Cadmus Group Employee Reviews about "billability"

Updated 6 Oct 2020

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3.4
56%
Recommend to a Friend
65%
Approve of CEO
Cadmus Group President & CEO Ian Kline (no image)
Ian Kline
63 Ratings
Pros
  • "Cadmus has a very flexible work environment and staff can often work from home when needed(in 12 reviews)

  • "Good and smart people, good cause, good vision(in 7 reviews)

Cons
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Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "billability"

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  1. "Consulting to make a difference"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Boulder, CO
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cadmus Group full-time

    Pros

    Great people, impactful work. Always something new to learn

    Cons

    Large emphasis on billability; some disconnects between PMs and higher tiers of management

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, disorganized company"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst 

    I have been working at Cadmus Group full-time

    Pros

    Wonderful, talented, driven people. Some teams are really great and are able to shield their members from the insanities of upper management.

    Cons

    Little concern for work-life balance, don't care if you're consistently working 60 hours a week and burning out, only care if you're meeting your billability targets.


  3. Helpful (7)

    "Serious Issues"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst - Homeland Security in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cadmus Group full-time for more than a year

    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.

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "You'll learn a lot, get to mess around with real world data, and contribute to the fight against climate change"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cadmus Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fresh out of grad school, I got the chance to learn the data modeling ropes from a bunch of experienced economists, statisticians, and mechanical engineers with real world applications. Cadmus' energy group (mainly ~75-100 folks in Portland, Boulder, and Madison) has a very positive reputation in the energy efficiency world and has contributed solid measurements and techniques to the industry over the years. Generally, the people at Cadmus are great, and have created a supportive learning environment. All the while, the 3rd party evaluation work that Cadmus does helps reduce GHGs by contributing to energy savings, which is certainly motivating.

    Cons

    I guess I left the company after three years mainly because I got burned out. Like in any kind of consulting, I suppose, the more junior analyst role at Cadmus requires high billability rates and long hours, and ultimately did not afford much room for innovation or learning new techniques. I also felt like I was becoming a cog in the machine simply meant to crank out more hours to bill as quickly as possible, instead of being shown a broader path for true career development or the ability to learn new skills or do a variety of things. Maybe that's just part of the game or maybe it's something of an oversight on the part of the leadership of the group, maybe a little of both. In the end, I was able to transfer my skills to another company in the industry for a 50% salary increase.

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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Meh."

    3.0
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cadmus Group

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, folks are generally nice and easy to work with, projects can be interesting, some basic perks like bagels every week and a bike stipend.

    Cons

    Being a mid-level employee here is a thankless job. You very rarely get acknowledged for your contributions (in any area); any positive client feedback usually is attributed to your senior manager (no matter how involved they were or weren’t in a project. Usually, it’s not a lot.) Junior staff usually get more encouragement and benefit from spot bonuses and other programs that appear to be company-wide but in practice are really limited to them. I agree with the previous review indicating wage issues. As a middle manager, you aren’t compensated for working overtime (and compensation in general is low compared with competitive firms), and the pay structure is designed to ding you if you work on any area that doesn’t directly make the firm money (this includes things like business development and managing junior staff, things that are required in order to keep the company afloat). Middle managers are almost exclusively tasked with this work. So you need to make up hours spent on these activities with billable work, which requires over time with no extra compensation. Because of the lack of engagement directly on projects and no engagement on day-to-day firm activities, senior management has little idea of who is actually working hard, and who is just floating along or seemingly doing work while really just jacking up billability and making no substantive contributions. This is evident in the firm’s performance evaluation process, in which staff pick their own reviewers. The process is essentially a feedback loop for staff to provide positive reviews to colleagues they like and vice versa. There’s no evident way to raise concerns about colleagues or practices that may be problematic. As a result, terrible staff with few accomplishments and close relationships with senior management get plaudits and/or promotions, while the rest of us carry on in obscurity.

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  6. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Analyst"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst in Bethesda, MD

    I worked at Cadmus Group full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Smart, kind, and ambitious coworkers - Flexible work environment - Interesting and meaningful work

    Cons

    - Lack of diversity - Unrealistic billability targets - Lack of respect for junior staff members' time (often expected to work late with very little notice)

    Cadmus Group Response

    February 1, 2018

    Thank you for your feedback. Due to the client-based nature of our work as a consulting firm, there are times that some employees are asked to work beyond typical 9-5 business hours. We expect managers to be respectful of staff members’ other work and personal commitments. Cadmus values diversity. It is an important part of our culture and is reflected across our many offices nationwide. Please email us at HR.comms@cadmusgroup.com to share more details about your experience.

  7. Helpful (1)

    "Free to choose own path - Expect to leave Cadmus within 3 years"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cadmus Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    One can choose what you work on as long as you have the skill and have networked within the company sufficiently. Cadmus hires bright people.

    Cons

    No regular project management training. Cadmus promotes project managers instead of hiring them. Encouraged to hide hours to meet administrative goals. Cadmus incentives inefficiency. The longer one spends wasting time on something, the better for Cadmus. Billability baseline assumes 0 days off a year, leading to essentially no PTO.

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    Cadmus Group Response

    February 1, 2018

    Thank you for providing feedback. Cadmus offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package, including a range of vacation, sick, and personal days in addition to holidays. We also offer a flexible work environment, health insurance (including dental and vision), and employee stock ownership, as well as other bonus and personal development opportunities to compensate our employees and help them achieve a positive work/life balance. We regularly review the elements of our compensation package to ensure that they are competitive while still supporting the sustainable growth of Cadmus. Regarding project management, we continuously enhance project and staff management training and regularly implement new tools and resources for employees to nurture a wide base of in-house project management professionals. This includes partnering with an outside consultant and university to deliver onsite project manager training to all our major offices. And, in accordance with our corporate policy, we provide charge codes for all company-sponsored billable and non-billable activities. Please email us at HR.comms@cadmusgroup.com to share more details about your experience.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Not so good"

    2.0
     

    I worked at Cadmus Group

    Pros

    You get your own office but that's about the extent of the positives at Cadmus, it's unfortunate. Too much turnover and lack of empathy to employees.

    Cons

    Over focused on billability and working 44+ hours a week. Cadmus has it all wrong with incentivizing working extra hours versus providing quality work in less time.

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  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great learning environment"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cadmus Group full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Interesting project work and opportunities to hone current skills and develop new ones for motivated go getters. Great benefits and smart, caring colleagues.

    Cons

    Salaries are low compared to other industries. Poor project management has led to project overruns that affect all employees unfairly and results in executive teams putting significant emphasis on revenue growth and billability above all else including personal growth and work/life balance. This, along with terrible communications from upper management, has led to widespread low moral.

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  10. Helpful (1)

    "Solid firm, great work-life balance"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Waltham, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    As the title says, once you've gotten used to the world of consulting, this place is great in terms of their respect for your well-being and time. It's consulting, but not management consulting, so your hours are not as crazy as you might expect, and they've made several changes over the past couple years to make pay and benefits competitive while still maintaining the overall atmosphere of collegiality.

    Cons

    Depending on your division and group, there may be periods of slowness which can be tough because you're still expected to meet certain billability requirements. The health plan isn't the best either.

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