CEB Reviews

Updated October 18, 2014
Updated October 18, 2014
524 Reviews
3.2
524 Reviews
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CEB Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Monahan III
Thomas L. Monahan III
316 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great place to start after university with an excellent work life balance (in 47 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company to work for

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

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

    Pros

    The office culture is one of the biggest pros at CEB. The young, fast-paced environment makes CEB a very exciting & fun place to work. Another major pro is that there are a lot of upward and lateral mobility opportunities, allowing its employees to move around the company and try new things.

    Cons

    For the DC area, the entry-level jobs seem a bit lower than the average, but there are many great benefits that help undercut this con.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Coordinator in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Research Coordinator in Arlington, VA

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

    Pros

    Everyone in the practice was very friendly and happy. There was generally a lot of freedom and not too much micromanagement. All of the mangers were very open and easy to talk to making it a very comfortable work environment. There were work parties,events and volunteer opportunities that really brought the company and practices together.

    Cons

    Not a lot of cons but the pay was relatively low for the DC area.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to start a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Arlington, VA

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

    Pros

    CEB has a great office culture and work-life balance. Compared to some of its competitors, CEB employees work better hours and have better work-life balance. The office culture is very flat and not hierarchical: everyone is very tolerant of diverse ideas and junior employees are encouraged to speak up in meetings or to challenge (intellectually) their managers and higher-ups. The typical CEB Research Analyst has often been described as "intellectual and nice" and this is an apt description. As CEB recruits many campus hires, its culture is very young, making it a great place for new grads to start their career. In addition, as a research job, recent graduates with a liberal arts background but interested in business will find CEB's RA position to be very fitting to both their skill set and ambition. CEB acknowledges the relative inexperience of many of its hires and therefore takes care to train its young employees in both job-related and broader professional skills.

    Cons

    For the work that the typical Research Analyst does, compensation could be higher. This seems to be a point of contention among many of my peers and fellow new hires. Partly because of the compensation, but not entirely because of it, CEB sees a LOT of turnover among its recent hires. Many newly hired Research Analysts stay at the company for a year or so, and move on to other firms.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make your research analyst level hires feel more valued (either through pay or other means) and you will probably see less turnover.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    low pay, good culture.

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

    I worked at CEB as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The firm had great interns and a great team, who was super helpful. The people are all readily willing to offer both career and life advice as well as dedicate time to help others with work. I was surrounded by very intelligent people who are all hardworking but fun.

    Cons

    Certain employees are poor hires. They sat around and played on their phones, and just in general did not do work. Also, the pay is low and non-negotiable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay a more competitive wage if you'd like to retain talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great culture and great training.

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

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

    Pros

    CEB has a great company culture and this permeates everything they do. They research how the best companies in the world are solving business problems then educate other companies on how to apply the solutions back to their own company. As a result, CEB is a company that is run according to best practices.

    They intentionally hire people who are genuine and smart. Everyone is willing to help out and teach you how to be better.

    The sales environment is competitive but not against your peers. You try to reach your goal and everyone is excited when you do and willing to help you improve your skills to be even better.

    They have great benefits and want their employees to stay and succeed. They also promote heavily from within.

    Their training program is very structured and time tested and managers do a great job coaching.

    Cons

    At the end of the day, selling is hard. Not everyone is good at it. There is definitely pressure to meet you goals, but everyone wants to help you do it.

    The entry level position is heavily focused on cold calling. It can be tedious at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Great job and keep improving the training programs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    False Promises

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Chantilly, VA
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Chantilly, VA

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

    Pros

    Younger workforce, everyone is very nice and easy to get along with. The location was outside of the city so I didn't have to commute too far to work. I was hired by SHL and shortly thereafter was bought by CEB therefore I worked out of the SHL office.

    Cons

    I drove 7 hours for the interview from the south and was looking to find a position in the area that had even compensation, I certainly did not want to accept a position that paid less in an area that is extremely expensive to live. Once I accepted the position and started the job, the things I were promised before I accepted quickly changed. The structure of the comp plan changed drastically from what I was told originally. Rather than making a percentage of your sales each month with an overall yearly goal (which is what was promised) the structure changed to needing to reach milestones in order to get paid commission. I began the first working day of the year in Jan 2013, the sales team did not receive their goals or comp plan until the last day in Feb. This means the sales team had no idea how we were getting paid and what needed to be achieved until 2 months into the year. The milestones that needed to be hit were quite lofty expectations. With an average sell price of $1995, a goal of $40,000 needed to be reached before you see a commission check. Essentially, every $40,000 you sell, you get paid $3,000 - after taxes you'll see somewhere around $1600-$1800. I was the first member to hit the milestone, and it didn't happen until April - so 4 months in just hitting the first goal, not getting paid on it until May. So in 5 months I saw about $1700 in commission. The next commission didn't come until August, keep in mind I was at the top in terms of new business sales. I was promised about $30k more than what I actually made that year. It caused a lot of hardship for me as I left a job in which I made about $20k more, and moved to this expensive area to live while making much less money. Training was awful, it consisted of sitting in the manager's office and listening to him talk about why the ability tests are a sure thing because "it's science." The training lasted about 3-4 weeks, basically the entire first month of employment.. that means no time on the phones and no selling. When the comp plans came out, my goal was the same as everyone else's. I was immediately at a disadvantage as there was no ramp up time and no one took into account that I was asked to hit the 12 month goal with an entire month off the phones and sitting in training. I have friends still there, the comp planned was recently changed to a quarterly goal, which means 1st quarter goal is $xxxx amount, 2nd quarter goal is $xxxx amount (almost double from 1 quarter, 3rd quarter goal is $xxxx amount (almost triple the 1st quarter) and Q4 is 4X the Q1 goal. If you don't hit the goal for the quarter, you get nothing in commission. Meaning you can come to within $50 of the goal, the company is profiting off of your hard work, but you didn't hit their goal so you now get nothing - after working hard the whole quarter. Now this is the SHL Talent Measurement division of CEB - I am not sure how the rest of CEB as a whole has their comp plans.. but just be advised that on the new business team, you will work hard for very little. The entire sales team has since left the company, an account manager included. It's a turnstile at this point with senior sales leaders leaving the company on a monthly basis. I would say it'd be smart to stay away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your sales people more money. Have a fair comp plan. There's no reason the Account Managers should make double what the new business sales team makes. Account Mgmt is a renewals team, the customer already knows the value of the product and has been using it first hand. Cold calling on new business and giving presentations in an effort to demonstrate the value of ability tests is a much more complex sale than following up with current customers and renewing their yearly contract. Also... don't try so hard to sell the position. In your attempt to sell me on the job, you misled me and caused some very hard times that were completely unnecessary.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Low pay, lots and lots of work. Stay away if you can.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Arlington, VA

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

    Pros

    This job will teach you how to play the game; how to deal with complex bureaucracies, multiple bosses and managing those bosses. It will teach you sly business etiquette and fake professionalism. Everyone is nice, whether or not that is genuine is a different question.

    Cons

    Worst of all is the pay, which is below the industry standard for similar gigs. If you work in the main Arlington (Waterview) location, which is shared with Deloitte, get ready to live with the daily stigma of getting in elevators with kids the same age as you and knowing they make more than you. This company just does not pay enough, and that is because their business model is based on the fact that there will always be an inexhaustible supply of wide-eyed recent college graduates looking to get their first job and start bolstering their resume.

    The bureaucratic truism that work rolls downhill has never been more true, the senior directors and their bosses do nothing besides delegate tasks down until they eventually reach you. You will be working hard, and if you want to truly stand out, you will be working even harder. This job is not 9 to 5, it's not even 8:30 to 5:30, this job is 8 to 6:30 and some evening and weekends, this means that having you as a salaried position is great for the firm, you get no overtime.

    A final note on the research since I am in a research position. If you come from an academic background prepare to be shocked. CEB will put you through a bunch of training classes which will pretend that their research is sound, but that is far from the case. At the end of the day, you sell your research, which inevitably corrupts it. Data is tailored to appeal to the membership. Your starting point for the research is a) what do they want to hear, and b) what makes for an attention grabbing headline.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay market value. The salary does not cut it for the cost of living in DC, factor in student loans if you are a recent graduate and your salary is officially gone. Someone high up in the company once told me CEB doesn't like to get MBAs, rather to diversify from all sorts of backgrounds. My view is that CEB simply can't afford MBAs, who go to the McKinseys or Deloittes where they can be compensated properly, that is why CEB is left with a bunch of PoliSci grads which figured, "meh, this job is not the best, but at least its better than government."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Got what I wanted out of it

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Training, work environment, culture, people, company values, benefits, time-off

    Cons

    Personal growth, salary, bonuses, compensation

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    It was fine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    It was a good experience

    Cons

    There are no cons. It is a great company to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Good company for people new to the work force.

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

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

    Pros

    In general this is a good comapny to work for. Entry level salaries are above market, and the benefits packages are better then most. The company is active in the communities were they are located. Cowarkers are friendly, cooperative and fully engaged. The company is growing, rapidly, so there are always new and interesting projects to keep the work interesting.

    Cons

    The uppper level management is not people orientated. The company primarily grows by acquisition. But there is no ineterest in nurturing experienced talent they acquire. They prefer to let the mature knowledge level the company and bring in new less exepreinced pedrsonnel. The process models are out of date, and the maturity level is at "Scrambler", time lines are never met, everyone works considerably more then a 40 hour week, and PTO is restricted in order to make up project delays. As a result the company is a revolving door of people, starting new gaining experience and moving on to more mature organizations. Attrition rates are in the mid to upper 20 percentile. Tolerance for errors is non-existant. Mistakes are called "Resume Generating Events"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn the value of your workforce as a company asset. A revolving door of new hires prevents the company from maturing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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