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7 people found this helpful  

Pretty good, but not superb

Process Engineer (E3) (Current Employee) Portland, OR

Pros40-45 hour work week, decent 401k, plus 2% yearly as stock, 100% employee owned with internal market, diverse company with regards to work type makes it easy to go somewhere else and do something different (took me 4 days to transfer, and I've seen multiple employees take 6 months assignments), senior management does a very good job of keeping you informed of business direction and goals, senior management is approachable (I've had a beer with the CEO).

The work has the potential to be very diverse, and, should you desire for a change of pace/venue/project, it is very easy to effect this change.

Cons are not unique to CH2M HILL. They can be found at all EPC companies.

ConsAbsolutely no mid-level (5-12 years of experience anywhere. Company consists of junior folks, and senior folks. As such, the path for progression from junior to senior is not particularily laid out. Senior folks who, in part, are responsible for this career development, do not and cannot actively lay out a path.

Engineers, in particular, who worked for the client for some number of years are valued much higher than employees who had not. I.e. someone with 10 years experience, 5 for CH2M and 5 for a client is paid 20% more than someone with 10 years experience working for CH2M HILL. The expensive person does not add more value, and in many cases could be argued to add less.

As such, most junior people I know eventually quit to work for the client for 5-10 years, then come back.

Overhead costs can be high and this limits company profit. You may have 98% billable time, yet see averages of "75%" amongst the company. Making you wonder where the overhead is, since you flat out don't see it (almost all employees you meet will be billable).

Poor performers are often not dealt with expediently and linger in the system until such time that work gets low, then they may or may not be laid off first. However, if work is going strong for 4 years, you may have to deal with poorly performing coworkers for 4 years since even the poor performers make the company money. Differences in employee productivity can easily be 5:1 between the Jedis and the non Jedis. There is however, no difference in pay.

Advice to Senior ManagementMr. McIntire, I think you're a phenominal CEO. Your executive team is very good at keeping us minions in the loop and sharing our goals and performance against those goals. I have to warn you that every, and I do mean every junior engineer (less than 5 years experience) who is good at their job (the Jedis) that I personally know, myself included, is planning on quitting CH2M HILL in the next 2-3 years. We will likely go work for the client, or go work for another EPC firm who is in a hiring binge (easy to extract 10% more money).

The reasons for this are: pay (client pay is substantially higher (through the bonus system), people with client exp get paid more to return as senior folk, and when swapping between EPC companies who are desperate to hire, getting a 10% raise is cake), no clear path for transition from junior to senior, and lastly, poor performing employees are not dealt with and can be paid nearly the same as Jedi employees.

Often times you have E3's being billed to clients as E5's, and E6's doing the exact same work an E2 right next to them is also doing, at 3x the cost. This is great for the E6, but the E2 can only do that for so long before asking what gives.

I don't think this is your fault, but, you need to fix it. Or soon you will have senior folk retiring and will have absolutely NO mid-level jedis to replace them. You will have to entice them to return from your clients and competitors. Clients and competitors who are also simultaneously seeing their senior folk retire and are probably throwing large sums of cash at the employees you want to hire.

A clear path from E2/E3 to E5/E6 with increasing responsibility and an increased cleanout of poor performers would be a wonderful start.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Not the great place it was when Ralph Peterson was there and who hired Lee Mc? What a joke!

    Project Accountant (Current Employee) Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at CH2M HILL

    Pros: Flexible place overall depending on who your boss is. Teleworking allowed depending on who… Cons: Having an overpaid supervisor that doesn't know their job or yours even after 3 years of being employed with the company. Having a manager… Advice to Senior Management: Get a grip on what's really important. From the top to the bottom of the pay scale, everyone should be treated with… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO


    Nice place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Bellingham, WA

    I have been working at CH2M HILL

    Pros: Some great people to work with and some dead wood… Cons: Management always harps about how employee's are the most important resource the company… Advice to Senior Management: Start paying people better and you might keep some of… More
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