Forrester Research Reviews

Updated July 14, 2015
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Forrester Research Chairman, President, and CEO George F. Colony
George F. Colony
42 Ratings

Pros
  • Great work/life balance which makes up for the cons listed below (in 37 reviews)

  • International company that attracts smart people (in 44 reviews)

Cons
  • Pay is on the lower side, but work/life balance and culture make up for it (in 12 reviews)

  • Senior management seems to change strategies every few years baswd on company performance (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

60 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Sr. Account Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Smart analysts and a great opportunity to work with senior level decision makers are Fortune 1000 companies. Despite all the recent pains still a strong culture which does set Forr apart from other companies.

    Cons

    HR is a weak link. As mentioned before they are biased towards management and don't understand how to maintain the great culture (leadership here needs to change). Same old people at the top riding out their careers (SVPs in sales and VPs in Research - nepotism). Sales comp plan would be OK IF quotas were reasonable and they paid at 100% from dollar one like most companies. Office location is bad for everyone and limits incoming talent.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of roles, investment back in IT research and verticals (Garnder seems to be doing great for their shareholders with this approach), look at technology acquisitions to distrust the research space. Finally, give sales people reasonable quotas, we are in an up market so sales people expect to be making money! Pay more on consulting business!


  2. Helpful (11)

    Getting in your own way-perspective from a sales person

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

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time

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

    Pros

    There is a great cultural foundation and working environment here. Other people have written about the location and amenities, which truly are nice. Most people here are young, energetic, and collaborative. Executives are approachable and willing to work with all employees if they reach out. The benefits are on par with what other organizations offer. The addition of the option for local employees to work from home 1 day a week was a nice addition. Work-life balance is great here for sales people. The Forrester brand is respected by clients and future employers and the research truly is objective.

    Cons

    If you are in sales, I hope you like waiting for your money. As another reviewer pointed out, you only get 50% of your commission payout until you hit 85% of your annual plan. Since the majority of the company's sales are in Q4, chances are you won't see 50% of the money you earned from January of 2015(or the first half of the year) until January of 2016!!! That's the reality of the current situation. Of course, this is assuming that you get to 85% of your seemingly unrealistic quota. If you are on the account management side, you are burdened with a 100% expected renewal rate(when the actual renewal rate is much lower) and a growth number of 30%+. What's that you say? One of Forrester's many research vision changes has eliminated coverage for a client you renewed at the beginning of the year or a new client that you just received from new business? Guess what, you're still responsible for renewing them and growing the relationship even though we are no longer writing about their technology or have an analyst that can deliver advisory around their market or help them market their product. Seems fair right? Please add quota relief for these situations. We're also reducing your territory size by 30%(giving you a smaller pool to sell to) and increasing your quota from last year by 11%. The three legged stool(quota, comp, territory) is now a one legged stool. You might as well flip the stool upside down and sit on that because that's how you're going to feel at the end of the year. On the career development side? There isn't much of that happening here with the current sales training organization. While these folks are truly nice and intelligent people, most of them have never carried a bag or trained people. These are not the senior people that should be in place to help improve your sales organization. You need to invest more in training and hiring experienced people to do the training. Having an online database of stale product training examples is not investing in your employees, it's checking the box. There should be optional monthly/quarterly classes offered by experienced sales professionals who are also experienced in training people. This will ultimately lead to better performance from sales reps and increased revenue.

    Advice to Management

    As other reviewers have commented, there is so much change continuously happening, it's hard to keep up. The majority of the changes that are taking place seem to be counterproductive to growing revenue, delivering better client value, and making the company a place where people want to work. Making changes simply aimed at short term revenue(reducing line items on a balance sheet) will never lead to long term success. Start by investing in your people FIRST, then your product, and growth and profits will ultimately follow. Forrester has a great foundation and a great reputation, but the right changes have still yet to be made for the future.

    Forrester Research Response

    Jun 23, 2015 – Program Specialist, Talent Acquisition

    I'm sorry your personal experience in the Sales organization has not been as rewarding. A record number of reps and managers are making plan and going to President's Club. But we can always do ... More


  3. Helpful (2)

    Pay less than standard but expects more work.

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

    I have been working at Forrester Research

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours . Great office location . Talented and energitic co - workers. Summer days , pool table etc. Work life balance .

    Cons

    A week HR, supports upper management. Gimmicks to attract talent. (Coffee machines, Pool table etc) Low pay. No room to grow.

    Advice to Management

    Review compensation.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    not worth the long-term investment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - California in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - California in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Forrester Research

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I enjoyed working with some of the people. The office is in a good location and the brand is known. you can learn a lot and build some contacts for your future.

    Cons

    senior leadership is severely lacking, you get ahead my saying the right things, rather than doing the right things. Non nonsensical rules distract you from the job of helping clients. Too many accounts to ever get close to helping them get value. hard to renew clients and achieve your goals.

    Advice to Management

    stop trying to grab headlines and be controversial and try to understand why so many great analysts are leaving. they might be connected. good luck.


  6. Helpful (8)

    Look for support elsewhere...

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

    I worked at Forrester Research full-time

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

    Pros

    During my 4 years at Forrester I was lucky enough to build great friendships with many of my peers. Everyone dealing with the same situations turned in a great support system.

    Cons

    While the support from my peers was great, when it came down to needing support to get something done...managers and HR were useless. HR department only helps managers and above and management is all on the same side, no matter what the situation. Communication between departments around specific projects is sporadic and usually lacks a decision when it actually happens. This is not only frustrating for the teams involved but more importantly, the clients.

    Advice to Management

    Average employees and managers should not report to the same HR person and it shows. Forrester needs some help with Business ethics and teamwork/support.

    Forrester Research Response

    May 4, 2015 – Chief People Officer

    Thanks for taking the time to write, in spite of your understandable frustration. As Forrester continues to grow, we are always seeking new ways to provide timely insight and support – to our ... More


  7. Helpful (16)

    Research Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Forrester Research full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent name for a future job and the work life balance is pretty good. Forrester employs a lot of young, bright people and has some interesting opportunities to learn if you're placed on the right team.

    Cons

    Forrester does hire a lot of young, bright professionals to staff its research organization, though it does little to nothing with them. None of the "opportunities" available to a research associate are linked to merit, which encourages complacency and drives most of the junior staff to leave in the first year-18 months. The pay, as documented elsewhere, is barely more than half of the industry standard, and while everyone from the head of research to the head of human resources will tell you that it's not, it is. Many RAs wait tables, bartend or tutor in the evenings and on weekends just to be able to pay rent in a low-cost suburb of Boston or Cambridge. The work that RAs do is most often unrelated to research. 90% of the job within the first year is administrative, i.e. scheduling calls, running to the cafe to buy an analyst a Snapple, etc., and while there are some analysts that value the RAs that work with them, most view them as an expendable personal assistant, and exclude them from their research process. On a more general level, there is no connection between senior leadership and the rest of the organization. This has been commented on ad nauseam already so I won't get into detail, but when you're laying off employees and shredding their bonuses, is chartering flights to exotic locations and splurging on executive bonuses really a prudent decision?

    Forrester Research Response

    May 4, 2015 – Vice President - Global Compensation & HRIS

    Your comments about pay at the RA level resonate. We’ve done extensive analysis of our compensation and benefits, and while our salaries are within the competitive range for nearly every position, we ... More


  8. Helpful (12)

    Good name, but going downhill fast

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

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Forrester is a really good name to have on your resume. As many other reviews have noted, it can be a good stepping stone to get to a better job - put in one to two years here, and then go somewhere that really respects you. The office itself is very pretty, with a modern design inside and a nice layout. Some of the employees are very nice as well; young employees band together through a sense of camaraderie. There is a gym on-site, and a lot of after-work activities designed to get people involved and make them feel welcome. And you can work from home once a week, which is nice. The work/life balance can sometimes be very nice, unless you get very particular analysts that believe you are accessible 24 hours a day.

    Cons

    The office is very nice on the inside, but it's in the middle of a field. In the middle of nowhere. Convenient for the higher ups that can afford to live anywhere near there, but definitely something to consider before working there. There is a parking garage on-site if you drive, although it will cost you a percentage of your already small paycheck. The biggest downside (as many people have noted) is the pay, which is beyond insulting. They say that they benchmark salaries against market value, but going in, know that you can make much more elsewhere. Much more. When you're first hired, they will play up that they'll make up for your salary in bonuses, which used to be quarterly. That has all changed, however. They say it's not to cut costs, but let's get real. We all know better. Bonuses are now annually, which is fine for the older execs who don't rely on them to live. Or pay their rent. Or buy groceries. And now, if you leave before the end of the year (as most do), you get nothing. Just the way they want it. The other half of your bonus is tied to the company performance, and, as you probably guessed, something you will never see the full percentage of. Layoffs come every January (right around they announce you won't get all of your bonus, before they send selfies from their private jet to the Bahamas with the sales teams. I wish I was making this up), in their attempt to "streamline" the company. If you do go work here, just know what you're getting into. You can do better. And you will. You'll just have to grin and bear it first.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people what they're worth (not the higher ups, you guys all make enough already). Stop acting like Millennials are all entitled brats who just want handouts.

    Forrester Research Response

    Apr 13, 2015 – Chief People Officer

    I am sad that you are not having a positive experience at Forrester. A former client myself, I chose to come to Forrester 2 years ago because the company I relied upon 20 years ago to tell me the ... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    Your role will determine how well you fair

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

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time

    Pros

    - Access to research - Working with incredibly smart people - Benefits are one of the best I've ever seen - Great work-life balance - They do genuinely care about their employees (but resources are limited)

    Cons

    Depending on whether you are in a client facing, revenue generating role is going to determine how well you fair in the company. Resources are limited so if you aren't in research or sales (client facing and/or revenue generating positions) you can forget getting access to things like training, competitive salaries, career growth, etc. For a year or two it might not matter as your colleagues are generally great and the worklife balance is also generally amazing, but soon afterwards you realize you're in a pretty stagnant position and there aren't any resources to get you to where you want to be so you'll have to leave.


  10. Good company, ongoing leadership challenges.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Vice President in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Forrester Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Smart research and analysis. Solid company with good benefits. Good place to begin a career. Free coffee and cappuccino.

    Cons

    Headquarters location in West Cambridge is terrible. Difficult for customers to visit, few hotels nearby. Terrible commute from anywhere except where CEO and senior management live. Too much clerical work for senior management positions. Salaries tend to be low compared to industry average. High employee burnout resulting in high turnover. Cambridge-based company. Anyone working outside of Cambridge is second class citizen, not truly global. Many analysts are smart, but too young with no real direct practical domain experience.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your people, they are your business-don't just provide lip service to them. Stop the burn and churn mentality. Be truthful, realistic, and allow others to make a fair living-not just senior management.


  11. Helpful (6)

    micromanagement

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

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good research and reports. Fast turnaround internally

    Cons

    Micromanagement but feedback is not always consistent. Their feedback makes you feel stupid. A lot of gossiping, bickering. A research company but can't hire enough people with strong analytical and process-oriented skills, resulting in an internal mess and inconsistent client experience. Too many layers of client-facing staff, resulting in confusion over who does what. Even salespeople don't know well what roles other internal teams play. The CEO is full of himself, making the onboarding experience boring.

    Advice to Management

    Improve training. Give encouragement and constructive feedback rather than lengthy criticism. Give (negative) feedback in private rather than in front of other people.



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