Agilent Technologies Reviews

Updated June 11, 2015
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  1. Helpful (1)

    Good for work life balance, bad for advancement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The quality of life allowed by working at Agilent is truly extraordinary. Work schedules are extremely flexible, with managers being even more accomodating of working at home or odd hours for employees with children.
    People are also genuinely nice, treating others and their ideas with an impressive mix of respect and candor.
    Management really does try to manage "properly" - according to commonly accepted rules of good management.

    Cons

    Because Agilent is a flat organization with unusually low turnover (lots of "lifers" who love the culture) opportunities for advancement are scarce. This is particularly frustrating for people with ambition.

    Management of the operations of the company is broken. It's far too bureaucratic and slow. In an extremely complex business, more power should be given to individual managers, who better understand their customers and products. As it is, corporate management distrusts product line managers and this distrust manifests itself in micromanagement of budgets and projects.. This phenomenon may have existed for decades and as a result there is a total lack of leadership at lower management levels. The age old problem of bureacracies exists here, you're not rewarded for successes, you're punished for mistakes. The result is that small successes are celebrated because no one takes chances that could lead to big successes.

    Advice to Management

    Divest power down to product lines. Let them make mistakes, encourage change, generate turnover, and eventually you will build a more successful organization.


  2. Good work life balance; Not good for ambitious stars

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA

    I worked at Agilent Technologies

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance, respect for one's personal time, flexible work hours, everyone is very nice

    Cons

    not suitable for ambitious employees, HR compensation/rating does not reward high achievers, rewards people getting along (being conflict averse) rather than facing problems head-on, bureaucratic

    Advice to Management

    foster new talent and challenge the bureauracy


  3. Helpful (1)

    Spark of Insigt just a dull glow. Bill and Dave would wonder where the real entrepreneurship went!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Englewood, CO
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Englewood, CO

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Still the place to be for test and measurment technology minded engineer.
    Great place to learn to be an engineer.
    Close working relationships if you are not remote.

    Cons

    No movement.
    Most divisions do not know how to work with remote employees
    Weak achievements touted as great success.
    Too many excuses for why they are not leadint the market in certain technology areas.
    Lower level managers not held accountable for being managers of employees. Most employee reviews are the "end of the year" surprises

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at most of the management levels. It is very narrow in experience. Typically they have an HP (TMO) and/or Agilent backgound only. Easy to get frustrated if have career growth plans that bring a new light to divisions


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Has potential but is overmanaged

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - R&D Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - R&D Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Agilent has a lot of exciting technology in both Electronics communications and Bio-sciences developed in-house and non-organic through acquisitions. As an engineer, I think it's a better place for people in the research stream than for a production oriented person. They do hire lots of talented people and it tries to be a very eco-conscious company and does a lot of charitable contributions. The non-compensation related benefits are decent. There is not too much pressure if you enjoy that sort of thing and provides a stable work environment. Some of the original (good) HP culture is still around but you need to dig a little.

    Cons

    An excess of bureaucracy arising out of too much mid level management that does not want to move out of their comfort zone until it becomes necessary, rather than pro-actively trying out new thinking. There seems to be some amount of political turf protection with mid level managers seeking to expand their 'empires'. It's clear to me that career managers have a 35 year time table in their mind (Agilent still offers a pension) and they lack the sense of urgency to turn on a dime. Whether you work hard or not you'll end up getting the same company-wide bonus and forget about raises. Only recently they have claimed to move towards Individual performance bonuses, it remains to be seen how well it is implemented. They are a hardware company and software is an incongruous fit into their mix. If you are keen to get into management, be prepared to wait in line. For a young person this is a great place to be if all you want to do is raise a family and want a stable environment with not too much pressure but if you are driven and be inspired, look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Act like your job is on the line rather than working towards your next promotion 10 years down the line. Need more critical thinking and common sense in place of great slogans. Try to bring back the old HP culture that we hear so much about instead of being driven solely by the stock price.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work... 20 years ago!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You can work with interesting technologies, and learn or do as much as you want to. Generally, your coworkers are very smart people who are willing to share their ideas and help you out when you need it.

    Cons

    The compensation is not on par with other tech companies. There are not very many opportunities for career advancement. The management team is constantly pushing their people to produce products without really taking the time to develop quality products. Generally, there is an attitude that "you should be happy that you have a job here." This place was a great place to work in the '80s, but the management and benefits have not kept up with the times.

    Advice to Management

    You're living on borrowed time. Most employees are not impressed with the management team, or their chances for advancement. This job is seen as just a paycheck, not a career.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Think twice before joining this company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people. You will have a lot of opportunities to learn technical stuffs.

    Cons

    Poor management from top to bottom. Too many managers after layoffs. A lot of super long-term employees, 25-35 years with the company, who only talk instead of doing anything. Management focus on books, not employee development. Pay is really low for mid-age engineers. Again, too many people has been working here for more than 25 years, and a lot of them were ex-managers, so the only thing they do is networking with each other. Not productive in project management. A new product introduction cycle is 2+ years. Market and sales staff doesn't under the products. They sell products because the products have good data sheet.

    Advice to Management

    They need to know how to market the product, and they need to have a god understanding of the financial market.


  8. Helpful (6)

    A very well established company which is learning to be small.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lab Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Agilent Technologies

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice colleagues, very intelligent scientists, opportunities to travel and meet many interesting people. Very competitive products (well, what's left...) that are well positioned in the market. Probably the best marketing group in the industry with extremely capable and knowledgeable people. A great place to work if you want to gain experience from a big company and don't want to work in a bank or read Dilbert.

    Cons

    The company prides itself to have its roots in HP of the '50s. However this is not entirely true anymore. Agilent was spun off from HP in 1999 and then was split in two in 2014 with the electronics measurement business becoming a separate entity, Keysight. In the meanwhile Agilent closed or sold quite a few units, bought Varian in 2010 and closed or sold most of it and also bought Dako in 2013. Overall there were around 44,000 employees in 1999, Varian and Dako came in with around 5200 people and now there are around 9,000 left, with the majority of them being laid-off or becoming contractors in the way. There are quite a few leftovers from the big Agilent era, though. Each new starter is faced with an intimidating set or rules, processes and, most importantly, acronyms that he has to learn in order to barely survive. You can forget spoken everyday English, you will need to learn things like MU, MEIDAS, PFF, SU, AM, PS, IM, PO, SR, WLA, ACS, FSS, FSE, MRU, AE, TANGOE, CERTO, GIO, WPS, GIPO, FAMS etc, etc, etc, there is even an internal website with the meanings of all these which have nothing to do with what they sound like. There have been hardly any revolutionary, new products introduced by Agilent in this long period with most products being incremental, small upgrades to established products from the HP era or purchased from other companies. The company shows good results mostly because of the income it got from the selling of various units in the 00's. Rather demotivating environment if things turn slightly off plan. What you did in the past (last year) has no influence whatsoever, only what you do now is of relevance. If you are in sales then making 250% of your quota last year will not help you this year and if you only make 95% you will be out. Most of the former Agilent employees have been laid off rather than leaving at their own will. There are no careers at Agilent anymore, only jobs. In R&D projects are defined by the personal opinions of managers who are not necessarily scientists nor have an idea of the marketplace, most of the projects are canned when they are 85% complete. Global sales, service and support, finance, marketing, R&D and manufacturing are actually competing with each other and cross-charging each other at every opportunity. Having moved all support activities to Asia you are faced with the same attitude when your email is not working as when you call your bank or credit card. Bureaucracy has increased both because of the infinite processes that must be followed (up to 3 levels of approval for purchasing a $200 item) and because these are monitored by people in India. Things that take other companies 10 minutes to do take up to a week or more at Agilent. In all it is lawyers and accountant that make the decisions, not commercial people or scientists. Anything with more than 0% risk is rejected. In all Agilent still thinks and tries to function like a 50,000 employee company when instead they are only one fifth of what they used to be.

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are not just employee ID's and cost centres. They are very intelligent people with great ideas, your biggest asset, so treat them accordingly and listen to them.

    The people in sales are the ones who bring the money in, they are not the ones who always ask for more.

    The stock holders don't give money to the company, customers do.

    Prioritise the customers instead of the Agilent processes.

    Get rid of all the bullying middle-managers.

    Value the science degrees more than the MBAs.

    "Better beg for forgiveness than ask for permission" gets your job done but makes relationships bitter, stop promoting this tactic.

    There are many more efficient ways to increase your return on invested capital and your profits than reducing costs; if you only look for good results by reducing costs you will lose (as you have already).

    If you want to reduce costs you can start by scrapping the principle of the global suppliers and the single, overcharging-fee travel agency. Let people get the supplies and book the trips looking at the local markets where they can get much better deals. Limit the over-controlling procurement procedures to the places where they are really needed; if someone bribed somebody in China there is no reason to increase the burden for the people in Switzerland.

    Don't allow your senior executives to say nonsense things like "take your vacation before the end of the quarter to help us reduce our costs and achieve better results". (This was really said in an email!)

    The whole world is not 30 miles around Santa Clara.

    There is life after the end of the quarter.

    Either make the leadership survey real or don't do it at all, reporting false or manufactured results makes you look stupid to the eyes of your employees.

    Don't lie, neither to your employees nor to your customers.

    You cannot have progress if you do not risk.

    Nobody (not even financial analysts) can predict the future!

    Agilent does not know best, Agilent know very well. Whether Agilent know best is something that the others and time will tell, not you.

    The Global Infrastructure Organisation is there to support everybody else, they do not bring in money. So don't let them define policies that only serve them and not the people who actually get the job done.

    Having all the finance and support group in India helps with your costs for them but makes everyone lose so much time with them that the benefit is negated very quickly.

    The ones who survive are not the strongest ones, it is the ones who adopt more easily. Allow flexibility in your processes, there is no such thing as one size fits all worldwide.

    Historically and in every sector or discipline it was stability that brought progress. So stop advocating that "the only constant is change" and look for stable, efficient structures.

    If a group does not perform as expected then first check the managers, not the lower people. Look at sports for how this is done.

    If everyone tells you that you are wrong this is because you are wrong!


  9. Helpful (2)

    Marketing

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

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible work environment and reasonable benefits

    Cons

    Far too much change and cost cutting

    Advice to Management

    Leadership from the top


  10. Good pay to new hire but annual increment for existing employee is poor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Could learn a lot if you are hard working

    Cons

    Some employee misuse the working hours flexibility, management to employees ratio is high

    Advice to Management

    Be fair to existing employee when management willing to pay higher for new hire.


  11. Not up to the mark

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance Coordinator in Mānesar (India)
    Current Employee - Finance Coordinator in Mānesar (India)

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Stable and great company
    Nice business and less competition.
    Many benifits for permanent employees.

    Cons

    Very slow growth
    No learning even if you spent good time there.
    Highly stressed atmosphere made by espeacially my manager and that too not for actual work but the other things.
    No training at any time.

    Advice to Management

    Please introduce some good training sessions for everyone after every few months so that everyone keep learning. Due to continous learning the employee can be good asset of the company.



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