CDM Smith

  www.cdmsmith.com
  www.cdmsmith.com

CDM Smith Reviews

Updated December 21, 2014
Updated December 21, 2014
99 Reviews
2.9
99 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
CDM Smith Chairman and CEO Stephen J. Hickox
Stephen J. Hickox
30 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.  

    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
  2.  

    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 an 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
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    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
  8.  

    Terrible management and mediocre leaders

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Vice President in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at CDM Smith full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Interesting work for diverse clients; reasonable work-loads; good policies with regard to part-time work

    Cons

    Mediocre "executive leadership team;" terrible management; bizarre disincentives built into a "matrix" system by which people are either "doers" or "sellers" or "managers," but not allowed to be some combination of two or three of these things

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Board should replace the president and the ceo; should keep the cfo; and should eschew the "matrix", replacing it with more flexible and respectful positions and responsibilities for senior engineers and senior scientists. Also, the company makes far less profit than it should . . . in large part because the top people are not nearly as good as they should be.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Deadline based work with little appreciation, but good compensation and benefits

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

    I have been working at CDM Smith full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Solid future outlook for CDM Smith
    Environmentally Conscious
    Good compensation and benefits

    Cons

    Projects are often billed low so pressure to complete work quickly is a bit stifling.
    My office is small; if you are one of the 'in' people you might enjoy the environment, otherwise it feels a pretty judgmental and closed team. Company has an overall 'old engineering' style, despite efforts to ramp up technology.
    In my position ive been pidgeon-holed, stuck below a mid level engineer who is extremely successful, only delegating me 'busy work' for over a year now.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    I started in 2006 and was involved in many aspects of Katrina Recovery.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant III in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant III in New Orleans, LA

    I worked at CDM Smith full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The pay was great and the longer I worked there I found my voice to make my experience better.

    Cons

    Politics played a big part of being employed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management was not as in touch as we would have liked. Hurricane Katrina affected so many lives and we were often shorthanded because the upper management did not come here to evaluate for themselves.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Good competitive salary

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

    I worked at CDM Smith full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    lot of smart people
    not more than 40 hrs work
    lots of fun activities , free lunch almost once every week

    Cons

    no flexibility
    always expected to be in office. not a good workplace for women
    work from home not taken well with the management
    managers in remote locations. Managers not aware of what employees are doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    have managers in the local offices so that the managers know what the employees are actually doing

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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