CEB

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CEB Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
559 Reviews
3.2
559 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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CEB Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Monahan III
Thomas L. Monahan III
327 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great place to start after university with an excellent work life balance (in 48 reviews)

  • Gained experience selling to C-Level executives (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • Micromanagement and very poor work life balance due to intentional under-staffing (in 41 reviews)

  • Senior management has a hawk eye on metrics; yes, they're important, but still (in 37 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good company to start with and build skills for your career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Representative in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Business Development Representative in Washington, DC

    I worked at CEB

    Pros

    Great training
    Young, intellectual team
    Opportunities for advancement

    Cons

    There is a limit to growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    less micromanagement

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    OK short term graduate opportunity but don't be fooled,

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

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

    Pros

    - Central office location
    - Decent access to stationary

    Cons

    - Success will largely depend on your manager and the resources available to you. Established and favoured individuals will receive priority when it comes to the distribution of these resources, exacerbating the gap between top and middle performers and callously eliminating the lower % of the labour force.

    - Middle Management are an glaring example of the Peter Principle. Fully capable of performing within a revenue generating role but most are inept at managing and motivating those who work under them. This creates a poor and ineffective middle management layer.

    - Their business development model appears to be based on a production line model leading to BD roles being extremely one-dimensional. Lower level business development consist of regurgitating short pitches all day long with higher level BD roles simply being an extended versions of it. This is all fuelled by a lack of bespoke solutions that comes with packaged consultancy services. You will effectively be working in a call center.

    - Wages at CEB experience logarithmic growth. Quick to rise at the start but slow down quickly after the first couple of promotions. Further to this, following on from the first comment, wages are largely determined by your manager as well as the amount of resources you are fed.

    - Some of the titles they dish out are embarrassing. There are 'Associate Directors' with nappies on. I understand that they want to give employees credibility but they take it too far.

    - CEB suffers from company-wide groupthink. Employees who do not adhere to CEB's suffocating culture will be identified, isolated and flushed out like as if they were an enemy of Big Brother. Questioning CEB's research or culture is arguably the most dangerous move you can make and do not think to confide in other comrades.

    - I am shocked that as a research based firm (that advices HR leaders) they ignore all of their own HR research. They rear candidates in like cattle and fire them after 3-4 months if there isn't instant success.Rather than being a coincidence, it is a purposeful strategy that I can only imagine they have worked out is the most cost-effective method of obtaining high performers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Any advice to management would assume I believe their structure and procedures were down to chance rather than being a calculated strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Leaves a lot to be desired

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Global Service Centre in Thames Ditton, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Global Service Centre in Thames Ditton, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    - Great people to work with in a constantly changing environment
    - New faces every other week
    - Good robust products
    - good legacy research team

    Cons

    - Salaries are slow to rise
    - minimal benefits
    - long hours with few career opportunities
    - exceptionally politically attuned environment
    - personnel development only geared towards certain preferred individuals
    - in a very expensive part of Surrey (very exclusive) not a lot of transport (public) direct links

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - COMMUNICATION is key , if you want to get the best out of the team you have there has to be open and honest communication , we cant support our team and others if we don't have all of the information, facts and we don't know what their objectives are.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    As first job, CEB has been a great place to work

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

    I have been working at CEB

    Pros

    Good Comp
    Great Colleagues and culture

    Cons

    Poor top management
    No strategic vision

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    A "Burn and Churn" Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Management Associate in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Account Management Associate in Arlington, VA

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

    Pros

    Strong team environment among the AMx/BDx community, access to great research and decent sales training program (SSPD). Beer at the office on Fridays and free food at the end of Quarters. Everyone I worked with was the same age (recent college grad)

    Cons

    After a year of being part of the AMx/BDx team, I was the most tenure person there, since everyone leaves a soon as they get hired. Compensation is low for the schools they recruit from and they area that the company is HQ. Year over year expectations of sales do not align with the resources available to meet expectations (eg. An increase of 30% in new business when there is not an increase of 30% in the research side. Very hard to do when Analysts are always busy and cannot deliver new research as often). The job itself gets really repetitive fast, you are consider to be more of an administrative assistant than a strategic partner with the account manager, but this depends on who your account manager is. The SSPD program is consider to be a tool for growth in the Sales department, but many people consider it to be a waste of time and it stops very qualified employees from getting promotions when they deserve them. Upper management plays favorites and it is obvious who they are, when you bring constructive criticism to your manager you might as well start looking for a new job since you will be considered to be "getting in the way" of things. For a best practice company, they are very stubborn and stock in their ways. One thing that I always noticed is that everyone always looked stressed and tired.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CEB is a fast growing company, but you got to take better care of employees and invest more money in ways to improve internal processes. CEB lets great talent leave the company all the time and does nothing to retain it. Work life balance does not exist. I took a 2 week vacation and my expectation was that I could be reached over email and that I would be able to work a certain amount of hours a week.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Do NOT work here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Rolling Meadows, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Rolling Meadows, IL

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

    Pros

    You MIGHT get to work with talented people.
    You MIGHT get to work with top tier clients (Fortune 500).

    Cons

    This company:

    Since my former company was acquired by CEB, they destroyed it. They ruined the culture by turning a once independent, motivated, successful workforce into mindless drones who work for a bottom line and cannot think creatively. We no longer served the customers, we were slaves to the almighty dollar. The mother-ship CEB didn't know what we did when they bought us and it showed. They're in a fantastic spree of Layoffs! They let go about 20% of the workforce day 1 after acquisition. Then, when we didn't meet their completely unrealistic goals, they laid off another 15% saying "That's the end of it, we cut deep to make sure no one else needs to go". LIE! What happened LESS THAN 6 months later? ANOTHER ROUND OF LAYOFFS! Awesome! There goes another 15% of the remaining workforce. They decapitate acquired companies because they have the capital to buy, without any of the knowledge of how to handle that acquisition.

    I quit after ranking up 3 times in 3 years. Sounds good right? No. The pay is horrific, so even after those promotions, I still didn't make market value. Consultants, Analysts, work somewhere else, your skills are not valued here, and you can live a very happy, well balanced life working elsewhere. Oh, but if you do quit they MIGHT threaten a lawsuit if you don't tell them where you're going! That brings up the awesome (sarcasm) talent they have as managers.

    The Managers:

    ...Have no management experience. They're people who dedicated years and years of their lives, drowning in the garbage that you're doing (if you work there). So, because of that "We all went through it" attitude, they have no sympathy for the 60+ hour work weeks (no exaggeration, my record work week was 103 hrs. I'm not joking) that you'll consistently put in for months on end. Since we're talking about hours - I made less than minimum wage if you consider hours worked vs salary - again - no exaggeration.

    Good luck, I wish I knew this when we were acquired by CEB!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to value your employees as more than just a means to an end.

    Take a pay cut instead of laying off your workforce, when the CEO banks 6 figures in his bonuses alone, I'm pretty sure that could trickle down and help the struggling businesses instead. It should be teamwork, don't let your position give you a false sense of entitlement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Good first job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at CEB

    Pros

    Ample opportunity to learn about different business functions, first 2 promotions based entirely on performance

    Cons

    Innumerable cold calls, unnecessary amount of repetitive training sessions that take way too long, no real opportunity to be promoted beyond entry level position, the commission is a joke

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire middle management from outside the company

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

    No long term career prospects, better to look elsewhere

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

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

    Pros

    1. Smart people
    2. Flexible work arrangements

    Cons

    1. Leaders are inflexible and have no relevant outside experience. It is either "my way, or the highway".
    2. The politics is overwhelming, if you do not fit into the culture, your life will be made miserable and you will be forced to quit. I have seen this many times during my stay at CEB.
    3. Compensation is lackluster - only the "favorites" get compensated well. Underlying this is a lack of transparency in almost every aspect of decision making regarding promotion, pay and career development.
    4. Very much a sales driven environment with no focus on developing real client relationships.
    5. The skills you pick up are not applicable/ useful to the other real companies out there.
    6. The quality of services provided to the market is suspect and at times, unethical.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Recognize that there are inherent structural biases (lifers) and do something about removing the ones that clearly abuse their power.
    2. Take a long term view, make up your mind on what CEB is, then stick to it by providing the best services. In my stint, CEB went from being a management consultancy, to a research company, to an advisory company. Don't just flip into anything that drives short term profits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    A collection of the smartest, most driven people I've ever worked with.

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

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

    Pros

    I am continually amazed by the intellectual caliber of the colleagues I work with every day. Being surrounded by smart, driven, passionate people makes you feel capable of great things - in your current role or in any other role you wish to pursue at CEB (internal moves are encouraged and supported). I have had so many wonderful mentors - formal and informal - who have contributed to my career success, and I plan to keep on collecting them. CEB is a relatively young company (30 years old), whose culture is still being defined. It is aware of it's history and foundations, but far from being set in stone. Reacting and adapting to change is necessary - and exciting! It's truly a growing company in every sense of the word.

    Cons

    If you can't handle change, this isn't the place for you. As a company that studies the realities of the new work environment, we are also prime examples of it. Growing global presence, acquisitions and integration, finding new gears of productivity, collaboration that is key to survival - it's all part of everyday life at CEB. It means you can't get comfortable or take anything for granted, but it also means that new opportunities are opening up all the time and that you can control your own destiny to a large degree.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We should continue to push ourselves to be leading edge when it comes to developing, motivating, and retaining talent. Just because we write about how the best do it, doesn't mean we're doing the best job of it that we can. We should strive not to just meet the bar set by the best, but to exceed it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Decent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Management Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Account Management Associate in Washington, DC

    I have been working at CEB full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    At CEB there are great people and supportive leadership; everyone is willing to help and the environment is very collaborative.

    Cons

    Job is simply scheduling-you dont really use your brain as much as you would like..I find that I had a lot of downtime as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use more incentives with staff. Additionally, add some complexity to the job to retain employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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