North Highland Employee Reviews about "great people"

Updated Jan 11, 2021

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Found 60 of over 744 reviews

3.5
67%
Recommend to a Friend
56%
Approve of CEO
North Highland Chairman and CEO Dan Reardon
Dan Reardon
430 Ratings
Pros
  • "I've also had a great work-life balance which is very much appreciated(in 120 reviews)

  • "Great people (some of the brightest I have ever worked with)(in 60 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Most of the work is not true consulting, its staff augmentation(in 28 reviews)

  • "Horrible leadership out of Atlanta(in 26 reviews)

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

    Reviews about "great people"

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    1. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Love working here

      Jan 11, 2021 - Analyst in Philadelphia, PA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good work-life balance, great people to work with and abundant learning opportunities

      Cons

      No cons for me so far

      Be the first to find this review helpful

      North Highland Response

      Global Services

      Thanks for sharing your feedback!

    2. 3.0
      Current Employee

      Evolving "Enviable" Culture

      Jan 11, 2021 - Expert Practitioner in Charlotte, NC
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      North Highland does a good job hiring great people.

      Cons

      North Highland's pay is not comparable with other Consulting companies.

      1 person found this review helpful
    3. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Great place to work

      Oct 6, 2020 - Principal in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great people, culture of care, interesting work, space and autonomy to grow

      Cons

      Some engagement challenges since Covid

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      North Highland Response

      Global Services

      Thanks for your review! Glad to hear that you like working at North Highland. We'd love to hear more about engagement challenges and what we could do to improve - would you be willing to reach out to HR to discuss more?

    4. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Great intentions - execution not so good

      Jul 2, 2020 - Management Consultant in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Great people (some of the brightest I have ever worked with) - Great culture

      Cons

      - Lagging behind in cutting edge solutions, especially internally - Perhaps too much interference from the US, who don't necessarily understand that things are done differently in Europe

      1 person found this review helpful
    5. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great leaders and senior staff

      Aug 15, 2020 - Business Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      amazing support structure, extremely intelligent and great people skills

      Cons

      promotion decisions not based on technical skills at all

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      North Highland Response

      Global Services

      We appreciate your review and thanks for taking the time to share. We will make sure to share the feedback on the promotion process with our HR team.

    6. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      Lost its way

      Sep 15, 2020 - Principal Consultant in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There are still great people working there.

      Cons

      The culture has deteriorated as the focus has moved from growth to cost control. The influence of US management in the UK has been unpleasant. Recently cleared out a lot of the 'old guard' who were guardians of the culture.

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      6 people found this review helpful
    7. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Head for the hills as fast as you can

      Jan 23, 2020 - PMO Project Manager in Washington, DC
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There are a handful of really great people in the middle management and below levels. Compensation is ok.

      Cons

      Senior leadership is not competent and does not understand the business they are in or the market they serve. In 3 years they have not been able to acquire new customers in the Atlantic market or keep the one they had. They promote people who don't perform, nepotism is not questioned. They routinely allow their people to be double taxed until it is caught by each individual and will set it to rights if the individual makes them update the system and return the funds. They continue to 'have problems with timecards' in their computer system and so can fail to pay your salary on the basis of the time card not being received. They discriminate between W2 employees and W2 affiliates - openly and brazenly creating an us versus them environment. The list goes on. Better question is what do they do right (see Pros section). Benefits are so so.

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      10 people found this review helpful
    8. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Wasted Potential

      Feb 6, 2020 - Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The people I worked alongside were great. People in the middle layers of the company were supportive and fun to be around. The actual work itself was mostly fine on projects where the goals didn't change mid-stream. The company (at least in our local office) was pretty good about flexibility.

      Cons

      I'm not sure where to start, the list could be exhaustive. The consistent change in strategy and no clear direction of what kind of company the leadership team wanted us to be had a negative ripple affect among many other parts of the company. The inconsistencies on that front eroded trust between leadership and people within the firm. Strategy felt like a guessing game with no clear foundation on why we were doing what we did. There were a few occasions when an internal project would go awry due to the shifting changes in expectations or micromanagement by upper leadership. It would make a smooth project become needlessly complicated and add undue stress to the team. A direct quote on feedback I received at one point included "I don't know what I want but this isn't it." As a result, some projects would not be as successful as they could. When something went awry, no accountability would be taken and leadership would throw the team under the bus instead. The micromanagement felt like a way to hide behind the fact that nobody knew what they were doing. Advancement and the "promotion process" at this firm left something to be desired. Even the lowest level employees were forced to go through a promotion panel, where advancement would not be merit-based but more on which executives in the company you knew and if they liked you. This was the only place I've worked in my career where I went home and did the math on whether or not I could responsibly walk out without a new job in hand. When I finally moved on, leadership handled my departure in a petty way. Others who also moved on faced similar issues, with their last two weeks being made as miserable or arduous as possible. This is a company with a rich history of having a positive culture. The potential is there for it to be great. The trajectory was less than positive.

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      14 people found this review helpful
    9. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      So very sad and disappointed...

      Jan 26, 2020 - Manager in Crossroads, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great people, just not at the right level.

      Cons

      Expecting individuals to work themselves to death to build the company and then not sharing in the rewards. Individuals who challenge or question the logic of the NH system (bonus, travel, local market vs industry/capability, work/life balance, project assignments, or anything), are labeled as difficult to work with or negative. I thought I would be able to voice issues and raise concerns for the good of the client and/or the firm, nevermind for my career. But that has not turned out to be so.

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      11 people found this review helpful
    10. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Mental Health is Much Better Since Leaving

      Dec 22, 2019 - Consultant in Atlanta, GA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -- People / Consultants There were some really great people that worked here and still do. Just because the firm is dysfunctional, and the leadership is disconnected doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate many of my colleagues. I often feel like I am surrounded with really smart people, which is great. However, much of that is changing as well (see below). -- Projects There are some interesting projects out there, and then there are some roles that are closer to staff augmentation. It takes a good amount of luck to not get stuck in a staff aug role. I would say that my time has been around 50/50, but have definitely been on some projects that helped me grow personally and sound great in job interviews. -- Life After North Highland If you're there now and relating to a lot of my 'cons' ... don't worry, I was there too. I used to read these reviews to try to better understand if people felt the same way I did. Hopefully this gives you perspective and some strength to move on. Don't worry, there is life after North Highland.

      Cons

      -- Company Health There are constantly new concerns when it comes to the health of the firm. Declining revenue. Accounts receivable issues. Constant change in ‘strategy.’ Constant turnover in key executive positions. Best consultants leaving. Small bonus pools. Large pools of new hires with minimal credentials and no experience in consulting. There’s always a multiplier on the bonus to decrease the bonus amount (which was measured based on budget vs. actuals, so budget was always inflated to reduce bonus payouts). -- Bonus of 2019 During CY 2018, many of us worked very hard to earn our bonus. Something strange happened right before the bonus. NH rushed out a poorly constructed performance model to get ratings on all the consultants. This was a joke because they should have already had ratings, however they moved away from collecting project ratings after each project was completed (no idea why). Shortly after that, they announced that they wouldn’t be paying out the full bonus. We went for around 2 months wondering what that meant (no additional information was provided). Come to find out, the performance reviews that they scraped together at the last minute were used to inform who got their bonuses and who got less than expected. Really, anyone who sticks around after an experience like that probably deserves more of the same. That was truly horrific. NH Leaders, please pay your people what you promised. If you can’t, then partners/execs should take the hit rather than putting that burden on the consultant - it’s not the consultant that should bear the iniquities of poor leadership and poor management. -- Bonus The annual bonus is normally paid out Q1 based on prior year performance. Minimum billable hours for bonus equates to 90% utilization. The numerator is your hours billed, and the denominator assumes 40 hours every week for the entire year not accounting for holidays, training, PTO, or paternity leave. Some account leadership only allow you to charge 40 hours per week since the focus is on margin which is sometimes at odds with your focus on exceptional delivery and hours billed. When it comes time for the company to pay your bonus, they apply a ‘multiplier’ which almost always results in a lower bonus than you expected. The multiplier is based on budget/forecast to actuals rather than YOY performance. If we were a public company then we’d never get away with such poor forecasting at best; but more than likely this is yet another way to reduce compensation to employees. The most recent bonus pool was lower than expected and many got much less than they expected despite hitting all the right ‘numbers.’ --- New Hires During mid-2019, the company ramped up hiring. I looked at many LinkedIn profiles for those individuals and was a bit concerned and I noticed a theme - they are now letting in anyone willing to work here. The bar keeps getting lowered each year. -- Compensation The compensation is below the industry standard; granted the tradeoff is that you will be supposedly be travelling less and working a better work-life balance (no longer true). You’re unlikely to get any annual cost of living raises which tells me two things 1) they don’t plan on you sticking around (why would you when you effectively make less each year) and 2) they can increase your rates annually and pocket the difference. Promotions come with very small increases in pay, but more responsibility. -- Life Balance The work-life balance is not realistic when seeking a promotion and considering firm contribution, business development, proposals, relationship management, and account management on top of project delivery and metrics. Now they have decided to layer on travel for most consultants. There is no longer a reasonable work/life balance at NH. -- Travel You would expect to not have to travel based on the ‘no travel’ sales pitch, but be warned that once you are on the bench, the firm is incented to place you on a project regardless of travel required and ‘fit.’ After joining the firm, you quickly learn that up to 100 percent travel is to be expected for senior consultants and below. Even Managers and up used to be able to say they weren’t willing to travel and that was fully supported. However, now everyone is expected to be ready to travel. I’ve even seen principal level consultants forced to travel and then leave the company shortly thereafter. -- Culture and General Decline I agree with some of the other comments that the original culture is dying. When I first joined, I was excited about the family friendly culture and the many seasoned consultants that I would be working with and learning from. However there was a mass exodus of those seasoned consultants with tenures of 10+ years who had helped grow the firm. Shortly after that there was constant ‘change’ around everything from service offerings, policies, and even back-end management systems (e.g. workday); and all those changes were always poorly managed and poorly communicated. The firm is still in change mode and everything feels very ‘half-baked’ when rarely presented to employees. -- Company Meetings When I first came on board, the company would have annual company meetings. Everyone would fly in for a few days and take a break from the client work. It was invigorating and exiting. You’d meet lots of people. There would be presentations all day long on things like capabilities, opportunities to learn, and opportunities to network. Contrast that to today where there are no annual meetings due to constant ‘budget concerns.’ In the last couple of years, there haven’t even been local happy hours due to budgeting concerns. I’m not sure if this is reality or a way of the leadership to cut cost. Either way it is concerning. -- Feedback Not Taken The leadership solicits feedback from the firm every year or two, but doesn’t seem to take action on any of it. That is part of my reason in writing here. -- Turnover Turnover has been atrocious. Leadership will tell you that the numbers are in line with the industry, but when you zoom in, you will see that highly valuable, highly seasoned consultants are leaving and being replaced with staff aug roles. -- Bench Policy The bench policy has been updated and includes a statement that after 2-4 week on the bench, the company has the right to ‘take employment action.’ I was told that this policy has more bark than bite and was put into place to deter some who have ‘abused’ their bench time. If that’s true, then they should have resolved the issue with those punishing the policy, not with blanket statements and scare tactics. This is yet another data point that underscores the degradation of the people-focused culture and emphasis on the financials/metrics. -- 401(k) Match The company only matches on an annual basis, so no matter when you leave the company, you are going to be leaving money on the table. It seems like an intentional way to save the firm money at the expense of employees. Keep your eye out for talent flight each year right after the bonus and 401k payment. It’s something you can always count on each year. -- Communications There is little to no communication from the top. Plan on being in the dark on everything from review and promotion timelines to changes in the firm offerings. The few communications that we receive are so shallow that you can’t possibly connect enough dots to make sense of anything. This drives a lot of hallway conversation, complaining, feelings of uncertainty, etc. After some time you’ll grow jaded from reading every newsletter, attending every quarterly meeting, going to everyone account meeting … you’ll never get the answers you want. It leads to a lot of frustration across the board for sure. -- Promotions There is little incentive to promote employees. Leadership focuses on project margin and a promotion means that your cost rate will go dramatically (think 30%) which will dramatically diminish margin; however, your actual raise will be small/marginal (think 5%). This means that the company is quick to bill you for more where possible, but that does not translate to additional compensation. Regardless of incentives, the target constantly moves for promotions. For example, first you perform exceptionally well, and later you find out that’s not enough: you need leadership experience, so you lead some firm initiatives. Next you hear that’s not enough: you need more sales, so you drive BD, building relationships and account management skills. Then on top of that you have to build a promotion case to detail your value to the firm; despite that, if someone on the panel finds a hole in your case, tough luck and better luck next time. If they don’t want to promote you then they’re always going to be able to hide behind the expectations/descriptions at each level. -- THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS It seems like North Highland was a pioneer in the local model. That may be true. However, there are tons of better firms cropping up that are all local work as well. If you want to be a local consultant, there’s no longer a reason to be underpaid and underappreciated. -- Big Idea Competition Amid all these weaknesses, the company leadership decides to focus on a ‘venture capital’ type project called ‘The Big Idea’ (think Shark Tank), which selects the best concept pitched to fund each year. This side project is a complete distraction that provides no value to our clients and is at best a gamble at a windfall payday for the executives. This project underscores our leadership disconnect since they believe that we have the capacity for this type of nonsense.

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      21 people found this review helpful

      North Highland Response

      Global Services

      We’re proud of our strong financial results in 2020 and the collective work that everyone within the firm has done to get us to where we are today. As the market has shifted, we have adapted our strategy to maintain and grow our presence and credibility in the marketplace. Part of these efforts include reviewing our compensation, bonus structure and performance development models on a regular basis to ensure we’re addressing internal feedback and meeting or, ideally, exceeding, market demand. We are not perfect and work hard to be transparent with our employees about our successes and our failures. We appreciate your feedback and your thoughts provide us some areas that we can address further. If there are ever questions about changes we make, why we do something a certain way, or general feedback, know that our leaders and People teams are here to listen and learn.

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