Hanover Research – Charlottesville, VA
The Research Associate will be responsible for assisting in the production of strategic briefings on an extremely wide variety of topics, and will… Hanover Research
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at Hanover Research full-timePros
I’m not sure where some reviews come off with positive and gushy things to say. I must live on a different planet. If you read anything positive it’s because these individuals have low standards. Hanover 101: products lack quality and consistency. Target clients are middle market companies who join because of Hanover's cost effective value prop. For the little guys, it's all about the Benjamins and Hanover sells itself on price. If you're a type A perfectionist stay away. You won't have the time or resources to do a quality job and it will drive you insane.
You may be intrigued by Hanover receiving #16 on the 50 fastest companies in the Washington DC area ranking. This growth is deceiving because when you look behind the curtain you'll find that the ship is sailing without a captain. Every Hanover strategy is short term and fails to consider long term implications. It's always "how do we save this quarter?!?" rather than "let's build a road map with ROI three years from now." Failure of upper management to challenge the CEO's short term theories is largely responsible. I get that you were successful in creating a custom market research firm, but that doesn't mean every subsequent idea is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.Cons
For the TLDR version and all you Tinder users: I advise you to swipe left on Hanover.
First off, I anticipate a CHRO response to this review. Don’t believe it. Words are words and actual changes to back these comments are about as rare as finding Santa and Rudolph on Christmas Eve.
Most Hanoverians are fresh from school and riding the post college bro-ski high (sales/development/whatever you call them). I can't tell you how many times I heard unprofessional discussions on the floor or heard stories from other people.
HR is "trying" to bring in people with outside experience for managerial roles, but it proves challenging to retain them because they aren't brought in at the proper level. You start at the bottom and they give you the spiel of short review cycles to allow you to move up the ladder quickly. Enter: the age and experience complex. Years at Hanover are more important than years before Hanover. Read that again. You’ll have to suffer working with people in higher positions that lack outside experience and are younger than you. Let me clarify, I’m all for smart, qualified people advancing, but these individuals are not Steve Jobs caliber. It’s hard to want to emulate or take direction from someone that only has 2 years of Hanover under his/her belt (for some context a 1 year work anniversary is akin to celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary – it’s rare these days because "society is so disposable" paraphrased per an HR email). As a result, if you need a mentor you’re not going to find it here. Additionally, they’ll gloat about personal managers, but that’s a joke. Instead, they should just be called “managers” because it’s all in the luck of the draw who you get and unfortunately, most managers are poor. Interpersonal skills are prime managerial traits that most Hanover employees lack, or better yet some believe they have which makes them delusional. This sentiment is expressed in other reviews. It’s still true. Exhibit #1092209: Mine took no interest in me and was not concerned for my career development at all. And don't get me started on the whole "managing up" shindig. Any relationship (professional, personal, etc.) is a two way street. When the other party fails to deliver, you can manage up all you want, but it's not going to move the needle.
At the end of the day, if you want to feel valued this isn’t the place for you. Maybe it’s my years of experience, but I’ve worked at other places where it’s not so blatantly obvious that we are just a gateway to more dollars. No matter how much you like work, if the people are awful it will impact your work satisfaction levels. As that dude says in the Men’s Wearhouse commercials: “I guarantee it.”
If you’re not in sales or account management, pay is static without real performance based bonus potential. In Content, you may receive an increase at review time, but they are also known to just promote you to a new title without a pay bump (I've heard this on multiple accounts). While this looks great on your resume, your bank account will be like the Sahara desert – barren. My advice is to go elsewhere if you have high rent and student loans to pay. I had several years of experience including a graduate degree and my starting salary was difficult to make ends meet even with a roommate. I have a spreadsheet in excel tracking all expenses. If you think that’s a fun exercise every Saturday morning, then this is the place for you! Talking with your manager about a raise is most likely fruitless. If you don’t reward people for good performance reviews, the incentive to do a good job flies out the window.
If you’re in Content, expect to stare at a computer all day with minimal collaboration. Yeah, you have Content Directors, but they are busy trying to retain clients and you’re pretty much on your own to get the job done. I’m not sure what they tell you in HR (it’s been a while for me), but ask to meet with individuals who have the role you are applying for. I did not do this and regret it.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Change the review cycle to annual frequency. Biannual promotions just create an org structure nightmare. You find yourself having to create new positions when you run out of tiers (e.g., SENIOR Content Director) and the progression between tiers just becomes fuzzy.
Hanover is clearly Sales focused, but Content deserves some respect - it is the life force of the machine. Offer Content higher, more competitive salaries and create an incentive program based on metrics (e.g., report quality). Ask yourself why people are leaving and care enough to do something about it. The job market may be in your favor now, but it won’t always be that way.
There isn't opportunity everywhere for custom research. Push through products that will sell.
Use data to drive decision making. Hanover is a market research firm who doesn’t capitalize on the talent for its own internal ops.
Look beyond revenue and promote initiatives that create a long term strategy rather than just immediate ones.
The clipart in HR emails announcing birthdays and work anniversaries should be discontinued.Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookDisapproves of CEO