Chicago Bridge & Iron

  www.cbi.com
  www.cbi.com
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Chicago Bridge & Iron Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
162 Reviews
3.0
162 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Chicago Bridge & Iron President and CEO Philip K. Asherman
Philip K. Asherman
69 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • have a great pay scale and good benefits package, RRSP Dental Extended Medical all really great (in 12 reviews)

  • Flexible working hours; very good work-life balance (at the local office level) (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • High turnover of contract staff in UK IT help desk (in 6 reviews)

  • Senior management typically makes decisions without realizing the full impact of the people doing the work (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Avoid at all costs if you value your career.

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

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Collaborating with talented and loyal employees and working on a variety of interesting projects.

    Cons

    CB&I may have acquired The Shaw Group, but it was only on paper. Instead of getting the best of both companies, we've got the worst of both sides as far as management is concerned. Shaw practices has infected CB&I upper management, resulting in questionable and shady behavior, muddled processes, and cloak-and-dagger backdoor politics.

    A forced relocation of all Corporate personnel to the Woodlands by September 2014 will result in 90+% cannibalization of IT and HR departments (among others). Only "selected" persons were asked to move, given paltry and laughable relocation packages, then told to keep "hush hush" about it. The unlucky ones left behind are being hung out to dry, still waiting for any official word from management about office closures, severance (yeah, right) and any other pertinent information related to the obliteration of their jobs. Management has been silent and uncommunicative about the whole affair. This company likes to preach and extol high moral and ethical standards, yet they can't even maintain the common decency to communicate to employees who have been loyal and hard-working to them for many years.

    Plans to outsource work overseas is the cherry on top of this putrid cake. Avoid at all costs if you value your career and your professional development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enjoy your shiny new building and best of luck this September. You'll need it.

    Also, say hi to our friends in India.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unorganized accounting department

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron

    Pros

    Payed well in comparison to other pportunities.

    Cons

    Within 2 weeks of my start date I saw 4 people in A/P fired including the two managers who hired me.

  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    If you work in IT, avoid this company like the plague

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

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Leaving! There were no pros to this company.

    Cons

    There are just to many to list. Every good IT person they have hired in the last 4-5 years has walked right back out the door. Note good in that sentence.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop letting a little gnome run around and build server rooms when you could rent rack space like everyone else has been doing for 5 years now. 3 failed attemps at building server rooms should be enough. Second, stop calling server rooms data centers. It's insulting to those who actually know what a data center is and how one is managed. The people who have been there for 30 years only have the mental capacity to manage technology that was current when they joined the company. Licking stamps is not a valuable skill these days.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor Management

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

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good benefits, opportunity to travel across the country, good travel agency, Fortune 500, worked with some very intelligent, amicable people that I still keep in touch with

    Cons

    Poor communication between management levels, rampant favoritism and nepotism, poor management of offices, treatment of field personnel is sub par,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This was my first job as a professional. I worked for the company for six years and despite receiving repeated good reviews from my superiors I was only "promoted" once. There was always talk of advancement opportunities within offices and projects, yet these "opportunities" never actually seemed to materialize. I witnessed several very intelligent, hard working people forced to leave the company after many years of service due to poor upper management decisions. I once worked on a project where I had 6 different supervisors. It was hard no to think of the movie Office Space because of this. "So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired." Sadly, this was my introduction to corporate America.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Give it a year or two, then leave! Bottom line: No one will fight for you!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Environmental Scientist  in  Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Environmental Scientist in Denver, CO

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It's a good starting job to move on from. I started my first job at Shaw after undergrad as an Environmental Scientist. The starting pay wasn't terrible, but there was no opportunity for advancement. If you are a low-level employee, they will just try to get as much out of you before you leave for something better. The only other good thing was every other Friday off (9/80 schedule), but this was a Shaw thing that I heard CB&I is getting rid of.

    Cons

    Worked for Shaw Environmental for 5 years. During that time, it always seemed like things were going downhill. When the CB&I acquisition came along, they made us believe things were going to get better. They didn't. No communication at all from higher-ups, with shutdowns of departments and layoffs. You couldn't even get through to get your voice heard, because regional management denies they are kept in the loop at all. Bottom line: No one is fighting for you but yourself. This is a terrible company to work for, very unreliable, and does not care to keep its promising assets. Only join as a last resort if you plan to move on in a year or two.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Needs a change in company culture. Management only cares about themselves. Loyal employees and technical assets are treated very poorly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Disorganized money machine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Energy and Sustainability  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Energy and Sustainability in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Opportunities, if management likes you

    Cons

    constant turnover; little to no training. Often thrown into projects plans or context.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The energy management practice lacks direction and doesn't understand it's strengths. Somehow it's stayed pretty profitable. For me, it's taken a lot of the warm-fuzzy out of working in sustainability, it's clear they wouldn't be in the business if it wasn't for the money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    CB&I Power Division

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

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Some talented, dedicated people in certain areas
    - Large company that may or may not have potential for advancement
    - Large industrial projects with some interesting aspects

    Cons

    This mostly applies to the Nuclear Division:

    - Chaotic, disorganized project management
    - Management creates a wall between themselves and staff. Poor communication breeds rumors and low morale. Management tells staff how to act and does the opposite themselves. Staff treated like children.
    - No bonuses or employee incentives
    - A lot of dead weight
    - High turnover of talented people...good people don't usually stay here too long
    - A lot of nepotism/favoritism
    - Actual results are not valued as much as adherence to ambiguous metrics
    - Unprofessional, hostile behavior is tolerated (almost encouraged) by management with no consequences
    - Hard to get a promotion or raise unless you leave the company and return or have another offer for bargaining

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest and fair with employees, stop treating employees like contractors if you want to retain them long term (clear career paths, incentives, training, regular promotions), weed out poor performers and stop accepting mediocrity to get projects on a successful path

    CB&I management is supposed to be addressing issues in the newly acquired power division but changes have been slow in coming...time will tell what reforms take place. CB&I overall as a company seems much better than the former Shaw Group. In current practice, they have not been well integrated and are still very separate entities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Change is tough

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Electrical Planner  in  Joseph City, AZ
    Former Employee - Electrical Planner in Joseph City, AZ

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron for more than a year

    Pros

    great benefits , great Pay
    Safety Minded at the Corporate Level

    Cons

    As CB&I gets the Jobs,they are hard pressed to fill positions with like minded new comers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Internal resources are invaluable.

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

    Times are Changing at CBI and the Direction is Chaotic

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

    I have been working at Chicago Bridge & Iron

    Pros

    Casual environment and a whole lot of tools to work with. Company has a lot of cash and a tremendous reputation in engineering, construction and safety. FT work force from the legacy CBI company is friendly, helpful and skilled. Extending their corporate campus in south Houston, TX.

    Cons

    Company all but rubbed out 90% of its IT staff to prepare for its unification with the rest of the corporate business in Texas.

    Company just bought The Shaw Group at the end of February 2013 and promptly pushed aside its legacy IT resources and promoted Shaw resources into 80% of the mid-management positions without any explanation. Within a year, 75% of the resources promoted left the company or will not take the relocation offer.

    Middle management is ineffective when it comes to project management. The IT department cannot understand PM concepts although the engineering and construction disciplines have a solid understanding of project management methodology which represents a tremendous gap in their maturity model.

    Middle management caters to executive levels with a a strange sycophantic behavior but cannot manage their workforce effectively as constant change of direction on projects and process are the norm. Middle management resources show bad habits when it comes to being presented with logical suggestions from staff.

    Highly political environment where "playing the game" is the key to longevity.

    Full timers that prove their worth suddenly realize that the company will call their number 24/7 (literally) when issues are presented so you will be working a minimum of 50 hours a week.

    Projects constantly suffer from poor planning and constant rework. Resources are thin but upper management continues to challenge its work force with never ending projects and the day to day organizational duties.

    Loyalty from executive management is all but non-existent. Bonuses are promised and when the work is delivered those bonuses rarely come to fruition.

    Overall, the Shaw purchase and imminent relocation to Texas discouraged the FT CBI IT staff while driving a wedge between the employees from the two respective companies. When your senior level executives cannot even come down from the ivory tower to face and communicate their strategic vision of the IT department to the work force that has been loyal to them for years it is very telling.

    A tremendous amount of work remains with poor direction and a bevy of middle managers that have no business making critical decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have the fortitude to PERSONALLY organize and present strategic vision to your middle managers and loyal work force. Treat the people that helped build this company with respect and dignity instead of constantly thinking about how to cater to you're directors and shareholders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Piping and Hangar Fabrication Shop Supervisor

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

    I worked at Chicago Bridge & Iron as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Good Pay and management a plus

    Cons

    Material delivery by customer a factor to keep man power forcast

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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