The CEO has admitted that the “shape” of the organization is not correct, but seems to think this means we need less Associate-level staff, as opposed to recognizing that our analyst base is not realistically right-sized or efficiently utilized.

Advice to Management

Look to how other organizations handle proposal work, billability, and transparent management of work units. Advertise proposals, use bid forms to solicit interest, develop staffing matrices, engage the whole team in opportunities for team reviews and developmental opportunities. If one analyst is leaving early because they have no work and another is working nights, that's a problem. It should not take direct appeals to division directors to get work for people. Associates need to be held responsible for their ability to be managers if you are going to promote people with limited work and life experience. Address the toxic, paranoid culture that exists beneath the surface in some parts of the organization. Organization needs to become more collaborative, less insecure, and more genuinely friendly.

Basic project management skills are lacking throughout the organization as most of the project managers and supervisors are internal promotions who have never worked outside of Cadmus/Obsidian after college.

30 August 2019

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2 November 2018

What is the feeling of job security at Cadmus Group?

Pros

Lots of sharp, hardworking colleagues to interact with. Most everyone cares about what the company is doing, both in day-to-day work and for larger mission goals.

Cons

Job security is a big issue. There's a lot of brain drain because people are not likely to be re-tasked as old contracts end and new ones start. Lots and lots of upper management. There are just too many cooks in the kitchen. There were many instances where people just did not know who was in charge of a project task. I repeatedly saw people working hard on a task, that task getting shifted around among large groups of staff, and the work being lost or re-done multiple times. It's frustrating to see your hard work be for naught. Overtime is nonexistent.

Advice to Management

Pull back from the focus from billability to enhance business development. When there is a very real threat of layoffs over billability numbers then how can you expect anyone to want to commit their time and their best work toward proposals and development? And so you don't win proposals. And so business drops off. Duh. Don't let the company drift from it's core principles.

Job security is a big issue.

2 November 2018

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2 December 2019

How are senior leaders perceived at Cadmus Group?

Pros

Good leadership, nice office, challenging work

Cons

Stressful and long working hours

Good leadership, nice office, challenging work

2 December 2019

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16 English questions out of 16