BuroHappold

www.burohappold.com
Employer Engaged

BuroHappold Reviews

Updated February 18, 2015
Updated February 18, 2015
43 Reviews
3.2
43 Reviews
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Roger Nickells
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Fun company, great projects to work on. Not hierarchical at all.

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

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

    Pros

    Great company to work for, really prestigious projects, people are very friendly. Very sociable workplace, decent work life balance.

    Cons

    The salary could have been a bit higher and the training schemes could have improved. Could have been a bit more organised overall.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Happold trust scholarship

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at BuroHappold

    Pros

    Very interesting projects, vey insightfull

    Cons

    The scholarship is short didn't experience site work

    Recommends
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Seemed to be getting better last year. But now going backwards

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

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

    Pros

    The engineering projects are top level.

    Cons

    Lacks leadership. Company hires talented people but many managers don't know how to treat them properly or motivate to get the best. Relies heavily on employee loyalty to projects and clients. Top management is chaotic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management needs to remember the company makes its money through its people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Strong routes, lost its way in past few years, future is looking positive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Bath, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Associate in Bath, England (UK)

    I have been working at BuroHappold full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Freedom to be creative, fantastic projects, opportunity to travel and relocate if desired, on the whole friendly and supportive people

    Cons

    Reward, some project management is appalling, politics at upper levels can be draining, recognition of talent is lacking in some areas, competition and knowledge hoarding between teams is counterproductive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase reward, change team performance measures, allow working culture to shift naturally, turn back "big corporate" feeling we've developed.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Dysfunction and chaos rule

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Support in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Administrative Support in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Other than the friendly and mostly easy to work with engineers, There are no good reasons to work here if you want to maintain your sanity or any kind of life outside of the office (ie not having to sleep there to meet deadlines).

    Cons

    Clueless principals and partners who turn a blind eye to unfair and unsafe working conditions. Refuse to upgrade site safety equipment seriously outdated. Such obvious favoritism. No competent or consistent HR.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your act together. Stop promoting safety and quality design, when you can't even run an office! Stop being cheap when it comes to important things that we should invest in. acknowledge the failure to secure an HR dept and failure to see the urgency in the matter over the last few years. Finally, give us an HR manual that is accurate and stop hiding behind the one that you fail to disclose is no longer applicable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    I found the company was mindful of it's employees and had a good work ethic.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trainee Structural Technician in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
    Former Employee - Trainee Structural Technician in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

    I worked at BuroHappold full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    They are considerate of those who work for them and offer many benefits. There is also the opportunity to work on many exciting and important projects.

    Cons

    I found their training schemes for those in trainee positions needed improvement, formalising and better organisation in general.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good project experience for young engineer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Structural Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Graduate Structural Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at BuroHappold full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of projects being worked on, great variety in types of projects, opportunity to work on every phase of the project life cycle including analysis, design, and CA. Friendly office

    Cons

    At times long work hours, fairly compensated though when long hours are required

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work but they fell down when it came to redundancies

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

    I worked at BuroHappold full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You'll work with some really amazing people who always look to work hard and play harder. Some great projects too if you get yourself in the right team.

    Cons

    They played up to "our people are our biggest asset" in the good times but then hacked from the bottom of the pyramid when it came to the crunch during the 2008 crisis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the generally great work you do but practise what you preach when the going gets tough.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Incredible Potential....Yet to be realized

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

    I worked at BuroHappold full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    BH has an amazing legacy of innovation and achievement. It is a place where good engineers can (if events align) become great engineers. It has thrived on a "just go and do.." approach that has served it well over the years, and enabled it to grow and even survive the recent recession relatively intact. There are incredible people working at BH. both inside and outside the various disciplines. Many of whom have worked for the practice for most, if not all of their careers.

    There is an informal and fun atmosphere among many of the teams. Each office around the globe has their own particular flavor while keeping core elements that make it a BH office. The company truly believes in developing people, and wants to be a place where you come for a job but stay for a career. Consequently there is tremendous institutional knowledge in house .

    Cons

    It is frustrating in that the same things that are great about BH are also where BH struggles. There are amazing opportunities to do great work at BH, but those opportunities are not evenly distributed or equally available to all staff, especially new staff.

    The ad-hoc approach that has served the firm well, is now its Achilles heel. BH has vastly outgrown its own support infrastructure. HR, Finance, IT and Project Management support are all woefully under resourced and struggle to keep up with demand. . BH does truly believe in developing staff, but has yet to put any realistic amount of resources behind that belief. Instead they just sort of hope it will happen organically.

    There are amazing people there, but frankly , on the flip side, some people have been there far too long. Some of these people have little or no experience outside of BH. So many of them, (some in very senior roles) are terrified of change, and in some cases actively resist anything that doesn't sit in their zone of comfort and familiarity.

    The corporate governance structure of the firm (LLP / Partnership built on a consensus model) is slow to adapt to organizational needs . Given the size and scope of the firm today it is long past time to revisit the model and see if it is still fit for purpose.

    The CEO role is an elected position. Serving a set term. So it is very hard for the CEO whoever it is, to actually lead the firm, given that all other Partners feel they are the owner/operators of the company. (Which in reality is exactly what they are.) Hence the CEO role tends to be a bit toothless.

    BH struggles endlessly with defining their brand. The latest attempts to do so, are an improvement, but still surprisingly unfocused and vague. Sad when you see it coming from a firm with such a substantial history and impressive catalog of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In spite of all the challenges you face. BH remains far more potential, than it is actualized. There are truly incredible people there who love what they do, at the same time however you have some real dead wood there that frankly you need to clear out.

    You cannot avoid investing in support infrastructure. HR and IT are under resourced to the point of being obstacles to getting things done. Project Management support (what little there is of it...) is completely random and unfocused.

    Restructure corporate governance so the CEO has greater leeway to make needed key changes. And lastly, Stop trying to invent a brand. and instead clarify the one you have had all along but cant seem to actually grasp.

    Yet at the end of the day the projects get done, and evidence would prove, , done very well... The reason? The PEOPLE at BH really do care about the work. So stop taking that for granted, and instead leverage it to make the BH you talk about , the same as the one your staff experiences in their jobs every day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Mixed feelings

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

    I worked at BuroHappold full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great in terms of culture, which is creative, relaxed and non-hierarchical. Had a lot of opportunity to work closely with Partners and influence some change.

    Cons

    Unable to make tough decisions at times. Two examples witnessed where promotion interviews were never followed up with any feedback. Lack of appreciation of sacrifices staff made as a result of poor resource management. Loyalty tested to breaking point. Felt let down by a business I cared about and invested a great deal of energy in, through some difficult and challenging periods.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice greater humility towards those contributing to the success of the Partnership. Ted Happold is rarely celebrated or discussed, which I think would be welcomed by employees newer to the business and less familiar with him. Make the tough decisions, when it's the responsible thing to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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