IHS

www.ihs.com

IHS Reviews

Updated January 20, 2015
Updated January 20, 2015
274 Reviews
3.2
274 Reviews
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Scott Key
65 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work/life balance - some travel but minimal, mostly 40 hour weeks (in 32 reviews)

  • Good benefits, decent salary - but poor merit raises unless you change roles (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • Company middle management increasing isolating themselves from day to day events (in 12 reviews)

  • Buddy system in LOB upper management promotes themselves even with poor performance results (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

65 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Probably a great place to work if you work at the Englewood HQ

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

    I worked at IHS

    Pros

    IHS is making money hand over fist. And if you work for one of the business units that is bringing in most of the cash, I'm sure it's probably a great place to work. Senior managers who are universally reviled are, eventually, after a couple years, shown the door.

    The benefits package (for PD&D colleagues anyway) was fairly generous.

    Cons

    IHS shows no interest in retaining talent below management. In fact they have a conceit that you should be glad for the privilege of working there. Once or twice a year there will be a required colleague engagement survey, but if your survey results show that you are unhappy in your job, that's considered to be your fault.

    When they acquire a company, if that company was a startup paying slave wages, you're gonna keep working for slave wages. The help can't expect to get a bump bigger than 10% without the say-so of a senior VP, and that's if you walk on water, bring sight to the blind, and raise the dead. In my organization, several people who had put in years of struggle during the lean years prior to acquisition left the company after a few years of 2-3% raises when they received offers in excess of 200% of what they were earning at IHS, and IHS countered with a 10% bump to their existing salary. Vast quantities of domain knowledge walked out the door, and nobody outside of the trenches was at all concerned.

    If that wasn't bad enough, corporate will look at an empty position like that and say "Well if the guy who quit worked for $35,000/yr for 5 years, the most we will offer in that position is $50,000/yr" and never mind that the regional average for that position is closer to $80,000/yr. There was at least one such critical position that had gone unfilled for more than two years when i left, with no hope in sight. This meant that other people with the same skill set had to split their time between job functions. This lead to further attrition.

    Meanwhile, the hiring guidelines for new colleagues in new positions are to hire at the regional average for the job. And you don't have to talk about compensation to get an idea for who is struggling to get by and who is doing just fine.

    When i left, the trend was for technical staff to become increasingly fungible assets. This means that if there is a slowdown in your business unit, you may have the opportunity to work remotely for a team you've never met, working business you've never considered before. Because we're all happiest when we are put to the fullest use.

    If you work for a smaller office, you will get used to sitting through all-hands conference calls that have nothing to do with your business unit, run by people you will never meet, who have no idea what happens at your office.

    As a matrixed organization, people in different functions at the same office report up completely different management chains. Invariably this will mean that the most senior manager in the building has "site leader" responsibilities, but there will be several junior people in the office who report one of his out-of-town peers, who can and will disagree from time to time. This can lead to epic contests of micturition in which you will be the bucket boy.

    If something becomes an HR issue, you might have a department HR person to talk to or you might have a region HR person to talk to, or both. It will not be unusual to find out that the last HR rep you talked to is no longer your HR rep. This can enable a great deal of manipulation during ongoing issues.

    Org charts don't seem to officially exist. Your manager will have an org chart that he got from his boss. It's content will be a matter of dispute.

    All staffing has to go through the staffing office. Your staffing rep just started this week, because the last one didn't work out so well. Your staffing rep will list the job on the website and occasionally check to see if anyone has applied.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you talk the talk wrt culture and values. start to walk the walk.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Great place to collect a paycheck, poor place for the ambitious or creative

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

    I worked at IHS full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    IHS is a good place for a long-term middle management (manager) and below (analyst) career. If you're interested in keeping your head down, earning a decent but not outstanding salary, and collecting a paycheck, you've come to the right place. If you're ambitious, dream of continuous advancement and desire an opportunity to work in other countries or offices, then this isn't the company for you. And if you're female and have those same ambitions, definitely look elsewhere.

    Depending on your supervisor, there is usually a good amount of flexibility in hours as long as you are serving your clients; but you are expected to be on email 24/7 regardless of your pay scale.

    Negotiate at the beginning of your hire as pay raises are usually 2-3% annually at best. I had to fight hard to get 5% for a direct report who was outstanding one year in particular, capping off 7 years of excellent work. Benefits are pretty good and stock options can be rewarding, especially if you're on the "other" list - those compensated heavily in stock.

    If you're a particularly clever political animal, you'll do well here. With all of the acquisitions, it is a continuous minefield of change. and so your ability to navigate will be challenged, catnip for political players but misery for others.

    Cons

    Make no mistake, IHS is not a gender-neutral workplace. Just look at the leadership team - 2 of 11 are female and unlike many companies, that ratio permeates throughout, it doesn't increase as the funnel widens. There are a handful of female directors, but it's nearly impossible for a female to be promoted above that level so extremely difficult for an analyst to rise to a management position. There are very few female managing directors, and based on discussions with former employees, most were paid 20-30% less than male counterparts.

    Considering it's difficult enough to move up at IHS, adding in gender to the mix and most females can be assured of a long, slow, potentially very unproductive grind up the corporate ladder to middle management at best.

    IHS' style of growth by acquisition means there is a continuous stream of newly acquired talent coming into compete with you for your job, and there is no advantage to being an existing IHS employee. In fact, the newly acquired company sometimes will completely overwhelm the incumbent IHS division and the new employees will be running the division before you know it. In the last six years, in my experience, more existing IHS employees were laid off than newly acquired, excluding shared services (see below). The leadership team is often blinded by the shiny new objects rather than the tried and true.

    Management of divisions is often remote, so directors and VP's are often woefully out of touch with the sentiments of local offices, resulting in promotions of ill-equipped colleagues and redundancies of those actually doing the work. Decisions are made based on the opinion of a few people canny enough to have the ear of the remote manager. Managers see no issue with taking credit for new ideas or implementing new strategies without recognizing the original source.

    Speaking of redundancies, these are done in secret with no communication from managers. One day the person next to you is sitting at his or her desk, and the next day they're gone and there is no official information from management. This secrecy extends far up the management chain, and the entire leadership team is not briefed on the list of redundancies, even when that list includes very senior or high-profile individuals. Considering the company framework is about matrices and limiting silos, this is counterproductive, but telling.

    If your company is being acquired, and you work in accounting, HR, ops, or other "shared services," do start looking immediately. You'll have your job for about a year and then your tasks will be folded into the existing shared services division of IHS. I've seen it happen many times during my tenure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide transparency to staffing decisions. Listen to employees closer to the ground than the lofty heights of VP's and SVP's. Don't be so distracted by shiny, new objects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Missing its potential

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

    I have been working at IHS full-time

    Pros

    IHS has purchased a very impressive slate of companies that, if properly integrated and engineered together, could present a very formidable, exciting and commercially attractive collection of data, analysis and expertise. The potential is high and prospects for the company to become something really unique are real and achievable.

    Cons

    The leadership of IHS is uninspired and uninspiring with regard to actually doing the creative and challenging work of integrating all of its valuable "parts" to create an even more valuable and powerful whole. We seem to be led by a collection of "plug and play" executives from a range of different business who lack the vision and charisma necessary to really take this company to where it needs to go. The focus is on making quarterly earnings targets instead of spending the time and resources to first build a fundamentally sound and strong company that, in their terms, "has never existed before".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do the hard work of building and integrating. Value the WHOLE company as much as you value the sales force. Aim to be the innovative, unique and exciting company that you always talk about. Value your employees - many of whom are still excited about the prospects for IHS, but some of whom are starting to wonder if our leaders have the talent and will and patience to see this through.

    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    KAM key account manager- EEOM

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IHS

    Pros

    money-reputation-quality-size-stature-------words -words why are you not reading tis correctly

    Cons

    pressure-managment- budgets- to many managers

  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Many lines of business, the one i worked for was turbulent

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

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

    Pros

    In the LOB I worked for - good colleagues, good salary and benefits, flexible working conditions as long as you got your work done.

    Cons

    My LOB had frequent management and policy changes. Buddy system in LOB upper management promotes themselves even with poor performance results. Targets and goals changed quarterly chasing a lofty revenue number the LOB had no way of meeting. If you know management and are hired by them you've got a chance, otherwise you're an outsider and your days are numbered.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You were formed through acquisition and have had poor results to date, you will soon be divested.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 10 people found this helpful  

    Got the offer, turned it down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Englewood, CO
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Englewood, CO

    I worked at IHS as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Spoke to one person there who seemed very smart and as a senior manager as well. See cons on the latter.

    Company is a well established (old) conglomerate. It is probably stable.

    Cons

    As a contractor, I was offered work there and turned it down. At the end of the interview with the manager whom I would have reported to, I asked how I did and for feedback. He laughed smiled and said "you did great." When hearing back from the recruiter that they wanted to bring me on board the recruiter indicated that the very same manager was concerned I "might not be a cultural fit." This was surprising given that in our face to face meeting he expressed no concern or indication of an issue to address. This told me that I was dealing with a two-faced manager, which is something one should avoid. I assume it also means that in terms of culture, saying one thing to someone's face and something different behind their back is a part of the culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good people choose the company they work for in much the same way companies, good or otherwise, want to choose employees.You need to do as good a job in presenting your company as you expect a prospective candidate to do in presenting themselves. It starts with honesty and integrity. If you cannot be honest and forthright in an interview, offering them a position will only result in them discovering they've made a mistake and deciding to leave.

    Likewise, if you have a concern in interviewing someone, it is best to bring it up to address at the time. If you say someone did well and you want them on board and then tell someone else that it's with provisos because of a "cultural fit" conern, this is inherently dishonest and the position itself is suspect as is any manager who does these kinds of things.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 9 people found this helpful  

    Great place for lifers, stagnating if you are looking to grwo

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

    I have been working at IHS full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    IHS has lots of interesting data. If you want to do research and have access to it it may be a good place.If you're looking for a relatively stable environment where you can create balance with the rest of your life. Stock price is rapidly rising. For people just starting out in their careers you can learn a lot if you have a good manager. For those in mid career this a place you can go to coast to retirement if that's what you want.

    Cons

    Despite the talk and lots of activity, there is no genuine career progression system. Entry level staff may be able to get promoted through the 4 new lower level rungs fairly quickly. Beyond that you're likely stuck unless you can mange to become an executive's pet. There is no help from VPs or SVPs to provide you with training and skills to move up. Despite being a knowledge company, humans are treated as interchangeable resources.

    CEO disease exists and filters down through the executive team and VPs. The scarcity mentality which they use to drive results also creates an environment of distrust. There is a lack of executive support to put money where it is needed to improve processes and engagement. If you bring up issues that need fixing and higher level support to get done people are labeled complainers and opportunities taken away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A significant culture change to be more open, honest and trusting is needed. Despite all the talk about convergence, industry heads are generally speaking still fighting each other for revenue and credit, resulting in a lack of collaboration. Even where there are initiatives to collaborate fighting goes on and there is no reward for the person who let's go. This problem starts at the top.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Meh

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

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

    Pros

    Alright benefits
    Flexible schedule
    OK pay
    Exposure to vendors/building your network

    Cons

    The problem with IHS is that it has no identity. Want to know what IHS does? Apparently everything. Just try navigating their website and you'll see what I mean. Corporate wants you to think of IHS as "a solutions provider," whatever that means. Customers don't know who IHS is or what they do, even though they are a public company with thousands of employees. IHS has gone on an acquisition spree, which means that its a collection of smaller groups that has made the entire company bloated.

    Unfortunately this also amounts to coworkers who all do their own thing and have nothing to do with each other. The different groups of acquired companies eventually become cliques, and its hard to really feel like a team. There are some people who would work from home for weeks at a time, and they would just pop in now and then, almost requiring you to reintroduce yourself to these strangers.

    You'll get lost in the layers of management and the overall company structure. A lot of HR functions are performed remotely from Colorado over the phone; you get company wide emails on a daily basis talking about people you've never heard of; people are fired without notice...its just odd.

    Colleague engagement surveys were conducted every so often and they always showed dramatically low engagement levels across most offices. This wasnt a surprise to anyone, because nobody feels attached to this company.

    Nevertheless, one thing to note is that your experience will depend on where you are located. Every single office has their own culture and ways of doing things. My complaints here could be completely different in another place, so take that however you wish.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not much to say here. At the same time, I'm not even sure who this advice would go to, being as how the management chain doesnt seem to end here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a bad place to work - depending on your career

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

    I have been working at IHS full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If the company is doing well, bonus are decent. Good work environment.

    Cons

    Very hard to get promoted.
    Wages are sub-par.
    Not a good place to work for technical innovation - they are 5 years behind the high-tech industry.
    In some departments, if you have a pulse you can function as a project manager or an implementation lead, and working with those inexperienced people is almost impossible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Walk the walk, when it comes to employee engagement. There is a lot of talk about keeping employee's engaged but very little "walk"

    Promote good staff.

    Neutral Outlook
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    Not good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    Work life balance is good. Manager is nice

    Cons

    Underpay. Political, insurance is bad

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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