CEB

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CEB Reviews

Updated January 20, 2015
Updated January 20, 2015
559 Reviews
3.2
559 Reviews
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CEB Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Monahan III
Thomas L. Monahan III
327 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great place to start after university with an excellent work life balance (in 48 reviews)

  • Gained experience selling to C-Level executives (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • Micromanagement and very poor work life balance due to intentional under-staffing (in 41 reviews)

  • Senior management has a hawk eye on metrics; yes, they're important, but still (in 37 reviews)

More Highlights

78 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Do NOT work here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Rolling Meadows, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Rolling Meadows, IL

    I worked at CEB full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You MIGHT get to work with talented people.
    You MIGHT get to work with top tier clients (Fortune 500).

    Cons

    This company:

    Since my former company was acquired by CEB, they destroyed it. They ruined the culture by turning a once independent, motivated, successful workforce into mindless drones who work for a bottom line and cannot think creatively. We no longer served the customers, we were slaves to the almighty dollar. The mother-ship CEB didn't know what we did when they bought us and it showed. They're in a fantastic spree of Layoffs! They let go about 20% of the workforce day 1 after acquisition. Then, when we didn't meet their completely unrealistic goals, they laid off another 15% saying "That's the end of it, we cut deep to make sure no one else needs to go". LIE! What happened LESS THAN 6 months later? ANOTHER ROUND OF LAYOFFS! Awesome! There goes another 15% of the remaining workforce. They decapitate acquired companies because they have the capital to buy, without any of the knowledge of how to handle that acquisition.

    I quit after ranking up 3 times in 3 years. Sounds good right? No. The pay is horrific, so even after those promotions, I still didn't make market value. Consultants, Analysts, work somewhere else, your skills are not valued here, and you can live a very happy, well balanced life working elsewhere. Oh, but if you do quit they MIGHT threaten a lawsuit if you don't tell them where you're going! That brings up the awesome (sarcasm) talent they have as managers.

    The Managers:

    ...Have no management experience. They're people who dedicated years and years of their lives, drowning in the garbage that you're doing (if you work there). So, because of that "We all went through it" attitude, they have no sympathy for the 60+ hour work weeks (no exaggeration, my record work week was 103 hrs. I'm not joking) that you'll consistently put in for months on end. Since we're talking about hours - I made less than minimum wage if you consider hours worked vs salary - again - no exaggeration.

    Good luck, I wish I knew this when we were acquired by CEB!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to value your employees as more than just a means to an end.

    Take a pay cut instead of laying off your workforce, when the CEO banks 6 figures in his bonuses alone, I'm pretty sure that could trickle down and help the struggling businesses instead. It should be teamwork, don't let your position give you a false sense of entitlement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Stay away

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Arlington, VA

    I worked at CEB

    Pros

    Young people and good location.

    Cons

    Hired ads business development associate right out of school and it was miserable. You are expected to make 100+ dials a day just to successfully get a hold of about 2 decision makers who will just hang up on you for cold calling them and wasting their time.

    Was also micromanaged by manager who would send passive aggressive emails to me while I was 5 feet from her desk.

    The whole experience is one I hope no other educated college grad gets sucked into by the lies told during the interview about duties.

    If you are considering taking a job with CEB I would say run away. Fast.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe hire managers who have actually done the job that they manage for

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    You're going to cold call all day long...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at CEB full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Fun and young workforce
    A lot of bright people work there

    Cons

    A lot of the positions require constant cold calling which they mislabel as "marketing"
    Cut throat competition between associates vying for limited promotions

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Run as far as you can

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development Associate in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Business Development Associate in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at CEB full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Other young employees in office

    Cons

    If you want to make 150+ phone calls a day and actually only talk to 2 correct contacts then go for it. It's a horrible, degrading Expierence that I hope no one else has to go through.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better communication is needed

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    False Promises

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Chantilly, VA
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Chantilly, VA

    I worked at CEB full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Younger workforce, everyone is very nice and easy to get along with. The location was outside of the city so I didn't have to commute too far to work. I was hired by SHL and shortly thereafter was bought by CEB therefore I worked out of the SHL office.

    Cons

    I drove 7 hours for the interview from the south and was looking to find a position in the area that had even compensation, I certainly did not want to accept a position that paid less in an area that is extremely expensive to live. Once I accepted the position and started the job, the things I were promised before I accepted quickly changed. The structure of the comp plan changed drastically from what I was told originally. Rather than making a percentage of your sales each month with an overall yearly goal (which is what was promised) the structure changed to needing to reach milestones in order to get paid commission. I began the first working day of the year in Jan 2013, the sales team did not receive their goals or comp plan until the last day in Feb. This means the sales team had no idea how we were getting paid and what needed to be achieved until 2 months into the year. The milestones that needed to be hit were quite lofty expectations. With an average sell price of $1995, a goal of $40,000 needed to be reached before you see a commission check. Essentially, every $40,000 you sell, you get paid $3,000 - after taxes you'll see somewhere around $1600-$1800. I was the first member to hit the milestone, and it didn't happen until April - so 4 months in just hitting the first goal, not getting paid on it until May. So in 5 months I saw about $1700 in commission. The next commission didn't come until August, keep in mind I was at the top in terms of new business sales. I was promised about $30k more than what I actually made that year. It caused a lot of hardship for me as I left a job in which I made about $20k more, and moved to this expensive area to live while making much less money. Training was awful, it consisted of sitting in the manager's office and listening to him talk about why the ability tests are a sure thing because "it's science." The training lasted about 3-4 weeks, basically the entire first month of employment.. that means no time on the phones and no selling. When the comp plans came out, my goal was the same as everyone else's. I was immediately at a disadvantage as there was no ramp up time and no one took into account that I was asked to hit the 12 month goal with an entire month off the phones and sitting in training. I have friends still there, the comp planned was recently changed to a quarterly goal, which means 1st quarter goal is $xxxx amount, 2nd quarter goal is $xxxx amount (almost double from 1 quarter, 3rd quarter goal is $xxxx amount (almost triple the 1st quarter) and Q4 is 4X the Q1 goal. If you don't hit the goal for the quarter, you get nothing in commission. Meaning you can come to within $50 of the goal, the company is profiting off of your hard work, but you didn't hit their goal so you now get nothing - after working hard the whole quarter. Now this is the SHL Talent Measurement division of CEB - I am not sure how the rest of CEB as a whole has their comp plans.. but just be advised that on the new business team, you will work hard for very little. The entire sales team has since left the company, an account manager included. It's a turnstile at this point with senior sales leaders leaving the company on a monthly basis. I would say it'd be smart to stay away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your sales people more money. Have a fair comp plan. There's no reason the Account Managers should make double what the new business sales team makes. Account Mgmt is a renewals team, the customer already knows the value of the product and has been using it first hand. Cold calling on new business and giving presentations in an effort to demonstrate the value of ability tests is a much more complex sale than following up with current customers and renewing their yearly contract. Also... don't try so hard to sell the position. In your attempt to sell me on the job, you misled me and caused some very hard times that were completely unnecessary.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    You better drink their kool-aid, or prepare to be miserable or terminated.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Advisor in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Executive Advisor in Arlington, VA

    I worked at CEB full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The information they collect through the research was interesting and for the most part pretty accurate. They also threw good parties and provided tons of opportunities to drink.

    Cons

    Extremely management heavy- often hard to tell what exactly these people actually did. Poor training/onboarding. Spent more money on their parties/happy hours then on providing decent salaries (unless you're a top manager!)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    READ AND FOLLOW some of the research your company actually does! Provide training and mentoring for your team! Find a way to make it less obvious that there is very clear favoritism and you must literally believe their methodology with no questions or opinions, or else you'll be shunned and fired. With CEB there is only THEIR WAY TO DO IT and everyone else is made to be an idiot or failure. There is so much internal hooking up among staff that its impossible to meet someone new without hearing their entire sexual history- makes it uncomfortable for those that worked there to actually work instead of socialize. It's pretty clear CEB has a "type" to look for in new hires as the staff is 90% attractive, young, and white. Please stop doing business at one of your many happy hours! For those that aren't alcoholics, we'd prefer to do business during business hours... there were constantly missed opportunities to be involved in something if you didn't attend the party it was discussed at!

    Unfortunately, CEB has received a "Frat House" culture from both the outside looking in and for those that have their eyes open to what's truly going on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Strange place

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

    I worked at CEB full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Some good managers and very dedicated staff.

    Cons

    Ridiculously low pay. Atmosphere is not very friendly and managers are certainly not looking out for their staff. Pyramid style work organization means few positions to grow into. Most people spend a year or two and move on. Do the same if you ever want substantial salary increases. Poor work life balance. Management should encourage a more equitable balance or staff will burn out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Having been working somewhere else for the last few months I really DONT miss CEB

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at CEB full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Some teams are awesome and have great sprit
    -Some good people
    -Great opportunity to learn

    Cons

    -Pay is way too low. I received over a 20% salary increase with my move
    -Theres so much negativity when it comes to performance reviews, which i believe stems from the nature of the job, which is finding faults in companies - management looks and emphasizes your faults - they then make these faults clear to the people you work with so that you'll have the opportunity to 'develop'. Its a bit obscure, because not all of those people care about your work so they latch onto what was said and basically regurgitate this in your next review
    -Turnover is terrible, either everyone leaves or wants to leave, especially at the Analyst to Director level
    -There is some really bad upper management, primarily at the SD and MD level - huge egos
    -Lots of weekend work with no real goals

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Increase pay rate
    -Its not all about looking for the person that will develop the next big case (really, they're all very similar) instead promote those people who are smart, create a positive work environment and arent so negative. Stop favoring the people that complain and dont make these people managers.
    -Dont make it mandatory to come in on weekends

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dont fall into the trap....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Representative in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Business Development Representative in Arlington, VA

    I worked at CEB full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The product is awesome. They put alot of time into developing best practices and passing them through to clients. If you are part of the "in group" you can get or do anything you want.
    They give you formal training but it isnt very strong at all.

    Cons

    It is a super clicky culture. You are either part of the "in group" or not. If not, they do everything possible to make you fail.
    Leadership has clear favorites and talk down other employers in the area to make you feel like you are part of this prestigious organization-- when in reality they are just afraid of more people leaving
    They require you to come in early and stay late- they pay you overtime- but its not an option at all
    During q4 you can barely leave your desk to go to the bathroom without your manager freaking out about where you went.
    Promotion is through a panel process, and although they are improving it- the concept of advancement there is not what they tell you when you are interviewing. Very unrealistic expectations set.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat employees fairly and do not pick favorites. It felt like you made up your mind if you liked me before I started. Stop talking down other companies, and people that leave for other opportunities. Make time to train and coach your employees. SSPD does not teach you product knowledge.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    CEB: A Real-Life Initech

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at CEB full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Your peers are good hearted people.
    Young environment, frequent happy hours after work (you'll need them).
    Located near metro and food trucks.
    No asbestos in the building.

    Cons

    Watch the movie "Office Space." If you think Initech is a great place to work, then CEB will be the perfect fit for you. Don't dare leave the office before 5:30pm. It'll be noted by everyone and in your performance review.

    Speaking of, CEB uses a GPA-style grading system for how they rate your performance. Don't expect to come anywhere near a 4.0 though. Most people get a between 2.0 - 2.5 (a "high meets/low exceeds" rating...whatever that means). And yes, there's a "Firm Citizenship" competency that you'll be rated on. If you don't drink the kool-aid, watch that score go way down. Your bonus is then "objectively" computed by a secret "calibration committee." Basically, if you kissed up to the right people, you may be able to use that heavily-taxed bonus money to take a vacation.

    Be advised that CEB's benefits aren't that great at all. See for yourself - look up the CEB web site and find their benefits page. CEB won't list them to the public (RED FLAG). Don't let them tout their benefits package as leverage when you negotiate salary. You get 19 days of leave each yeah. That includes vacation, sick, personal, and whatever else. 19 days. Oh and if you don't use them all, they WILL NOT ROLLOVER into the next year. You don't get the 19 days of leave up front either. You accrue a few hours every pay period. Don't expect to be able to take time off at the end of the year (it's end-of-quarter craziness). And if you leave CEB with a negative leave balance, they will take it out of your final paycheck. That's assuming you'll get your final paycheck. CEB has an unfortunate history of employees' final check being "lost" or otherwise not deposited into their account because of some mystical error.

    You will not have to look hard to find the Bill Lumberghs of this company. "The CEB way" is to be happy with long hours and poor compensation. If it's your first job out of college, don't stay too long or else you'll be stuck in the blackhole of suckitude that is CEB. Their motto has always been, "just be happy that you have a job!" I shed a tear every time I see on LinkedIn, "Congratulate so-and-so on their Nth anniversary at CEB!"

    And if you are fortunate to move on from CEB, don't expect any celebrations on your way out. When I left after putting in over two years of service, I brought in a few six-packs of beer at the end of my last day and the ENTIRE management team was like, "What's the occasion?" Even though I submitted my resignation weeks before, stated my last day of employment, and worked with them to finalize the transition, the management team did nothing to acknowledge the work I had done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How are you a credible leader in "best practice research" when you don't even practice what you preach?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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