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HSBC Holdings Reviews

969 Reviews
969 Reviews
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HSBC Holdings Chief Executive Stuart T. Gulliver
Stuart T. Gulliver
284 Ratings
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you can think independently and are intelligent don't work here - you need to be a Stepford Wife.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Sheffield, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Manager in Sheffield, England (UK)

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


    HSBC is great for customer service.
    HSBC has a fantastic reputation
    Senior Management are fantastic at steering HSBC to profitability and stability, and appear to have a 6th sense in accurately predicting ahead.
    You will be very well trained and develop new skills
    The majority of staff are very nice and helpful as people


    HSBC are experts in brainwashing staff into believing that HSBC is the centre of the universe and their way is the right way. Life does not exist outside of the Bank. They are experts in spin doctoring.
    Very poor wages and poor promotional opportunities above a certain level
    Lack transparency in review process - its a popularity contest and is dependant upon how best you can suck up to your manager
    Lack of unbiased validation of personal achievements for performance reviews- this means that some individuals can massage the statistical evidence of their achievements to make it appear they are doing a better job than they are. Specific examples provided to the bank by me were brushed under the carpet and disregarded.
    Misuse of authority - a great deal of bullying - instead of embracing the skills of individuals, managers with inferior skills will suppress the individual to avoid being exposed themselves. The bank officially takes bullying seriously but seems incapable of preventin it.
    Very much a parent:child culture - managers condescendingly dictate to how you should feel, what your personal values should be. You need to leave "you" at the door and act as the person they want you to be in this unnatural, contrived environment.
    Far, far too much politics with managers putting their own egos before what is beneficial to the company or the customer. This must be very expensive for the bank with wasted effort, wasted time in meetings and wasted use of resource.
    The bank stopped undertaking general staff surveys years ago...... But now select a sample of individuals....... Read between the lines.
    Don't believe that your working week is 35 hours. "To show your conviction and commitment..." expect to work somewhere between 45 and 50+ hours per week (for no extra pay) travelling in your own time even if this takes 3 or 4 hours on the train to attend meetings or site visits, and setting off at stupid-o-clock in the morning..... And does the bank value this? Read between the lines.
    Most companies will say that their staff are their most valuable asset. HSBC does not appear to subscribe to this. Their policy appears to be one where they will make life difficult and intolerable for longer serving staff so they leave and can be replaced by new (cheaper) staff. They do not value knowledge, experience, skills, innovation. Don't get me wrong at interview they will test all of these, but they will knock any individuality out of you in the first 6 months. They must have unreserved subservience. "If you don't like the way we do things..... hard cheese.... Leave!" this is their attitude.
    The bank is unreceptive to feedback and arrogantly "knows better".
    I gave 3/4 of my working life to HSBC and feel stupid in that I have just realised how little they value you and I am horrified that they blatently do not even care that they do not value you. Moreover, many people you speak to seem to know someone who has had similar experiences with the bank and had to leave. The bank appears to have no humanity at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen! Listen! Listen! And don't assume you know better.
    Look after the people and the work will look after itself.
    Customers should occupy the positions of first, second, third, fourth and fifth in priorities followed by staff on the coal face, not being relegated somewhere down the list after managers status, managers egos, and managers bonus payments.
    Scrap the current review process - it simply does not work and you are hacking off great staff who come in and just get on with their job, and do it very well, whereas less capable staff who know how to play the game and spend too much time feathering their own nest, appear to be valued more highly...... great in theory, but too open to abuse and misuse. Too easy to use as a weapon if ANY manager does to like you (peer group ranking..... Ha!! What a farce) Supporting evidence too woolly and inconsistent. Comes down to how much you can massage the ego of your line manager and suck up to the other managers. Appeal process too complicated and too daunting to the point where it is tantamount to having to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that you are not a liar (this is very insulting). The whole process is like trying to pull a Sherman Tank sideways.
    Stop abuse of authority - "I must be right because I am this grade. What can you possibly Know?". JFDI whether you like it or not. Whether it is honest or not.
    Start Adult:Adult culture and single status culture instead of parent:child (i have four grown up children - one of which is older than my former line manager)
    Start a compulsory 360 degree feedback process that has teeth.
    Stop suppressing entrepreneurial skills - this used to make HSBC great..... Not any more.
    For Goodness Sakes do something about salaries.... And don't continue to cut the pay of longer serving staff through the back door of pensions. My take home pay was significantly more 5 Years ago than when i left (and that's without factoring in inflation).
    I am lucky in that I do not have to work for you any more and I count my blessings every day (i took a significant pay cut to get away from you) But for the sake of the colleagues I left behind, LISTEN!

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