HARMAN International
2.7 of 5 99 reviews
www.harman.com Stamford, CT 5000+ Employees

HARMAN International Reviews

Updated Feb 21, 2014
HARMAN International – QuerĂ©taro – “Reception”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.7 99 reviews

                             

50% Approve of the CEO

HARMAN International Chairman, President and CEO Dinesh C. Paliwal

Dinesh C. Paliwal

(72 ratings)

40% of employees recommend this company to a friend
25 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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2 people found this helpful  

Harman International

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at HARMAN International

ProsSalary is good, but at the expense of all else

Consno work life balance at all

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Brand reputations being ruined by cost-cutting and cheap labor. Engineers are managers, not engineers.

Engineer (Former Employee)
Northridge, CA

I worked at HARMAN International for more than 10 years

ProsGreat benefits. Work hours reasonable.

ConsWorked as an engineer at Harman for over 12 years. Went from designing great products in the 90's and early 2000's to overseeing the design of crap product by employees in low-wage countries. The current management ('08 to present) is doing everything & everything to show short term success & profitability at the expense of competency and quality. It won't be long until the formerly prestigious brands mean nothing to people (frankly the cats already out of the bag as the general consuming public is very informed these days). If you want to work as an underpaid engineer only to manage incompetent engineers overseas this jobs for you.

Workplace attitude was terrible. Mostly because they laid off hundreds of employees and left a skeleton crew and acted like nothing was happening.

Advice to Senior ManagementMarketing is clueless on technology. Engineers should have input on the 5-year product roadmap. As engineers, no matter how much we tried to innovate, no one listened. Research was fruitless. Products were only spec'd in response to product innovation from competitors.

It's a big company, and profitability rules all, but they need to look long-term. But they're not. The company is too big. It's all about the next 'quarter', and trying to convince investors that they're profitable. Senior management will pay themselves hefty salaries and then move on to their next venture... leaving Harman in the dust.

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Rewarding but painful

Manager, Brand Services (Former Employee)
Northridge, CA

I worked at HARMAN International full-time for more than 3 years

ProsA great tradition of high end audio system. Respected by audiophiles worldwide. Employees very dedicated and cohesive, overall.

ConsPoor marketing efforts. They rely on reputation and word of mouth to extend brands. BOSE and Beats out-market Harman with mailings, print ads, web ads and broadcast commercials.
Senior management determined to outsource all functions to China and India, Many lay offs in the US and Europe. Senior management rewards themselves with large bonuses while their products list numerous defects and the supply chain dynamics deliver damaged packages. Employees nervous about their futures within the company

Advice to Senior ManagementBring jobs back to USA, especially engineering and manufacturing. Spend on marketing and operations so most products don't sit on shelves without recognition or visible box damage. Apply stricter quality controls in manufacturing to avoid releasing defective products.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Not for everyone

Various Functions (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at HARMAN International full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat engineering teams so incredible products.

ConsYou will find only one, at most 3 people at the leadership level in HQ that are competent. Most should not be at the executive level. Direct quote from someone on the executive team “People that have MBA are just show offs”. What!? And this quote is not “taken out of context”. Is says exactly what you think it says. If you don’t believe me when I say that skills are lacking at the top, just attending one of the open “investor” calls (very embarrassing for Harman).

The CEO dictates the culture of the company and unfortunately, that is not his strength. He is no doubt a person with strong financial skills, but he is far from being a mature leader. HR leadership at the top level, especially in the US is second rate, actually, let me correct myself, third rate, at best. Turnover rates are of course horrible! They try to hire the best (and from top companies) and guess what?? The best end up leaving (usually within the first year to a year and a half) due to a complete lack of professionalism and expertise at the VP level. People at the top, get promoted purely based on friendships. You better be having personal dinners with the CEO for you to be one of the “favorites”. Funny enough, the CEO is bold enough to mention this in one of his recent articles published in New York Times (way to go communications department). Last, but not least, if you are a woman, stay away! No matter how intelligent and accomplished you are, you will be just an object to look at, nothing more. Do your research, talk to people that worked there (you can always find them on LinkedIn).

The success of the company is built purely on the passion of the acoustics engineering teams (I am not an engineer but their contribution is what keeps the company going). What goes on at Harman is shameful and there is no-one to stop it. Now, are the products exciting? Yes. Can the job be challenging and interesting? Yes. But be aware, is you are someone from one of the best-in-class organizations and are used to mature leadership, you will not find that here. It just does not exist. This will not change unless the CEO is replaced.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou do have some incredible people working for you, let them help you create a 21st century culture in your organization. Your way or the highway is obviously not working. You have great products that people enjoy around the world, stop screwing it up.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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One of the most depressing places you can imagine spending your waking life

Engineer (Current Employee)
Northridge, CA

I have been working at HARMAN International

Pros- Sometimes interesting projects
- being in Southern California obviously has its perks
- working with talented people in the audio industry

Cons- Incredibly low employee moral
- Low pay compared to other companies
- hideously drab and uninspiring office building
- lack of management competence
- zero room for growth
- overall sense of worthlessness instilled in employees from management

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees; tame down the cost cutting measures; understand what our core competencies are and leverage them; decorate the office a little bit

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A company now run by bean counters who forgot Harman's core competency: great sound!

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Northridge, CA

I have been working at HARMAN International

ProsHarman has a wonderful history, some great brands, and has developed some great audio products in the past. The opportunity to produce great sounding audio products that people hear everywhere in the world is unmatched by working any other audio company in the world.

ConsIn recent years, corporate management in Stanford has become large and bloated, made up of mostly people from outside the audio industry who understand little about audio technology and the audio business. To make the non-corporate underlings more accountable they've put into place hierarchical layers of bureaucracy in all processes. As a result, decisions take forever to be made, often without valuable input from the people who know best. The slow decision process and compensation scheme means product managers are often unwilling to take risk: not exactly an environment to nurture innovation and new technology. Compensation is based on meeting unflexible targets set 1 year in advance (not long-term goals), so managers make decisions to maximize their bonuses, not always what's best for the medium-long-term health of the company and the consumer. A good example is arbitrarily moving factories/engineering to Mexico/China without adequate preparation. In the short-term, it saves money on paper, but at what cost? Time will tell whether the leaders realize what Harman's core competency is (good sounding products) and get behind it, before they destroy it.

Advice to Senior ManagementDevelop a medium-long term strategy around Harman's core competency (best-in-class audio and acoustics) and put into place processes, infrastructure and talented people who ensure that Harman continues to make best-in-class products.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A lot of potential, that is most often poorly aligned and coordinated

Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Farmington Hills, MI

I have been working at HARMAN International

ProsAbility to focus on priorities you set for yourself. High salary.

ConsDifficult to understand how roles and priorities align to business goals. Lack of forward looking goals, roles, and efforts. Resource management engages in reaction to missed deliverables, or key departures, not proactively. HR treats employees as pests to be managed.

Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in developing and challenging people, if you want a profitable future. Don't treat your racehorses as pack animals.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Ok but not the best place to be.

Engineer (Current Employee)
Farmington Hills, MI

I have been working at HARMAN International

ProsCool Products. Decent benefits. Nice people to work with although not always helpful.

ConsPoor quality. Poor leadership. Managers are in positions they are not qualified for and do not understand the work being done. Very poor performance review process.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire and retain qualified people. In my area there were many that had been promoted from within. However too much additude of this is how we do this even though it is not an industry best practice since they know nothing different.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Harman Review

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Farmington Hills, MI

I worked at HARMAN International

ProsGood products, creative and inovative

ConsWeak leadership at the VP level.

Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to develop leadership skills in current mid level (Director, VP) management.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Tremendous turmoil since 2-3 years, lots of politics, CYA attitued of managers.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Northridge, CA

I have been working at HARMAN International

ProsGood brand recognition.
Good work life balance.
Employee discounts / sales.
Company with a rich history and heritage with founders such as Sidney Harman and J. B. Lansing.

ConsManagers guarding their power and not delegating responsibilities.
No one's willing to take any risks or innovate.
Continous turmoil and org changes (since past 3 years) hinders creativity and innovation.
Nor room for growth. Outside people are generally preferred over promotion of internal candidates.
Communication from HR is more like a school principal trying to discipline young students.

Advice to Senior ManagementEver since Dinesh has came in as CEO, he has focused just on cost savings, to the extent that Harman will be hurt in terms of innovation and product development capabilities. He needs to understand that Harman is a premium brand and focusing of cost savings is good up to some extent, especially in the short-term profitability. However, there should me more focus on value creation and innovation, which drives the top line in the long run. I don't see Harman releasing innovative, high-quality products, as we come out of the recession. Instead of innovating, Harman will just copy market leaders and use its "premium audio" brand perception to differentiate, which will not work forever.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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HARMAN International – Why Work for Us?

​​ARE YOU READY TO GIVE A LEGENDARY PERFORMANCE?​​ ​ HARMAN is the parent company behind an array of world-renowned brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, JBL®, Mark Levinson®, Lexicon®, and Infinity… Full Overview

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at HARMAN International reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for HARMAN International CEO Dinesh C. Paliwal. All 25 reviews posted anonymously by HARMAN International employees.