CEB

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CEB Reviews in Rosslyn, VA

Updated December 3, 2014
Updated December 3, 2014
544 Reviews
3.2
544 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
CEB Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Monahan III
Thomas L. Monahan III
322 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

25 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A fast-paced, highly organized, uniquely cultured, growing organization with plenty of career opportunities

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

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

    Pros

    Great office culture that encourages team outings, learning opportunities (both internal and external offered by your department), and company-wide events to strengthen CEB's brand and organizational family. You won't thrive here if you're not a diligent, hard-working, and growth-seeking person.

    Cons

    The more you grow and move up the ranks in your career path, the more that gets piled (and squeezed) on which means you need to be prepared to draw the line in what is a healthy, realistic work/life balance if that matters to you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    OK to start your career

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

    I have been working at CEB

    Pros

    The graphic design department has fun activities and a relaxed atmosphere. We get to where jeans most days of the week. Pay is pretty good and benefits decent. $500 matching for charities each year. 19 paid days off, not including 9 holidays each year. (no sick leave). People working in the graphic design department can make overtime pay if they work over 40 hours a week. This place looks great on a resume for when you eventually jump ship (turnover seems a little higher than normal)

    Cons

    The stop clock system for each project is pretty absurd. You literally have to document every minute of your day. The graphic design department is viewed as a kind of service to the rest of the company instead of an equal partnership where both sides need to work collaboratively to make things happen. Plan on taking a lot of initiative to figure things out—initial training wasn't very helpful. 360 reviews take up so much time (twice a year) and are intimidating and overly detailed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stand up for the department and push back on internal clients on behalf of your staff.

    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Burn and Churn......

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

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

    Pros

    Young and enthusiastic workforce, but very sales-heavy. Good volunteer opportunities. Some excellent learning material through best practices. I learned more about human capital management and common HR processes through their research than I could have at a 1 year MBA program. Decent sales training.

    Cons

    SSPD program. They project it to the young, fresh out of college employees as a merit-based test, but it's simply a workforce planning model designed to dishearten those they don't like, and promote those who they'd like to see move through the ranks. It's a very smart turnover model so they can ditch the poor performers without firing them. They leave on their own accord.

    That being said, turnover rate of over 50% in a given year, 75% in two years. Don't get too comfortable with your co-workers; They're likely to leave soon! It's also a gossip metropolis.

    Finally, and this is the most serious of problems too, is that they do not encourage you to get familiar with the best practice research. Once you are successful in one program, they ask you to move to another and replicate the same success, essentially asking you to build a whole new skill set surrounding Finance knowledge, as opposed to HR (or whatever practice you were in previously). Again, it's a very smart model by CEB purposefully designed for the employee to not gain too much knowledge about a particular subject, as one could easily turn into a consultant or executive advisor with that sort of knowledge base. BURN AND CHURN!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in the actual product! Working in the HR practice, I was shocked to find that our 'leading industry benchmarking' had n scores less than 20! It's a good thing many of the HR executives the sales team pitch to are not statisticians, as I'm sure they would be SHOCKED to find that the information presented as a 'best practice' is a reflection of just a few people, scattered across the world. A lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the actual research by CEB.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Project Manager

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

    I worked at CEB full-time

    Pros

    Smart people, opportunities to contribute, insights valued by others

    Cons

    revenue focus sometimes takes precedence over "doing the right thing"

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent organization with extremely intelligent people

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

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

    Pros

    Having access to some of the most well-respected global market research out there is a definite plus.

    Also, the reputation of CEB is relatively good in the market and has served as an aspect of my own credibility when speaking with clients and potential employers.

    The culture of the organization is very modern and caters to a younger crowd - its great place for recent grads.

    The dress code was typically business casual, aside from when clients were in the building, which was wonderful.

    Cons

    There aren't many that I can think of that would be deal breakers for others contemplating joining the organization.

    I was a recent grad when I joined, and after approx. 2 years I grew tired of the constant happy hours, sales cut-throat culture, and somewhat "young" vibe - I wanted to be in an org where I could be more professional and serious about my career & future.

    Contrary to what many believe, it is very difficult to move around internally unless you want to be in sales. The career paths for some of the Administrative/BD/Sales roles were virtually nonexistent. That may be different today, but that was the reason for a lot of turnover in the lower levels - including the reason why I left the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the time to develop your high potential employees more. There is outstanding talent in your organization today that you will lose tomorrow because they are not getting the career development, coaching, or learning opportunities that they need.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    If you have another offer, think twice...

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

    I have been working at CEB full-time

    Pros

    Location in Rosslyn might be a plus for some
    Offices are cubicle farms, but they are pretty modern
    Free food (for those who care about that...I personally don't)

    Cons

    Micro-management (at least on Sales side) and feels like being treated like a child
    Feels like there are more millennials here than any other company in the US, and while some are great, it feels like an unprofessional environment at times. Most people in sales are divas...rude, short, impatient....
    Turnover is very high
    Difficult to find work-life balance - you have decent PTO but they don't want you to use it all and it doesn't roll over
    Mandatory 10-hour days during certain times of the quarter/year, can't really enjoy Thanksgiving and Xmas

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide your sales staff with more flexibility since so much is demanded if us. This is an extremely high pressure environment. The firm values look great on paper, but it feels like management has created an environment where people do not truly adhere to them. Too many layers of complexity and inconsistency across he company, though I hear this is improving.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good career stepping stone

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

    I worked at CEB full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very dynamic environment. Great exposure. Global footprint. Ability to attract top-tier talent. Strong financials. Great location.

    Cons

    Who you know will get you farther than what you know. Promotions are not 100% merit based. Work life balance leaves alot to be desired. 1 year turnover rate > 50% and a 2 year turnover rate > 75%.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Inability to retain top level talent comes with a price that CEB keeps paying, and paying, and paying.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    CEB Internship Program

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

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

    Pros

    As the company prides itself on, CEB really does have the perfect mix of people who are both smart, and nice, which is a combination you don't normally find everywhere. The managers are genuinely interested in the intern's experience over the summer and are looking to help develop their professional careers. The internship program is extremely structured with providing a mentor as well as a peer-coach to every intern to help shape their career development. The senior management also took the time to get to know the interns, which is extremely rare for a company of this size.

    Cons

    The one downside is that the company structure is extremely difficult to understand, but after working at the company for some time it is easier to grasp and explain.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Research role: Some issues & a bit of a churn factory, but all and all a good place for the early stages of your career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Strategic Research Consultant in Rosslyn, VA
    Former Employee - Strategic Research Consultant in Rosslyn, VA

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

    Pros

    Note: This review is for a research role. These comments do not reflect the realities of sales, creative, etc.

    - Intelligent people

    - If you work in research, you will get very smart quickly about the strategic nuances of a functional discipline (HR, Finance, Marketing).

    - A lot of exposure to very senior C-level executives, even early in your career. Remember to send a LinkedIn invite when you do a good job with a senior client/member! That will pay off later.

    -Less travel than in standard consulting firms. You won't have to live out of a suitcase.

    Cons

    - Very top-heavy staffing in research, once people stick around long enough they become promoted to more senior positions, where they become somewhat unnecessary and just kick work downstairs, but meanwhile suck up most of the budget dollars for those departments with their higher salaries. CEB is a perfect example of the Peter Principle, i.e. - that the members of an organization will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. Or "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence,"

    - It's frustrating because in theory senior researchers are providing a strategic & editorial role, but really there are too many chefs in the kitchen and not enough cooks - so they are just *creating* rounds of edits and redrafts to justify their own existence. There is way too much day-to-day work (to keep and delight members) that senior staff have decided is below their level of seniority ...but that's the work that needs to get done! CEB needs to restructure to have fewer editors and more smart entry level 'doers' (i.e. - 2-5 years out of school). Won't do it though because the senior people control the narrative that goes upstairs.

    - Many senior people lack training around providing useful feedback. As a result, much management at CEB can be best characterized as "The swoop & poop" - i.e. the manager is totally disengaged from what you're working on, then swoops in, poops all over whatever you're working on - and flies away ...believing that they have added value. They have not actually added value. They have just fooled themselves into thinking they contributed something. This happens a lot.

    - Late hours (in research). During AER season you are living at the office. It's the same thing every year, so it could be avoided if there was even the most basic proj management rigor provided by senior people from research, but there's too much overemphasis on/romanticization of the editing process.

    - CEB likes to think of itself as innovative, but the CEO and the loyal lieutenants (that he hasn't forced out to secure his throne) all come from the old days of research and don't really understand much about innovating outside of the 2001 business model. Nothing new under the sun.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CEB still hasn't re-established its employee value proposition since the 2008 crash. In 2000 it used to have tons of money to throw at problems, so working employees very hard was ok. The model was, work really hard. We're cash flush so we'll create perks and throw a lot of fancy events and if you succeed you can move up very quickly because we're growing so fast.

    Today CEB is much more of a brick and mortar company with traditional plodding career advancement, but they are still operating like it's a high growth company. They need to rethink what they are really offering employees and how to strengthen that social contract.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great opportunity for your first job

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

    I worked at CEB full-time

    Pros

    Younger culture, great experience for people with less than five years of experience, opportunities to talk to and work with the c-level, lots of community involvement.

    Cons

    Managed by hearsay, conformist culture, groupthink, not managed by performance but by likeability, constantly changing standards based on your manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide what a position should look like and the goals that position should achieve, and then measure against it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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