Heidrick & Struggles Reviews

Updated April 24, 2015
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Heidrick & Struggles Chief Executive Officer Tracy Wolstencroft
Tracy Wolstencroft
3 Ratings

Pros
  • Access to the top, brand name gets you in - (in 5 reviews)

  • This is where H&S operate at their best (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Expect to work long hours and be on-call 7 days per week (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. Consultant

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

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles

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

    Pros

    Some of the people were nice

    Cons

    Many of the people were not knowledgeable

    Advice to Management

    Change procedures & listen


  2. Partner

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

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Some great people - great brand and some very nice overpriced office space - consultants have nice expense accounts that dilute the margin and work part time

    Cons

    Company is so political and consultants would sell their mother for more money . Top consultants consistently hold mngmnt hostage and threaten to leave if not paid more money when most could not come close to the money they are paid " in the real world " . If clients found out how much consultants were paid the search business would be in a state of flux !!!

    Advice to Management

    Board needs to go and company needs to be private . board has no clue about business nor does it seem to want to and they only want the cache of saying they are on the Heidrick board . Many were failed executives yet nothing is done . New CEO seems ok but he will be another victim to a mediocre board and a bunch of egotistical overpaid consultants


  3. Helpful (3)

    Privileged to work with great colleagues, but IT Management never appreciated the hard work of the Salesforce.com team.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Learned a lot from Salesforce.com experts and learned about scrum agile methodology.

    Cons

    I recently left Heidrick after putting up with a challenging culture from IT Management I was with Heidrick for many years and have seen the company go through a lot of changes, both good and bad. Working on the Salesforce.com implementation project allowed me to learn Salesforce and make me very marketable. The team of people I worked with are by far the best and brightest, however IT Management treated the people who did the work very poorly. Several of us had left and I had decided to leave when I realized that the culture was not going to change.

    Advice to Management

    I recently saw that Heidrick is looking for a new Salesforce System Administrator and a Business Analyst, which means more people continue to leave this company. The positions sound great at first, but once you start with this company you will soon realize how abusive the culture can be. IT Management really needs to change the culture and should recognize how great the team is.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Abusive, Disrespectful, Insecure and Incompetent IT Management! Avoid this company!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst / Salesforce Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Business Analyst / Salesforce Administrator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Convenient location but that's about it!

    Cons

    Not surprised to see once again Heidrick looking for a new set of BA's and Salesforce Admins to burn up and abuse. The chaos and failures endemic to Heidrick's poor IT leadership burns up and/or blames the low man on the IT totem pole. The IT leadership has over several years promoted and cultivated a culture of arrogance and employee abuse. This soul-sucking culture starts at the top of the IT department and like "poop", flows downstream, through all the IT managers to cover the backs of the hard-working IT staff. This place "looks good on paper" but I guarantee you will, sooner rather then later, regret taking on a IT position here. Talented BAs and Salesforce professionals have many much better options then this awful place. Remember you were warned!!

    Advice to Management

    Someday YOUR Corporate Management (CEO) will get wise to the fact that your chaos and turnover is not the cause of your problems but the result of your failure as a Leader. When you condone the disgraceful treatment of long-term skilled and dedicated people, by the incompetent insecure managers that you continually fill your ranks with, you will have staff flight and turnover. Heidrick's IT problem is systemic and starts with YOU and like a snake, the way to kill it is cut off its head!


  6. Helpful (3)

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles 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

    Comp and benefits match industry standards.

    Cons

    Non-collegial atmosphere that contributes to the pompous attitudes of consultants & associates.

    Advice to Management

    There is no advice to management because they are the problem.


  7. Helpful (1)

    I consider myself lucky to met and worked alongside some extremely talented people.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    The Chicago office had great talent that have since moved on to competitors. Leadership could have kept these great partners, associates and EA's if they would have just stepped up and treated their people better.

    Cons

    Horribly poor leadership in Chicago; extremely high turnover; company files lawsuits against its departing employees who have left for better managed search firms to attempt to enforce poorly written non-competes.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your people better and they won't leave. H&S is losing amazing people on a weekly basis.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Executive Admin

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

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good Benefits, highly compensated, clean office environment

    Cons

    high turnover, clicky departments, to much gossip, no loyalty


  9. Helpful (2)

    Good brand, but there is a reason the company is up for sale

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

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Brand still has cache There are still some very strong partners still with the firm Good starting roles as associates coming into the work force

    Cons

    Many of the good partners are long gone to other top executive search firms Work the associates really hard and underpay them

    Advice to Management

    Get a new CEO. This board should have done this a long time ago before the decline


  10. Helpful (8)

    Honestly, really really bad

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

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time

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

    Pros

    1) The rank and file employees are great. Very smart people, hard working, friendly and collaborative. H&S has brought in some amazing and talented people. 2) Candidates recognize the H&S brand and it still has a great reputation.

    Cons

    There are major problems here: 1) Terrible leadership team. The CEO has no clue what he's doing and the company continues to tank quarter after quarter and no one seems willing to do anything about it. The company promotes search consultants into leadership roles which never works. 2) This is a partner driven culture. Partners make amazing money while everyone else gets the leftovers. Clearly partners bring in the business and should be compensated well, but there needs to be more equitable compensation for those who actually deliver and do the work. Target bonuses are a joke - they are never paid. 3) Zero work/life balance. The company is in a dire financial position and so everyone is expected to work 24/7 and the level of stress and pressure is very high. 4) Attrition - most of the great and even reasonably good talent has already left or is actively looking to leave. Because of the poor compensation and insane number of hours people are expected to work, most people have left. To add to it, the promotion process and cycle is way too long. The criteria to get promoted is unclear, changes every year and typically has more to do with politics than performance. 5) Heidrick has lost what made it a great brand - world class service. It has turned into a sales culture and execution, quality and commitment to delivering phenomenal service is long gone. Most partners sign a deal and then very junior people do the real work. Most clients have figured this out as well. 6) Heidrick touts itself as doing top-level leadership work at the C-Level but the vast majority of people stay afloat taking on VP-level and even Director level searches to pay the bills. Only a small handful of people at the top do any meaningful C-Level work. 7) Database is a complete joke. It was a joke before, then they invested millions in making it cutting edge and world class and they actually made it worse than the old system from the early 90's! It's basically a non functional database. The company expects recruiters to deliver without even the most basic tools. It's a shame that a firm with such a tremendous candidate brand is such a gigantic mess on the inside. Plain and simple, this is not a place to build a career. If you come here early on, learn the trade, build a network and get the brand on your resume and get out. Someone else in a previous review summed it up as a place with "greedy" people. I would absolutely agree.

    Advice to Management

    1) CEO and BOD to go. Everything else stems from there. 2) Remember that it's a two way street with your employees. They need to get as much as they give to the business. Terrible compensation, negative culture, slow path to partnership and a shockingly outdated technology platform and database are just not going to cut it. Your competitors are flying past you and you need to fundamentally change the way the firm is run if you want to retain your top talent. The old days of people grinding out searches for partners in hopes that they will one day become a partner and make $$$ are over.


  11. Helpful (7)

    unfortunate situation at Heidrick...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    people are nice and benefits are good.

    Cons

    Certainly having the word "Struggles" in the name should have been a sign as it is the most appropriate adjective to describe my time at Heidrick. For those considering to join, make sure you negotiate a salary and can live off that for at least 3 years. There is a bonus, but no bonus pool for EAs. They can only seem to pay the partners via layoffs, management changes, restructurings, etc. Then there is the spending - partner meetings in Barcelona, practice meetings, all internal meetings at a high cost to the firm. Would be nice to have that money in the bonus pool rather in their family vacations. The CEO has removed every single C-level executive at least one time (if not more) in the past three years and that hasn't solved anything...it doesn't take a PhD to figure this out. So much there needs to change - and the board is completely unwilling to do it. And why should they? They write books or whatever and the CEO hosts parties for them at Heidrick's expense. Mostly now I am curious as to what will be the event that actually triggers change...

    Advice to Management

    change the CEO and board immediately figure out how to properly compensate EVERY one not just the partners figure out how to not spend more than you bring in when you get the core competencies correct - the culture and mentality of employees will change.



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