CDM Smith

www.cdmsmith.com

CDM Smith Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
103 Reviews
2.8
103 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
CDM Smith Chairman and CEO Stephen J. Hickox
Stephen J. Hickox
32 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Seems like a great place for job security and work-life balance (in 5 reviews)

  • Stable company, smart people, good work-life balance (for corporate positions) (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • The new breed of project managers are lacking in technical and organizational skills (BIG TIME (in 5 reviews)

  • Sometimes the upper management liked to change things just so people knew they were there (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Engineer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CDM Smith

    Pros

    Great hours but nto great pay

    Cons

    Very long hours with little pay

  2.  

    Dynamic Hardworking Project Team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Contract Worker in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Contract Worker in Irvine, CA

    I worked at CDM Smith as a contractor (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great collaborative environment. All team members listened to and assignments handed out to team members based on their strengths, talents and availability.

    Cons

    To the best of my personal knowledge there are no cons to working for CDM Smith, anything negative is trivial and short term irritants that are common to any job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Excellent Company, better run than most

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

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

    Pros

    Competitive salary, good working environment, interesting work

    Cons

    Just after the merger with Wilbur Smith there was a lot of double paperwork as well as non engineering staff to work with..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep up the good work

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Great place to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineering Intern in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineering Intern in Austin, TX

    I have been working at CDM Smith as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great mentors who take the time to teach you how to do things the right way. Flexible work schedule based on deliverables. It's a fairly small office but there are still enough employees that if ever someone is gone there will still be someone else to ask questions to.

    Cons

    Location could be better. Only option for food without driving is a food truck that always has a super long line. Also, the building is consistently freezing. A lot of the women have space heaters at their desks. The floor also shakes really bad if someone who is heavy footed walks past your desk. Overall, the physical work environment has room for improvement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    move to a new building haha

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Good projects, good people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Environmental Engineer III in Tallahassee, FL
    Former Employee - Environmental Engineer III in Tallahassee, FL

    I worked at CDM Smith

    Pros

    Good culture of Listen, Think, Deliver. CAD group provided good support. Good Project Manager training.

    Cons

    Recession forces causes some drop in clients and work. Company let go several people, including me. Subsequently acquired Wilbur Smith Transportation company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the opportunity for promotions, personal growth of your people.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Silos conflict with shared commitment values

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

    I worked at CDM Smith

    Pros

    Compensation, work environment, benefits, although the penalty for the Humana fit program costs those who do not comply with providing personal health information.

    Cons

    Communication from mid-level management to staff is practically non-existent.

    Financial accountability silos conflict with the goal of applying the firms best fit KSA across regions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a mix that rewards project performance to encourage use of talents across regional accountability.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not the place it used to be

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

    I worked at CDM Smith

    Pros

    Competitive salary, good technical people to work with, good schedule.

    Cons

    Not a very friendly place for people requiring sponsorship (foreigners). The company has very poor management, not only on high level but regional. It allows very few space for people to grow internally; only a few are allowed to moved forward. No mentoring, too much stress trying to maintain UT when managers charge projects when they don't need to, and using money that could be used for the staff that really works in the project. People are not treated fairly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on the staff, keep them happy so they can be productive. Make sure to check on person's human side and positioning among their peers before promoting them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Replace 3rd rate top management

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

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

    Pros

    Noble mission of environmental improvement. Good people to work with.

    Cons

    Top 2 execs are over their heads. They went to third rate engineering schools, and one never even got his PE--probably couldn't pass the test. They have a new penchant for hiring from the outside, when in fact we should hire from the outside for their jobs. And their succession planning is apalling. What happens when Hickox retires? Left with a little bully who thinks he knows everything and his 3rd rate buddy from Denver.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Both should retire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great people, good benefits, good salary

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

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

    Pros

    1. Great people to work with
    2. negotiable benefits

    Cons

    1. Some managers have difficulty retaining motivated skilled employees
    2. Long hours
    3. Bonuses were stopped for some employees and not others

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor Senior Management, but great technical people

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

    I have been working at CDM Smith

    Pros

    Our technical staff (whom are remaining) are very talented.
    401K program is top notch
    Pay and benefits comparable to other large engineering firms

    Cons

    Senior management lacks leadership skills.
    The President (Wall) has little interpersonal skills. Not sure how he became President and future leader of the company without a P.E.. Most of us who reach Level 5 have to obtain a P.E. or we don't move up.
    A lot of fear of loosing your job in this company. With the reorganization last year they canned a bunch of great people who had been with the firm many years and were mentors to some of the young engineers in Cambridge office. This caused many staff to think about their long term careers with the company.
    Our company has basically decimated it's environmental services, which it use to be a strong point, particularly in the Federal market.
    Project delivery is wanting because of poor project management. Project managers don't get the training that is necessary to manage jobs.
    Our storm water modeling team is basically non-existent, just a skeleton team now.
    If you join, be careful with aligning with senior management, as they will stab you in the back for their own promotion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mr. Wall needs to get out and speak with the "troops in the trenches". To do that however, he needs to improve his people skills, as they are severely lacking. This place is no GOOGLE, and the work environment can be stressful, without many benefits. My advice: Get rid of the current executive leadership team, including those in the North American Unit, and start hiring forward thinking managers, who CARE about their employees, instead of giving lip service. Also more women and minorities need to be placed in management positions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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